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Category Archives:

Global Warming

Tokyo’s Hot Olympic Summer

No sport can escape the impacts of a changing climate. Less snow and ice, higher temperatures, and extreme weather events such as storms and heatwaves, all affect competitors and spectators alike.

“Climate change is one of the biggest challenges humanity has ever faced, affecting sport alongside so many other human activities,” says Marie Sallois, IOC Director for Corporate and Sustainable Development.

“Sporting events must constantly adapt to the impacts of climate disruption, and the Olympic Games are no exception. As a global event with a huge visibility, the Games also carry the responsibility to take effective action to address it.”

Committed to a more sustainable future, the Olympic Movement has already taken significant steps to reduce its own footprint and contribute to a climate-friendly society. Both Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 are aiming to be carbon neutral.

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West Coast Wildfire Smoke Spreads All the Way to NYC

Wildfire smoke from Canada and the Western United States stretched across the continent this week, covering skies in a thick haze and triggering health alerts from Toronto to Philadelphia. Air quality remained in the unhealthy range across much of the East Coast on Wednesday morning as the haze pushed southward.

In recent weeks, a series of near-relentless heat waves and deepening drought linked to climate change have helped to fuel exploding wildfires. In southern Oregon, the Bootleg Fire grew so large and hot that it created its own weather, triggering lightning and releasing enormous amounts of smoke. But more than 80 large fires are currently burning across 13 American states, and many more are active across Canada.

Now, the effects are being felt thousands of miles from the flames.

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New York State Hits Solar Milestone with 3 Gigawatts Installed

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced three gigawatts of solar have been installed across the state, enough to power more than half a million homes, underscoring New York’s leadership in growing one of the strongest solar markets in the nation. Since the launch of the NY-Sun initiative in 2011, solar has grown 2,100 percent statewide and declined in cost by 69 percent while fostering approximately 12,000 jobs across the state. When combined with the projects that are under development, achieving today’s milestone represents 95 percent of Governor Cuomo’s goal to install six gigawatts of solar by 2025, as mandated in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

“Solar energy is a key component in New York’s transition to a clean energy economy as we work to reduce harmful emissions across the board and address the dual challenges of fighting climate change and rebuilding stronger post-pandemic,” said the governor. “The success of NY-Sun demonstrates we are on track to meeting our nation-leading energy goals while stimulating green job growth and economic recovery in communities across the state as part of our comprehensive plan to reimagine New York following the pandemic.”

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Heat Domes & the Future of the Electric Grid

Last week, Lytton, a small town in British Columbia, Canada, broke its nation’s all-time temperature reading three days in a row as temperatures soared as high as 121 degrees. Days later, the village largely burned to the ground as extreme wildfires spewed smoke and ash 55,000 feet into the sky.

Now, southwest Canada and much of the western United States are bracing for another bout of exceptional heat amid a pattern that could once again place records in jeopardy. Death Valley, Calif., might spike to 130 degrees.

Temperatures up to 25 degrees above average could dominate most of the West this weekend into next week, with little relief in sight for quite some time. Odds favor anomalously hot and dry conditions to prevail into the fall.

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The New Normals: How U.S. Weather Has Changed Since 1900

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration last week issued its latest “climate normals”: baseline data of temperature, rain, snow and other weather variables collected over three decades at thousands of locations across the country.

Updated every 10 years, the normals are used by TV meteorologists when they tell you that today’s blisteringly high temperature was 10 degrees above normal for that location and date, for instance, or that a single heavy downpour brought more rain than is typical for an entire month.

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Emissions Cuts Could Sharply Curb Sea Level Rise

Scientists on Wednesday reported another reason the world should sharply rein in global warming: doing so would likely cut in half the current projected amount of sea level rise from the melting of ice this century.

In a study that averaged results of hundreds of computer simulations from research teams around the world, the scientists said that limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius could reduce sea level rise from melting glaciers and the vast Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets from about 10 inches to about five by 2100.

That level of warming, equivalent to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, is the stricter of two targets set by the 2015 Paris agreement to combat climate change.

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