A new rule announced on August 4, 2021 by the Biden administration will allow fossil fuel companies operating in northern Alaska to harass polar bears and walruses while searching or drilling for oil. Photo: Andreas Weith/Wikimedia/CC
A coalition of conservation groups sued the Biden administration on Thursday over the U.S. Department of the Interior’s recent rule allowing fossil fuel companies to harass polar bears and walruses while searching and drilling for oil and gas in the Southern Beaufort Sea.
Announced last month by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the rule was quickly blasted as “disturbing” by Kristen Monsell, an attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, one of the groups behind the new federal lawsuit (pdf) in Alaska. Continue reading →
A slew of recent record-breaking disasters that took place in faraway places across the world shouldn’t be seen in isolation but as interconnected events for which human activity is a major root cause, according to a United Nations report released Wednesday.
The study (pdf), released by the UN University’s Institute for Environment and Human Security, took a “deep dive” into 10 extreme events that occurred in 2020 and 2021 that “were not only disastrous for people and the environment but were also the symptoms of underlying processes ingrained in our society.” Continue reading →
Flash flood in Belgium – July 2021. Photo: Régine Fabri’Wikimedia/CC
Bolstering the case for meaningful climate action, a major report released Wednesday found that Earth’s atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations and sea levels both hit record highs in 2020.
Based on the contributions of more than 530 scientists from over 60 countries and compiled by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), State of the Climate in 2020 is the 31st installment of the leading annual evaluation of the global climate system. Continue reading →
The Trans-Alaska Pipeline going north. Photo: olekinderhook, CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Alaska’s thawing permafrost is undermining the supports that hold up an elevated section of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, putting in danger the structural integrity of one of the world’s largest oil pipelines.
In a worst-case scenario, a rupture of the pipeline would result in an oil spill in a delicate and remote landscape where it would be extremely difficult to clean up. Continue reading →
In order to roll back catastrophic carbon emissions, humans must “start developing the technologies for large-scale removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere,” says one of the study’s lead authors.
Melting permafrost in Canada’s Northwest Territories sends carbon-rich sediment into the Mackenzie Delta. (Photo: Charles Tarnocai/Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)
Humanity may have passed the “point of no return” in the climate crisis—even if everyone on the planet stopped emitting all greenhouse gases at this very moment, according to a study published Thursday.
The study, published in the peer-reviewed British publication Scientific Journals, alarmingly asserts that “the world is already past a point of no return for global warming” and that the only way to halt the catastrophic damage caused by greenhouse emissions is to extract “enormous amounts of carbon dioxide… from the atmosphere.” Continue reading →
An oil pipeline stretches across the landscape outside Prudhoe Bay in North Slope borough, Alaska. “New absurdities from Big Oil,” said the Energy Watch Group, which advocates for renewable energy, in response to the reporting. “What do you do when the Arctic is melting, threatening your drilling infrastructure—but you really don’t want to stop drilling? Right, cooling the ground beneath the infrastructure and keep on drilling.” (Photo illustration: Original by Bonnie Jo Mount/via Getty Images/with overlay)
Reporting out Monday detailing how oil giant ConocoPhilips’ obsession with drilling in the arctic regions of Alaska is so intense that it has devised ways to artificially freeze rapidly melting permafrost to maintain its drilling operations has climate campaigners howling over the ironic—and destructive—absurdity of the situation.
According to journalist Nat Herz, reporting for the Guardian with support of Fund for Environmental Journalism (FEJ), “ConocoPhillips had a problem” as it continued to drill for oil and gas beyond the Arctic Circle: Continue reading →
This photo taken on Friday, June 19, 2020 and provided by ECMWF Copernicus Climate Change Service shows the land surface temperature in the Siberia region of Russia. (Image: ECMWF Copernicus Climate Change Service/AP)
The number of fires in the vast north Asian region of Siberia increased fivefold this week, according to the Russian forest fire aerial protection service, as temperatures in the Arctic continued higher than normal in the latest sign of the ongoing climate crisis.
The news of the increase comes a week after the small Siberian town of Verkhoyansk reported a high temperature of 100.4° F on June 20, a reading that, if confirmed, would mark the hottest day ever recorded in the region. Continue reading →
A graphic shows record heat in the Arctic Circle on Saturday, June 20, 2020. (Image: Screengrab\@ScottDuncanWX)
A small Siberian town north of the Arctic Circle reached 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit on Saturday, a figure that—if verified—would be the highest temperature reading in the region since record-keeping began in 1885.
“This scares me, I have to say,” environmentalist and 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben tweeted in response to news of the record-breaking reading in Verkhoyansk, where the average high temperature in June is 68°F. Continue reading →
A controlled burn in the Gulf of Mexico off the Louisiana coast on June 9, 2010, less than two months after the catastrophic BP oil spill. (Photo: Deepwater Horizon Response/flickr/cc)
Ten years after BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster sent hundreds of millions of gallons of oil across the Gulf of Mexico, researchers say the reach of the damage was far more significant than previously thought.
In a study published Wednesday in Science, Claire Paris-Limouzy and Igal Berenshtein of the University of Miami revealed that a significant amount of oil was never picked up in satellite images or captured by barriers that were meant to stop the spread. Continue reading →
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s 14th annual Arctic Report Card includes a section that features commentary from Indigenous Peoples living along the Bering Sea. (Photo: NOAA/YouTube)
In addition to warning that “the feedback to accelerating climate change may already be underway,” the U.S. government’s latest report on conditions in the Arctic reveals that temperatures in the region are persistently warming, leading to land and sea ice melting, permafrost thawing, species being threatened with extinction, and putting Native communities at risk.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Tuesday published its 14th annual Arctic Report Card (pdf), which warns that “the Arctic marine ecosystem and the communities that depend upon it continue to experience unprecedented changes as a result of warming air temperatures, declining sea ice, and warming waters.” Continue reading →