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UN Climate Negotiators Ink Deal in Lima

Negotiators have reached a deal at United Nations (UN) talks in Peru, setting the stage for a global climate pact in Paris in December 2015. The agreement, dubbed the Lima Call for Climate Action, for the first time in history commits every nation to reducing its rate of greenhouse gas emissions. “As a text, it’s not perfect…

The Next New Species Could be in Your Backyard: Why Exploration and Discovery Matter – Everywhere

Gregory M. Mueller, Ph.D. Chief Scientist and Negaunee Foundation Vice President of Science Chicago Botanic Garden When we think about discovering new species, we tend to envision tropical rainforests, remote deserts or lofty mountain peaks. But researchers, including myself, are taking a closer look at the landscapes right under our noses – in my case,…

Negotiations Heat Up in Closing Stages of UN Climate Change Conference

Optimism at the outset of the 2014 United Nations Climate Change Conference twentieth Conference of the Parties in Lima, Peru, has given way to the hard work of reaching high-level resolution prior to the December 2015 UN meeting in Paris. Among the challenges is disagreement about regular auditing of carbon emission pledges. The European Union…

December 7, 2014: Return “Kidnapped” Animals to the Wild, Save the World’s Big Cats and More

This week on National Geographic Weekend, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they climb El Capitan with young children, stop the kidnapping of Brazil’s wildlife, save lions by saving livestock, lift a 35-ton stone with prehistoric technology, work to save the last 3,000 wild tigers, visit some of the last nomadic tribes, bottle feed a baby cheetah, and clean up hazardous waste.

Optimism at UN Climate Change Conference

At the 2014 United Nations Climate Change Conference twentieth Conference of the Parties, known as COP20, in Lima, Peru, delegates from more than 190 nations are hashing out details of an international agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions and curb permanent damage caused by global warming. Those details will set the stage for next December’s…

IEA Unveils World Energy Outlook 2014: Looking Ahead to 2040

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released its World Energy Outlook (WEO) 2014 report, which for the first time provides energy trend projections through the year 2040. Among the key challenges in the next two and a half decades is, a 37 percent rise in global energy demand, driven mainly by emerging markets in Asia,…

U.S., China Reach Climate Deal

Two nations that account for more than one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions reached a climate deal. The United States will accelerate the pace of its net greenhouse gas emissions reductions from 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 to 26–28 percent by 2025. China will increase the non-fossil fuel share of all its energy…

Climate Change Risks, Impacts Focus of Reports

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its Fifth Assessment Synthesis Report warning that greenhouse gas levels are at the highest they have been in 800,000 years. “We have little time before the window of opportunity to stay within the 2C of warming closes,” said IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri. “To keep a…

Winter Road Salt – the Next Acid Rain? – May Threaten Adirondack “Queen of American Lakes”

Tendrils of fog curl above the waters of the Queen of American Lakes, as Lake George in New York’s Adirondack Mountains is known.  Biting winds gusted out of the northwest yesterday, and an early snow is forecast for tomorrow.  But for this one afternoon in late fall, cold winds fetching across slate-gray waves have gone…

EPA Refines Pollution Rules

Last week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was told by a federal appeals court that it could move forward with implementing a program to curb air pollution that crosses state lines. The Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CASPR) would require 28 states to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide by power plants.…

Ozone Focus of EPA’s Latest Rulemaking

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a rule that sets domestic production consumption limits for hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs)—eventually phasing them out completely by 2020. The rule aims to reduce emissions from leakage and stockpiles of four HCFCs, a class of refrigerant linked to ozone depletion and climate change. “This rule finalizes allowed amounts of HCFC…

U.S., Military to Plan More Strategically for Climate Change

Climate change is a “threat multiplier” and worse than many of the challenges the U.S. military is already grappling with, according to a new report by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The New York Times indicated that the report marks a departure from the DoD’s previous focus on preparing bases to adapt to climate…

Olazul Seeks a Healthy Solution to Depleted Fish Stocks

By Madeleine May For Santiago Cañedo Flores and other fishermen along the La Paz Bay in Baja California Sur, the solution to depleted fish stocks may lie in harvesting an unconventional product: seaweed. Don Santiago and other fishermen in Baja California Sur are partnering with Olazul, a San Francisco-based organization founded in 2009, to design community-owned…

Studies Focus on Warming of Oceans

Oceans absorb carbon dioxide and 90 percent of the heat caused by human activity—making their warming a critical topic for climate research. Two new studies—one on the upper oceans and one on deeper ocean depths—share findings about climate change’s effect on these water bodies. The first study, in the journal Nature Climate Change, provides the first estimate of…

Studies Link Climate Change to Recent Extreme Weather Events

New research in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society finds that climate change influenced the majority of 16 extreme weather events in 2013. Specifically, it found evidence that climate change linked to human causes—particularly burning of fossil fuels—increased the odds of nine extreme events: amplifying temperature in China, Japan, Korea, Australia and Europe; intense rain in parts of the…