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We can't let climate change turn droughts, flash floods and mudslides into the new normal | Rep Michael Honda and Michael Shank

Guardian climate change - Thu, 18/12/2014 - 18:39

Holding out for winter rain or implementing short-term fixes won’t fix California’s water crisis. We need action on the state, federal and international level

Between power outages, deluging rains, flash floods, mudslides and record droughts, California is quickly becoming unrecognizable – all the bellwethers of an ecosystem out of whack. Thanks to a rapidly changing climate making wet regions wetter and dry regions drier, 2014 will be the hottest year on record – and, if we’re not careful, the Bay Area’s recent #HellaStorm will soon become the norm.

Everyone in the state knows the severity of the problem: we’re in the midst of our worst drought in 1,200 years; our winter snow pack, which provides approximately one-third of the state’s water supply, was at record lows in 2014; last winter’s weather was the warmest in the last 119 years; and ocean surface temperatures off the coast of California are at record highs. The wrath of a warming planet is being felt more powerfully than ever before.

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Categories: News

French National Front launches nationalist environmental movement

Guardian climate change - Thu, 18/12/2014 - 10:21

Extreme right accused of inconsistent stance on environmental issues with the launch of eco-nationalist New Ecology movement

The launch of a ‘New Ecology’ movement by France’s National Front (FN) this week has been condemned by environmentalists as opportunistic and inconsistent.

The far right eco-nationalist grouping was launched by Marine Le Pen, with a ‘patriotic’ platform of opposition to international climate talks and support for France’s nuclear industry.

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China's largest coal power plant violating air pollution levels every week

Guardian climate change - Thu, 18/12/2014 - 05:00

Waigaoqiao plant in Shanghai releasing dangerous nitrogen oxides in excess of national emission standards, study finds

China’s largest coal-fired power plant has been violating national emission standards for chemicals that cause dangerous fine particulate matter pollution, official figures show.

The Waigaoqiao coal-fired power plant located in Shanghai has been violating China’s national standards for nitrogen oxides every week since new standards came into force in July, according to analysis of publicly available government data by researchers at Greenpeace East Asia.

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The best science books of 2014: Biology | @GrrlScientist

Guardian climate change - Wed, 17/12/2014 - 17:24

Today, I share a list of what I consider to be the best popular biological sciences books of the year, hoping that you’ll find lots of interesting and unusual ideas for all the biology buffs on your holiday gift-giving list!

Continuing on with the theme I started recently, I am naming some of the popular science books in the biological sciences that I think are the best of 2014. The biological sciences are an even larger genre and more difficult-to-define than is nature writing, but it includes evolution, genetics, zoology, animal behaviour, botany, conservation, ecology and the environment.

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2014 will be the hottest year on record | John Abraham

Guardian climate change - Wed, 17/12/2014 - 14:00

According to data from NOAA, 2014 is sure to set a new temperature record

For those of us fixated on whether 2014 will be the hottest year on record, the results are in. At least, we know enough that we can make the call. According the global data from NOAA, 2014 will be the hottest year ever recorded.

I can make this pronouncement even before the end of the year because each month, I collect daily global average temperatures. So far, December is running about 0.5°C above the average. The climate and weather models predict that the next week will be about 0.75°C above average. This means, December will come in around 0.6°C above average. Are these daily values accurate? Well the last two months they have been within 0.05°C of the final official results.

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Italy says it will oppose EU plans to scrap environment law

Guardian climate change - Wed, 17/12/2014 - 10:42

Eleven member states signed letter opposing withdrawal of draft EU law on air quality and waste

Plans by European policymakers to scrap a draft EU law on air quality and waste send a “negative signal” about Europe’s ambition to curb climate change and governments will challenge them, the Italian environment minister said on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the European commission laid out its legislative plans for 2015, saying it would focus on priorities such as jobs and economic growth. At the same time, it planned to withdraw some proposals made by the previous EU executive, including on improving air quality and cutting waste.

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Europe's record hot year made at least 35 times more likely by climate change, say scientists

Guardian climate change - Wed, 17/12/2014 - 05:00

2014 is set to be Europe’s warmest year on record and greenhouse gas emissions played a major role new research shows

This year is on track to be the warmest ever recorded in Europe, and greenhouse gas emissions played a major role, according to new research. Scientists have analysed centuries of temperature records to conclude that this year’s warmth was made at least 35 times more likely because of climate change.

In the UK, this year’s weather included an unusually warm beginning to autumn, with hot sunny days continuing into late October. A team of researchers at Oxford found that the odds of such a warm year in this country had increased by a factor of 10.

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Climate change: global pressure will make Australia do more, says Cameron

Guardian climate change - Wed, 17/12/2014 - 03:29

British PM tells committee of MPs Australia does not want to be a ‘back marker’ on the issue and is clearly affected by climate change

Global pressure will force Australia to do more on climate change, Britain’s prime minister, David Cameron, has predicted.

Cameron told a committee of British MPs in London he sensed the Australian government recognised it did not want to be the international “back marker” on the issue.

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