Climate News Roundup 6/12/2015

  • Bill McKibben has sent a letter to Hillary Clinton advising her that now is the time to get serious about climate change.
  • Elizabeth Douglass of Inside Climate News reports on the difficulty of shareholder engagement with oil and gas companies.
  • A number of U.S. weather related records were broken in May, including the wettest May on record for the lower 48 states. In addition, Alaska just recorded the hottest May that it has had since record keeping began 91 years ago. The hot spring may contribute to polar amplification of climate change because of the early loss of snow cover on the ground.
  • The G7 Summit set goals for decarbonizing the economies of the G7 nations by 2100, but some felt they were very weak.
  • Katherine Hayhoe, an atmospheric scientist at Texas Tech University, explains why we need to put a price on carbon as a way to reduce CO2 emissions while honoring our values.
  • Jay Faison, a conservative businessman and entrepreneur from Charlotte, NC, has invested $165 million to endow a new foundation focused on getting conservatives to change their minds about climate change.
  • The Weather Channel is launching a new media package called The Climate 25: Conversations with 25 of the Smartest Voices on Climate, Security, Energy, and Peace. Each short video features one of 25 people that speaks about their area of expertise relative to climate change.
  • A Stanford University study provides a state-by-state plan for converting the U.S. to 100% clean, renewable energy by 2050. The plan for Virginia can be found here.
  • Hawaii’s governor has signed a bill requiring the state’s utilities to generate 100% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2045.
  • The EPA’s plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions at power plants will create more jobs than it cuts, according to a new study by the Economic Policy Institute,
  • The Environmental Defense Fund has a new white paper analyzing how states can use well-established emissions management tools to meet the requirements of EPA’s Clean Power Plan.
  • Amazon Web Services announced on June 10 that it has partnered with Community Energy, Inc. to support the construction and operation of an 80 MW solar farm in Accomack County, VA.
  • EPA has announced an endangerment finding with respect to CO2 emissions from commercial aircraft, paving the way for regulation of those emissions.
  • According to climate models the temperature in the tropical upper troposphere (roughly 3 – 9 miles altitude) should be increasing faster than the temperature at Earth’s surface in response to atmospheric CO2, but it apparently has not been doing so, providing climate change deniers with evidence that climate models are wrong. Now, in a new paper, Sherwood and Nishant have shown that the upper troposphere is warming about 70-80% faster than the surface, a value close to model predictions.
  • The likelihood of a strong El Nino this year is increasing and if it comes to pass it will have a positive impact on precipitation in California, particularly if it lasts until winter.

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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