Another month, another global heat record broken—by far

WASHINGTON (AP) — Earth dialed the heat up in June, smashing warm temperature records for both the month and the first half of the year.

Off-the-charts heat is "getting to be a monthly thing," said Jessica Blunden, a climate scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "This is the third month this year that we've broken the monthly record."

Bird sanctuary founder dies

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Walter "Stormy" Crawford Jr., whose founding of one of North America's largest bird conservation and rehabilitation centers was fueled by a childhood spent in Venezuela fascinated by exotic jungle birds, has died in Missouri. He was 70.

Crawford, executive director of the World Bird Sanctuary in suburban St. Louis, died at a hospital Friday after complications from a recent hip surgery, said Jeff Meshach, the sanctuary's director. The sanctuary — spanning roughly 300 acres of hardwood forest — has rehabilitated and returned more than 800 raptors to the wild since Crawford founded it in the late 1970s.

California proposes historic $1.5M fine for taking water

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California regulators on Monday proposed a first-of-its-kind, $1.5 million fine for a group of Central Valley farmers accused of illegally taking water during the drought.

It would be the first such fine for holders of California's oldest claims to water.

Eco-friendly pope to encourage likeminded mayors at Vatican

VATICAN CITY (AP) — One city banned Styrofoam. Another has the highest percentage of "clean" cars in Europe. Still another has cut greenhouse gas emissions by 29 percent since 1990 — while its GDP grew 19 percent.

Dozens of environmentally friendly mayors from around the world are meeting at the Vatican Tuesday to bask in the star power of eco-Pope Francis and commit to reducing global warming and helping the urban poor deal with its effects.

Environmental group continues to back discredited Chevron lawsuit

The Washington Times

The environmental group Amazon Watch continues to back a pollution lawsuit against Chevron even after a federal judge concluded the trial lawyers pursuing the legal action in Ecuador engaged in "egregious fraud," The Washington Times reports.

California flexes muscles in water tussle with farmers

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — California water regulators flexed their muscles by ordering a group of farmers to stop pumping from a branch of the San Joaquin River amid an escalating battle over how much power the state has to protect waterways that are drying up in the drought.

The State Water Resources Control Board issued the cease and desist order Thursday against an irrigation district in California's agriculture-rich Central Valley that it said had failed to obey a previous warning to stop pumping. Hefty fines could follow.

NOAA: Ocean surface temperature warmest in 135 years

WASHINGTON (AP) — In their annual, detailed physical of Earth's climate, scientists say the world is in increasingly hot and rising water.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the American Meteorological Society's annual state of the climate report, released Thursday, delves into the details of already reported record-smashing warmth globally in 2014, giving special attention to the world's oceans.

Ranchers sue over Clean Water Rule

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Ranchers in New Mexico, California and Washington state have challenged a new Obama administration rule giving federal agencies authority to protect some streams and wetlands.

The Sacramento, California-based Pacific Legal Foundation announced it has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Minnesota on behalf of the ranchers over the recent expansion of the Clean Water Act.

California says irrigation district violated 2015 drought order

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California has issued its first cease and desist order telling an irrigation district to stop pumping water under this year's tightened drought regulations.

The state water board on Thursday said that inspectors in May observed the West Side Irrigation District in Tracy pumping water.

Research: Polar bears can't conserve energy during fasting

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A study of an Alaska polar bear population in summer concludes the bear's biology will not help stave off starvation in the face of global warming.

The study of southern Beaufort Sea polar bears by university, federal and private researchers over three years concludes they have no special ability to minimize energy loss during increasing periods of fasting brought on by climate warming, less sea ice and fewer hunting days.


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