Melting permafrost could worsen water quality in Rockies

Colorado Independent: Heavy metals concentrations are increasing in the Snake River, near Keystone, Colorado, and some scientists think global warming may be a factor. We may not yet know exactly how global warming will affect all the complex parts of Rocky Mountain ecosystems, but it’s not for lack of trying. Scientists are prodding the soil, counting wildflowers, measuring winds and gauging snowfall nearly every day to unravel the mysteries of the anthropocene, this present-day geological epoch in which humans are...

Pakistan needs political will in face of climate threats: Experts

Reuters: Pakistan's vulnerability to climate change is being made worse by poor governance and the degradation of its natural resources, jeopardising the food security, health and livelihoods of its poorest citizens, climate change experts claim. "Poverty is a crucial factor in assessing vulnerability ... to climate change and extreme events,' said Adil Najam, dean of Boston University's Pardee School of Global Studies, during a recent meeting on implications for Pakistan of the Intergovernmental Panel...

Extreme snowfall events will continue even in global warming, says study

Washington Post: While it`s still too soon to say whether or not this winter will end up looking like the last, snow fanatics should rest assured that extreme snowfall events are here to stay, even in a warming world. That is the finding of an MIT study that was published in the journal Nature this week. Paul O`Gorman, a professor at MIT`s Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, used model simulations to investigate the impact of global warming on both average, day to day snowfall amounts as...

Health and fracking – what are the risks?

National Public Radio: If you live right next to a drilling rig, or your kids go to school beside a fracking site, or your county is suddenly littered with well pads -- are there health risks? That’s a question that’s been asked from Pennsylvania to North Dakota, from Colorado to Texas as more and more people find themselves and their towns in the midst of an unprecedented energy boom. In this second part of a series on public health risks, Inside Energy reporters Jordan Wirfs-Brock and Leigh Paterson clarify the confusion...

California wildfire near Yosemite prompts evacuation of 700 homes

Reuters: Crews battling a wildfire on the outskirts of Yosemite National Park in central California reported progress Saturday containing the blaze though evacuation orders for about 700 homes remain in effect, officials said. The blaze, named the Bridge Fire, was 25 percent contained and holding steady at 300 acres (120 hectares), one day after it erupted in Mariposa County near Oakhurst, some 14 miles (22.5 kilometers) southwest of the national park, according to the California Department of Forestry and...

Democratic Republic of Congo: Battle for Virunga: The fight save Africa’s oldest national park

Telegraph: At 3.45pm on April 15 Emmanuel de Merode, the Belgian-born, British-educated head of Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, left the city of Goma for the 90-minute drive north to the headquarters of Virunga in Rumangabo. The road was once paved, but two decades of constant warfare in this part of eastern Congo have taken their toll. Today it is a ribbon of rock and rutted mud, scarcely negotiable except in four-wheel-drive vehicles. De Merode was alone in a Land Rover marked...

Australia: Reversal over Great Barrier Reef dredge dumping plan

Guardian: The deputy premier of Queensland, Jeff Seeney, will put a plan to state cabinet that would reverse the decision to dump sediment from the Abbot Point coal port development on the Great Barrier Reef, disposing of it on land instead, according to a report. Seeney told the Weekend Australian he would then seek a meeting with the federal environment minister, Greg Hunt, to gain Canberra’s approval for the land-based solution. As reported by the Guardian this week, it is understood that the proponents,...

Global Warming Made Worse by Human Eating Habits, Shows Study

WebProNews: In recent years reports on global warming have shifted away from firmly establishing a human connection to the phenomenon and have instead begun warning of the dire consequences humanity might face as a result of climate change. An Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment report released in April of this year warned that humans are “ill-prepared” for climate change and that more proactive steps will be needed to stop it. Now, a new study is showing that even the most ambitious...

California asks Congress to set aside funds to fight wildfires

Reuters: With federal funds for fighting wildfires running low, officials in California on Thursday called on Congress to move forward on a stalled plan to set up an emergency reserve fund for battling the extreme blazes anticipated this fall. The call by U.S. Representative John Garamendi, a Democrat whose district near Sacramento includes parts of three national forests, the state's top firefighter and others comes days after the U.S. Forest Service said it would have to dip into money meant for fire...

California FINALLY gets serious about protecting its groundwater

Environmental News Network: As California suffers through the third year of a record-breaking drought, state lawmakers agreed today to require more sweeping oversight of the state’s groundwater resources. California legislators approved Senate Bill 1168 and Assembly Bill 1739, which together call for stricter management of groundwater supplies by local agencies while giving the state the ability to step in when necessary. Up until now, California was the only state in the nation that did not comprehensively monitor or regulate...