Al Jazeera: Arctic way of living 'under threat' (video)

Al Jazeera's Nick Clark reports from Qerqertat, Greenland, the northernmost civilian community in the second of four reports  from the Last Ice Area -- the northwest coast of Greenland and Canada’s High Arctic Islands.

Al Jazeera: Tracking the effects of climate change (video)

Al Jazeera's Nick Clark reports from the Arctic as he travels from Qaanaaq, on the west coast of Greenland, to Canada. It is the third of four reports from the Last Ice Area -- the northwest coast of Greenland and Canada’s High Arctic Islands.

Al Jazeera: Arctic wildlife at risk from climate change (video)

Al Jazeera's Nick Clark reports from the northernmost civilian community in the fourth and final report in a special series from the Last Ice Area -- the northwest coast of Greenland and Canada’s High Arctic Islands.

The Melting North: Arctic Ice and Climate Change

When I was a kid, one of my prized possessions was a globe. No part of that globe fascinated me more than the Arctic, that amazing mass of white covering the top of the world.  But as we load the atmosphere with greenhouse gases, global warming is melting that polar ice.  On 26 August, sea ice extent had declined to 42 percent below the 1979-2000 median -- a reduction of extent equivalent to about one third of the entire land area of the United States. The globe we knew as children is disappearing before our eyes. Our politicians need to have an adult conversation  about these risks while we still have time.

Science Museum's Climate Change Photo Challenge

Do you have a good photo illustrating some action your community is taking to prepare for changing weather patterns, rising sea levels or other emerging impacts of climate change?  How about a photo showing ways in which your community is helping to reduce its carbon footprint?  If so, consider submitting it (by August 15, by 2 p.m. EDT!) to the Climate Change Photo Challenge of the Koshland Science Museum of the National Academy of Sciences.

A Tale of Two Droughts: As in '88, Will 2012's Weather Extremes Push Climate Change Higher on the National Agenda?

In 1988, America faced an extraordinary summer heat wave and an extensive drought that  helped to propel climate change into national politics.   Republican presidential candidate George H.W. Bush said that year: "Those who think we are powerless to do anything about the 'greenhouse effect' are forgetting about the 'White House effect.'''  In 2012, even more of the country has been afflicted by drought; and it is another election year.  Might we again hear of the "White House effect" this August? If there is to be any chance for a meaningful national conversation about climate change after the election, we have to hope that the candidates candidly address the issue before the election.

To Politicians Napping on the Fireline: Wake Up, Smell the Smoke and Act on Climate Change

Extraordinary wildfire conditions are among the indications that climate change is well underway in the Southwestern U.S.  Cities and towns in the region are responding, showing leadership where the federal government does not.  Alas, many of our elected representatives in Washington are napping on the fireline. They need to wake up, smell the smoke and take climate change seriously.

Colorado Congressman Wants Federal Support for Fossil Fuels -- and for Coping with their Climate Impacts

Congressman Cory Gardner, a freshman Republican representing a large part of northern and eastern Colorado, is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Gardner along with the majority of committee members, supports expanded U.S. production of fossil fuels. Pollutants released by those fuels are accumulating in the atmosphere and making his state and the rest of the Southwest hotter and drier. Gardner and many of his colleagues deny that fossil fuel use seriously threatens climate, and oppose regulation of greenhouse gases (GHGs) under the Clean Air Act. While they promote policies that undermine Federal efforts to address the threat of climate change, their home states and districts are experiencing weather extremes -- and impacts -- that foreshadow the ultimate consequences of such policies.  The High Park Fire in Gardner's district has torched 87,284 acres, burned 257 houses and has cost $33.5 million to suppress. To the south, in Colorado Springs, the Waldo Canyon Fire destroyed 346 homes this week, and threatens over 20,000 more homes.

National Public Radio: Researchers Observe Climate Change, First-Hand

National Public Radio's "Talk of the Nation" features a discussion of some of the changes scientists are witnessing and studying in the field as climate rapidly changes.  Guests include Craig Allen, research ecologist, United States Geological Survey; and George Divoky, director, Friends of Cooper Island (Alaska). 

Rising Temperatures Expose Cities' Vulnerable Electrical Supplies

A report  from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) released last week highlights the many ways infrastructure critical to American cities is vulnerable to weather extremes -- with some vulnerabilities well beyond city limits.  That infrastructure includes the electrical supply, transmission and distribution systems. Extreme summer heat drives up electricity demand for cooling; and can strain the systems and increase the risks of very costly and disruptive blackouts.

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