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Drought Takes Hold as Amazon’s ‘Flying Rivers’ Dry Up

Drought Takes Hold as Amazon’s ‘Flying Rivers’ Dry Up

The unprecedented drought now affecting São Paulo, South America’s giant metropolis, is believed to be caused by the absence of the “flying rivers” − the vapor clouds from the Amazon that normally bring rain to the center and south of Brazil. Some Brazilian scientists say the absence of rain that has dried up rivers and reservoirs in central and so… Read More

Obama Creates World’s Largest Ocean Reserve

Obama Creates World’s Largest Ocean Reserve

Barack Obama will use his presidential powers on Thursday to create the world’s largest marine reserve in the Pacific, banning fishing and other commercial activities across vast swaths of pristine sea populated by whales, dolphins and sea turtles and dotted with coral atolls. Thursday’s proclamation will expand the Pacific Remote Islands Marine Na… Read More

Pacific Northwest Warming May Have Natural Roots

Pacific Northwest Warming May Have Natural Roots

Dan Nichols was hauling in a gillnet laden with the fruits of a late-season Alaskan salmon run when something heavy flopped out of it, then slid to the front of his boat. “I knew what the tail was,” he says. Surprised, the mustachioed fishing veteran stopped picking salmon from his net and approached the itinerant creature. “I had to stop what I wa… Read More

UN Data on Population Growth is Bad News for Climate

UN Data on Population Growth is Bad News for Climate

The demographers may have got it wrong. New projections say the population of the planet will not stabilize at 9 billion sometime this century. In fact, there is an 80 percent likelihood that, by 2100, it will reach at least 9.6 billion − and maybe rise as high as 12.3 billion. The latest data, published in the U.S. journal Science, has profound an… Read More

Tropical Dams an Underestimated Methane Source

Tropical Dams an Underestimated Methane Source

Big dams built in the tropics to produce hydroelectricity have long been highly controversial — data gathered in Laos by a French team studying methane emissions confirms that dams can add to global warming, not reduce it. In many rocky regions low on vegetation and population, such as in Iceland and other northern mountainous regions, the prod… Read More

The Good and Bad Climate News from Permafrost Melt

The Good and Bad Climate News from Permafrost Melt

Earth’s subterranean carbon blisters are starting to pop. Carbon inside now-melting permafrost is oozing out, leaving scientists scrambling to figure out just how much of it is ending up in the atmosphere. Whether recent findings from research that attempted to help answer this question are good or bad climate news might depend on whether you see … Read More

Calif. Plans Nation’s Most Detailed Sea Level Database

Calif. Plans Nation’s Most Detailed Sea Level Database

To help adapt to the increased flood-risks affecting people and property in these landscapes, California is about to compile the nation’s most elaborate sea level rise planning database. The task won’t be easy. California’s bureaucracy can be as bewildering as its hydrology. Which is one of the reasons its lawmakers are directing a single agency t… Read More

Mountain Forest Changes Threaten Calif. Water Supplies

Mountain Forest Changes Threaten Calif. Water Supplies

Hike high enough up California’s Sierra Nevada and the forest morphs around you. At around 6,000 feet, the dazzling diversity of the lower montane forest, replete with California black oak, ponderosa pine, and incense cedars gives way to more monotonous landscapes of red fir and lodgepole pine. Hike further still and trees eventually disappear alto… Read More