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A Chemical Reaction Revolutionized Farming 100 Years Ago. Now It Needs to Go

Anhydrous ammonia plant, ca. 1954. ROBERT W. KELLEY/TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES

Image: Anhydrous ammonia plant, ca. 1954. ROBERT W. KELLEY/TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES

wired.com - Sarah Zhang - May 16th 2016

Of all the elements that make up Earth’s atmosphere, nitrogen is by far the most abundant. It is also one of the most inert. Nothing happens when you breathe it in, swallow it, or let it suffuse your skin.

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World's carbon dioxide concentration teetering on the point of no return

 ‘We’re going into very new territory’: James Butler, of the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, says the amount of carbon dioxide is locking in future warming. Photograph: John Giles/PA Image: ‘We’re going into very new territory’: James Butler, of the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, says the amount of carbon dioxide is locking in future warming. Photograph: John Giles/PA

theguardian.com - May 11th 2016 -  Michael Slezak

The world is hurtling towards an era when global concentrations of carbon dioxide never again dip below the 400 parts per million (ppm) milestone, as two important measuring stations sit on the point of no return.

The news comes as one important atmospheric measuring station at Cape Grim in Australia is poised on the verge of 400ppm for the first time. Sitting in a region with stable CO2 concentrations, once that happens, it will never get a reading below 400ppm.

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Global Warming Cited as Wildfires Increase in Fragile Boreal Forest

The boreal region stretches across the Northern Hemisphere through Alaska, Canada, Scandinavia and Russia. Boreal forests are increasingly affected by fire and climate change.

Sources: Natural Resources Canada; Alberta Agriculture and Forestry; U.S. Geological Survey; University of Maryland - By The New York Times

Scientists say the near-destruction of Fort McMurray last week by a wildfire is the latest indication that the vital boreal forest is at risk from climate change.

nytimes.com - by JUSTIN GILLIS and HENRY FOUNTAIN - May 10, 2016

Scientists have been warning for decades that climate change is a threat to the immense tracts of forest that ring the Northern Hemisphere, with rising temperatures, drying trees and earlier melting of snow contributing to a growing number of wildfires.

The near-destruction of a Canadian city last week by a fire that sent almost 90,000 people fleeing for their lives is grim proof that the threat to these vast stands of spruce and other resinous trees, collectively known as the boreal forest, is real. And scientists say a large-scale loss of the forest could have profound consequences for efforts to limit the damage from climate change.

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COP21 - The Paris Agreement - United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

       

unfccc.int - April 22, 2016

CLICK HERE - COP21 - The Paris Agreement - United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

CLICK HERE - The Paris Agreement (16 page .PDF document)

CLICK HERE - Paris Agreement - Status of Ratification

CLICK HERE - Paris Agreement - information on signatories to the Agreement, ratification and entry into force

At COP 21 in Paris, Parties to the UNFCCC reached a historic agreement to combat climate change and to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low carbon future.

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Adapting To A More Extreme Climate, Coastal Cities Get Creative

Jeff Hebert, who is leading New Orleans' efforts to adapt to rising sea levels, stands at the site of the future Mirabeau Water Garden, a federally funded project designed to absorb water in residential Gentilly. Tegan Wendland/WWNO

Image: Jeff Hebert, who is leading New Orleans' efforts to adapt to rising sea levels, stands at the site of the future Mirabeau Water Garden, a federally funded project designed to absorb water in residential Gentilly. Tegan Wendland/WWNO

npr.org - April 13th 2016 - Tegan Wendland and Susan Phillips

Coastal cities across the globe are looking for ways to protect themselves from sea level rise and extreme weather. In the U.S., there is no set funding stream to help — leaving each city to figure out solutions for itself.

New Orleans and Philadelphia are two cities that face very similar challenges of flooding from rising tides.

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The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment

submitted by Albert Gomez 

CLICK HERE - The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment

Climate change is a significant threat to the health of the American people. This scientific assessment examines how climate change is already affecting human health and the changes that may occur in the future.

USGCRP, 2016: The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment. Crimmins, A., J. Balbus, J.L. Gamble, C.B. Beard, J.E. Bell, D. Dodgen, R.J. Eisen, N. Fann, M.D. Hawkins, S.C. Herring, L. Jantarasami, D.M. Mills, S. Saha, M.C. Sarofim, J. Trtanj, and L. Ziska, Eds. U.S. Global Change Research Program, Washington, DC, 312 pp. http://dx.doi.org/10.7930/J0R49NQX

https://health2016.globalchange.gov

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The economy is growing, but carbon emissions aren’t. That’s a really big deal

A general view on the chimneys of the Hsieh-ho Power Plant in Keelung, northern Taiwan, 17 November 2015. EPA/DAVID CHANG

Image: A general view on the chimneys of the Hsieh-ho Power Plant in Keelung, northern Taiwan, 17 November 2015. EPA/DAVID CHANG

washingtonpost.com - March 16, 2016 - Chris Mooney

Roughly a year ago, the International Energy Agency announced a wonky yet nonetheless significant development. Looking at data for the year 2014, the agency found that although the global economy grew — by 3.4 percent that year — greenhouse gas emissions from the use of energy (their largest source) had not. They had stalled at about 32.3 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide, just as in 2013.

The agency called this a “decoupling” of growth from carbon dioxide emissions, and noted that it was the “the first time in 40 years in which there was a halt or reduction in emissions of the greenhouse gas that was not tied to an economic downturn.” For decades prior to 2014, economic growth had pretty much always meant more pollution of the atmosphere, and a worsening climate problem.

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Climate Change Accelerating At 'Unprecedented' Rate

 A new report released by the World Meteorological Organization shows that climate change is accelerating at an "unprecedented" rate, warning that actions must be taken "before we pass the point of no return." (Photo : Getty Images )

Image: A new report released by the World Meteorological Organization shows that climate change is accelerating at an "unprecedented" rate, warning that actions must be taken "before we pass the point of no return." (Photo : Getty Images )

hngn.com - March 21, 2016 - Samantha Mathewson

A new report from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) suggests global climate change is advancing at an alarming and "unprecedented" rate.

Last year's extreme weather broke a series of records, including global temperatures, exceptional rainfall, devastating droughts, unusual cyclone activity and intense heat waves. And while 2015 proved to be the warmest year worldwide, 2016 is expected to far exceed those records.

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The Link Between Zika and Climate Change

           

Miriam Araujo holds her son Lucas, who was born with microcephaly, in Sao Jose dos Cordeiros, Brazil.

Researchers are beginning to tease out the environmental factors that play a role in helping the virus to spread.

theatlantic.com - by Greg Mercer - February 24, 2016

Last year, a team of researchers made a surprising discovery: Aedis aegypti mosquitoes—the species that spreads West Nile Virus, dengue, chickungunya and, most recently, Zika—were living year-round in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, D.C. In a paper published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, the researchers wrote that the mosquitoes had been living in the area since at least 2011, biting and reproducing in the summer months and likely riding out the winter underground. Previously, scientists had believed that the mosquitoes couldn’t survive year-round anyplace north of South Carolina.

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NASA, NOAA Analyses Reveal Record-Shattering Global Warm Temperatures in 2015

2015 was the warmest year since modern record-keeping began in 1880, according to a new analysis by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. The record-breaking year continues a long-term warming trend — 15 of the 16 warmest years on record have now occurred since 2001. Credits: Scientific Visualization Studio/Goddard Space Flight Center

nasa.gov - January 20, 2016

Earth’s 2015 surface temperatures were the warmest since modern record keeping began in 1880, according to independent analyses by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Globally-averaged temperatures in 2015 shattered the previous mark set in 2014 by 0.23 degrees Fahrenheit (0.13 Celsius). Only once before, in 1998, has the new record been greater than the old record by this much.

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