Atmospheric Rivers Add to Antarctica’s Ice Sheets

Environmental News Network: Extreme weather phenomena called atmospheric rivers were behind intense snowstorms recorded in 2009 and 2011 in East Antarctica. The resulting snow accumulation partly offset recent ice loss from the Antarctic ice sheet, report researchers from KU Leuven. Atmospheric rivers are long, narrow water vapour plumes stretching thousands of kilometres across the sky over vast ocean areas. They are capable of rapidly transporting large amounts of moisture around the globe and can cause devastating precipitation...

UK State Environmental Watchdog Calls for Moratorium on Fracking

Sputnik: Fracking is the process of extracting gas and oil from shale rock by drilling into the earth. "We cannot allow Britain's national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty to be developed into oil and gas fields ... Parliament should protect the rights of citizens by throwing these changes [eased fracking laws] out when they are debated later today,' EAC head Joan Walley, was quoted as saying in a statement published on the parliament's website. According to the report, the proposed infrastructure...

Obama Seeks Wilderness Designation for Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

EcoWatch: President Obama’s Administration moved to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, known as one of the most wild and remote areas in the world. The Department of the Interior announced yesterday the release of a conservation plan that recommends additional protections for the Refuge that asks Congress to designate core areas—including its Coastal Plain—as wilderness, the highest level of protection available to public lands. This is the first time in history that a Wilderness recommendation...

Obama push to expand Alaskan refuge

BBC: President Barack Obama is to propose setting aside the majority of Alaska's national wildlife refuge as a wilderness area. This would halt the possibility of fossil fuel exploration in the refuge's potentially oil-rich coastal plain. The proposal drew an angry response from top state-elected officials. Some 2.8 million hectares (7 million acres) of the refuge are managed as wilderness. The new plans would see a further 4.8 million hectares (12.3 million acres) hectares set aside. The...

Last year tied with 2010 as warmest on record: British data

Reuters: Last year tied with 2010 as the hottest on record, in a new sign of long-term global warming stoked by human activities, according to British data on Monday that back up U.S. findings of record-breaking heat in 2014. The worldwide data, compiled by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia from records stretching back to 1850, showed average surface temperatures last year were 0.56 degree Celsius (1.0 Fahrenheit) above the long-term average of 1961-90. "This ranks 2014 as the joint warmest...

Copenhagen unveils first climate-change adapted neighborhood

Al Jazeera: Come hell or high water, the residents of St. Kjeld, a Copenhagen neighborhood, will be ready. Actually, skip the hell part. But when the next megastorm hits the Danish capital, St. Kjeld’s residents will be safe and dry. That’s because as of December, they live in the world’s first climate-change-adapted neighborhood. “St. Kjeld’s transformation shows what can be done if you take climate change seriously,” says Morten Kabell, Copenhagen’s deputy mayor in charge of environment and technology....

Obama to protect Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Grist: President Obama is picking a big fight with oil-lovin` Republicans, and the green community is delighted. Seems he`s still feeling pugnacious after his State of the Union address last week. For more than 30 years, conservationists have pushed for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to be permanently protected from oil and gas development. Obama now says he wants to do just that. From The Washington Post: The Obama administration will propose setting aside more than 12 million acres in Alaska’s...

What Are Republican Going to Do Climate Change?

Christian Science Monitor: When it comes to energy and climate politics, things are heating up on the Senate floor. Debate over amendments to the Senate bill approving the Keystone XL pipeline forced Republicans to put their views on climate change on the record Wednesday, and those votes could have reverberations in this congress and the 2016 presidential race. Other amendments – from boosting offshore drilling to expediting permitting – signal the broader energy issues that pique the interest of the new Senate. In...

New Spill into Yellowstone River Prompts Pipeline Upgrade Order

Associated Press: Federal regulators on Friday ordered a pipeline company to make major upgrades to a line that spilled almost 40,000 gallons of oil into Montana’s Yellowstone River and fouled a local water supply. The order comes after Bridger Pipeline of Casper, Wyoming, announced plans to bury its line deeper beneath the Yellowstone to protect against future accidents. The Department of Transportation order would make that improvement mandatory and require identical action where the line runs beneath the...

U.K. Lawmakers Urge Fracking Delay on Water, Climate Risk

Bloomberg: Fracking shale for oil and gas should be put on hold in the U.K. because of risks to public health and the environment, a panel of lawmakers said. A moratorium on fracking is needed to prevent the U.K. from missing its carbon targets and allow time to stiffen regulations for the industry, Parliament’s cross-party Environmental Audit Committee said in a report Monday. It called for measures including a ban on venting methane, public disclosure of chemicals used for hydraulic fracturing, and a regulatory...