May 25 News: On Memorial Day Weekend, Large Parts Of U.S. Leap Straight To Mid-Summer Heat

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"May 25 News: On Memorial Day Weekend, Large Parts Of U.S. Leap Straight To Mid-Summer Heat"

A round-up of the top climate and energy news. Please post other links below.

Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer, but a large swath of the U.S. will skip right to mid-summer heat this weekend, likely breaking records and leading to one of the hottest Indy 500 races on record. [Climate Central]

We still have one more week left in May, but after a record-warm March and above-average temperatures on all but four days this month, Washington, D.C. is on track to record its warmest meteorological spring on record. [WaPo Weather Gang]

From a wind-power factory in this battleground state, President Obama urged Congress to extend tax credits he said would save jobs in the field of clean-energy production. [Los Angeles Times]

Villagers in windswept Barrow, Alaska fear that Shell’s seismic work and drilling will disturb the bowhead whale migration, forcing whales away from their food and whalers dangerously far offshore to catch them. Worse yet, they say, a spill could poison the whales. [New York Times]

Alaska has massive hydro, wind, geothermal and other renewable resources, but the state’s rural villages are chained to diesel and suffer oppressive energy costs they say threaten their existence. Lawmakers, energy experts and Native leaders said Thursday it’s a dire problem with elusive solutions. [Miami Herald]

California is poised to more than double its targeted electricity output from rooftop solar panels. [Los Angeles Times]

The United Nations chief, Ban Ki-moon, held out little hope on Thursday of an historic outcome at the Rio global development summit, now less than a month away, admitting negotiations had been “painfully slow.” [Guardian]

China hit back Thursday at claims it was holding up global climate talks in Germany, saying the United States, Europe and other rich states were the ones applying the brakes. [AFP]

The amount of radioactive materials released in the first days of the Fukushima nuclear disaster was almost two and a half times the initial estimate by Japanese safety regulators, the operator of the crippled plant said in a report released on Thursday. [New York Times]

 

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22 Responses to May 25 News: On Memorial Day Weekend, Large Parts Of U.S. Leap Straight To Mid-Summer Heat

  1. Additional energy and climate headlines for Friday May 25 are posted at http://www.marcaccicomms.com/news/energy-and-environment-news-roundup-5-25-12/

  2. Paul Magnus says:

    This also has implications for addressing GW…. this is the sort of effort we need to start doing right now to tackle the problem…

    Japan Nuclear Energy
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/25/japan-nuclear-energy_n_1544875.html

    “The government has therefore asked businesses and consumers in western Japan, where forecasts of power gaps are most acute, to cut summer usage by 15 percent from 2010 levels.

    If businesses and consumers manage without major glitches, support for an early exit from nuclear power will likely grow.

    “This summer will be the showdown for both pro- and anti-nuclear camps,” said Shoichi Kondo, a ruling Democratic Party lawmaker”

  3. Paul Magnus says:

    Oil Sands Pipeline to Canada’s West is Downsized
    http://www.accuweather.com
    A U.S. pipeline company revised the size of a pipeline that would carry oil sands crude to Canada’s West Coast.

  4. Paul Magnus says:

    The drought of 2011 cost $7.6 billion in crop losses, the most ever recorded, and forced ranchers to slaughter millions of animals, cutting Texas’ cattle herd to its smallest size since 1952.

    Now, as they try to recover and plan for the future, Galayda and Stryk share their stories, offering a peek at life during the worst one-year drought in Texas history.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/25/texas-drought-farmers-recovery_n_1544711.html

  5. Paul Magnus says:

    We know that not enough is being done. And ever closer creeps the possible apocalypse that we could have prevented. Most of the time we don’t talk to each other about the future very different world we have created by burning up fossil fuels in a kind of mad last minute party over the last two centuries. Yet the effects are creeping up on us. It is a surreal situation.

    http://www.earthtechling.com/2012/05/melancholia-the-psychology-of-climate-change-awareness/

  6. BillD says:

    To avoid stressing my lawn in northern Indiana, I decided to wait until after a good rain to mow. Unfortunately, it hasn’t rained since the first week in May. I am already watering my garden. The corn field next to my property looks good, but for how long? Are we already heading into a serious summer drought in the Midwest?

    Evidently record acerage of corn has been planted, but whether we will see good yields is an open question.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      Bill, just let the lawn die. We had eight years of drought here after we moved in, and the ‘lawn’ was a dustbowl, that sprung back to life when it, rarely, rained. The thing is a mass of weeds, including kikuyu, my bete noire, but it feeds the insects and they the birds. It’s green, right now, after the autumn rains, very belatedly, arrived.

  7. BillD says:

    This morning’s editorial (Fort Wayne Journal) talks about expansion of a BP refinery just south of Chicago (in Indiana) that will be the biggest refinery for Canadian tar sands. Evidently, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management gave BP an almost complete pass on air pollution. Fortunately, the USEPA and environmentalists intervened, and now BP will spend an extra $440 million to help reduce air pollution.

  8. Paul Magnus says:

    Flying is incompatible with tackling GW.

    India warns EU over airline carbon tax – CNN.com
    edition.cnn.com
    India has threatened to ban European airlines from its airspace if Brussels sanctions Indian carriers in a dispute over an EU plan to charge carriers for their pollution.

    • Paul Magnus says:

      “Air India, the national carrier, has been on the verge of bankruptcy for more than a decade despite government injections worth billions of dollars.
      Mr Singh said the latest bailout package, worth about Rs300bn ($5.4bn), could be the last one if the state-owned airline does not turnaround.

  9. Doug Bostrom says:

    I wonder if Eli Rabett is the only person who thinks Judith Curry should not be fostering homicidal maniacs on her website?

    Apparently Dr. Curry believes this is perfectly acceptable speech:

    When the popular perception of these “Never let a crisis go to waste” leftist pseudoscientists is such that they find themselves at risk of physical assault whenever and wherever they show themselves in public, we can slack off.

    and

    Knock them down. Kick them until they quit moving. Check for breathing. Repeat.

    and

    To preserve these rights against violent aggression, the individual has of necessity the right in morality and law to use deadly force (and the instruments of deadly force) in defense and retaliation.

    Dr. Curry doesn’t take this seriously. However, reading the entire thread it’s clear that the person authoring those comments has indulged in extended, detailed modeling of what should happen to people researching climate change. When does modeling stop and action begin? Who knows, but Curry shouldn’t be encouraging this person.

  10. Joan Savage says:

    http://www.sciencemag.org (subscription)

    Monitoring EU Emerging Infectious Disease Risk Due to Climate Change
    E Lindgren, Y Andersson, JE Suk, B Sudre, JC Semenza.
    27 April 2012 Vol 336; 418-419.
    (no abstract)

    The authors point to globalization and climate change, social and demographic drivers and public health system drivers as factors in the transmission of what were traditionally ” tropical” diseases in the EU.
    They present a chart of diseases, comparing potential severity to society with strength of link with climate change in Europe.

  11. Eli Rabett says:

    There was an NAS report a handful of years ago on emerging diseases fostered by climate change. The principle recommendation was increased monitoring to restrict clusters.

  12. David B. Benson says:

    WHO recently issued a preliminary report on radiation risks in Japan. Almost none.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      That would be the same WHO that made a secret agreement with the IAEA on 28 May, 1959 (WHA 12-40) which gave the IAEA the power of veto over WHO ‘investigations’ into the dangers of nuclear radiation. There are many reasons that the WHO has become, like most UN Agencies, seriously compromised by Western, especially US, diktat, but this secret agreement to downplay the dangers of nuclear radiation (as most dramatically illustrated over Chernobyl)is one of the most outrageous. As is the contempt of pro-nuclear apologists for the knowledge and intelligence of the informed public.

  13. _Flin_ says:

    Germany’s solar powerplants generated a power of 22.000 MW on the 25th of May, which is equivalent to 22 nuclear power plants. (link in german)

    http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/unternehmen/solarzellen-liefern-leistung-von-20-atomkraftwerken-a-835417.html

  14. Chris Winter says:

    Eli wrote: “There was an NAS report a handful of years ago on emerging diseases fostered by climate change. The principle recommendation was increased monitoring to restrict clusters.”

    In that regard, I would also recommend Changing Planet, Changing Health by Dan Ferber and the late Dr. Paul Epstein (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011).

    My review: http://www.chris-winter.com/Erudition/Reviews/Epstein_Ferber/Changing_Health.html

    Dr. Epstein also contributed to a 2011 paper, “Full cost accounting for the life cycle of coal”, which can be downloaded as a PDF. See:

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1749-6632.2010.05890.x/abstract

  15. Chris Winter says:

    Here in California, as the map indicates, it’s been unseasonably cool this Memorial Day weekend — even chilly at night. It was that way all of last week too.

    But I have no doubt we’ll see our share of hot days in summer and fall. And, the past winter having been unusually dry, we face another tough wildfire season.