global warming

Environment
3:46 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Cantwell, Murray Join Senate Democrats' All-Nighter Focused On Climate Change

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., left, is joined by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.
Evan Vucci AP Photo

U.S. senators pulled an all-nighter Monday night to call attention to climate change. Democrats Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Barbara Boxer of California led the effort to shine light on the need for more curbs on carbon emissions.

Sen. Maria Cantwell and Sen. Patty Murray were both present for the event. Cantwell took the floor early Tuesday morning following more than 12 hours of testimony. She said the issue isn’t about the future; it’s about negative effects that industries here are already seeing.

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Weather With Cliff Mass
3:54 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Mass: Dueling 'Nonsense' Surrounding Polar Vortex And Global Warming

In this Jan. 9, 2014 photo, ice floes cover the surface of the Hudson River off the west side of Midtown Manhattan in New York.
Malcolm Ritter AP Photo

Global warming behind the recent polar vortex? Nonsense, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

“There’s really no basis for this,” said Mass, adding there's a lot of misguided hype on both sides of the issue. 

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climate change
4:18 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Inslee Wants to Explore State-Only 'Cap and Trade' Scheme

Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee on Monday laid out how he'd like the state to combat global warming pollution, including eliminating any electricity generated by coal and putting a statewide cap on greenhouse gas emissions. Legislative Republicans immediately raised concerns.

Back in 2008, the Washington Legislature set ambitious goals for reducing the state's carbon footprint. But they're just goals without enforcement mechanisms. Subsequently, a pact between 11 western states and provinces to put a price on greenhouse gas emissions fell apart. 

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climate change
3:05 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Sea Level Rise Map Shows 30 Wash. Towns Inundated

Update: The original version of this story incorrectly summarized this study as showing populations to be displaced by 2100 if current trends continue. Author Ben Strauss sent the following correction: "by 2100, we would most likely be *locked in* to such an outcome in a more distant future, time unspecified, but essentially inevitable." We have updated the story accordingly. 

The warming climate is causing sea levels to rise as oceans expand, and, combined with more frequent storms, the effects could be devastating.

A new map shows more than 1,400 towns in the U.S., 30 in Washington state, where half the population will be displaced  if current trends continue through the end of this century.

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climate change
5:41 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Mounting Consequences as Arctic Sea Ice Melts

Melting sea ice in the Arctic is reducing food sources for polar bears—just one of many consequences, according to a new Review article published in the journal, Science.
Cecilia Bitz photo

Arctic sea ice is melting at record rates, and the loss of that ice could drive significant degradation of marine and terrestrial ecosystems, according to a researcher at the University of Washington. The researcher, Cecilia Bitz, is part of an international team of scientists whose findings are published this week in the journal, Science

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climate change
1:50 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Field Test Renews Attention on Viability of Carbon Storage

PNNL scientist Pete McGrail describes CO2 injection underway behind him on the grounds of the Boise Inc. paper mill in Wallula, Wash. Tom Banse

This week, technicians in southeast Washington are moving forward with a field test to show how carbon dioxide could be injected and trapped deep underground.

Led by the Pacific Northwest National Lab, the experiment involves the injection of 50 tanker-truck loads of carbon dioxide, and will take about four weeks. Then comes about a year and a half of monitoring to see if the global warming gas stays locked away forever beneath ancient lava flows. 

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shopping green
4:14 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Want to be green? Have your groceries delivered

Amazon Fresh is one of the grocery delivery options in Seattle. Others include Safeway.com and the new Seattle startup, Geniusdelivery. Google is testing a service in the San Francisco area. FreshDirect serves New York City.
leff Flickr

Having your groceries delivered might seem like a self-indulgent luxury.

But researchers at the University of Washington have found that, most of the time, you can feel good about doing something for the environment when you order your groceries online and have them delivered instead of making a trip to the store.

“We like to call it 'the bus for groceries,'” said Anne Goodchild, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at UW.

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Environment
8:05 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Gov. Inslee's climate change bill passes, controversy continues

A bill put forward by Gov. Jay Inslee directing the state to figure out how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions has passed both houses of the Legislature.

The passage is a big step forward for the environmental lobby and the governor, who has championed clean energy. But there is still a lot of pushback in Olympia.

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Environment
8:03 am
Wed January 30, 2013

How green can you go? Seattle celebrates Deep Green building

Skanska's Stone34 office building is Seattle's first Deep Green structure, a designation that ranks it above LEED Platinum for environmental design
Courtesy Skanska USA

Seattle is leading the way in environmentally-sound building design. Sweden’s international construction firm Skanska has broken ground on a building in Fremont that promises to bring a whole new level of green to the city. 

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Rising Sea Levels
6:23 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Seattle planners predict bigger flood zones due to climate change

Department Manager Paul Fleming and Meteorologist James Rufo-Hill, of Seattle Public Utility's Climate and Sustainability Group, created the new map showing areas that are at risk for flooding during high tides and storms.
Bellamy Pailthorp photo KPLU News

It’s data that’s been collected and analyzed for several years now.

But predictions on how high tides and extreme storm events might combine to cause flooding in Seattle are seeming less and less like science fiction.

The City has unveiled a new map, showing huge areas that are much more likely to end up waterlogged during storms. And it says the estimates are no longer considered extreme. 

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Environment
8:34 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Climate change report shows major impacts for Northwest

Huge areas of Seattle's Port could be inundated when higher tides combine with more extreme storm surges, accdording to the Draft National Assessment on Climate Change
Bjørn Giesenbauer photo Flickr

Imagine a future in which major areas of Seattle’s waterfront are flooded because of rising tides.

Businesses that front on Elliot Bay, including the famous Edgewater Hotel, or parks such as Myrtle Edwards or Golden Gardens, would have to adjust to storm surges more than six feet higher than we’re used to.

According to a new federal report on climate change, that future is just a few decades away. 

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Environment
4:00 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Sea Level Rising Much Faster Than U.N. Projections

A swan swims near the flooded home of the Maziekien family on November 21 in Mantoloking, New Jersey. Mantoloking was one of the hardest hit areas by Superstorm Sandy.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 6:27 am

A new peer-reviewed study by climate scientists finds the rise in sea level during the past two decades has been 60 percent faster than predictions from the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The scientists also found that IPCC's estimates for warming temperatures was just right.

NBC News explains:

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Environment
7:52 am
Wed October 10, 2012

One month left for comments on spotted owl recovery plan

One of the northwest’s most controversial birds is still ruffling feathers. The elusive spotted owl was at the heart of the timber wars here in the 1990s. Some scientists are criticizing the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s plan to log some of the bird’s habitat.

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Environment
4:18 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Scientist who reported drowned polar bears reprimanded

This undated file photo shows a polar bear in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.
Subhankar Banerjee AP

JUNEAU, Alaska – An Alaska scientist whose observations of drowned polar bears helped galvanize the global warming movement has been reprimanded for improper release of government documents.

An Interior Department official says emails released by Charles Monnett were cited by a federal appeals court in decisions to vacate approval of an oil company's Arctic exploration plan.

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Environment
8:48 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

As Arctic Ice Melts, So Does The Snow, And Quickly

Researchers say that springtime snow is melting in the Arctic even faster than Arctic ice. That means less sunlight is reflected off the surface. Bare land absorbs more solar energy, which can contribute to rising temperatures on Earth. Above, a musher races along the Iditarod in the Alaskan tundra in 2007.
Al Grillo AP

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 2:11 pm

Arctic sea ice is in sharp decline this year: Last week, scientists announced that it hit the lowest point ever measured, shattering the previous record.

But it turns out that's not the most dramatic change in the Arctic. A study by Canadian researchers finds that springtime snow is melting away even faster than Arctic ice. That also has profound implications for the Earth's climate.

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