July 13, 2013 |
Ancient volcanoes discovered deep in the ocean off Antarctica may explain a climate mystery critical to predicting Earth's fate as humans pump more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. University of Texas geologists dredging thousands of feet below the surface of the central Scotia Sea off the southeastern tip of South America hauled up volcanic rock after their sonar mapping showed formations that looked uncannily like a sunken island chain. “It just didn't look like real ocean floor,” said geologist Ian W. Dalziel, of the University of Texas, Austin, lead author of the paper published Thursday in the journal Geology.
July 11, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Power plants across the country are at increased risk of temporary shutdown and reduced power generation as temperatures and sea levels continue to rise and water becomes less available, the Energy Department said Thursday. By 2030, there will be nearly $1 trillion in energy assets in the Gulf Coast region alone at risk from increasingly costly extreme hurricanes and sea level rises, according to an Energy Department report on the effects of climate change on energy infrastructure.
July 11, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The U.S. reached agreement with China to cooperate on improving investments and climate change, among other areas, but officials could cite little concrete progress on a White House priority: getting the Chinese to stop cyber-theft of American technologies and trade secrets. As China and the U.S. concluded their fifth annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue on Thursday, officials on both sides described the overall tenor of the two-day discussions as candid and constructive.
July 9, 2013 |
President Obama had barely announced his new climate strategy late last month when the criticism began. The plan, which will regulate carbon pollution from the nation's power plants for the first time, is an important step in addressing global warming. Republican reaction in Congress was predictably scathing. And while most green groups praised the proposal, some environmentalists were frustrated, calling it "too little, too late" or "not nearly enough. " Are they right? The plan could have been bolder, but only if the administration took bigger political and legal risks.
July 9, 2013 |
Despite the potential havoc wreaked by climate change, it's not all doom and gloom for our planet. A new study projects that certain types of short-lived, small birds will easily withstand global warming throughout this century, even under worst-case carbon emissions scenarios. Most studies predicting species' fates due to global warming rely on models that assume species can survive only in the environmental conditions in which they currently live. But doing so ignores the possibility that species can adapt to a changing environment, said Ben Sheldon, an ornithologist at the University of Oxford and the senior author of the study, published Tuesday in PLOS Biology.
July 4, 2013 |
The meek shall inherit the Earth, and that may not be a good thing, if the meek are cyanobacteria. It turns out that the ancient microbes lowest on Earth's food chain are sensitive sorts. Familiar strains of these organisms that provide "biological services" essential to complex life are about to lose the competition for a viable niche in a world turned warmer and more carbon-rich, according to two new studies. And the strains poised to dominate in the desert and ocean remain mysterious and largely unstudied.
June 28, 2013
Re "Obama takes on climate change," June 26 President Obama's speech on climate change marked a turning point for our nation. Sure, it was just a speech, and it didn't even make the front page of The Times. But it declared, at long last, an unequivocal commitment by Washington to combat climate change. Global warming is no longer just an issue for environmentalists. This is why I voted for the man. Peter Coonradt Redlands Of course it was thrilling to hear our president lay out his plan to combat climate change.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 26, 2013 |
The vibe had to feel familiar to Arnold Schwarzenegger. Crowds flocked to his nationwide tour. A head of state staged a joint photo op, then sat for a little policy chitchat over breakfast. "Buff, bronzed and presidential" one news site declared of California's erstwhile governator, adding that he "has his sights set on the Oval Office. " There's no chance of that right now, owing to the constitutional ban on immigrants becoming president. Still, Schwarzenegger's recent environmental tour reanimated, in a small way, the elation of 2003, when he swept into the governor's office in an unprecedented recall election.
June 26, 2013 |
President Obama's omnibus proposal to combat global warming addresses the issue in all its many facets - truck emissions, high-level diplomacy, more federal land for solar and wind projects. Think of it as a target covered with water balloons. The president won't be able to keep all of them from bursting as his opponents in Congress and industry start throwing darts. The key is to not let them hit the bull's eye: new emissions standards for coal-fired plants. Power plants produce a third of all the greenhouse gases in the country, and coal plants are the biggest offenders.
June 25, 2013 |
President Obama laid out an ambitious campaign to address climate change Tuesday, mapping a course that would bypass Congress to cut emissions from hundreds of coal-fired electric power plants and setting the stage for a possible rejection of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline. The effort could shape Obama's presidential legacy and fulfill a key promise of his 2008 campaign. It also could plunge him into a bruising and potentially costly political battle. His plan, which relies heavily on actions the executive branch can take on its own, would put the U.S. on track to significantly cut its greenhouse gas output by the end of the decade.