Floating wind projects take advantage of steady winds that blow offshore. Those faster, steadier winds can produce more energy. Wind power increases with the cube of wind speed. Bigger turbines with longer blades capture more wind and are more aerodynamically efficient. How they overcome obstacles such as interference with fisheries, environmental damage, and high cost will influence how many, and which ones, get built.
Democrats say the tools exist now to stave off a hotter planet: rapidly expand wind and solar energy, beef up energy storage and the electric grid, electrify transportation, and make buildings energy efficient. Many of those elements are tucked into a $3.5 trillion budget package that Democrats hope to pass in the fall.
“In this case, first place is the worst place to be,” NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad said in a statement. “July is typically the world’s warmest month of the year, but July 2021 outdid itself as the hottest July and month ever recorded.” He said the record “adds to the disturbing and disruptive path that climate change has set for the globe.”
The release of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report showed the magnitude of the challenge of addressing climate change in time to stop its worst impacts, and the failure of leaders to adequately respond to decades of warnings. In covering the clean energy economy, I get a close-up view of some of the potential alternatives to the continued burning of fossil fuels and get to talk to the people who do research and build businesses that support those projects. Some of the most exciting developments have been in alternatives to lithium-ion batteries for grid storage, with researchers seeking low-cost ways to store electricity from wind farms and solar arrays. The combination of batteries and renewable energy holds the promise of providing electricity around the clock and replacing fossil fuel power plants.
The contamination presents an “extremely troubling” health threat in the nation’s largest estuary, said Scott Faber, EWG’s senior vice president for government affairs.
Russia is fighting more than 170 forest fires in Siberia that have closed airports and roads, forced widespread evacuations and sent a pall of smoke across the North Pole. But it has abandoned dozens more fires covering thousands of square miles, with no effort to fight them.
While the IPCC opus doesn’t drill down into emissions from food production per se, it does contain rich information about its impacts. Carbon dioxide, now prevalent in the atmosphere at it highest rate in 2 million years, gets most of the ink, but two other heat-trapping gases, methane and nitrous oxide, also contribute mightily to the greenhouse effect. These gases now waft about at their highest levels in 800,000 years, the report states—and are spewed in large quantities by industrial-scale farms, mostly related to the mass production of meat. Overall, a 2021 report from the United Nations Environment Program and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition found, fossil fuel production accounts for 35 percent of global methane emissions, vs. 32 percent for agriculture.
Problems at a Los Angeles sewage treatment plant that caused a massive spill into Santa Monica Bay last month have severely reduced the region’s water recycling ability, forcing officials to divert millions of gallons of clean drinking water at a time of worsening drought conditions, The Times has learned. Even as California Gov. Gavin Newsom urges a voluntary 15% reduction in water usage, the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant‘s inability to fully treat sewage has forced local officials to divert drinking water to uses normally served by recycled water. Among those is an effort to protect coastal aquifers from seawater contamination, as well as the irrigation of parks, cemeteries and golf courses across southwest Los Angeles County.
Wildfires typically earn attention when they encroach on human settlements, and communities suffer the trauma of sudden evacuations and homes reduced to ash. But a study published in Environmental Research Letters last month suggests that wildfires burn more frequently and at a slightly higher level of severity in remote, roadless areas, like that where the Tamarack fire began. The study analyzed 30 years of wildfire on U.S. Forest Service Land.The findings speak to a longstanding debate over firefighting tactics that has grown fiercer this summer as the fire season has erupted into major conflagrations.“When we suppress fire, we aren’t preventing fire,” said James Johnston, a research associate at Oregon State University’s College of Forestry and the lead author on the study. “We’re just deferring fire.”
We know that soil feeds plants, but do we know how it got there in the first place? Soil forms via the interaction of five factors: parent material, climate, living beings, a land’s topography, and a “cooking” time that occurs on a geologic scale. Variations in these 5 factors make the world’s soils unique and extremely diverse. Soil acts as a carbon sink in the global carbon cycle because it locks away decomposed organic matter. But deforestation, various agricultural practices, and a changing climate are releasing it back into the atmosphere and oceans as carbon dioxide, resulting in an imbalance in global carbon budgets.
About 96,000 farmed salmon are believed to have died when a leak in a nearby tank sent about 4,000 gallons of chlorine into a fjord in Arctic Norway.
On today’s episode of the Mongabay Newscast we discuss what seashells can tell us about the state of the world’s oceans, and we hear about the challenges facing the Philippines’ marine protected area system. Environmental journalist Cynthia Barnett joins us to discuss her newly released book, The Sound of the Sea: Seashells and the Fate of the Oceans. She tells us about the many ways humans have prized seashells for years, using them as money, jewelry, and art, and how seashells can help us examine the challenges marine environments are facing today. We’re also joined by Mongabay staff writer Leilani Chavez, who tells us about the incredible marine biodiversity found in Philippines waters and why there’s a movement amongst scientists and conservationists to expand marine conservation efforts beyond the Philippines’ extensive coral reef systems.
Only rapid and drastic reductions in greenhouse gases in this decade can prevent such climate breakdown, with every fraction of a degree of further heating likely to compound the accelerating effects, according to the International Panel on Climate Change, the world’s leading authority on climate science.
If it wasn’t time to listen before (it was) it is time to listen now (yes it is).
The fish kills are occurring in one of the most sensitive and productive marine habitats in the state, which is home to several threatened and endangered species: Bishop Harbor, which is part of the Terra Ceia Aquatic Buffer Preserve.
This reminds me of The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness Honeybees count landmarks when navigating toward sources of nectar. Lionesses tally the number of roars they hear from an intruding pride before deciding whether to attack or retreat. Some ants keep track of their steps; some spiders keep track of how many prey are caught in their web. But rigorous experiments during the past two decades have shown that even animals with very small brains can perform incredible feats of numerical cognition.
Floating in the bottom of the Grand Canyon last spring, I was traveling back in time in more ways than one. In a narrow section, where the Colorado River runs deep and quiet, Vishnu schist offers a window onto the world as it was here 1.7 billion years ago, give or take a couple of hundred million years. Little about the redrock walls seems different from when I first marveled at the scenery as I rafted past many years ago. But for the water that carries travelers through the national park, the changes have been dramatic even though they’ve occurred over just 31 years and barely amount to a tick in geologic time. It used to be that the big problem was managing so much water on the Colorado.
According to the UN, the world needs to rewild and restore an area the size of China to meet commitments on nature and the climate – but not everyone applauds Ireland’s pioneering effort. “You’d be surprised when you live in a castle how many times people think you’re an idiot,” says Plunkett, the 21stbaron of Dunsany.
The fertilizer pollution has caused an estimated $2.4bn in damage to fisheries and marine habitat every year since 1980, the Union of Concerned Scientists said in a study released last summer.
Leading climate scientists will give their starkest warning yet – that we are rushing to the brink of climate catastrophe – in a landmark report on Monday. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will publish its sixth assessment report, a comprehensive review of the world’s knowledge of the climate crisis and how human actions are altering the planet. It will show in detail how close the world is to irreversible change.That means the immediate effect of cutting coal use could be to increase warming, although protecting the Earth in the medium and long term. Zaelke said cutting methane could offset that. “Defossilisation will not lead to cooling until about 2050. Sulphur falling out of the atmosphere will unmask warming that is already in the system,” he said.
I hope they don’t contaminate all the amaranth with their relentless war on weeds! -tr. As a complete protein with all nine essential amino acids, amaranth is a highly nutritious source of manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and antioxidants that may improve brain function and reduce inflammation.“This is a plant that could feed the world,” said Tsosie-Peña.
Starting in December 2018, this magnificent migration took a fatal turn. The bodies of California gray whales began washing up along the protected inlets of Baja, where gray whales come every spring to nurse their young and mate. Researchers, however, agree on one key point: It is essential that science identify the key cause. Gray whales are a conservation success story — having survived commercial whaling and rebounded from near extinction with the help of wildlife protection laws. Their ups and downs are important indicators for the health of the oceans.
I feel like we can far surpass this goal. What say ye, car makers of the world? I’m hoping that President Biden will set forth tax credit incentives to help us all invest in electric vehicles. Should that become available, I’ll be looking for the lowest cost, lowest emission, most fuel efficient fast and sporty ev that I can find… this is a Huge Sustainable Solution! —tr*
Don’t buy it… fortunately, people are better informed now. They won’t fall for lies anymore. - tr*
Such an event would have catastrophic consequences around the world, severely disrupting the rains that billions of people depend on for food in India, South America and West Africa; increasing storms and lowering temperatures in Europe; and pushing up the sea level off eastern North America. It would also further endanger the Amazon rainforest and Antarctic ice sheets.
Shells of houses and cars left gutted by flames. Stretches of forest reduced to ash. Tourists evacuated by boat from once idyllic beaches where the skies are thick with smoke. As southern Europe grapples with one of its worst heat waves in decades, deadly forest fires have engulfed stretches of the region, bringing a newly reopened tourism industry to a halt and forcing mass evacuations.
A new report makes the case that the oil and gas industry is trying to sell you a story — one that casts these companies as paragons of sustainability and seeks to delay policies that would address climate change. Last year, the oil and gas industry spent at least $9.6 million on ads on Facebook’s U.S. platform, according to an analysis by the think tank InfluenceMap. Just over half of this spending came from one company, ExxonMobil. “The oil and gas industry is engaging in this really strategic campaign using social media and the tools available, particularly these targeting tools on Facebook, to reach a really broad audience pretty easily,” said Faye Holder, program manager at InfluenceMap.
In Bring Your Own Brigade, British film-maker Lucy Walker takes us back to the California tragedies of 2018 and a crisis that continues to rage on.
The emissions created by the digestive systems of New Zealand’s 6.3m cows are among New Zealand’s biggest environmental problems. Agriculture is one of the country’s biggest producers of the greenhouse gases that cause global heating and the climate crisis.
Finn’s nagging fear that Gold Hill is living on borrowed time is replicated across western states ravaged by some of the most intense wildfires in modern American history. But angst about the immediate threat is accompanied by increasingly urgent questions for communities on the frontline of the climate crisis about the long-term financial cost of survival – who should foot the bill? Boulder county estimates it will cost taxpayers $100m over the next three decades just to adapt transport and drainage systems to the climate crisis, and reduce the risk from wildfires.
In a land of beach volleyball, umbrellas and picnics on the sand, it’s easy to forget the beach itself used to be a wild place. Coastal dunes once unfurled along the shore, their crests and curves teeming with plants, birds and more bugs than you could imagine. California, in fact, once boasted some of the most biodiverse beaches in the world. But for almost a century, these sandy hills have been flattened and paved over — erased to make room for ever more people seeking to live and play by the sea. Now, with the looming threat of sea level rise and a state desperate for solutions, conservationists and a growing movement of researchers say restoring these dunes could provide a much-needed buffer from the water. These overlooked features of the coast could help buy communities a bit more time — before the ocean pushes inland and reclaims the land.
Longboat Key is a few miles from the site of a breach at the abandoned Piney Point fertilizer plant in April that saw tens of millions of gallons of toxic discharge pumped into Tampa Bay. It is not known what impact the discharge might have had on the red tide outbreak. Heithaus said the distressed sharks highlighted a need for action.“Seeing these kinds of things happen just shows how out of balance things are in the ecosystem right now,” he said.
Regions with lots of wildland-urban interface are “often some of the most beautiful places in our state — the places that you dream of having a little cabin in the woods, surrounded by big trees,” said Kristina Dahl, senior climate scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, whose research led to The Chronicle’s analysis. But there’s a trade-off: People moving to high-WUI areas are more likely to experience wildfires directly. High-WUI areas burn more easily than populated areas with less vegetation, so fires often begin and spread rapidly in these areas. Additionally, because high-WUI regions have fewer accessible roads and more spread-out buildings than urban areas, firefighters often have a harder time containing blazes and protecting people and property.
The Bootleg Fire has consumed a wide swath of southern Oregon forest — 413,000 acres, an area the size of Portland, Seattle, Sacramento and New York City combined. It has burned since July 6 and remains only 53 percent contained. The fire, the third-largest blaze in Oregon since 1900, has mostly burned in a remote, sparsely populated area in and near the Fremont-Winema National Forest. Only 161 homes have been destroyed, a low number for a wildfire that immense.
The Defense Department has hired eight climate change experts from the Army Corps of Engineers; Mr. Biden’s budget calls for 17 more. “The impacts of climate change on the department’s mission are clear and growing,” Richard Kidd, deputy assistant secretary of defense for energy, environment and resilience, said in a statement. “We need a work force that reflects that fact.”
This investigation follows Riverview’s rapid expansion in two of the five states it operates in, linking the environmental and economic consequences — and the lives of those who are impacted.The people we spoke with in Minnesota and Arizona are 1,500 miles apart, connected only by the ever-growing presence and power of Riverview. But their communities have much in common: The local industry and resources have been monopolized by a deep-pocketed entity. The groundwater is being depleted and polluted. Incessant traffic, dust, lights and the stench of livestock cause home values to plummet and strain the emotional ties locals have to the places they call home.
At least 881 manatees have died in Florida since January, far exceeding the annual average of 578 deaths between 2015 and 2020. Ground zero for the sudden uptick in deaths is the Indian River Lagoon, a 156-mile-long estuary that serves as a seasonal habitat for thousands of manatees. Decades of water pollution from farming and real estate development has pushed the ecosystem to the brink, causing the manatees to perish from an almost entirely manmade disaster: famine.
Flooding and landslides have left thousands of refugees cut off from food supplies in Ituango, the conflict-strewn municipality in north-western Colombia.
After spending 22 years and $100 million navigating a thicket of state regulations and environmentalists' challenges, Poseidon Water is down to one major regulatory hurdle - the California Coastal Commission. The company feels confident enough to talk of breaking ground by the end of next year on the $1.4 billion plant that would produce some 50 million gallons of drinking water daily. Andrea Leon-Grossmann, director of climate action for the ocean conservation group Azul, says better alternatives include conservation, repairing leaky pipes, capturing storm water runoff and committing to more recycled water.
First, a loophole let fossil fuels eat up funding meant for community solar. Now proposed new fire codes pose new challenges for rooftop panels.
Dozens of environmental groups expect to spend tens of millions of dollars in August building support for climate legislation.
After the hottest June in recorded history obliterated temperature records not only in Death Valley (130 degrees) but also in usually mild locales like Seattle (108) and British Columbia (121), supercharged rainstorms created massive flooding in central Europe and China, turning streets into raging rivers and killing hundreds. Forest fires are now ravaging Siberia (Siberia!), Canada, and the Pacific Northwest, where Oregon's historic Bootleg Fire has so far consumed a staggering 400,000 acres of woodland, in a blaze so intense it has its own weather system — including lightning storms that start more fires. The inferno has also created a continent-wide plume of smoke now reddening sunsets and making it hard to breathe as far away as New York.
The scale of disappearing ice is so large that the losses on Tuesday alone created enough meltwater to drownthe entire US state of Florida in two inches, or 5cm, of water. Ice that melts away in Greenland flows as water into the ocean, where it adds to the ongoing increase in global sea level caused by human-induced climate change.
At least four people were killed by blazes that swept through the tourist regions of Antalya and Muğla, forcing thousands of holidaymakers to be evacuated from their hotels by a flotilla of boats.
There’s the Goodmans in Wisconsin who run an organic dairy farm and advocate for sustainable farming, but their son flatly denies the realities of climate change saying: “It’s in the Lord’s hands.”
Two species of the bottom-feeding sucker fish that inhabit the Upper Klamath Lake and nearby rivers are struggling to survive after a century of water management in the Klamath Basin has all but drained the wetlands ecosystem where these fish once thrived.“Historically, these fish were really incredibly abundant — we’re talking tens of millions of individuals,” said Alex Gonyaw, senior fisheries biologist for Klamath Tribes. The tribes once relied heavily on the fish for subsistence and income. Now, the suckers are on the brink of extinction. During the past century, wetlands surrounding Upper Klamath Lake were converted to farmland, while waters from the basin were allocated to irrigators. The lake currently is used to store snowmelt water in the spring and that can be released to farmers during the summer months. But with the wetlands gone, algae in the lake blooms and dies off each year in a cycle that makes the water too toxic for the juvenile fish to survive.
A discussion with Trish Riley, Founding Director of the Cinema Verde Film and Arts Festival in Gainesville, Florida. Trish explains the important and growing roles of film, festivals, and the arts in environmental stewardship.
Embarking on an 800-mile walk across the state of Florida, Nicholas Vazquez is a 23-year-old climate activist using unconventional tactics to raise awareness for climate change.
Adding a further 4m metric tons above last year’s level, produced by the average US coal plant, will cost 904 lives worldwide by the end of the century, the research found. On a grander scale, eliminating planet-heating emissions by 2050 would save an expected 74 million lives around the world this century.
This is the moment a house fell into the sea in the resort town of Mar del Tuyú in Argentina. The footage, captured by a neighbour on 28 July, shows waves crashing against the property as part of it breaks away and falls into the water.
Climate scientists have long predicted that human-caused climate disruption would lead to more flooding, heatwaves, droughts, storms and other forms of extreme weather, but even they have been shocked by the scale of these scenes.