Weather News Headlines - Yahoo! News

Weather News Headlines - Yahoo! News

09/29/2016 05:20 PM
Global warming set to pass 2C threshold in 2050: report

The planet has already heated up 1.0 C (1.8 F) above the pre-industrial benchmark, and could see its first year at 1.5 C within a decadeEarth is on track to sail past the two degree Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) threshold for dangerous global warming by 2050, seven of the world's top climate scientists warned Thursday. "Climate change is happening now, and much faster than anticipated," said Sir Robert Watson, former head of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), the body charged with distilling climate science for policy makers. Since 1990, devastating weather-related events -- floods, drought, more intense storms, heat waves and wild fires -- due to climate change have doubled in number, Watson and the other scientists said in a report.

09/29/2016 04:55 PM
Can Clinton win over Millennials with her climate change ​policies?
During Monday’s presidential debate, Hillary Clinton mentioned that Donald Trump thought climate change was a hoax orchestrated by the Chinese, and he immediately denied it. Is the issue of climate change one that Mrs. Clinton could use to appeal to the young voters? Recommended: Climate change: Is your opinion informed by science?
09/29/2016 04:20 PM
The new lawsuit that will escalate Exxon's climate change troubles

The new lawsuit that will escalate Exxon's climate change troublesExxon's climate change-related legal problems are growing by the day.  In addition to investigations by several state attorneys general and a separate inquiry on the part of the Securities and Exchange Commission, a new lawsuit filed in federal court on Thursday by a Massachusetts-based environmental group alleges the oil and gas giant has failed to take climate science research (including its own data) into account in operating an oil facility in the Boston area.  SEE ALSO: Climate activists blame Exxon Mobil for largest coral bleaching event on record The suit, filed by the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), is significant because it is the first to allege that a private company is violating the Clean Water Act and hazardous waste laws by failing to adequately prepare for climate change impacts such as sea level rise and stormwater runoff from increased instances of heavy rainfall events.  This case could also open the floodgates for more litigation against Exxon and the many other oil and gas companies that operate low-lying coastal facilities. According to the suit — filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts — the Exxon facility in Everett, Massachusetts, just to the northwest of Boston, has a stormwater drainage system that is easily overrun during extreme precipitation events, which are becoming more frequent due to climate change.  Storm surge inundation zone map, zoomed into the Everett, Mass. area. Image: CLF The suit contends that climate change-fed heavy rainfall is flooding the facility, which emits harmful contaminants into a tributary of the Mystic River in violation of the facility's permit. The lawsuit rests in part on the investigative reporting of InsideClimateNews, the Los Angeles Times and others that have revealed Exxon studied climate science for decades and knew the global warming-related risks involved in burning fossil fuels perhaps better than any other entity aside from the federal government.  The reporting revealed that instead of incorporating the risks into its planning and being transparent about them, the company chose to fund climate denial groups and withhold its research from shareholders. The reporting has sparked a public campaign against Exxon, known together with the reporting by the hashtag #ExxonKnew. The CLF suit takes those findings and applies them to one particular Exxon facility, which stores various petroleum products, nestled within a working class community near Boston.  The low-lying petroleum tank farm, the CLF contends, is already flooding in heavy rainfall events, and will flood from storm surge during a Category 1 hurricane or with modest amounts of sea level rise.  Opening the floodgates According to Brad Campbell, president of the CLF, “the entire facility is inundated, the entire thing is under water," in even a weak hurricane scenario, based on federal flood forecast tools.  Such flooding could release carcinogens such as toluene, benzene, arsenic and other harmful pollutants present at the facility.  "ExxonMobil has long been well aware of the present impacts and risks of climate change. Despite knowing of the certainty of rising temperatures and rising sea levels since as early as the 1970s, ExxonMobil did not use its findings to prepare its Everett Terminal for such risks," the court filing states. "ExxonMobil’s knowing disregard of the imminent risks of climate change that threaten the Everett Terminal and its continuing failure to fortify the Terminal against such known risks make ExxonMobil liable for violations of the CWA and RCRA...," the lawsuit contends. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman speaks in New York, Monday, March 21, 2016. He is part of an investigation into Exxon's climate-related activities. Image: Seth Wenig/AP “I’m very surprised that EPA has turned a blind eye to this particular facility, and I’m very surprised that the professional engineers who are attesting to the preparedness of this facility have been so cavalier in considering the climate impacts,” Campbell told Mashable in an interview. The lawsuit could pave the way for many more similar legal actions, and not just against Exxon, but other oil and gas companies too.  "If the suit succeeds it will be an important precedent," said Michael Gerrard, director of the Saban Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University, in an email. "America's coastlines are dotted with oil and chemical tanks and other facilities that are at risk from rising seas."

09/29/2016 02:33 PM
Lawsuit: ExxonMobil polluted river, ignored climate change
ExxonMobil has polluted the Mystic River while failing to plan for the potentially severe impacts of climate change at its Boston-area fuel storage terminal, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday by an ...
09/29/2016 02:15 PM
Mimicking Nature to Fight Climate Change

Paying Crab Fishers to Save WhalesCan nature teach us to how to mitigate the effects of climate change, or even to reverse it? The competition is the latest iteration of the institute’s ongoing Biomimicry Global Design Challenge, which most recently asked teams to submit ideas for products composed of living elements. Biomimicry has a lot of potential in the area of climate change, said Megan Schuknecht, director of design challenges for the Biomimicry Institute.

09/29/2016 01:44 PM
Scientists: World likely won't avoid dangerous warming mark

FILE - In this Dec. 12, 2015, file photo, French President Francois Hollande, right, French Foreign Minister and president of the COP21 Laurent Fabius, second right, United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres, left, and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon hold their hands up in celebration after the final conference at the COP21, the United Nations conference on climate change, in Le Bourget, north of Paris. A team of top scientists are telling world leaders to stop congratulating themselves for a Paris agreement to fight climate change because if more isn’t done the world will likely hit the agreed-upon dangerous warming level in about 35 years. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — A team of top scientists is telling world leaders to stop congratulating themselves on the Paris agreement to fight climate change because if more isn't done, global temperatures will likely hit dangerous warming levels in about 35 years.

09/29/2016 12:06 PM
Global warming to breach 2C limit by 2050 unless tougher action: study
By Alister Doyle OSLO (Reuters) - Global warming is on track to breach a 2 degrees Celsius threshold by 2050 unless governments at least double their efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions, scientists said on Thursday. Plans by almost 200 governments to cut greenhouse gases are far too weak to match targets set in a Paris Agreement on climate change last December for a drastic shift from fossil fuels towards greener energies, they said. "We've really got a problem," Robert Watson, a British-American scientist who was among the seven authors of the study and is a former head of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), told Reuters.
09/29/2016 10:12 AM
Australian politicians blame wind turbines for statewide power outage

Australian politicians blame wind turbines for statewide power outageIn the wake of an unprecedented blackout that cut off an entire Australian state from electricity on Wednesday into Thursday, some politicians are vilifying renewable power sources, particularly wind turbines.  Had the state of South Australia, which includes Adelaide, a city of 1.2 million, not put so much emphasis on cutting greenhouse gas emissions by adding renewable energy facilities, these leaders say, the blackout during a rare, extreme storm would not have occurred.  Considering the rapid rise in renewables around the world, including the U.S., the political fight that has broken out in Australia is not an issue limited to one nation. In fact, it could foreshadow future fights if blackouts occur in the U.S. or Europe, two areas where renewable energy use has increased recently.  SEE ALSO: Extreme storm knocks out power to entirety of South Australia Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce told ABC radio that South Australia's reliance on wind power for about 50 percent of its electricity needs, or about 1,000 megawatts, contributed to the statewide blackout.  “Obviously we know that South Australia has had a strong desire to become basically all renewable energy and the question has to be asked: Does this make them more vulnerable to an issue such as what happened last night?" Joyce reportedly told a Sydney radio station, according to The Guardian .  Peter Michalak sent in this incredible photo from Redwood Park showing #Adelaide in near-total darkness #SAstorms — Greg Barila (@GregBarila) September 28, 2016 “If you turn power into just a complete social policy and say, 'well, we are going to save the planet one state at a time,' and in so doing you create vulnerability to your state, so that if it comes under stress with a severe lightning storm, as they did, that this makes it more likely that you will have a total blackout,” Joyce said. However, ElectraNet, which owns transmission lines in South Australia, said the severe storm — which included powerful winds and tens of thousands of cloud-to-ground lightning strikes, damaged three out of the four transmission lines that connect Adelaide with northern parts of South Australia.  In addition, ElectraNet said on its website that 23 transmission towers across the state were damaged, triggering the blackout.  None of the politicians have proposed an explaination for how wind turbines could've caused such a widespread outage, a first in Australia's history, whereas ElectraNet has done so. 23 transmission towers pushed over in SA storms. Electranet says they've had cyclones in Queensland with less damage to the network. — David Bevan (@DavidBevanSA) September 28, 2016 The storm's winds reached more than 60 miles per hour, and nearly 80,000 lightning strikes were recorded in parts of the state.  In South Australia, as in many U.S. states, wind power has replaced so-called baseload power generation stations, like coal-fired plants, which pump a constant supply of electricity into the grid but also emit harmful global warming pollutants like carbon dioxide.  Wind turbines, on the other hand, are clean energy sources, but produce varying amounts of power depending on weather conditions. South Australia met its target of producing 33 percent of its energy from renewables in 2014, and has set a new target of 50 percent by 2025. The state has invested about $6.6 billion in expanding renewables, according to RenewablesSA, which is a state government initiative aimed at expanding the use of clean-burning energy sources like wind and solar power.  Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters that the state's aggressive push into renewables may have contributed to the unprecedented statewide blackout.  However, the wind energy industry is pushing back at such criticism, saying the politicians are simply wrong. Glenelg getting battered by waves and ferocious winds. Beach has disappeared. #AdelaideStorm @abcnewsAdelaide @abcnews #Adelaide — Loukas Founten (@loukasfounten) September 29, 2016 “Wind was going strong when the network went off and was among the first back on when the network recovered," said Andrew Bray of the Australian Wind Alliance, according to The Australian . The wind power industry says turbines did not cause the blackout.  “The failure of the network was a weather event, pure and simple. Extreme weather knocked out 23 transmission pylons. Storms of this magnitude will knock out the power network no matter what the source of power is," Bray told the newspaper.  A federal inquiry is likely to be launched into the cause of the more than 24-hour blackout, which may settle some of the debate going on now. Officials in states with a high reliance on wind power, such as Texas, will be closely watching the developments Down Under.

09/29/2016 09:55 AM
America's Most Popular Baby Names Inspired by Weather
Parents hoping to sneakily nudge their children toward being meteorologists might start by choosing the appropriate name, such as Autumn, Misty, or Summer. And in fact there are lots of parents giving kids these kinds of monikers—the previous three are the top weather- or climate-related names in the U.S., according to this fun ranking from Alaskan meteorologist Brian Brettschneider. Using birth data from the Social Security Administration, Brettschneider compiled a logarithmic chart showing Autumn to be the most popular (112,880 names), and Frost, Cirrus, and Snowy the least (13, 6, and 5).
09/29/2016 09:00 AM
We've Passed The Carbon Dioxide 'Tipping Point,' But What Does That Actually Mean?

We've Passed The Carbon Dioxide 'Tipping Point,' But What Does That Actually Mean?September is typically the low water mark for the yearly atmospheric CO2 levels, but what does it mean when they don’t drop as low as expected? The basic problem climate scientists have discovered is that this year the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere hasn’t dipped below 400 parts per million (as measured from Hawaii’s Mauna Loa observatory). Considering that carbon dioxide gas most commonly associated with climate change, that’s a bad thing.

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