ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The number of seabirds, including gulls, puffins and auklets, has dropped significantly in the Gulf of Alaska and northeast Bering Sea, a possible consequence of warmer waters, according to a preliminary federal analysis of nearly 40 years of surveys.
U.S. Geological Survey experts found the seabird population density declined 2 percent annually from 1975 to 2012 in the northeast North Pacific, said John Piatt, research wildlife biologist at the USGS Alaska Science Center.
President Obama on Thursday signed an executive order for the federal government to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from 2008 levels over the next decade, a move the White House touted as an effort to lead the private sector in an effort to increase efficiency and combat climate change.
“The federal government is the single largest energy user in the United States economy,” Christy Goldfuss, managing director of the Council on Environmental Quality, told reporters on a conference call. “We can serve as a model for businesses and organizations across the economy as they work to cut emissions and increase efficiency.”
The peak of Arctic ice cover extended 5.61 million square miles at the end of February, the smallest total since the National Snow and Ice Data Center started keeping records in 1979, National Journal reports.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders on Thursday proposed legislation to accelerate more than $1 billion in drought-relief bond spending for California as it copes with a fourth dry year.
"We need to get the money out the door now for shovel-ready projects and existing water programs that only need funding to get started," Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon said. "No delay. No red tape."
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal records show that this winter and the first two months of 2015 were the hottest on record globally, with a chilly U.S. East sticking out like a cold thumb in a toastier world.
At nearly 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit above 20th century average, last month was the second warmest February on record globally, slightly behind 1998.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A severe solar storm smacked Earth with a surprisingly big geomagnetic jolt Tuesday, potentially affecting power grids and GPS tracking while pushing the colorful northern lights farther south, federal forecasters said.
So far no damage has been reported. Two blasts of magnetic plasma left the sun on Sunday, combined and arrived on Earth about 15 hours earlier and much stronger than expected, said Thomas Berger, director of the Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Californians won't be able to water their lawns more than twice a week under tougher drought regulations that are expected to be approved Tuesday as the state heads into a fourth particularly dry year.
The State Water Resources Control Board will consider extending current restrictions on outdoor water use, such as a prohibition on washing down driveways, and weigh new ones.
Secretary of State John Kerry defended the Obama administration's approval of Shell's Arctic drilling program, arguing that "we're not going to suddenly be weaned from oil" and that the offshore Alaskan oil is "cleaner" than other varieties, The Huffington Post reports.
Mathy Stanislaus, the Environmental Protection Agency's top waste official, and Environmental Restoration LLC President Dennis Greaney are set to testify before the House Science Committee on Wednesday on the spill of 3 million gallons of mining waste into Colorado's Animas River, The Hill reports.
News that the U.S. unemployment rate fell to a seven-year-low but new job creation was lower than expected led to lower oil prices Friday, Reuters reports. U.S. crude prices were down 41 cents to $46.34 a barrel, while Brent crude dipped 68 cents to $50 per barrel.
A report commissioned by the Independent Petroleum Association of America projects significant endowment cuts should universities divest from fossil fuel companies, with Harvard facing a potential $108 million loss each year, Bloomberg reports.
United Mine Workers of America International President Cecil Roberts said that the union has reached potential collective bargaining deals between Patriot Coal miners and the two companies bidding for the bankrupt firm's assets, the St. Louis Business Journal reports.
Though the greater sage grouse dominates the discussion of threatened species across declining sagebrush territory in the Western United States, nine other native species including the pronghorn and golden eagle are also at risk, The Washington Post reports.
American Wind Energy Association members plan to slow down the rate of revolutions for turbines this fall in an effort to cut bat killed by blades by 30 percent during the animals' peak migration season, The Hill reports.
Though the stalled Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Nevada has drawn rebukes from the state's top lawmakers, leaders in the nearby town of Pahrump sees the project as a potential economic driver for the struggling region, E&E reports.