Environment

California farmers to go another year without federal water

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A federal agency said Friday it will not release any water for Central Valley farms this year, forcing farmers to continue to scramble for other sources or leave fields unplanted.

It will be the second year of no federal water for farmers in the region that grows much of the nation's produce. Many farmers had been bracing for the news as California's drought enters its fourth year.

‘False pause’ in global warming rise could be over soon, says study

Source: 
Reuters

A natural Pacific Ocean cooling cycle has helped to keep global warming in check over the past decade, say researchers writing in the journal Science, but they warn that warming is likely to accelerate again once the cycle finishes, Reuters reports.

US House approves bill to step up fight against toxic algae

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Members of Congress have called for more aggressive federal action to prevent toxic algae from contaminating the Great Lakes and other waterways around the nation, such as an outbreak on Lake Erie last summer that left more than 400,000 people without safe tap water for two days.

The House approved a bill this week that would require the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to develop within 90 days of enactment a plan for assessing and managing risk from algal toxins such as cyanobacteria — a type of bacteria commonly known as blue-green algae. The bacteria produce a toxin called microcystin, which can cause liver damage.

Scientists witness carbon dioxide trapping heat in air

WASHINGTON (AP) — Scientists have witnessed carbon dioxide trapping heat in the atmosphere above the United States, chronicling human-made climate change in action, live in the wild.

A new study published in the journal Nature demonstrates in real-time field measurements what scientists already knew from basic physics, lab tests, numerous simulations, temperature records and dozens of other climatic indicators. They say it confirms the science of climate change and the amount of heat-trapping previously blamed on carbon dioxide.

New England wildlife also suffering through tough winter

GRAFTON, Mass. (AP) — New England's epic snowfalls haven't just made life miserable for humans: animals are suffering, too.

Veterinarians with Tufts University's wildlife clinic say subzero temperatures and heavy snows have savaged birds and critters that struggle to survive even in mild winters.

Shellfish threatened by ocean acidification

Source: 
NPR

Shellfish like oysters and clams – and the $1 billion industry devoted to harvesting them in the U.S. -- are being threatened by the increasing acidification of the oceans, according to a study published this week in the journal Nature Climate Change, NPR reports.

Discussion on balancing growth, environment in Arctic

Washington, February 25, 2015, 2:00 pm

The Center for Strategic and International Studies hosts discussion on balancing environmental protection and economic growth in Arctic development.

Union of Concerned Scientists call on climate risk at refineries

Washington, February 25, 2015, 10:00 am

Union of Concerned Scientists host call to discuss report on climate risk at coastal oil refineries. Dial in: 866-244-4530. Passcode: Rising Risks.

SENATE ENERGY COMMITTEE PHOTOS

Jewell faces tough Republican majority in Senate budget hearing

Accused of launching "an unprecedented attack" on Alaska's energy production, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on Tuesday attempted to convince skeptical Republican lawmakers that the Obama administration was committed to finding a balance between states'  priorities and federal conservation efforts.

Jewell, in a hearing over her department's 2016 budget, faced aggressive questioning from Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, the energy committee's new chair, who said the Obama administration's handling of her state's energy resources “lacked balance.”

“Instead of recognizing the many opportunities Alaska has with regards to resources production, you have enabled an unprecedented attack on our ability to responsibly bring these resources to market,” Murkowski said.

EPA pushes back against IG report on pesticides

A regional Environmental Protection Agency office is raising concerns about an inspector general report that accused officials of failing to maintain proper oversight of pesticide production and imports in North Dakota.

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