Clean Start: August 4, 2011

Welcome to Clean Start, ThinkProgress Green’s morning round-up of the latest in climate and clean energy. Here is what we’re reading. What are you?Oppressive heat and record temperatures baked the southern Central Plains on Wednesday with the mercury soaring to a blistering 115 degrees in one Arkansas town, breaking a record set in the 19th century. [Reuters]

The National Weather Service issued heat advisories for parts of 15 states today, nearly all in the South, stretching from a sliver of Southern California to North Carolina. [CNN]

Last week’s heat, which reached a record 101 degrees on Friday, contributed to the deaths of 11 Maryland residents, state health authorities said Wednesday, raising the season’s total to 21. [Washington Post]

The heat wave in the Chicago area has killed two more men, pushing up the number of heat-related deaths since May to 18 killed, officials said. [Chicago Tribune]


A South Carolina high school freshman football player and Dallas area assistant coach have collapsed and died in the heat. [Manolith]

The official heat-related death toll in Oklahoma has risen to 13 and ten more under investigation, as Oklahoma City hit a record 109°. [Oklahoman]

Haiti braced for another potential natural disaster Thursday as slow-moving Tropical Storm Emily loomed just off the coast. [Miami Herald]

Arctic ice cover receded to near record lows this summer, opening elusive northern trade routes from Asia to the West, Russia’s climate research agency said on Wednesday. [Reuters]

A new study, conducted by NOAA scientists and published online August 3 in Nature, shows that cutting emissions in greenhouse gases other than carbon dioxide is needed to slow changes in climate. [Science Daily]


New research by USDA scientists finds that increased CO2 offsets the direct effects of warming on soil water content for warm-season grasses, but it is unlikely to offset more severe drought due to combined warming and reduced precipitation projected for many regions of the world. [USDA]

Based on US crop production and transport, scientists determined which American regions are agricultural carbon sinks and carbon sources. [PNNL]

The U.S. government said it will ask a judge to dismiss a New York lawsuit that seeks to force a fuller environmental review of how natural-gas fracking could affect 9 million water drinkers in the state. [Bloomberg]

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s fisheries aide has resigned and faces prison time after admitting to breaking commercial fisheries laws. [Anchorage Daily News]

Texas ranchers and meat markets say the price of beef is going up and will continue to rise over the next few years, and the drought is to blame. [KCBD]

The severe drought in Texas is even causing problems for cotton farmers who use irrigation. [KCBD]