Earth Science

Science diplomacy is more vital than ever.

The U.S. appears to be plunging headlong into a new era of isolationism. The White House wants to pull out of international agreements, including the Paris climate deal and the North American Free Trade Agreement. It has issued executive orders trying to halt or slow the flow of refugees and immigrants to the nation. This is bad for the U.S. ...

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Oilpatch accused of using ‘myth’ to delay Canada’s climate action.

Oilpatch accused of using ‘myth’ to delay Canada’s climate action.

There are two perspectives on whether Canada’s fossil fuel industry can adapt to better limit methane gas, a harmful form of air pollution, without a costly and burdensome overhaul of its equipment. Canada’s main oil industry lobby group says that new regulations to limit this heat-trapping pollution would be a “significant burden” with a potential impact on hundreds of thousands ...

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‘Vulnerable voices’ lash out as companies sway climate talks.

‘Vulnerable voices’ lash out as companies sway climate talks.

By HIROKO TABUCHI May 16, 2017 Developing nations and environmental groups are challenging some of the world’s biggest companies and wealthiest countries over the role corporate lobbyists play in United Nations climate change negotiations. The dispute opens an additional battle in the struggle over how to fashion a global response to climate change, one that corporate interests appear to be winning, for ...

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Bradley Foundation helps fund groups opposing climate regulation.

May 17, 2017 Best known for promoting private-school vouchers and welfare reform, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation is also using its financial muscle to undo Obama-era environmental regulations and support the work of global warming skeptics. Internal documents show the Milwaukee-based foundation is funding think tanks and public relations campaigns to attack the credibility of what it describes as “radical” organizations ...

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Keeping warming to 1.5 degrees to shield Australia from big extremes.

Australia will endure more heatwaves, droughts and coral bleaching at 1.5 degrees of warming but the extremes will be considerably less than if global temperatures increase by 2 degrees, new research shows. In some of the first research on the impacts for Australia of the 1.5 degree to 2 degree range agreed at the Paris climate summit in 2015, Melbourne ...

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Arctic meltdown propels globe to second-warmest April on record.

Global average surface temperature anomalies during April 2017.Image: nasa giss By Andrew Freedman2017-05-16 18:24:53 UTC Continued freak warmth in the Arctic helped propel global average temperatures to the second-warmest level on record for the month of April, NASA reported on Monday.  Separately, on Thursday the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported the same rank for the month, and also ...

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Trump officials act to tilt federal science boards toward industry.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency surprised many people in 2015 when it announced its scientists had found hydraulic fracturing for natural gas had no “widespread, systemic impacts” on the nation’s drinking water. Some independent studies had shown the opposite. The EPA’s 47-member Science Advisory Board—a panel of outside experts, mostly academics—studied the report’s evidence and found it did not justify ...

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Soil microbes may be orchestrating tree migrations.

As the climate warms and some tree species shift toward cooler, more hospitable habitats, new research finds soil microbes could be playing a crucial role in determining where young trees can migrate and how well they survive when they arrive. Much like humans, whose guts and skin are teeming with microbes, the soil below plants and trees contains a unique ...

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Under fire, climate scientists unite with lawyers to fight back.

By JOHN SCHWARTZ May 15, 2017 Lawyers and scientists do not always get along, but some are now finding common cause in an effort to defend the integrity of science — especially climate science — in government and academia. Climate scientists are feeling the heat as Republicans cement control of the executive branch and Congress. The Trump administration has already rolled back ...

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Climate change is messing with migratory birds’ delicate clocks.

Climate change is messing with migratory birds’ delicate clocks.

A great crested flycatcher, one of the songbird species struggling to adapt to climate change.Image: michael jeffords and sue post/illinois natural history survey By Maria Gallucci2017-05-15 21:23:01 UTC Timing is everything for migratory songbirds chirping away in North America’s trees. If they arrive too late, they’ll get only the scraps of spring’s insect buffet. Plus, the best nesting spots and ...

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