Climate News Roundup 5/29/2015

  • Nationwide (not just here in Harrisonburg) elders are taking up the cause of climate change, feeling that they must do all they can for their children’s and grandchildren’s future. They are even planning a rally in D.C. in September.
  • Doug Hendren has a new song about the TPP, called Fast Track Blues.
  • Ivy Main discusses Virginia Sierra Club’s latest General Assembly scorecard on climate and energy.
  • Extreme heat in India has killed more than 1300 people, which is not surprising because the combination of high temperature and humidity made it impossible for perspiration to evaporate and cool the body. Katherine Bagley of Inside Climate News has a roundup of what the latest science says about climate change and extreme weather.
  • Experts think that hurricanes will move further north in response to climate change, with more hitting the mid-Atlantic region. With 2015 shaping up to be a strong El Nino year, the Atlantic hurricane season is expected to generate fewer storms than average, whereas the Pacific is likely to see more storms.
  • As we approach COP21, the Paris Climate Change Conference, an informative infographic has been posted on It might be useful in explaining the climate change issue to family and friends.
  • Skeptical Science has a very informative post about the slowdown in global surface warming over the past 15 years or so, providing a rational explanation for why it has occurred. While the text is fairly long and detailed it is accompanied by a six minute video that summarizes the information in a very clear, succinct manner. I encourage you to watch the video so you’ll be prepared next time you hear someone say that global warming has stopped.
  • Drought has been severe in southern Africa and as a result people in Zimbabwe face disastrous food shortages and hunger.
  • Michael Grunwald has an analysis of the real “war-on-coal”, the one being waged by the Sierra Club, with the help of funding by Michael Bloomberg. This war is being fought on the economic front, not just the environmental one, and Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign is winning.
  • A group of NGOs is working to convince 100 top corporations to set their greenhouse gas emissions policies in line with what scientists say is necessary to keep the global temperature rise less than 2 degrees C. Some are doing a great job, others not so great.
  • China’s coal use may have already peaked, and along with it, its CO2 emissions, but there may be lots of reasons.
  • In another installment of its series on “carbon bombs” The Guardian looks at the Canadian tar sands.
  • An analysis of rainfall data across the U.S. shows a pattern of more intense rainfall across many regions.
  • Chris Mooney examines the skeptics’ argument that we don’t need to worry about the loss of polar sea ice.
  • Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University and coworkers have argued that the warming Arctic is contributing to a wavy jet stream, which in turn impacts severe weather in the Northern Hemisphere. She and colleagues recently published a paper providing additional evidence for their hypothesis. Robert McSweeney, writing in The Carbon Brief, summarizes their latest data and what other climate scientists are saying about it.

These news items have been compiled by Les Grady, member and former chair of the CAAV steering committee. He is a licensed professional engineer (retired) who taught environmental engineering at Purdue and Clemson Universities and engaged in private practice with CH2M Hill, the world’s largest environmental engineering consulting firm. Since his retirement in 2003 he has devoted much of his time to the study of climate science and the question of global warming and makes himself available to speak to groups about this subject. More here.

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