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El Niño Could Bring Drought and Famine in West Africa

El Niño Could Bring Drought and Famine in West Africa

A global weather phenomenon could cause a famine in the Sahel this year by combining with already dry conditions to create a “double whammy” for the region, scientists and aid groups have warned. Professor Adam Scaife, a long term forecaster at the UK Met Office Hadley Centre, said models now agreed an El Niño event was likely and the first impact… Read More

Moderately Cold Temps ‘More Deadly Than Heat Waves’

Moderately Cold Temps ‘More Deadly Than Heat Waves’

Heat waves are not as deadly as has been assumed, according to research that suggests prolonged exposure to moderately cold temperatures kills more people than scorching or freezing spells. The study of deaths in 13 countries, published in the Lancet medical journal, found that cold weather kills 20 times as many people as hot weather, and that … Read More

Bad News Keeps Flowing From Antarctica

Bad News Keeps Flowing From Antarctica

The massive shelves of ice that ring Antarctica have been shrinking over the past couple of decades, and that could have grave implications for sea level rise. It’s not the ice shelves themselves that pose a problem: they’re mostly afloat, so when they melt or dump massive icebergs, it doesn’t affect water levels any more than melting ice cubes … Read More

Kansas Takes Air Out of Wind Power Mandate

Kansas Takes Air Out of Wind Power Mandate

The renewable power mandate in Kansas, which helped vault the state to become one of the top six wind power producers in the country, may be about to become a victim of its own success. Gov. Sam Brownback is poised to sign a bill repealing the mandate and making it voluntary instead. Kansas’ mandate requires six major utilities to generate … Read More

Climate Change May Put Power Grid at Risk in the West

Climate Change May Put Power Grid at Risk in the West

The ravages of climate change could severely hurt the ability of utilities in the 11 Western states to generate power unless they “climate proof” their power grid using renewables and energy efficiency, something they are not prepared for, according to a new study. For nearly half of the West’s existing power plants, climate change could reduce … Read More

NY Fracking Report Underscores Quake, Climate Risks

NY Fracking Report Underscores Quake, Climate Risks

New York is 2,000 pages closer to becoming the first fossil fuels-rich state in the U.S. to ban fracking indefinitely because of the climate-changing methane it could emit and the the earthquakes, air pollution and water contamination it could cause. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced in December that fracking, short for the natural gas extraction … Read More

The ABCs of Antarctic Ice Shelf Melting

The ABCs of Antarctic Ice Shelf Melting

January 1995 marked a seminal moment in modern Antarctic history, with the crumbling of the Larsen A ice shelf, a floating plain of ice fed by glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula. Less than a decade later, its southern neighbor, the Larsen B ice shelf, disintegrated, stunning polar scientists. After the spectacular collapses of Larsen A and B… Read More

Is Warming Changing Boundaries of Hurricane Season?

Is Warming Changing Boundaries of Hurricane Season?

Hurricane season doesn’t officially begin until June 1, but tell that to Tropical Storm Ana, which made landfall on the South Carolina coast early May 10. May storms, while unusual, aren’t unprecedented, since the official season dates are artificial. Records suggest they happen about once every six years. But in the ever-present context of a… Read More

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Mountain Snowmelt and Fire Recently, in the American West, wildfires have burned about 17 times more land in years with early snowmelt than with late.

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