climate change

Environment
4:46 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

'Astonishing' Arctic Ice Melt Sets New Record

Norman Kuring NASA/GSFC/Suomi

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 6:57 pm

Arctic sea ice has melted dramatically this summer, smashing the previous record. The Arctic has warmed dramatically compared with the rest of the planet, and scientists say that's what's driving this loss of ice.

To be sure, ice on the Arctic Ocean always melts in the summer. Historically, about half of it is gone by mid-September. But this year, three-fourths of the ice has melted away, setting a dramatic new benchmark.

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The Two-Way
10:13 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

NOAA: This Summer Was Third Hottest On Record

A map that shows the difference from average temperatures.
NOAA

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 3:51 pm

Today in Washington, D.C. we got our first taste of fall. It was crisp and in the low 60s. And just as we slide into the last days of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration published its summer 2012 recap.

It's exactly what you were expecting: It was really hot. In fact, 2012 was the third hottest on record.

NOAA reports:

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Climate change
3:00 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Dash of salt in clouds may fight global warming, UW scientist says

John McNeill, via UW News

By Todd Bishop of Geekwire

A group of scientists, including a University of Washington atmospheric physicist, wants to test the theory that pumping sea salt into the sky over the ocean would combat global warming by creating clouds that reflect more sunlight back into space.

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Global Warming
11:25 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Climate change is real for Northwest tribes in DC this week

Coastal tribes including Washington's Quileute, with headquarters in La Push, are among those hosting the inaugural First Nations symposium on climate change.
Sam Beebe, Ecotrust Flickr

Extreme weather patterns on the east coast have become evidence for many people lately that global warming is actually happening.

Here in the Northwest, coastal tribes have been dealing with the realities of melting glaciers, rising sea levels and ocean acidification for years.

Many are headed to Washington DC this week for what’s being billed as an inaugural First Stewards symposium on climate change. The idea comes from coastal tribal leaders in this Washington.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:43 am
Fri April 27, 2012

Could this weekend's weather be a sign of global warming? Check back, in decades

Seattle expects more clouds with sun breaks this weekend
joiseyshowaa flickr

Yet another weekend that beats the work-week, when it comes to sunshine--that's the forecast from KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass, of the University of Washington.

But, it won't exactly be warm and sunny.

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Environment
10:20 am
Wed April 4, 2012

Climate change could cost Wash. $10 billion a year; state crafting response

A visualization of Washington's future water supply, based on assumptions about population growth and climate change.
courtesy Wa Dept of Ecology

Climate change is happening, and not preparing for it could cost the state $10 billion a year by 2020.

That’s according to the Department of Ecology, which has just released a response strategy to changing climate conditions.

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Kids Versus Global Warming
9:04 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Kids go to court to protest state’s inaction on climate change

A King County Superior Court judge is set to hear arguments this afternoon, in a case brought by kids about climate change.  The young plaintiffs, who filed complaints against the Governor and several state agencies last May, are seeking an effective climate recovery plan from government.  The State has filed a motion to dismiss the case. 

Today’s hearing is part of an international youth campaign launched by the iMatter Trust.  Young people have filed legal actions across the nation as well as a federal lawsuit to compel governments to protect and restore the atmosphere.  According to the organization’s website, a federal hearing has not been set.

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Businesses Facing Climate Change
6:44 pm
Tue June 7, 2011

Is Amazon.com sustainable?

Cheuk-man Kong Flikr

Amazon.com has been thriving, despite the economic downturn. Shares in the company are now worth more than five times a much as they were five years ago, thanks in part to innovations such as its electronic book reader, the Kindle, or its move into data storage of all kinds of things "in the cloud."

But it's just these futuristic lines of business that have some shareholders worried. 

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Climate Change
6:30 pm
Tue June 7, 2011

"Here on Earth" author shares optimism about global warming

One of the world's best-known thinkers about global climate change is Australian writer Tim Flannery. He's not only a best-selling author, he's also his country's first Chief Commissioner for Climate Change.

His latest book, Here on Earth: a Natural History of the Planet, paints a hopeful picture of the future of human life on earth. He recently gave a talk in Seattle, where he said his message of optimism seemed to have trouble getting through to his audience.

KPLU's Bellamy Pailthorp caught up with him for an interview.

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Growing Jobs
6:35 pm
Wed May 25, 2011

Northwest consortium aiming to become hub for aviation biofuels

Camelina, a member of the mustard family, is a viable candidate for producing oil for biofuels, requiring minimal inputs of water and fertilizer compared to a number of other oilseed feedstocks.
Washington State University photo

A new industry is emerging in the Pacific Northwest – for development, production and distribution of aviation biofuels.

A consortium called Sustainable Aviation Fuels Northwest has just spent ten months producing an exhaustive study.  They've identified the four-state region of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana as a serious contender in the race to produce environmentally friendly jet fuels.

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HUMANOSPHERE
12:05 pm
Tue May 10, 2011

Bill Gates: Key to beating climate change is energy innovation. Is it?

Photo by Thomas Hawk

Bill Gates was the keynote speaker for Seattle-based Climate Solutions‘ annual fund-raising breakfast today.

The gist of Gates’ message: The best way to fight climate change is to create forms of energy production that significantly reduce carbon emissions and are cheap enough to be of value to poor people worldwide.

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Cleaner Energy
7:50 am
Mon March 7, 2011

Northwest’s largest coal-fired power plant agrees to shut down by 2025

The owner of the largest coal-fired power plant in the Northwest has agreed to phase out coal-burning by the end of 2025.

Washington’s governor and environmental groups announced an agreement with TransAlta Corporation Saturday. Within hours, the Washington State Senate passed a bill to turn the deal into law.

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Shoreline impacts
8:25 am
Tue February 22, 2011

King tides: a "teachable moment?"

A king tide in Budd Bay in Olympia in 2005.
Kay Schultz DOE Flickr feed

Shorelines around Washington are experiencing extreme high tides through the end of the month. Known as “king tides,” they’re a natural wintertime phenomenon in the Northwest. But they may also provide a glimpse into our future.

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Environment
7:27 am
Tue February 22, 2011

Study: more arid future for Northwest?

Map of Castor Lake.
Google Maps

A remarkable piece of scientific detective work has constructed a 6,000 year climate history of the Pacific Northwest. The record reveals a pattern of drought cycles and wet cycles.

Researchers drilled into the sediments at the bottom of Castor Lake near Omak, Washington. It's a telltale lake because with no river running out of it rainfall and evaporation rule there.

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Coal Exports
10:25 am
Tue February 15, 2011

New revelations heat up Longview coal port fight

The coal export terminal would utilize the former Reynolds Aluminum smelter property in Longview, WA.
Tom Banse N3

Previously undisclosed documents are raising questions about whether the Australian company trying to build a new coal export facility in Longview has tried to snooker local officials.

According to an article in the New York Times, documents show officials at Millennium Bulk Terminals “tried to limit what state officials knew about its long-term goals during the early permitting process last year.”

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