Washington Post- In June, in a bombshell study in Science, federal researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) took away climate skeptics’ number one favorite argument — the notion that in recent years, global warming had slowed down or hit a “pause.” Applying a number of corrections and adjustments to their dataset of global temperatures — one of the world’s most influential and widely used — so as to correct for lingering biases, the NOAA researchers pronounced that the “newly corrected and updated global surface temperature data…do not support the notion of a global warming ‘hiatus.’” Not everyone, though, is convinced. And this week in Science, climate scientist Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Co, counters by once again making the case that there really was a global warming “hiatus” from about 1998 to 2013.
Washington Post- A new scientific study suggests that the waters around the forbidding ice continent of Antarctica might, in the future, support growing amounts of biological life — but that this will happen for a reason that turns out to be pretty bad news for humans. The study, just out in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, found that marine microorganisms called phytoplankton — the foundation of the oceanic food chain — tend to thrive for a surprising reason: the dramatic loss of ice from the continent’s ice shelves and ice sheet. The melting ice, say three Stanford University researchers led by oceanographer Kevin Arrigo, is releasing a great deal of iron into the ocean — a nutrient that phytoplankton need to grow.
The Hill- The current El Niño weather pattern could become the strongest on record and one of the biggest weather events of recent decades, federal forecasters said Thursday. This year’s El Niño, a warming of the Pacific Ocean near the equator that affects weather around the world, is already the second strongest in federal records, with a 3.5-degree warming having already been measured, the San Francisco Chronicle reported, citing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The Hill- President Obama plans to travel to Alaska at the end of the month to highlight the impacts of climate change on America’s last frontier. In a video Thursday, Obama said Alaska is in a unique position when it comes to climate change and he will meet with local and international leaders to discuss what is happening and how to stop it.“In Alaska, glaciers are melting,” he said. “The hunting and fishing upon which generations have depended for their way of life and for their jobs are being threatened. Storm surges once held at bay now endanger entire villages. As Alaskan permafrost melts, some homes are even sinking into the ground. The state’s God-given natural treasures are all at risk.”
The Hill- Donald Trump excoriated the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over its recent spill of mine waste into a river. The GOP presidential hopeful said the incident in Colorado that turned the Animas River bright orange further proves his point that the EPA’s authorities should be put in the hands of state and local governments.“This is all the more example why EPA, we should do it locally. We shouldn’t be doing it from Washington,” Trump told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on his Wednesday show. Trump said the heavy metals in the sludge that spill out are “probably going to kill the fish, kill everything. And it was totally their mistake. They opened the wrong door and all of this stuff spewed out.
The Hill- Fifteen conservative states asked a federal court Thursday to push back the Obama administration’s climate rule for power plants while they sue the government to get the regulations overturned.The states, led by West Virginia, say that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ought to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from enforcing its carbon limits in order to protect states from spending to comply with a rule that could be invalidated in court.“This rule is the most far-reaching energy regulation in the nation’s history, and the EPA simply does not have the legal authority to carry it out,” West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said in a statement.“With this rule, the EPA is attempting to transform itself from an environmental regulator to a central planning agency for states’ energy economies,” he said. “The Clean Air Act was never intended to be used to create this type of regulatory regime, and it flies in the face of the powers granted to states under the U.S. Constitution.”
NY Times- New Orleans is approaching the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, a mammoth storm that caused the levees protecting the city to break and submerge vast swaths of the Crescent City. In the run-up to the anniversary, The Associated Press sat down with New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, elected in 2010 and re-elected in 2014, to discuss the storm, the anniversary and the city's future.
The Wichita Eagle- Wichita officials will start a project this fall to examine the city’s sewage and water infrastructure and ways to optimize it, City Council member Janet Miller said Thursday. The project is intended to identify risks and strengths in the city’s utility system by bringing in outside engineering and financial experts while a rate increase looms in the next five to seven years, Miller said during a news conference at City Hall. The city sent out a request for proposals in May, and seven companies responded. “The project will include making sure our infrastructure upgrades are the best investments we can make with the rate payers’ dollars,” she said. “We have an obligation to make sure that those projects are the most efficient.”
Climate Central- Beaches are facing off against a changing climate, and they’re losing ground. Literally.Waves, currents, storms and people all move the sand that make beaches, well, beaches. But a combination of rising sea levels, stronger coastal storms and coastal development means that sandy shorelines are increasingly disappearing, leaving the millions who live there facing major challenges in a warming world.
Capital Public Radio- The California Coastal Commission adopted guidelines today communities dealing with sea level rise. The guidelines cover topics like minimizing coastal hazards, maximizing protection of public access and coastal resources, and using science to help make development decisions. Commission Chair Steve Kinsey says he's glad the guidelines acknowledge that retreating from the ocean isn’t always the right response. "In our urbanized areas, our public infrastructure, like our piers and other things, we are going to need to keep them where they are," he says. "And the document does talk about that and recognize that. And I think that’s important."
MarineLink- “It was a solid month for our U.S. Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System ports with more ships entering the Seaway System with aluminum, iron ore and salt,” said Betty Sutton, Administrator of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. Also notable was the increase in containers to the Ports of Detroit and Cleveland, wind turbines to the Port of Monroe and outbound shipments of grain from Duluth. “Short sea shipping is alive and well at the Port of Toledo,” said Joe Cappel, Vice President of Business Development for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority. In the month of July, over 22,000 tons of aluminum and steel were shipped into the port via barges from Canada. “Much of this break bulk cargo used to find its way to our area via long haul cross-border truck routes, now more processors and manufacturers are taking advantage of marine transportation to bring goods to our region.”
The Link News- New Jersey’s beachfronts face many environmental threats in the coming years and decades, from erosion to rising sea levels to major storms like Hurricane Sandy — and advocates fear the state isn’t putting enough money aside in its Shore Protection Fund to cover the costs.On Tuesday, the Jersey Shore Partnership held a press conference on the Sea Bright beachfront to advocate for increasing the Shore Protection Fund from $25 million a year in the state’s budget to $50 million. They were joined by Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long, Freeholder Tom Arnone, Assembly members Mary Pat Angelini and David Wolfe, and State Senator Joe Kyrillos.