IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Extreme weather whips major California freeways - from floods to fire, as bridges collapse and cars burn; June 2015 the Hottest June on record; PLUS: Off-the-charts Pacific Ocean warming means global hurricane season off to record start... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Famous climate scientist outlines alarming scenario for planet's future; Climate change has increased length, area of wildfire seasons; China is turning Beijing into megacity 6x size of NYC; Natural disasters forced 20m from their homes in 2014; Drought damages wheat crop in Northeastern state... PLUS: The wind and the sun are bringing the shine back to Buffalo, NY... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- VIDEO: Stewart Slams GOP: Think of Climate Change as 'Preserving Traditional Sea Levels' (Mediaite)
- "Like The Walking Dead": Wildfire Shuts Down I-15 Freeway in CA:
- On the Front Lines of the Terrifying California Freeway Wildfire (Slate) [emphasis added]:
Despite a full-out assault by 1,000 firefighters, 22 fire trucks, 6 tanker aircraft, and 3 helicopters, the fire expanded from 50 acres to 3,500 acres-more than four times the size of New York City's Central Park-in just a few hours. Then it jumped the freeway, creating an apocalyptic scene... "It was very 'Walking Dead.'"
- Firefighters Can't Help People In Burning Cars Because of a Stupid Drone (Gizmodo)
- VIDEO: Drones Delayed North Fire Response: Officials (KNBC Los Angeles) [emphasis added]:
Five drones were initially spotted over the fire...Two drones actually gave chase to air units, and the incident delayed response by about 15 to 20 minutes, according to Battalion Chief Marc Peebles of San Bernardino County Fire Department.
- Rain calms California fire that jumped freeway, burned cars (AP)
- Record Rain, Flash Floods Destroy Highway Bridge in CA:
- Flood Destroys Bridge, Severs Interstate 10 in Southern California (KQED)
- VIDEO: Floodwaters wash out, shut down part of I-10 in Southern California (CNN)
- California interstate collapse reverberates to 2 states (AP)
- California highway bridge to have limited reopening in weeks (AP):
While the eastbound span of the Interstate 10 bridge collapsed, the westbound span still stands - though severe erosion means it is not passable.
- June 2015 Hottest June on Record, Tied with 1998:
- Another month, another global heat record broken - by far (AP) [emphasis added]:
Off-the-charts heat is "getting to be a monthly thing," said Jessica Blunden, a climate scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. June was the fourth month of 2015 that set a record, she said. "There is almost no way that 2015 isn't going to be the warmest on record," she added.
- Hottest June Puts 2015 On Track For Hottest Year On Record By Far (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
NASA reported Wednesday that this was the hottest June on record (tied with 1998). And it's now all but certain 2015 will be the hottest year on record, probably by a wide margin - as what increasingly appears to be one of the strongest El Niños in 50 years boosts the underlying global warming trend.
- Record Hot First Half May Herald Warmest Year Yet (Climate Central):
In what has become a common refrain this year, yet another month has set a global temperature record....
- Global Hurricane Season 2015 Is Off To Record Start:
- VIDEO: Weird weather in California (The Ed Schultz Show, MSNBC):
- Annual checkup of Earth's climate says we're in hotter water (AP):
NOAA climate monitoring chief Deke Arndt, co-editor of the report, said the seas last year "were just ridiculous." The report said ocean surface temperatures were the warmest in 135 years of records, with the seas holding record levels of heat energy down to 2,300 feet below the surface. Sea level also hit modern highs, partly because warmer water expands.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Famous Climate Scientist Outlines Alarming Scenario for Planet’s Future (Washington Post):
Hansen — who retired in 2013 from his NASA post, and is currently an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Earth Institute — is publishing what he says may be his most important paper. Along with 16 other researchers — including leading experts on the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets — he has authored a lengthy study outlining an scenario of potentially rapid sea level rise combined with more intense storm systems.
- Study finds climate change is increasing length of wildfire seasons across globe (Helena Independent Record):
The length of wildfire seasons across the globe and the burnable areas of Earth's surface have drastically increased in the past three decades due to climate change, according to a groundbreaking new study supported by years of research from the U.S. Forest Service's Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory.
- China Is Turning Beijing Into a Megacity Six Times The Size of NYC (Gizmodo):
China is already home to some of the most quickly growing megacities in the world. Now there’s a plan to officially merge several megacities around Beijing into one super-megacity that will house the equivalent of a third of the US population in an area that’s the geographical size of Kansas.
- Natural Disasters Forced 20 Million From Their Homes in 2014: Report (Reuters):
Asia is particularly prone to natural disasters, accounting for almost 90 percent of the 19.3 million displaced in 2014, led by typhoons in China and the Philippines, and floods in India, the Norwegian Refugee Council said. "Disaster-related displacement is on the rise and threatens to get worse in coming decades," Alfredo Zamudio, director of the NRC's Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, told a news briefing.
- Drought Damages Wheat in Northwestern States (AP):
Intense drought conditions have shrunk the kernels and disrupted the proteins of winter wheat crops in Montana, Washington, Oregon and Idaho, the region that produces a fifth of the U.S. harvest. The National Agricultural Statistics Service classified a large percentage of the region's winter wheat as below-average quality on Monday.
- The Wind and Sun Are Bringing the Shine Back to Buffalo (NY Times):
After decades of providing the punch line in jokes about snowstorms, also-ran sports teams and urban decline, the Queen City of the Lakes is suddenly experiencing something new: an economic turnaround, helped by the unlikely sector of renewable energy.
- Australia's War on Wind Farms Threatens Biggest Renewable Project (Reuters):
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott's hostility to 'visually awful' wind farms has sent a chill through the industry and could jeopardize the country's biggest renewable energy project, a $2 billion-plus wind and solar plant in the country's north. In an early sign that a new Federal policy could curtail major renewable projects, the company planning to build the 1,200-megawatt plant said it may struggle to attract financing after the government blocked state support for wind farms.
- FERC moves to combat emerging cybersecurity vulnerabilities (E&E News):
Federal regulators have begun a push for new cybersecurity defenses to prevent sophisticated attackers from penetrating utility control rooms and other industrial control system centers by infiltrating malware on third-party vendors' products.
- Utah Approves Tar Sands Mine But Requires Water Monitoring (AP):
Utah state officials have given the go-ahead for a tar sands mine under construction on the eastern flank of the state. They will, however, require the company to do water and air quality monitoring in a move environmentalists are calling a victory.
- Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in First Nation Uses Frozen Salmon at Youth Fish Camp (CBC):
The Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in First Nation has been holding its First Fish camp since the early 90s. The annual summer camp is designed to teach young citizens of the Dawson City First Nation about salmon: how to catch it, clean it and smoke it. But with Chinook salmon populations in the Yukon River in serious decline, organizers of this year's camp have had to change the program a little. The First Nation is using chum salmon — smaller, less fatty fish that were traditionally used as dog food — caught last fall and frozen for the winter.
- New Marijuana Industry Wrestles With Pesticides and Safety (ABC News):
Microscopic bugs and mildew can destroy a marijuana operation faster than any police raid. And because the crop has been illegal for so long, neither growers nor scientists have any reliable research to help fight the infestations.
- Top Asset Manager Exits Coal Companies as Bankruptcy Looms (E&E News):
The world's largest asset manager has tapered its coal investments as waves of financial distress crash across the industry. BlackRock Inc. cut its holdings in Walter Energy Inc. to 2.1 percent of the company's common shares, according to a filing with securities regulators last week. In January 2014, it held 5.8 percent. Birmingham, Ala.-based Walter filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday.
- How Big Water is trying to stop the National Park Service from cleaning up plastic bottles that are fouling the parks (Washington Post):
The National Park Service thought it had a good strategy for reining in the discarded water bottles that clog the trash cans and waste stream of the national parks: stop selling disposable bottles and let visitors refill reusable ones with public drinking water. But Big Water has stepped in to block the parks from banning the plastic pollutants - and the industry found an ally on Capitol Hill to add a little-noticed amendment to a House spending bill that would kill the policy.
- Every country is now pledging to tackle CO2 emissions. It's still not enough. (Vox.com):
In other words, if the world wants to stay below 2°C of global warming - which has long been considered the danger zone for climate change - these pledges are only a first step. Countries will have to do a whole lot more than they're currently promising. And the IEA has a few ideas for what "do a whole lot more" might entail.
1. Increase energy efficiency in the industry, buildings, and transport sectors.
2. Progressively reduce the use of the least efficient coal-fired power plants and banning their construction.
3. Increase investment in renewable energy technologies in the power sector from $270 billion in 2014 to $400 billion in 2030.
4. Gradually phase out fossil fuel subsidies to end-users by 2030.
5. Reduce methane emissions in oil and gas production.
- Now's Your Chance to Help Save the Imperiled Monarch Butterfly-and Get Paid to Do So (Take Part) [emphasis added]:
Another threat, according to Grant, has been well-intentioned individuals who have planted a tropical form of milkweed, which competes with native varieties and is not beneficial to monarchs or other pollinators.
FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page
- Video Proof That Global Warming is a 'Hoax'!: NASA Temperature Data 1888-2011 (The BRAD BLOG):
- NASA climate change video: This is the U.S. in 2100 (NASA).