Droughts such as the one currently gripping a majority of the U.S. may dramatically increase the odds of extremely hot days, a new study found. [Climate Central]
The study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, explores a dynamic that is playing out right now across the country, particularly in the Great Plains, where the severe drought is priming the atmosphere in favor of an above-average number of extremely hot days.
This occurs because of feedbacks between the ground and the air: as the soil and vegetation dry, more of the sun’s energy is able to go into heating the air directly, rather than going into evaporating moisture from plants and the soil.
With drought conditions intensifying during mid-summer, the study suggests that the U.S. may be in for particularly brutal Dog Days of August.
For many people, a trip to the supermarket has become a perilous journey of navigating aisles of expensive goods and even more expensive goods. And now, it might seem, a villain has been found – weather that has prompted drought conditions and damaged crops in much of the United States. [Los Angeles Times]
The White House recently modified an Environmental Protection Agency proposal to limit soot emissions, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post, inviting public comment on a slightly weaker standard than the agency had originally sought. [Washington Post]
A solar manufacturing plant in North Las Vegas that received millions of dollars in federal grant money closed Wednesday after only 14 months in operation. [Ventura County Star]
Arctic Ready and the accompanying “Let’s Go!” campaign is an elaborate hoax from Greenpeace and The Yes Lab aimed to increase awareness of Shell’s contentious plan to drill in the Arctic. The groups have harnessed social media, online video and gaming in a full-blown assault on Shell, which plans to begin exploratory drilling in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. [Huffington Post]
The average Chinese person’s carbon footprint is now almost on a par with the average European’s, figures released on Wednesday reveal. [Guardian]
New U.S. import tariffs have prompted China’s solar panel makers to buy more expensive supplies elsewhere and avoid the new duties, but prices for the renewable energy equipment continue to decline. [Reuters]