EJToday: Top Headlines
EJToday is SEJ's selection of new and outstanding stories on environmental topics in print and on the air, updated every weekday. SEJ also offers a free e-mailed digest of the day's EJToday postings, called SEJ-beat. SEJ members are subscribed automatically, but may opt out here. Non-members may subscribe here. EJToday is also available via RSS feed. Please see Editorial Guidelines for EJToday content.
"A new burst of coal-fired power plant construction now underway -- the largest in decades -- will put 43 new coal plants on American soil in the next five years, and all of them will escape the performance standards written into the climate bill now moving through Congress."
"A dramatic warming of the planet 55 million years ago cannot be solely explained by a surge in carbon dioxide levels, a study shows, highlighting gaps in scientists' understanding of impacts from rapid climate change." One implication is that the current warming episode could prove worse than now predicted, as models may not fully account for feedback mechanisms that amplify warming.
"During the past few centuries the near-equatorial band of dense precipitation that supplies freshwater to nearly one billion people has migrated hundreds of miles to the north —most likely because of a warming world, scientists say."
"In addition to weakening Earth’s natural shield against excessive radiation levels, ozone depletion above Antarctica has significantly dampened the Southern Ocean’s ability to absorb atmospheric CO2 and has accelerated acidification of southern polar waters, new research shows."
"BEIJING -- Top U.S. officials on Wednesday left open the possibility that China might not have to accept a hard cap on its greenhouse gas emissions under a new global climate change treaty."
The monsoon arrived late and weak in India this year -- a phenomenon some attribute to climate change. As it ponders drought and crop failure, India continues to insist that rich nations must solve the climate problem without its help.
"Hydrofluorocarbons ... are ... many thousands of times more potent than CO2 as climate warming agents, and scientists say their spread could become as much as 50 percent of the global greenhouse gas problem by 2050. Yet the public is barely aware of the issue, and as the White House works to hammer out its policy, it seems to want to keep it that way."
"Climate change could push dengue fever into all corners of the United States, as the mosquitoes that can carry the traditionally tropical virus survive warmer U.S. winters .... scientists at the Natural Resources Defense Council said in a report."
"The world's leading industrial nations tentatively agreed Wednesday to try to prevent global temperatures from rising above a fixed level, after a more far-reaching proposal to slash production of greenhouse gases fizzled... ."
"Major nations have failed to agree to set a goal halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, according to a draft document ahead of talks on Thursday -- a setback to efforts to secure a new U.N. climate pact."
"Democrats in the Senate on Tuesday began a drive to advance climate change legislation, a top Obama administration priority, amid warnings that a bill recently passed by the House of Representatives to reduce carbon emissions would have to be changed."
"The Senate climate debate cranks up this week with a series of hearings and high-level meetings aimed at producing legislation that can be matched up with last month's House-passed bill."