Nick Sundt's blog

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Former EPA Administrator William K. Reilly: On Climate Change, Cities May "Save Us From the Ideological Gridlock in Washington"

William K. Reilly, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1989-1992) under President George H.W. Bush, on Tuesday (8 November 2011) said that cities in America and the rest of the world face "an urgent need for adaptation and renewal."  Speaking at the National Building Museum after receiving its Vincent Scully Prize, he said that "the degree to which those cities are planned for long-term sustainability in the face of now-certain climate change may affect their very survival."

White House Reports on Climate Change Adaptation, as Communities Face Rising Impacts Without National Strategy

The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) on Friday (28 October 2011) released a second annual progress report from the government’s Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force.  Despite the significant progress summarized in "Federal Actions for a Climate Resilient Nation," the U.S. still has no national strategy for adapting to climate change, leaving America dangerously unprepared for climate conditions that are becoming more extreme and disruptive. With Washington (and the field of presidential candidates) largely AWOL in responding to climate change, the burden shifts to cities and towns across the country to face these growing extremes mostly on their own.  Fortunately, some communities and businesses around America  are beginning to prepare.  Unfortunately, those cities and businesses are the exception, not the rule.

Iconic Coca-Cola Red Cans Turn Arctic White

The Coca-Cola Company and World Wildlife Fund Partner to Protect the Polar Bear’s Home.

NASA Reports Third Warmest June-August on Record Globally as Dramatic Videos are Released Showing Consequences for Walruses

NASA has just released global temperature data for June-August 2011, showing that it was the third warmest June-August on record, with the largest temperature departures from normal concentrated at the poles.  In the Arctic, where sea surface temperatures in some areas reached record levels in August, sea ice declined to record or near-record levels. The U.S. Geological Survey and videographer Dan Zatz released today (13 September 2011) dramatic videos of walruses hauled-out along the Alaska shoreline of the Chukchi Sea -- leaving little doubt of the epic proportions of the disruption being felt in the region as it rapidly warms.

As the Costs of Extreme Weather Rise, Americans Cannot Afford Denial

As costly climate extremes exact a mounting toll on the U.S. economy and further strain the Federal budget, the path forward is clear: acknowledge and better understand the growing threat posed by climate variability and change, do what we can to slow climate change by sharply reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improve our weather forecasts and climate projections, and prepare ourselves for future impacts. Yet ideologues are pushing an opposite agenda: deny climate change and systematically eviscerate the Federal government’s efforts to address it. They are leaving Americans dangerously unprepared, saddled with the rapidly mounting costs of increasingly extreme weather. 

Number of Walruses Hauled Out near Point Lay, Alaska, Swells to over 20,000

Just weeks before Arctic sea ice extent reaches a record or near-record annual low, observers estimate that over 20,000 walruses have hauled-out near Point Lay, Alaska.  The aerial observers also have spotted dead walruses on their flights over the Chukchi Sea.

8,000 Walruses Congregate along Alaska Shoreline, Unable to Find Sea Ice Near Feeding Areas (Photo)

We reported on 12 August 2011 that walruses, driven ashore by the lack of Arctic sea ice over shallow waters, were starting to "haul out" along the Alaskan shores of the Chukchi Sea.  Airborne observers now report that by 17 August, "[a]pproximately 8,000 walruses were observed hauled out on land slightly north of Point Lay [Alaska]."  A panoramic photo shows the two immense haul-outs spotted during the survey flight.

Earth Hour 2012 Global Official Video

Earth Hour 2011 embraced 5,251 cities and towns in 135 countries and territories and reached an estimated 1.8 billion people worldwide. Our new video, backed by acclaimed Icelandic rock band Sigur Rós, showcases the passion of this year's Earth Hour participants from all corners of the globe, celebrating the planet and taking action beyond the hour.  Mark your calendar for Earth Hour 2012: 31 March 2012, 8:30 pm!

Arctic Weather Pattern Likely to Push Arctic Sea Ice Extent to Record Lows, Again Forcing Thousands of Walruses Ashore

Radio-tagged walruses are hauling out on the shoreline of Alaska's Chukchi Sea, three weeks earlier than in 2010.

Arctic Sea Ice Decline and its Impacts: Online Resources

Driven by climate variability and change, the extent and volume of Arctic sea ice will drop to one of the lowest levels on record this September. We provide links to resources on past, present and projected Arctic sea ice trends and the consequences in the Arctic and globally.

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