Arctic sea ice is set to reach its lowest ever recorded extent as early as this weekend, in “dramatic changes” signalling that man-made global warming is having a major impact on the polar region. [Guardian]
With the melt happening at an unprecedented rate of more than 100,000 sq km a day, and at least a week of further melt expected before ice begins to reform ahead of the northern winter, satellites are expected to confirm the record – currently set in 2007 – within days.
“Unless something really unusual happens we will see the record broken in the next few days. It might happen this weekend, almost certainly next week,” Julienne Stroeve, a scientist at the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado, told the Guardian.
A spokesman for President Obama’s reelection campaign suggested Thursday that climate change is unlikely to take center stage in the 2012 White House battle, noting that Obama’s contrast with GOP rival Mitt Romney is already apparent. [The Hill]
The wells supplying people’s homes are running dry here at the heart of the nation’s drought, which the government announced on Thursday has spread to 63.2 percent of the country, centered in the parched earth of the southern Midwest. [New York Times]
The worst U.S. drought in more than half a century has rallied critics of the federal renewable fuel standard, which will reserve about 40% of the nation’s corn crop for ethanol production this year. [Los Angeles Times]
Police in Indiana say they’re finding an unexpected benefit to the drought baking the American Midwest: Marijuana crops are easier to find. [NBC]
The Republican National Convention is only three days away, and Tropical Storm Isaac is threatening to crash the party. The big question is will it just filch a few hors d’oeuvres and clear out, or wreck the entire affair? [New York Times]
Fires across the West have left some states with thin budgets to scramble to get people, planes, bulldozers and other tools on fire lines to beat back the flames. [National Public Radio]
Climate change and the subprime mortgage crisis share two trends: They had early signs that some people ignored or denied, and they can strain the economy, experts said Wednesday. [Bozeman Daily Chronicle]