NOAA: 2012 heat is ‘new normal’ for the climate

A summary of today’s top climate and clean energy stories.
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Melting Arctic ice has become the ‘new normal’ for the earth’s climate (Source: NOAA)


NOAA: Scientists say warming temperatures, rising sea levels and a melting Arctic are a ‘new normal’ for the earth’s climate, as they presented the annual NOAA 2012 State of the Climate summary. (NOAA)

Japan: Over two years after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan was devastated by a tsunami, radioactive water is still leaking into the ocean, spelling more trouble for the local fishing industry along the coast of Fukushima prefecture. (New Scientist)

Research: Arctic ice is losing its reflective sheen, according to a detailed analysis of 30 years of satellite data for the Arctic Ocean. (New Scientist)

Siberia: Temperatures in Siberia hit highs of 90 degrees Fahrenheit this July, and didn’t drop much below a high of 80 until just this week. Meanwhile, potentially record-breaking wildfires continue to rage, with over 22,200 acres of active burning. (Think Progress)

USA: Chesapeake Energy has given up trying to fight against New York’s ban on high-volume fracking and is allowing its leases in the state to expire. (Forbes)

Research: Sales of electric vehicles are on track to smash last year’s record as new models start to drive demand. (Business Green)

USA: Wind energy became the No. 1 source of new U.S. electricity generation capacity in 2012, according to a report released by the Energy Department on Tuesday. (LA Times)

UK: The Liberal Democrat Party is considering embracing nuclear power to help the UK decarbonise the electricity sector, in a move that would effectively end its long-standing opposition to the controversial energy source. (Business Green)

New Zealand: Weak emissions trading scheme and plans for oil and gas drilling raise questions over New Zealand’s climate strategy. (RTCC)

Politics: Climate impacts would be much worse if the Montreal Treaty had not been agreed in 1987 say scientists. (RTCC)

Costa Rica: Costa Rica’s ban on clearing of “mature” forests appears to be effective in encouraging agricultural expansion on non-forest lands, finds a study published today in the journal Environmental Research Letters. (Mongabay)

UK: In addition to its solar PV system, Blenheim Palace will be adding a hydro system capable of powering 18 homes. (RTCC)

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