In this red state, publicly owned utilities provide electricity to all 1.8 million people. Here's how Nebraska took its energy out of corporate hands and made it affordable for everyday residents.
Over the past five years the world has seen a dramatic fall in the cost of solar energy, particularly rooftop solar panels or solar photovoltaic power. It is now a real alternative and considerable player in the power markets.
According to the pundits and techno-prophets who dominate the media, the future of transportation is all figured out for us. Cheaper gas prices mean we can still count on our private cars to take us everywhere we want to go. The only big change down the road will be driverless autos, which will make long hours behind the wheel less boring and more productive.
Worldwide field trials show that just one degree of warming could slash wheat yields by 42 million tonnes and cause devastating shortages of this vital staple food.
When you ask yourself what the biggest unanswered scientific questions are, “how did sea levels change over the past 100 years?” is unlikely to appear at the top of your list. After all, haven’t we already figured that out? It turns out that obtaining a complete picture of how our oceans have been changing is not a simple task, yet is vital for making future projections.
Scientists in the US estimate that economic damage caused by CO2 could be six times higher than the value used to guide current energy regulations.
The most detailed study yet of the Greenland ice sheet illustrates the complex process that is causing billions of tonnes to melt ever year.
Increasing oil production but falling demand is creating big problems for the fossil fuel industry as some investors are now turning away from the sector.
2014 has been confirmed as Australia’s third-hottest year, capping off a record-breaking decade, according to the Bureau of Meteorology’s annual climate statement, released today.
Chemicals are all around us. They are crucial in all manner of industries, from agriculture to food to cosmetics. Most people give little thought to how these chemicals are made – and certainly very few would consider the chemical industry as a contributor to our society’s dependence on oil. But it is.
Increased production from US fracking operations is a major reason for the drop in oil prices, but there are warnings that the industry now faces a crisis.
Scientists report that many cities near the coasts of the US should prepare for daily flooding at high tide by mid-century because of rising sea levels.
The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) has announced that 2014 was the hottest year in more than 120 years of record-keeping — by far. NOAA is expected to make a similar call in a couple of weeks and so is NASA.
Emissions from planes are a major clause of climate change, yet they remain unregulated. Can they be curbed in time to protect the planet?
A few years ago, the Mexican government pinpointed a promising method for reducing carbon dioxide emissions: Encourage Mexicans to trade in their old refrigerators, air conditioners, light bulbs and the like for more up-to-date models. But how to pay for the program, while making it affordable for poor households?
Climate change is going to affect every city on the planet in some way—but not necessarily in the same way. For those cities already adapting to it, strong, decisive action may spell the difference between surviving global warming and succumbing to it. Five cities that are steeling themselves…and five that are fooling themselves.
In tropical developing countries, effective coastal management must acknowledge the widespread dependence of poor and politically weak communities on the use of fish for food. Acknowledging this dependence on artisanal fisheries is pivotal to reconciling the largely separate agendas for food security and biodiversity conservation.
India’s contribution to global carbon emissions was only 7% last year, yet there are fears being expressed in the western world that rapid population growth and development will mean this vast country will soon be a major polluter − like its neighbour, China.
The urbanization of our population has major implications for climate change. The sheer volume of all this growth in highly concentrated areas, combined with the corresponding growth in carbon emissions, requires that our cities be able to adapt and evolve more quickly than ever before.The good news is: they can.
At the top of the world, it’s time to get ready for a new future. In the winter of 2013–14, hundreds of milk-white birds with luminous yellow eyes and wingspans of up to 5 feet descended on beaches, farmers’ fields, city parks and airport runways throughout southern Canada and the United States.
As extremes of heat increasingly threaten to become the norm, scientists have invented a new way to reflect sunlight and beam heat away from buildings straight back into space.
In the wake of a Missouri grand jury’s decision not to indict Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, it can be difficult to imagine a place where law enforcement and a racially diverse population work together productively in the United States.
For several years now climatologists have puzzled over an apparent conundrum: why is Antarctic sea ice continuing to expand, albeit at the relatively slow rate of about one to two percent per decade, while Arctic sea ice has been declining rapidly?
When we design cities like ecosystems, they have the potential to address many of our most pressing issues. Of all the things people build, cities are the most important.
There is no shortage of shouting and dire warnings about the state of the climate and our need to phase out fossil fuels. But there is a more silent revolution happening too — in micropower.
The European Union, nervous about Russia cutting off gas supplies and keen to cut emissions by developing renewable energy sources, aims to link all its 28 member states to one electricity grid.
Researchers tracking the movements of seals in the North Sea reveal that “artificial reefs” created by wind farms and pipelines are becoming attractive as foraging grounds on fishing expeditions.
The United States, the world’s biggest historical emitter of greenhouse gases, has pledged to cut emissions by 26-28% by 2025 relative to 2005 levels, while China, the current biggest emitter, has promised to peak its emissions by no later than 2030.
A new book argues that death threats and abuse illustrate how climate change messengers are being demonised in a way that is without parallel in the history of science.
Warnings within the world of high finance are coming thick and fast that the increasingly urgent need to combat climate change means investors could lose heavily by sinking funds into coal, oil and gas.
When it comes to providing jobs and money to towns and cities, not all renewable energy is created equal. At last month’s People’s Climate March, among the most popular signs were ones supporting renewable energy like wind and solar as the best way to avoid a climate catastrophe.
Through burning fossil fuels, humans are rapidly driving up levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which in turn is raising global temperatures.
Groups have been divesting money from oil, coal, and gas for years. Now they’re hoping to get more climate-healing bang for their buck.
One of nature’s most spectacular events occurs every autumn, when the leaves of hardwood trees burst into brilliant color before falling to the ground. These autumnal displays entice people to experience nature in all its raw beauty.
Reduced monsoon rainfall and increased river flow are two extremes that new research has linked to man-made impacts on climate caused by air pollution.
International researchers, in what they believe is the most comprehensive global assessment of clean energy’s potential, report that a low-carbon system could supply the world’s electricity needs by 2050.
Global business can find good investments that also address climate change by looking to the world’s most vulnerable populations.
Some tree species in central Europe are growing faster as the climate changes, while the rising levels of acid it causes are endangering coral in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
As the forest fires season peaks in the western US, a new report predicts that climate-led temperature rise will lead to millions more acres across the world being burned to the ground.
The exotic lionfish, already a long way from the reefs of its Indo-Pacific home, is heading further north up the US coast as global warming causes big changes to ocean habitats.
Researchers’ urgent message to world leaders at the UN climate summit: save 1.4 million lives and trillions of dollars by controlling vehicle pollution, improving public transport and shifting away from the car culture.
Here’s an historical tidbit you may not be aware of. Between the years 1860 and 1940, as the number of Methodist ministers living in New England increased, so too did the amount of Cuban rum imported into Boston – and they both increased in an extremely similar way. Thus, Methodist ministers must have bought up lots of rum in that time period!
New scientific research confirms that global warming is melting increasingly larger areas of Arctic sea ice − and reducing its vital function of removing CO2 from the atmosphere.
Combined, the People’s Climate March on Sunday followed by Flood Wall Street the next day, uplifted a narrative around climate change that was impossible for even the most mainstream of media to ignore. In the words of Fox News talking head James Carville, “It’s the economy, stupid.”
New research shows that the complex balance of gains and losses caused by climate change could mean more land being available for agriculture − but fewer harvests.
Despite what appears to be an insurmountable problem, it may be possible to significantly reduce global water scarcity in 35 years.
Two companies in Japan recently announced they are to begin building two huge solar power islands that will float on reservoirs. This follows Kagoshima solar power plant, the country’s largest, which opened in late 2013 and is found floating in the sea just off the coast of southern Japan.
The critical links between water, sanitation, and our global consumption of energy – the “energy-water nexus” are more obvious than ever before. But how many of us will take direct action at the most basic level of all?
I believe we have a problem — a big problem. According to demographers, by the end of this century we’ll have around 11 billion mouths to feed. Most of the additional 4 billion people alive then will be in developing nations.
After a decade of relatively little rain, California is facing its third year of debilitating drought. The drought has placed a $44.7-billion-a-year agriculture industry, drinking water for millions of people, and some 204 cities located in high-risk fire zones in jeopardy.
Those who question the seriousness of the threat which climate change presents have a very strange idea of the risks they think are acceptable.
Scientists simulating changes in mountain glaciers over the last century and a half have established that rates of melting have increased greatly in recent years – and that humans are the main culprits.
Whenever I tell people I work with solar cells I am asked the same two questions: are they ever going to be really cheap? And can you get me some? While the answer to the second question is no, the answer to the first is a lot more positive.
Two new atlases provide clear visual evidence of the effect climate change and extreme weather can have on people and property.
Scientists in the US believe they have identified a way to feed billions more people, while at the same reducing the strains and stresses on the environment.
Failure to factor immediate action on climate change into American policies and business plans aimed at economic prosperity will lead to havoc, warns former US Treasury Secretary.
Globally 1.2 billion people live in areas of water scarcity — defined by the United Nations as locations with an annual water supply that drops below 1,000 cubic meters per person.
If you’ve ever wondered how much little things really matter, consider the mountain pine beetle. Roughly the size of a grain of rice, the glossy black insect lives only about a year. A throng of beetles can ravage a pine as tall as an eight-story building, as the tree first oozes sap, then its needles turn rusty red...
Dire warnings of imminent human-induced climate disaster are constantly in the news but predictions of the end of the world have been made throughout history and have never yet come true.
Spring and summer have come early – and observations from some parts of the country even suggest that typical autumn events, such as the development of beech nuts and hawthorn berries, are already in evidence. But, to understand effects on our wildlife, a longer view is needed...
The UK government’s senior adviser on science has made an entirely sensible call for researchers and policy makers to move the climate change debate towards workable strategies and solutions. The trouble is, the models we have for assessing those strategies are deeply flawed.
A guidebook with a difference is selling well in Germany. It details nearly 200 renewable energy sites it thinks will appeal to tourists. Wind turbines and solar panels: do you love them or hate them? Do you think of renewable energy as the way to a greener future, or an awful blight on the present?
Reducing deforestation in the tropics would significantly cut the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere by as much as one-fifth, research shows.
Last month, a researcher at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo., loaded a postage stamp–sized solar cell onto a tray and placed it under a high-intensity pulse solar simulator. A new world record for solar photovoltaic efficiency had been set.
The “Meatless Mondays” campaign was originally thought up to support the war effort during World War I, but now a modern army is using it to fight an even bigger battle—the one against climate change. It's not just Norway where the military is concerned about climate change. Former United States army officer...
The heavyweights of the global insurance industry, well aware of the risks posed to their finances by extreme weather events, have made a renewed commitment to use their financial clout and influence to tackle the climate impacts of a warming world
The majority of Americans believe that global warming is real. A fewer number believe that it is a threat and less still believe that it is caused by humans. These are really amazing numbers...
The newly released National Climate Assessment spans 30 chapters with thousands of references on how climate change is impacting the U.S. The report took more than 300 scientists and 4 years to prepare, including addressing more than 4,000 comments from the public. The message of the report is that climate change is already happening across the country.
Scientists in the US have found new ways to make biofuel, increase crop yields and exploit carbon dioxide through novel applications of familiar materials.
Parts of ancient Antarctica were as toasty as today’s California coast, say scientists who used a new method to measure past temperatures. The study focused on Antarctica during the Eocene epoch, 40 to 50 million years ago, a period with high concentrations of atmospheric CO2 and consequently a greenhouse climate.
Bioenergy and biofuels have an important role to play in lowering the use of carbon-intensive fossil fuels – a point underscored by the IPCC report which confirmed the need for further research to improve such technology.
Global warming will be bad. Geoengineering could make it worse. Once again, a research team has considered all the benefits of climate technofix – that is, deliberate steps to neutralize the consequences of unrestrained greenhouse gas emissions – and come to a grim conclusion.
It’s being billed as “the biggest story of our time.” This weekend viewers of Showtime, the US cable channel, will be watching the first of an nine-part documentary series on climate change: some of the biggest names in Hollywood are involved.
If wealth and income weren’t already so concentrated in the hands of a few, the shameful “McCutcheon” decision by the five Republican appointees to the Supreme Court wouldn’t be as dangerous. But by taking “Citizen’s United” one step further and effectively eviscerating campaign finance laws, the Court has issued an invitation to oligarchy.
Can the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change most recent report or a star-studded Showtime mini-series change the way people talk and think about climate change? Katharine Hayhoe urges her fellow climate scientists to ramp up their messaging game.
Forget the cost of mitigating climate change, say two researchers. It’s impossible to work out how much it will be – and whatever it is, we should do it anyway. Two researchers who tried to work out the economics of reducing global climate change to a tolerable level have come up with a perhaps surprising answer...
Warming in the Arctic has now reached the northernmost sections of the Greenland ice sheet. After a long period of stability (more than 25 years), we have found in a new study of the region that the northeast section of the ice sheet is no longer stable. This means global sea levels may rise even faster than was previously anticipated.
Ice in the Arctic continues to retreat. It’s long been established that Arctic ice is on the retreat but it’s the pace of change that’s surprising scientists: latest studies show the region is at its warmest since 40,000 years.
The 2014 State of the Climate report. a joint undertaking by the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology, found that Australia’s temperature is predicted to rise by 1°F to 2.7°F by 2030; in comparison, between 1910 and 1990 the temperature rose by 1°F.
It is not just the extreme cold that birds have had to cope with in recent British winters, scientists have found, but the unpredictability with which the weather often now changes.
Increasingly common false spring events are leaving crops and wild plants vulnerable to subsequent freezes, creating a cascade of consequences for ecosystems. The spring of 2012 was the earliest recorded across the United States since 1900.
The world faces a serious water crisis, warned former heads of government and experts recently in a book that identifies a multitude of associated security, development and social risks, including food, health, energy and equity issues.
The forests stretching from Mexico through Central America have some of the richest species diversity on the planet. But despite expansive conservation efforts, this region continues to face staggering rates of forest destruction
Recent signs that Barack Obama may approve the Keystone XL pipeline have some environmentalists feeling down about the future of the climate. But huge and positive changes are quietly taking place.
Research from the Arctic shows Greenland’s fastest-flowing glacier has doubled its summer flow pace in a decade, and ice cover on Alaskan lakes is declining.
Painting building roofs white could cool some major cities baking in the intensifying heat of a changing climate. How much benefits white roofs could bring depend on the region of the country they’re installed in and the season, new research shows.
The head of the World Meteorological Organization tells Climate News Network there is no standstill in global warming, which is on course to continue for generations to come.
The question of how global warming will influence El Niño has been a challenging one for scientists to answer. A new study suggests while the overall number of El Niños is unlikely to increase, particularly strong “super” El Niños are likely to occur twice as frequently in a warming world.
Farmers may be able to rear livestock which produce fewer emissions from their stomachs of methane, one of the most important greenhouse gases. Stand by for a new breed of farm animal – the low-methane cow
The United States is currently engaged in secret negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a multinational trade agreement with the goal of liberalizing trade among a dozen or so countries that border on the Pacific Ocean.
First it was Wisconsin. Now it’s North Carolina that is redefining the term “battleground state.” On one side: a right-wing government enacting laws that are changing the face of the state. On the other: citizen protesters who are fighting back against what they fear is a radical takeover.
U.S. carbon dioxide emissions related to energy increased in 2013 for the first time in three years, possibly the first sign that a trend in declining emissions from energy consumption has ended for now. The U.S. Energy Information Administration released a report on Monday showing that 2013 energy-related CO2 emissions in the U.S. are expected to have increased 2 percent over 2012 emissions once all the data for the year are tallied.
For almost forty years Republicans have pursued a divide-and-conquer strategy intended to convince working-class whites that the poor were their enemies. The big news is it’s starting to backfire.
A corner of the USA forever linked with the name of one of America’s foremost naturalists is changing as the temperature rises. Walden Pond’s familiar vegetation is not what it was in Thoreau’s day.
For years political scientists have wondered why so many working class and poor citizens of so-called “red” states vote against their economic self-interest. The usual explanation is that, for these voters, economic issues are trumped by social and cultural issues like guns, abortion, and race.
A wildfire exploded outside Los Angeles Thursday as record temperatures spread across California, where drought conditions are escalating as the state comes off its driest year on record.A new update to the U.S. Drought Monitor shows that severe drought, the second-worst drought category, has spread across 62.7 percent of the California as of Tuesday.
East African Agriculture and Climate Change, published by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), looks at threats to food supplies in 11 countries in East and Central Africa – Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.