Humans to Blame for Catastrophic Drought in California, Scientists Say

Climate News Network: One way or another, humans are to blame for the catastrophic drought in California that scientists say may be emerging as a “new normal.” Either humans have mismanaged the state’s water or human-triggered global warming has begun to help turn America’s landscape of wine and roses into a dustbowl, according to two new studies. And the arguments have relevance extending far beyond the U.S. west, as the European Drought Observatory has warned that much of mainland Europe is now caught up in the continent’s...

Drought becoming ‘new normal’ for Californians

Climate News Network: One way or another, humans are to blame for the catastrophic drought in California that scientists say may be emerging as a “new normal”. Either humans have mismanaged the state’s water, or human-triggered global warming has begun to help turn America’s landscape of wine and roses into a dustbowl, according to two new studies. And the arguments have relevance extending far beyond the US west, as the European Drought Observatory has warned that much of mainland Europe is now caught up in the...

Rising sea level threatens coastal restoration, New Orleans levees, scientists say

Times-Picayune: Even as Louisiana embarks on a multi-billion-dollar program to begin rebuilding its coast, evidence continues to mount that new coastal land will have to contend with a more rapid rise in sea level than projected in present state plans. NASA officials Wednesday said the present rate of worldwide sea level rise has reached 3 millimeters a year (0.13 inch/year) and is increasing, the result of global warming. That compares to 1.7 millimeters a year for the entire 20th Century and 1.8 millimeters between...

As giant sequoias get a drought checkup, there’s good news and bad

LA Times: Sixty feet from the top of a giant sequoia named Kong, biologist Anthony Ambrose studied the foliage around him. Dense clusters of green leaves grew like shaving brushes from the branches, cones clustered like Indian clubs. Topping out 25 stories above the ground, Kong was spectacular, an ancient beastly creature well-suited for its name. Its trunk at the base measured 17 feet across. This broccoli top, Ambrose thought, was doing well, much like the other sequoias he had climbed. Water and...

Hawaii Supreme Court Grills State on Approval of Thirty Meter Telescope

Civil Beat: Hawaii Supreme Court justices expressed skepticism about the state Land Board’s process of approving construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea during oral arguments in a case challenging the state’s endorsement of the $1.4 billion project. The justices grilled state attorneys Thursday about whether the Board of Land and Natural Resources was wrong to approve a permit for the project in 2011 prior to holding a contested case hearing. State attorneys argued that the 2011 permit was...

Cultural claims at core telescope lawsuit

Associated Press: Long before dozens of people were arrested while protesting against building a giant telescope atop Hawaii's Mauna Kea, there were environmental studies, public hearings and court proceedings. The Hawaii Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments Thursday in a lawsuit challenging the project's permit from the state Land Board to build the telescope on conservation land. Protesters are planning a rally before the hearing outside the Supreme Court building in downtown Honolulu. Many opponents...

‘Sacred mountain protectors’ move against astronomers in Hawaii

Business Times: Mauna Kea, the tallest summit in the world, has been a place for a growing conflict between sanctity and science early in 2015. Scientists have been placing telescopes on the summit because for them it is the best location in the world for space observatory, but some scientific projects have been halted by native Hawaiians as they believe the dormant volcano is the most sacred land in the entire Pacific. For both parties, the summit is the best point where the sky and earth meet, but each carries...

Hawaii State Supreme Court hears oral arguments Thirty Meter Telescope

Pacific Business: Attorneys representing the state, the University of Hawaii and opponents of the planned Thirty Meter Telescope project presented their cases in oral arguments before the Hawaii Supreme Court in Downtown Honolulu Thursday morning. Mauna Kea Anaina Hou, Clarence Ching, Flores-Case Ohana, Deborah Ward, Paul Neves, and KAHEA: The Hawaiian Environmental Alliance filed a lawsuit against the Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources and University of Hawaii at Hilo, challenging the state-awarded permit...

Hawaii Supreme Court Hears Mauna Kea Telescope Case

Associated Press: Hawaii's Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case involving building one of the world's largest telescopes on Mauna Kea. Opponents, who are against building the Thirty Meter Telescope on land that many Native Hawaiians consider sacred, are challenging a permit that would allow the telescope to be built on conservation land on Hawaii's Big Island. Lawyers delivered opening arguments in the case Thursday, and justices questioned why the state department that issued the permit did so when there...

Science and religion fight over Hawaii’s highest point

CNN: Rising more than 6 miles from the seabed floor, Mauna Kea is the tallest summit in the world. To native Hawaiians, the dormant volcano is the most sacred land in the entire Pacific. It is the point where the sky and earth meet. They believe it is the site of the genesis of their people, and it is the burial ground for their most revered ancestors. Considered a temple and a house of worship, native Hawaiians believed the gods created Mauna Kea for them to ascend to the heavens. To scientists,...