Headlines 9/19/12

Here are the headlines from this week!  Read, share, comment!

US Drought Keeps Expanding –  “The worst drought conditions in the lower 48 states expanded for the third week in a row as the level of moderate-to-worse drought hit a high for the year, the U.S. Drought Monitor said.  Exceptional drought, the most severe category on a four- step scale, now covers 6.23 percent of the region, an increase from 6.14 percent last week, according to the Monitor, based in Lincoln, Nebraska. The category peaked Aug. 21 at 6.31 percent.  The four levels combined increased to 64.16 percent from 63.39 percent last week, the highest this year, the Monitor reported. The previous high was 63.86 percent on July 24.”

New Zealand River Gains Legal Voice –  “Under a landmark agreement, signed in New Zealand earlier this summer, the Whanganui River has become a legal entity with a legal voice.  The agreement is the result of over a hundred years of advocacy by the Whanganui iwi, an indigenous community with a long history of reliance on the river and its bountiful natural resources.”

Arctic Sea Ice Interactive – The Guardian has had excellent coverage around the Arctic Sea Ice and climate change, and this is a very revealing interactive tool.

Expert Predicts Final Collapse of Arctic Ice in Four Years  –  “A global disaster.”

Vanishing Ice is Planet’s White Flag of Surrender – “This new great melting heralds… the gravest of threats to civilization. Removing the lid from the pole will release heat equivalent to fast-forwarding human-caused climate change by two decades, say scientists.”

Staggering Decline of Sea Ice at the Front of Climate Change – “The vast polar ice cap, which regulates the Earth’s temperature and has been a permanent fixture in our understanding of how the world works, has this year retreated further and faster than anyone expected. The previous record, set in 2007, was officially broken on 27 August when satellite images averaged over five days showed the ice then extended 4.11 million sq km, a reduction of nearly 50% compared to just 40 years ago.”

Arctic Melt May Trigger Extreme European Winter – “The record loss of Arctic sea ice this summer may mean a cold winter for the UK and northern Europe. The region has been prone to bad winters after summers with very low sea ice, such as 2011 and 2007, said Jennifer Francis, a researcher at Rutgers University.”

Race is On as Ice Melt Reveals Treasures –  “NUUK, Greenland — With Arctic ice melting at record pace, the world’s superpowers are increasingly jockeying for political influence and economic position in outposts like this one, previously regarded as barren wastelands.  At stake are the Arctic’s abundant supplies of oil, gas and minerals that are, thanks to climate change, becoming newly accessible along with increasingly navigable polar shipping shortcuts. This year, China has become a far more aggressive player in this frigid field, experts say, provoking alarm among Western powers.”  When will we learn?


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