July 29, 2013 |
One in a series of occasional articles about the regional effects of climate change and how we're coping. Even though she'd been walking in the woods for only a few minutes, Jen McIntyre was in distress. Tears were running down her cheeks. She couldn't breathe through her nose. "I feel like this is our new reality," McIntyre said recently of the allergies that have begun to plague her. McIntyre, 43, of Mount Airy, never had allergies, aside from reactions to the odd dog or horse.
July 1, 2013
At long last, President Obama is trying to make good on a 2009 campaign promise to reduce global warming and better prepare for its devastating effects. The initiatives he announced in an address last week are welcome given the threat to lives and economies. Regrettably, the president is restricted to using his administrative powers, because congressional Republicans are more interested in hosting meetings of the Flat Earth Society than in facing facts. Those facts include more frequent and powerful hurricanes in the East, longer droughts in the Midwest, and extended wildfire seasons in the West.
May 12, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Worldwide levels of the chief greenhouse gas that causes global warming have hit a milestone, reaching an amount never before encountered by humans, federal scientists said Friday. Carbon dioxide was measured at 400 parts per million at the oldest monitoring station, which is in Hawaii and sets the global benchmark. The last time the worldwide carbon level was probably that high was about two million years ago, said Pieter Tans of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
April 11, 2013
Climate change could be bumpy LONDON - Tourists, exchange students, and business travelers: It's time to buckle up. More pollution is likely to mean bumpier flights for transatlantic travelers, researchers say, predicting increased turbulence over the North Atlantic as carbon dioxide levels rise. In a paper published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change, University of East Anglia climate expert Manoj Joshi and colleague Paul Williams ran a climate simulation that cranked up the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to twice its pre-industrial level - roughly 50 percent more than now. Williams said they ran a series of turbulence-predicting algorithms for the North Atlantic winter period and compared the results with pre-industrial rates.
March 17, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration is leaning toward revising its landmark proposal to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants, according to several individuals briefed on the matter, a move that would delay tougher restrictions and could anger many environmentalists. The discussions center on the first-ever greenhouse gas regulations for power plants, which were proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency nearly a year ago. Rewriting the proposal would significantly delay any action, and might allow the agency to set a separate standard for coal-fired power plants, which are roughly twice as polluting as those fueled by natural gas. While the move could bolster the administration's legal justification for regulating power plants' carbon emissions, any delay on the rules would be a blow to environmental groups and their supporters, who constituted a crucial voting bloc for President Obama and other Democrats in last year's elections.
January 9, 2013
DEPARTING U.S. Environmental Protection Agency head Lisa Jackson did well by the public, especially with the tighter emissions rules she imposed on coal-fired power plants. But her successor will need to move Congress closer to meaningful legislation on climate change and rebuild the program that funds much of the nation's sewerage work. Ms. Jackson, the first African American to lead the EPA, helped secure landmark fuel-efficiency standards for autos. She infused new life in the agency after eight years of foot-dragging and rollbacks by former President George W. Bush's administration.
November 15, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Climate change is suddenly a hot topic again. The issue is resurfacing in talks about a once-radical idea: a possible carbon tax. On Tuesday, a conservative think tank held discussions about it while a more liberal think tank released a paper on it. And the Congressional Budget Office issued a 19-page report on the different ways to make a carbon tax less burdensome on lower income people. A carbon tax works by making people pay more for using fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas that make heat-trapping carbon dioxide.
October 2, 2012 |
HOMER, ALASKA - Kris Holderied, who directs the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Kasitsna Bay Laboratory, says that the ocean's increasing acidity is "the reason fishermen stop me in the grocery store. " "They say, 'You're with the NOAA lab, what are you doing on ocean acidification?' " Holderied said. "This is a coastal town that depends on this ocean, and this bay. " This town in southwestern Alaska dubs itself the Halibut Fishing Capital of the World. But worries about the changing chemical balance of the ocean and its impact on the fish has made an arcane scientific buzzword common parlance here, along with the phrase "corrosive waters.
August 17, 2012 |
PITTSBURGH - In a surprising turnaround, the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere in the United States has fallen dramatically, to its lowest level in 20 years, and government officials say the biggest reason is that cheap and plentiful natural gas has led many power plant operators to switch from dirtier-burning coal. Many of the world's leading climate scientists didn't see the drop coming, in large part because it happened as a result of market forces rather than direct government action against carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that traps heat in the atmosphere.