Trump’s just-named EPA chief is a climate change denier

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It almost sounds like farce, except it’s true: President-elect Donald Trump has tapped a climate-change denier to run the federal agency in charge of reducing the nation’s planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions.

Trump on Wednesday nominated Scott Pruitt, the Republican attorney general in oil-rich Oklahoma, to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Trump transition officials told reporters.

Pruitt has a long record of suing the agency he has been nominated to lead, including opposing the agency’s Clean Power Plan, which seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.  Read more…

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Google’s data centers, offices will use 100% renewable energy in 2017

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Google will power 100 percent of its sprawling data centers and offices with renewable energy starting next year.

The tech giant on Tuesday said it had bought enough wind and solar power to account for all the electricity it uses globally each year. That means the servers handling your Google Maps requests, storing your backlog of unread Gmails and holding the work of aspiring YouTube stars will use only emissions-free energy. 

Last year, just 44 percent of Google’s power supplies came from renewables, the company said.

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Interview: Al Gore on commiserating with Hillary, fake news, and Trump’s climate views

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Imagine being a fly on this wall: Former vice president Al Gore commiserated with Hillary Clinton about her unexpected presidential election loss, he told Mashable in a recent interview. 

On the election, if there is anyone who can empathize with Clinton’s predicament, it’s Gore—the only other living person who earned more popular votes while also losing the Electoral College, and therefore, the presidency, when he ran in 2000 against George W. Bush. 

Hillary Clinton, right, accompanied by former Vice President Al Gore, left, takes the stage for a rally in Miami, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016.

Hillary Clinton, right, accompanied by former Vice President Al Gore, left, takes the stage for a rally in Miami, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016.

Image: andrew harnik/ap Read more…

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So, that happened: Al Gore meets with Donald and Ivanka Trump on climate

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Former vice president Al Gore met with President-elect Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka on Monday, to discuss climate change. 

The president-elect is a well-known climate change doubter—and now, the only climate change-denying global leader—who’s taken a stance on climate issues in direct opposition to that of Gore and the world’s scientists, who believe global warming is primarily human-caused, and warrants urgent action.

After the meeting, Gore told the press that the meeting was “a sincere search for common ground,” and “extremely productive.”

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NASA photo reveals a startling 300-foot-wide rift in Antarctic Ice Shelf

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The breakup of the massive Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica is getting closer and will eventually produce an iceberg the size of Delaware prowling the Southern Ocean, according to new NASA data. 

On Friday, NASA released an astonishing new image taken by researchers flying above the ice shelf on Nov. 10 showing the crack is getting longer, deeper and wider. Scientists think it will eventually cause a large section of the shelf to break off.

The scientists associated with a NASA field campaign known as Operation IceBridge measured the Larsen C fracture to be about 70 miles long, more than 300 feet wide and about a third of a mile deep.  Read more…

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A dreaded carbon time bomb lurks beneath your feet

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There are many uncertainties when it comes to global warming, from how quickly the planet’s ice sheets will melt to how global leaders will enact rapid emissions cuts. One nagging scientific uncertainty concerns a rather unsexy topic: the soil. As in, the ground beneath your feet. 

There is growing concern that terrestrial soils, which are the Earth’s largest reservoir of carbon outside of the oceans, will switch from being a net absorber of greenhouse gases to a net source. 

This can happen as microbes in the soil break down organic matter more quickly, thereby releasing carbon dioxide. As Arctic soils warm, these microbes will go to work there for the first time, emitting what had been carbon frozen in the ground into the atmosphere. Read more…

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Bernie burns House Science Committee after devastating Breitbart retweet

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The House of Representatives’ Committee on Science, Space and Technology sent a tweet on Thursday linking to an article on the conservative media outlet Breitbart, saying that Earth’s temperatures are in a “plunge.” 

Judging from reactions on Twitter — one of which was a stinging burn tweeted by Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont — many are finding it deeply and sadly ironic that the Science Committee doesn’t recognize the overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is real and influenced by human activity.

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Global warming blowout: Record highs beat record lows by 51-to-1 ratio in November

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As the planet warms in response to the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the ratio of high temperature records compared to low temperature records has become more skewed. If the climate weren’t warming, that long-term ratio should average out to about 1-to-1. 

However, that isn’t the world we’re living in. A 2009 study found that the record highs to lows ratio was 2-to-1 for the lower 48 states during the 2000s, and this disparity has only grown since then. Projections show the imbalance increasing in coming decades as global warming continues.

Keeping in mind that individual months show considerable variability in weather patterns, it’s clear that over the long-term, the ratio of record highs to record lows is now strongly favoring record highs as well as record warm overnight temperatures. This is consistent with computer model projections of a warming world.  Read more…

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Arctic air poised to invade the U.S. after record warm November

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The fall of 2016 has been astoundingly warm across much of North America, but indications are that this is about to change in a big way.

So, consider yourself warned. 

November will go down in the record books as one of the weirdest such months on record, with North America’s climate stuck on “roast,” at least compared to average temperatures for this time of year, the Arctic setting records for unusual warmth and low sea ice coverage, and Siberia locked in snow and cold that is even frigid for, well, Siberia. 

It now appears that some of that cold, though not the heart of it, is poised to slosh eastward and then south, into Alaska, Canada and the U.S.  Read more…

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Justin Trudeau’s love fest with environmentalists ends with tar sands pipeline approvals

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Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has approved two of three controversial oil pipelines that, if built, could knock Canada off its course to meeting its climate change commitments, opponents say.

Trudeau on Tuesday signed off on Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline as well as Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline, both of which would carry crude oil from Canada’s tar sands region in Alberta to global markets. 

He rejected a third pipeline, Northern Gateway, which the prime minister said “wasn’t in the best interests of affected communities.”

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