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Posts

April 15, 2014

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6:28 PM | While Rest of Globe Basked, U.S. Mostly Shivered in March
The globe overall might have been quite warm in March, but here in the United States the picture was quite different. Following yesterday’s release by NASA of data showing that this past March was the fourth warmest globally in 134 years of record-keeping, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration today announced that the United States […]The post While Rest of Globe Basked, U.S. Mostly Shivered in March appeared first on ImaGeo.
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2:20 PM | Stop Killing Enviros! Climate Change vs. Mad Men, Gefilte Fish Shortage—Gulp
By Jason Bittel You need green to make green: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change makes no bones about the fact that we need to make a move soon to address climate change. Just one problem—trying to do so has proven political suicide. Many in Congress are beholden to the fossil fuel industry; others simply won’t consider levying any more taxes, no matter what they’re for. To help remedy the situation, the League of Conservation […]

April 14, 2014

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8:54 PM | Years of Recapping Dangerously
By Jason Bittel When the premiere of your 9-part climate change documentary is up against Game of Thrones’ purple wedding and the return of Don Draper, it’s probably a smart idea to open with Indiana Jones boarding a fighter jet on his way to kick some Nazi ass.Of course, it’s really just Harrison Ford on a plane loaded with CO2 sensors, but he is embarking for an exotic locale to confront an existential threat to humanity. “The […]
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12:05 AM | Documenting the Disappearing Rio Grande
From its headwaters amidst towering Colorado peaks to its mouth in a small delta along the Gulf of Mexico, the Rio Grande flows 1,896 miles — a ribbon of life-giving water through a parched land. And it is disappearing. As environmental journalist and adventurer Colin McDonald tells it: For more than 3,000 years it has supported […]The post Documenting the Disappearing Rio Grande appeared first on ImaGeo.

April 12, 2014

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9:59 AM | Detailed regional data reduce warming-drought link doubts
In Portugal and Spain climate change has already driven over 2°C of warming in summer, and new findings from Sergio Vicente-Serrano from the Pyrenean Institute of Ecology are dispelling uncertainties that the temperatures are making drought more severe and widespread.

Vicente-Serrano, S., Lopez-Moreno, J., Beguería, S., Lorenzo-Lacruz, J., Sanchez-Lorenzo, A., García-Ruiz, J., Azorin-Molina, C., Morán-Tejeda, E., Revuelto, J., Trigo, R. & Coelho, F. (2014). Evidence of increasing drought severity caused by temperature rise in southern Europe, Environmental Research Letters, 9 (4) 44001. DOI:

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April 11, 2014

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1:31 PM | Tumbleweed Takeover, More Oil for Enbridge, Bat Disease on the Move
By Susan Cosier The bat signal: White-nose syndrome, a fungal disease responsible for 5.7 million bat deaths in the United States and eastern Canada (see "The Man Who Loves Bats"), is now in two more states: Wisconsin and Michigan. This brings the total number of states to report the disease to 24. Wisconsin has one of the largest bat populations in the Midwest. In fact, they eat so many bugs there that a 2011 study found bats provide up to $1.5 billion in […]

April 10, 2014

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3:31 PM | It’s Time for Africa’s Green Revolution, Focused on Corn
A look at the steps required to spark a green revolution in Africa.
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1:30 AM | During Long, Dry Summer of Drought, Nobody Wins
Water managers are walking a tightrope this year, balancing three competing needs: how much water to deliver to people and agriculture, how much to provide for wildlife and how much to save for next year, in case it’s just as dry.

April 09, 2014

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12:34 PM | The Uphill Climate Challenge in ‘Years of Living Dangerously’
Some thoughts on the challenges facing a nine-part Showtime series on global warming.
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4:01 AM | San Joaquin River Named #1 Most Endangered River in the U.S.
American Rivers today released its annual report of America’s Most Endangered Rivers, with California’s San Joaquin River at the top of the list.  Outdated water management, compounded by the current drought, have put the San Joaquin River at a critical crossroads. It is hard to overstate the importance of the San Joaquin River and its…
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4:01 AM | San Joaquin River Named #1 Most Endangered River in the U.S.
American Rivers today released its annual report of America’s Most Endangered Rivers, with California’s San Joaquin River at the top of the list.  Outdated water management, compounded by the current drought, have put the San Joaquin River at a critical crossroads. It is hard to overstate the importance of the San Joaquin River and its…

April 08, 2014

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12:00 PM | Cold, Then Dry: Dealing California Citrus Farmers a Double Punch
First the freeze, now a crippling water shortage confront citrus growers in the Central Valley.

April 07, 2014

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1:30 PM | California Farmers Look to Oil Industry for Water
As water supplies tighten for California farmers, some are looking to an unlikely new source: a water recycling project in one of the state's oldest oil fields.

April 05, 2014

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7:07 AM | Weather extremes take twin crop and disease toll
Extreme rain has boosted harvests and droughts have harmed them, but both are linked to outbreaks of deadly viruses show NASA's Assaf Anyamba and his colleagues.

Anyamba, A., Small, J., Britch, S., Tucker, C., Pak, E., Reynolds, C., Crutchfield, J. & Linthicum, K. (2014). Recent Weather Extremes and Impacts on Agricultural Production and Vector-Borne Disease Outbreak Patterns, PLoS ONE, 9 (3) DOI:

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April 04, 2014

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2:07 PM | Beefalo Trample the Grandest Canyon, Polluters Pay Up Big Time, Freaky Frog Friday!
By Jason Bittel Book, thrown: The Justice Department is forcing Anadarko Petroleum, a company with its fingers in everything from wood treatment to rocket fuel processing, to shell out $5.15 billion to clean up the mess it’s made across the United States over the last 85 years. The environmental cash settlement is the largest in history, and it is well deserved by these ne're-do-wells. Anadarko’s rap sheet includes radioactive waste piles in […]

April 02, 2014

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5:44 PM | How locals and conservationists saved the elephants of Mali amidst conflict and poverty
At a time when Africa's elephants are facing a relentless poaching crisis, one community has managed to safeguard their elephants in the most unlikely of places: Mali. In a country that has suffered from widespread poverty, environmental degradation, and, most recently, warfare, a collaboration between conservationists and the local community has kept Mali's elephants from extinction.
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3:13 PM | Despite Storms, Scant Relief for California Snowpack
When surveyors for California’s Department of Water Resources skied back down from sites high in California’s Sierra Nevada range yesterday, they brought sobering news: Although late-season storms have boosted the snowpack, it is still shockingly below average as the melt season looms. According to a DWR report issued yesterday, the water content of the snowpack is […]The post Despite Storms, Scant Relief for California Snowpack appeared first on ImaGeo.
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3:13 PM | Despite Storms, Scant Relief for California Snowpack
When surveyors for California’s Department of Water Resources skied back down from sites high in California’s Sierra Nevada range yesterday, they brought sobering news: Although late-season storms have boosted the snowpack, it is still shockingly below average as the melt season looms. According to a DWR report issued yesterday, the water content of the snowpack is […]The post Despite Storms, Scant Relief for California Snowpack appeared first on ImaGeo.
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12:18 AM | Sierra Snowpack: Better But Far From What’s Needed for Drought
A key indicator of California's water prospects is likely to peak out at about one-third of normal.

March 31, 2014

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1:30 PM | How Water and Oil Mix in California
California is the third-largest oil producing state in the country. To produce oil, companies deal with massive amounts of water. They need it for hydraulic fracturing, and they produce a lot from underground.
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1:30 PM | With Drought, New Scrutiny Over Fracking’s Water Use
The drought is putting a spotlight on water use around California, including for hydraulic fracturing. How much water does fracking use and will it increase as companies tap into the Monterey Shale, estimated to be the largest oil resource in country?

March 27, 2014

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6:49 AM | Climate modelling on your PC: weather@home comes to NZ and Australia
That’s a climate model running on my iMac, thanks to BOINC, Climateprediction.net, and the new New Zealand and Australia modelling experiment launched yesterday. In this guest post, Dr Suzanne Rosier of NIWA explains what it’s all about… A new citizen science experiment in which scientists will address possible links between climate change and extreme weather […]

March 25, 2014

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4:16 PM | The Great Green Desert
By Julene Bair If, like me, you grew up on family land, then you will know what I mean. The land contains you, and you can’t really differentiate between what it is and who you are. Yet you can leave, because your family will always be there, keeping you one with the land. You don’t realize they are performing this service or that you need them to. I left Kansas when I was 18, headed for excitement, I suppose. But the most exciting thing I did […]
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2:26 PM | TV Rots the Brain (and the Earth), Oil Deforms Lil’ Fishies, Hare Today, Lunch Tomorrow!
By Jason Bittel Midnight dumper: Let me tell you about a guy in Youngstown, Ohio, who likes to pour stuff down the drain—not prescription drugs (bad idea), but thousands and thousands of gallons of a black chemical brine full of benzene and toluene (even worse idea) that eventually wound up in the Mahoning River watershed. Ben Lupo dumped the waste from his excavating business after dark, when all the other employees went home. After initially denying […]

March 21, 2014

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6:50 PM | Weekend Reads: Scientific Serendipity, Brain-Busting Toxins, Greenland Ice is Going, Going...
By Jason Bittel The Toxins That Threaten Our BrainsAs Florence Williams first told you in last year’s OnEarth cover story “Generation ToXic,” the brain development of U.S. children is at risk from an array of neurotoxins found in pesticides, industrial chemicals, and everyday household products. James Hamblin mirrors Williams’ reporting with an in-depth and similarly scary piece, which begins with a focus on how many IQ points a […]

March 19, 2014

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12:42 AM | Here We Go Again: Massive Dust Storms Pummel High Plains
Just a week ago, I posted some imagery of an intense dust storm sweeping south through the High Plains. Well, here we go again… Today, high winds triggered two dust storms, one in Colorado stretching into Kansas and the Oklahoma Panhandle, and the other in the Texas Panhandle — the same region as last week’s […]The post Here We Go Again: Massive Dust Storms Pummel High Plains appeared first on ImaGeo.
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12:42 AM | Here We Go Again: Massive Dust Storms Pummel High Plains
Just a week ago, I posted some imagery of an intense dust storm sweeping south through the High Plains. Well, here we go again… Today, high winds triggered two dust storms, one in Colorado stretching into Kansas and the Oklahoma Panhandle, and the other in the Texas Panhandle — the same region as last week’s […]The post Here We Go Again: Massive Dust Storms Pummel High Plains appeared first on ImaGeo.

March 17, 2014

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1:56 PM | Paris is the New Beijing, Fracking the Everglades(!), Will Ferrell & the Sundance Kid
By Jason Bittel Thick as thieves: Duke Energy, the company responsible for sullying 70 miles of North Carolina’s Dan River with toxic coal ash, is under investigation again for questionable wastewater at another site. Aerial photos reveal some suspicious pumps siphoning from two coal ash ponds and directing it into a canal that leads to the Cape Fear River. Duke claims the activity is part of a routine maintenance program. The state’s Department […]
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