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Massive Fuel Spill in Siberia Blamed on Melting Permafrost – or Climate Change

massive fuel spill in siberia blamed on melting permafrost – or climate change

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A massive fuel spill in Siberia prompted Russia to declare a state of emergency in the region as the mining company involved said the catastrophe may have been caused by climate change.
Scientists have warned for years that thawing of once permanently frozen ground covering more than half of Russia is threatening the stability of buildings and pipelines. Greenpeace said last week’s accident was the largest ever in the Arctic region, and likened it to the Exxon Valdez spill off Alaska in 1989.
The cause of the spill, in which 20,000 tons of diesel leaked from a reservoir owned by MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC, hasn’t been determined but the company has suggested it could be the result of damage from melting permafrost. The rate of warming in the Arctic is twice as fast as the rest of the world.
“The cause is yet to be determined and is likely a combination of both climate change and infrastructure-related factors,” said Dmitry Streletskiy, a professor at George Washington University.
The fuel spill in Norilsk is polluting land and rivers that drain into a lake linked to the Kara Sea. The lake that links to the Kara Sea has already been …

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Virus could hamper Africa’s climate change response : IMF – France 24

virus could hamper africa’s climate change response : imf – france 24

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Issued on: 04/06/2020 – 16:58Modified: 04/06/2020 – 16:57

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Johannesburg (AFP)
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Thursday warned that coronavirus could further weaken sub-Saharan Africa’s ability to adapt to climate change, as measures to contain the pandemic stretch limited resources.A recent study on the impact of rising temperatures and extreme weather events on growth suggests sub-Saharan Africa — the region most vulnerable to climate change — will be hit 60 percent harder than the average for other emerging markets and developing economies.Details of the analysis show that economic activity in the region can shrink by one percent in a month when that month’s average temperature is 0.5 degrees Celsius (0.9 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than average.The IMF, which released the study on Thursday, called on policymakers not to sideline responses to climate change in dealing with coronavirus.”Containing and managing the COVID-19 pandemic is taking a toll on already limited fiscal space and raising debt vulnerabilities in sub-Saharan Africa,” said the report, adding that coronavirus funding could also be used to “simultaneously address climate change”.The IMF pointed to “intrinsic links” between viral outbreaks, environmental destruction and man-made pollution that weakens humans’ immune systems.”Adaptation to climate change would also benefit …

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Huge Spill Stains Arctic and Climate Change Could Be the Cause

huge spill stains arctic and climate change could be the cause

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(Bloomberg) –A massive fuel spill in Siberia prompted Russia to declare a state of emergency in the region as the mining company involved said the catastrophe may have been caused by climate change.Scientists have warned for years that thawing of once permanently frozen ground covering more than half of Russia is threatening the stability of buildings and pipelines. Greenpeace said last week’s accident was the largest ever in the Arctic region, and likened it to the Exxon Valdez spill off Alaska in 1989.The cause of the spill, in which 20,000 tons of diesel leaked from a reservoir owned by MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC, hasn’t been determined but the company has suggested it could be the result of damage from melting permafrost. The rate of warming in the Arctic is twice as fast as the rest of the world.“The cause is yet to be determined and is likely a combination of both climate change and infrastructure-related factors,” said Dmitry Streletskiy, a professor at George Washington University.The fuel spill in Norilsk is polluting land and rivers that drain into a lake linked to the Kara Sea. The lake that links to the Kara Sea has already been affected, …

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In rare bipartisan bill, U.S. senators tackle climate change via agriculture

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. senators on Thursday introduced a bipartisan bill that would direct the Agriculture Department to help farmers, ranchers and landowners use carbon dioxide-absorbing practices to generate carbon credits, a rare collaboration on climate change. FILE PHOTO: Republican Senator Mike Braun speaks during a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, U.S., May 20, 2020. Al Drago/Pool via REUTERS/File PhotoThe proposed Growing Climate Solutions Act directs the USDA to create a program that would help the agriculture sector gain access to revenue from greenhouse gas offset credit markets. The bill is co-sponsored by Republican Senators Mike Braun of Indiana and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and Democratic Senators Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan. The bill would establish USDA-certified protocols for farmers, ranch and forest owners seeking to develop projects that can generate offset credits under existing programs. It would offer a new revenue stream for farmers, ranchers and land owners suffering from the economic impacts of global trade tensions and the coronavirus. Landowners and farmers can generate credits and earn money for activities ranging from reforestation to sequestering carbon in soil to capturing methane from …

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Guest Commentary: Entire 9th Circuit Court should hear climate change case brought by children

guest commentary: entire 9th circuit court should hear climate change case brought by children

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By Lisa Patel and Hannah Perrin“Where is the hope in today’s decision? Plaintiffs’ claims are based on science, specifically, an impending point of no return. If plaintiffs’ fears, backed by the government’s own studies, prove true, history will not judge us kindly. When the seas envelop our coastal cities, fires and droughts haunt our interiors, and storms ravage everything between, those remaining will ask: Why did so many do so little?” 
– Judge Josephine Staton, dissenting in Juliana v. United States (9th Cir. 2020)
Pediatricians do not usually cite appellate court decisions, but Judge Josephine Staton’s dissent in the landmark Juliana v. United States rings out like a clarion call.
The young plaintiffs are suing the government for violating their constitutional right to life by creating a national energy system that causes climate change. On Jan. 17, in a split 2-1 decision, a panel on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the case, telling the plaintiffs to take their case to the executive and legislative branches, despite the fact that most are too young to vote.
As front-line health care workers who see the catastrophic consequences of failed public policy, we write to support the youths’ effort to …

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How South Korea, France, and Italy are using the Covid-19 response to fight climate change

how south korea, france, and italy are using the covid-19 response to fight climate change

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The United States has now put out several relief packages to deal with the economic impacts of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, and lawmakers are considering even more.
But a glaring hole in these economic stimulus proposals is aggressive new climate policies and targets, which are desperately needed as that crisis accelerates.
Democrats have some environmental stimulus proposals under consideration, like $550 billion for clean transportation investment. Yet at the same time, some Republican lawmakers are also pushing for bailouts of the fossil fuel industry.
In the past few months, however, cities, businesses, and governments in other parts of the world have already shown that even while fighting off a deadly virus, they can take steps to mitigate the other massive catastrophe of climate change.
With clear roads, clear skies, oil prices plummeting, businesses needing bailouts, and political capital to spend, countries like South Korea, Italy, and France have decided that the pandemic response is an opportunity to rethink energy, infrastructure, industry, and government in ways to cut pollution and reduce emissions contributing to climate change.

The #EUGreenDeal offers a chance to transform our societies and our planet for the better. We need a strong economic and recovery model that gives back …

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Ignoring Climate Change Risks Market Chaos

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Photograph by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

The
S&P 500
reached a record high on Feb. 19, crowning a decade-long bull market and the United States’ longest economic expansion. Over the next 22 trading days, the S&P fell more than 30%, faster than ever before. The speed of the fall revealed just how few market participants anticipated any immediate risk of a pandemic-induced recession. Yet investors had plenty of warning. For over a decade, experts had forecast the high probability of a global pandemic and the resulting damage to human health and economies. Still, when evidence of such a pandemic began to emerge, it was largely ignored. The markets waited until the forecasted risk was not just at our doorstep but in our house.
Scientists are increasingly raising the alarm about an even more economically destructive risk—climate change. The Fourth National Climate Assessment, released in 2018, predicted that the U.S. economy could shrink by up to 10% annually if significant steps are not taken to rein in global warming. Leaders in the world of business and finance have begun to recognize and warn corporations about sizable economic near-term risks from climate change. Like the threat of a pandemic, these warnings have been largely …

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A New Weapon Against Climate Change May Float

a new weapon against climate change may float

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FERROL, Spain — A strange-looking contraption that could represent a new frontier in clean energy wallowed in the water alongside a coal dock here in a bay in northwest Spain.This floating windmill with a tower about 600 feet high was sheltering in the harbor. After waiting out the rough winter seas and the disruption from the coronavirus pandemic, it was towed in late May to join two others anchored in the Atlantic in 330 feet of water 11 miles off Viana do Castelo on the northwest coast of Portugal.The idea is to try to stake out a vast new area of the oceans for the wind power industry. Generating electricity from wind began on land, but developers, led by Orsted of Denmark, started venturing into the sea in the early 1990s as they sought wide-open spaces and to escape the objections of neighbors to having a twirling monster next door.Three decades later, offshore is now the fastest-growing segment of the wind business, but marine wind farms have been limited to water shallow enough to allow turbines to sit on piles or other supports on the sea bottom. About 200 feet in depth is the outer limit for such devices, people in the …

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Can Adirondack lake trout survive climate change?

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New York State Department of Environmental Consevation aquatic biologists inspect a lake trout during a survey of lake trout populations in several Adirondack lakes. Photo: Mary Thill, Adirondack Nature ConservancyJun 04, 2020 — Lake trout require a lot of cold, oxygenated water to survive. Lakes in the Adirondacks of upstate New York are at the southern edge of their natural range. Although about 100 Adirondack lakes and ponds are still home to lake trout, even a small increase in temperature could sharply cut that number. Martha Foley and Curt Stager discuss the long-term prospects of a signature Adirondack aquatic species.
Martha Foley: Let’s talk about lake trout, because there’s been a pretty intense study done of the lake trout populations in the Adirondacks, and unfortunately, how that relates to climate change.
Curt Stager: Yeah, it’s really interesting work. Mary Thill, a researcher with the Nature Conservancy has put out this amazing summary of what do we know about lake trout and what are the environmental challenges they’re facing, and it struck me, as someone who likes to go fishing, that I’ve really overlooked lake trout in favor other things, brook trout or bass.
MF: Yeah, I assume that they’ …

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