January 8 News: Commission Urges New York City To Better Prepare For Climate Change

A new commission formed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, charged with figuring out how New York should adapt in the long term to cope with worsening storms amid climate change and population growth, has recommended an extensive menu of programs. [New York Times]

The development of Alberta’s oil sands has increased levels of cancer-causing compounds in surrounding lakes well beyond natural levels, Canadian researchers reported in a study released on Monday. And they said the contamination covered a wider area than had previously been believed. [New York Times]

Two recent studies have shed some light on how climate change is helping fuel the assault of bark beetles, and what’s likely to happen in a world that continues to warm. [Climate Central]

Now that President Obama has proposed new national security Cabinet members, the White House may be able to move to the Energy Department and Environmental Protection Agency. [The Hill]

Natural gas companies have yet to flock to Otsego County, New York, located at the foot of the Catskills. But the debate between supporters and critics is so caustic it is as if rigs were already sinking pipe into every farm and backyard. [New York Times]

The intense drought that crippled much of the growing season for numerous states in the nation’s mid-section in 2012 is showing little sign of easing early in the new year, weather officials say. [Wichita Eagle]

Barge operators on the Mississippi River say the worst drought in 80 years may put at risk the emergency dredging and rock removal aimed at keeping the nation’s busiest waterway open at least for this month. [Bloomberg]

Australia is baking in a record-breaking “dome of heat”, threatening to unleash the worst firestorms since those that claimed hundreds of lives in 2009. Temperatures reached almost 48 °C on Monday at the Oodnadatta airport in South Australia, and 43 °C on Tuesday in Sydney. [New Scientist]

17 Responses to January 8 News: Commission Urges New York City To Better Prepare For Climate Change

  1. Will Fox says:

    Pulling Carbon Dioxide Out of Thin Air

    Published: January 5, 2013

    WHETHER streaming from the tailpipes of cars or the smokestacks of so many power plants and factories, carbon dioxide emissions keep growing around the globe.

    Now a Canadian company has developed a cleansing technology that may one day capture and remove some of this heat-trapping gas directly from the sky. And it is even possible that the gas could then be sold for industrial use.

    Carbon Engineering, formed in 2009 with $3.5 million from Bill Gates and others, created prototypes for parts of its cleanup system in 2011 and 2012 at its plant in Calgary, Alberta. The company, which recently closed a $3 million second round of financing, plans to build a complete pilot plant by the end of 2014 for capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, said David Keith, its president and a Harvard professor who has long been interested in climate issues.

    Read more:

  2. fj says:

    We don’t need any more clueless commissions in New York. We need people who know how to reinvent the built and mobile environments to be carbon zero, climate agile and completely independent of fossil fuels and the financial instruments supporting these critical initiatives.

  3. fj says:

    Somehow this seems to be much better done by the world’s oceans which already naturally sequester about half the atmospheric carbon dioxide and have huge amounts of untapped energy to further process it to eliminate its danger and even transform it into useful forms.

  4. fj says:

    And, a terrific arena for the fossil fuel industry to reinvent itself with wartime growth potential.

  5. An additional roundup of energy and climate headlines for 1/8 is posted at

  6. fj says:

    This is what the currently visionless fossil fuel industry should be telling Obama.

  7. Byron Smith says:

    Australia has already broken it’s average national maximum and some models predict the local maximum could well be exceeded in the next few days. The Bureau of Meteorology has had to add new colours to their temperature projection maps to handle projections over 50ºC (122ºF).

  8. Byron Smith says:

    Grrr – errant apostrophe in previous comment.

    Also, has already broken record for most consecutive days with a national average over 39ºC.

  9. wili says:

    This video on the probability of abrupt sea level rise comes highly recommended (thanks to prokaryotes at the open thread at RC for the link):

    “Slip Slidin’ Away – Ice sheets and sea level in a warming world ABRUPT SLR (IN METERS) A LIKELIHOOD”

    New lecture video with Richard Alley.

    It would seem that part of their preparation for climate change must be to abandon all permanent structures within 3 meters (at least) of the current sea level. (See especially the last ten minutes or so.)

    That covers a whole lot of real estate.

    As far as I know, no one with any authority is saying anything remotely close to this, yet this is what the science is saying could happen at any time.

  10. Jim Baird says:

    There are no dry holes with an OTEC platform.

  11. prokaryotes says:

    I think the worst of this scenario would be the Tsunami.

    Comment’s on the topic at CS are welcome too :)

  12. Jim Baird says:

    Convert the heat that is causing thermal expansion to productive use. In the process you move 20 times more ocean heat to a depth of 1000 meters where the coefficient of expansion is half what it is at the surface.

    And by the way that tropical ocean heat causes storms like Sandy which also move heat towards the poles which exacerbates the sea level problem by melting icecaps. And of course it also melts the permafrost which will release methane ……..

  13. prokaryotes says:


    When you fight with a pig you both get dirty – but the pig likes it

  14. Joan Savage says:


    Dutch try heated cycle tracks and glow in the dark roads

    8 January 2013 Last updated at 01:32 ET

    A team of Dutch designers is pioneering technology to make winter journeys even safer for and more attractive to cyclists.

    Reflective crystals make lines in the road more visible in poor light, while other roads are getting underground heating.

    Anna Holligan reports from Zwolle.
    Share this page

  15. David B. Benson says:

    In the long term New York City faces abandonment. People can’t live under the water.

  16. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Good to see that there are still some Canadian scientists, ME