August 27 News: U.S. Facing Its Worst Outbreak Ever Of West Nile Virus — Boosted By Record Warmth

The recent West Nile virus outbreak is the largest ever seen in the United States, according to new numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [CBS]

Why West Nile Virus Is a Self-Inflicted Wound. [Time]

Why has the summer of 2012 proved so hospitable to the West Nile virus and the mosquitoes that carry it? Like so much else that’s gone this season, blame the weather. An extremely mild winter throughout much of the country allowed more mosquitoes than usual to survive, while the unusually high temperatures this scorching summer further increased their numbers as well as speeding up their life cycle, causing more of the virus to build up in their salivary glands….

As the summer ends, so will West Nile season. But thanks to climate change, this isn’t likely to be the last time a disease we’d usually associate with the tropics makes its way into the U.S. The mosquito-borne dengue fever, which is endemic in much of the tropics, has been reported in south Texas, as well as the Florida Keys. The first U.S. case of  Chagas disease, a deadly Latin American infection transmitted by a cockroach-like bug that can feed on human blood, was reported last month. As the climate continues to warm worldwide, the zone of risk for all these diseases and even malaria could continue to expand.

[See also DotEarth: “Scientific research and assessments examining the link between human-driven climate change and malaria exposure have, for the most part, accurately gauged and conveyed the nature of the risk that warming could swell the ranks of people afflicted with this awful mosquito-borne disease.”]

Ignited by lightning strikes two months ago, a massive fire rages in Alaska and shrouds the surrounding area beneath a dark blanket of smoke. [NY Daily News]

Two wildfires in southern Spain forced the evacuation of around 1,000 residents, making this the worst summer in a decade for countryside devoured by flames, authorities said Sunday. [CBC]

The insurance industry faces its biggest ever loss in agriculture as the worst drought to hit the US in more than half a century devastates the country’s multibillion-dollar corn and soybean crops, triggering large claims. [CNN]

With its bid to launch offshore drilling in the Arctic Ocean running up against a deadline to protect against sea ice, Shell Alaska has requested an extension in its window for drilling in the Chukchi Sea. [Los Angeles Times]

Electric car drivers have crept into the corridors of power with the news that President Obama has approved plans for charging points to be installed in and around Congress. [Business Green]

Higher corn costs, brought on by the most severe U.S. drought in 56 years, has renewed attention on the 5-year-old federal mandate to increase the amount of ethanol blended into gasoline. [Tulsa World]

16 Responses to August 27 News: U.S. Facing Its Worst Outbreak Ever Of West Nile Virus — Boosted By Record Warmth

  1. catman306 says:

    Top 10 Videos of Recent Major Hurricanes to Hit the U.S. From NOAA satellites

  2. Paul Magnus says:

    This could be a tipping point year for the insurance industry….

  3. Michael T says:

    NSIDC says that Arctic Sea Ice has now broken the minimum daily extent set on September 18, 2007.

  4. NJP1 says:

    study the fossil records, and you’ll find that bugs haven’t changed in 100 million years.
    that simple fact should frighten everybody
    it means that they were here long before we got here, and will be here long after we’ve departed.
    It means that bugs rule the Earth, we are just temporary residents, and our antics in pretending that we run the place is beginning to annoy the landlords, particularly as we made every effort to bump them off.
    now they are regrouping in order to terminate our lease

  5. Paul Magnus says:

    Climate Change
    An Information Statement of the American Meteorological Society

  6. Paul Magnus says:

    It is just amazing that it has taken a meteorological body until now to accept the science of GW. How could this be?

    No wonder were in trouble!

  7. Paul Magnus says:

    “Final remarks

    There is unequivocal evidence that Earth’s lower atmosphere, ocean, and land surface are warming; sea level is rising; and snow cover, mountain glaciers, and Arctic sea ice are shrinking. The dominant cause of the warming since the 1950s is human activities. This scientific finding is based on a large and persuasive body of research. The observed warming will be irreversible for many years into the future, and even larger temperature increases will occur as greenhouse gases continue to accumulate in the atmosphere. Avoiding this future warming will require a large and rapid reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions. The ongoing warming will increase risks and stresses to human societies, economies, ecosystems, and wildlife through the 21st century and beyond, making it imperative that society respond to a changing climate. To inform decisions on adaptation and mitigation, it is critical that we improve our understanding of the global climate system and our ability to project future climate through continued and improved monitoring and research. This is especially true for smaller (seasonal and regional) scales and weather and climate extremes, and for important hydroclimatic variables such as precipitation and water availability.

    Technological, economic, and policy choices in the near future will determine the extent of future impacts of climate change. Science-based decisions are seldom made in a context of absolute certainty. National and international policy discussions should include consideration of the best ways to both adapt to and mitigate climate change. Mitigation will reduce the amount of future climate change and the risk of impacts that are potentially large and dangerous. At the same time, some continued climate change is inevitable, and policy responses should include adaptation to climate change. Prudence dictates extreme care in accounting for our relationship with the only planet known to be capable of sustaining human life.”

  8. Paul Magnus says:

    Canada Says ‘Anonymous’ May Attack Energy Firm Computers
    Canadian security agencies have warned energy companies such as Imperial Oil Ltd. their computers may be attacked by the Anonymous hacker group because of the industry’s work developing Alberta’s oil sands, government documents show.

  9. Paul Magnus says:

    Like a sports car driving on the wrong side of the road, Mitt Romney’s version of “drill baby drill” would have the entire country heading in the wrong direction.

  10. ColoradoBob says:

    I for one, welcome our new insect overlords.

  11. Paul Magnus says:

    As the oil bleeds away, so do we….

    The demise of the car

  12. Paul Magnus says:

    Definitely must see clips…

    Casual Conversation in the NE on Climate Change

  13. Paul Magnus says:

    Climate Portals shared a link.
    a few seconds ago

    Carbon price to be linked to European trading schemes
    Australia’s carbon price will be linked to that in the European Union from 2015 under a deal announced by Climate Change Minister Greg Combet today.

  14. Mulga Mumblebrain says: