climate change | KUOW News and Information

climate change

Flickr Photo/Ecotrust

A White House report foretells more rain, droughts and  big storms due to climate change; Nisqually Indian civil rights leader and environmental activist Billy Frank, Jr. dies; and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray comes out against a city-only initiative to fund bus service in Seattle.

Steve Scher recaps the news of the week with Crosscut's Knute Berger, news analyst Joni Balter, The Stranger's Eli Sanders and LiveWire host Luke Burbank.

Week In Review Extra

Putting A Price On Carbon

May 7, 2014
Flickr Photo/tsuda

Steve Scher talks to Mikkal Herberg, a former oil industry strategist, about the global costs of climate change to developed and developing countries.

Ann Dornfeld / KUOW

Washington farmers can expect longer growing seasons, drier summers and increased risk of disease and pest outbreaks, according to some of the predictions in the National Climate Assessment released Tuesday.

Flickr Photo/Clark Maxwell (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Steve Scher speaks with Amy Snover, Director of the Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington, about the findings of the National Climate Assessment. The report, which was released Tuesday, is an extensive study on how climate change is affecting the United States. Snover was one of 300 experts consulted in the creation of the assessment.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has signed an executive order that calls for a new cap-and-market program to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Governor Jay Inslee.
Flickr Photo/GovInslee (CC-BY-NC-ND)

David Hyde talks with Grist writer David Roberts about Washington Governor Jay Inslee's efforts to combat climate change in the state.

RICHLAND, Wash. — A new climate study says pollution in Asia can influence weather over much of the world.

Researchers from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory helped develop a new type of climate model that was used to develop the study. It was published in the current issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

‘Our Right To Be Cold’ With Sheila Watt-Cloutier

Apr 3, 2014
Flickr Photo/Michael Ignatieff (CC BY-NC-ND)

“We have to fight for our right to be cold.”

Sheila Watt-Cloutier is an Inuit activist who tackles issues indigenous people are facing, including pollution and sustainability. She was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.

She spoke at the University of Washington’s Kane Hall on March 11, 2014, as part of the Graduate School lecture series.

"The effects of climate change are already occurring on all continents and across the oceans," and the world is mostly "ill-prepared" for the risks that the sweeping changes present, a new report from the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concludes.

Most climate models paint a bleak picture of the Great Plains a century from now as a hot region besieged by heavy rainstorms and flooding.

And new studies suggest that climate change may bring farmers another headache: more invasive plants.

Courtesy of University of Oregon

Can environmental laws protect the planet from climate change? They haven't so far, according to University of Oregon law professor Mary Wood. But she says one day they could.

Flickr Photo/Portland General Electric (CC BY-NC-ND)

They don’t have plans for a filibuster, since they lack a bill and a scheduled vote. But more than two dozen Democratic U.S. lawmakers do have a lot to say about the perils of climate change — along with a free Monday night and access to the floor of the U.S. Senate.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee is preparing to take action on an issue that could secure his legacy -- or complicate his re-election chances.

EarthFix Photo/Courtney Flatt

High up in Washington’s Blue Mountains, behind trees and across the Touchet River, is what locals call the Weeping Wall.

Water seeps through the permeable basalt and can freeze on the cliff’s moss-covered face. When the conditions are right, that creates a curtain of ice that is irresistible for ice climbers.

KUOW Photo/Ashley Ahearn

Hot on the heels of President Obama’s latest State of the Union address, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell came home to Washington to meet with scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Park Service.

But this wasn’t your usual boardroom PowerPoint session.

From Wikipedia.

Marcie Sillman talks with David Roberts, writer for the Seattle-based environmental magazine Grist, about a new report on climate change from the National Research Council.

AP Photo/Nelson Salting

Last Friday one of the strongest storms in recorded history struck the Philippines. According to the United Nations more than 11 million people are believed to be affected by Typhoon Haiyan. Over 670,000 people have been displaced. Entire towns have been devastated leaving many without water, shelter or any way of contacting their families at home and abroad.

We hear from Yeb Sano, who is in Poland serving as the head of the Philippines' delegation at the UN climate talks, and Seattle resident Justice Beitzel, who has lost five family members to the storm thus far.

5 Unexpected Ways Climate Change Will Impact The Northwest

Nov 12, 2013
EarthFix Photo/Katie Campbell

The hairy woodpecker may need more living space. Sea levels are rising. And reduced snowpacks are storing less water for the hydropower dams on the Columbia River. 

Florida — especially South Florida — is very flat and very low, and in places like Miami Beach and Key West, buildings are just 3 feet above sea level. Scientists now say there may be a 3-foot rise in the world's oceans by the end of the century.

Steve Scher talks with David Roberts, energy and politics writer for Grist, about the ambitious new climate change agreement brokered by Washington Governor Jay Inslee along with the governors of California and Oregon and the Premier of British Columbia. However, the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy has no legal value, leading critics to question its significance.

EarthFix Photo/Ashley Ahearn

UPDATE: 10/29/2013, 12 p.m. PT: 

The leaders of three West Coast states – including Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee – and the premier of British Columbia agreed on Monday in San Francisco to adopt and maintain low carbon fuel standards. Under the plan, Washington and Oregon commit to mirroring California and British Columbia’s existing clean fuel standards. 

Climate Change May Worsen Green Lake's Algae Blooms

Oct 25, 2013
Washington State Department of Ecology Photo

If you’re a Green Lake regular, you may have noticed the public health alerts on placards around the lake, warning you not to tread where neon green algae blooms have blossomed.

Historic gas pump
John Ryan

Investment advisors from across the country met on Friday in Seattle in hopes of cutting fossil fuels from the stock portfolios they manage.

The Melting Of Greenland

Oct 21, 2013
Gretel Ehrlich Photo

Rising tides signal an inarguable remaking of our physical world that is already underway and gaining momentum.

The US is especially vulnerable. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has listed the 20 most threatened coastal cities in the world, which include Miami, New York, New Orleans.

Photo courtesy of Jan Angel and Nathan Schlicher

A California billionaire has pumped $400,000 into the race for a single seat in the Washington state senate. Out-of-state businesses and political groups have poured tens of thousands into the election as well.

Courtesy of Nathan Myhrvold and the Cooking Lab Photography Team.

Nathan Myhrvold was the former chief technology officer at Microsoft when he took a leave to attend culinary school in France.

Now the CEO of Intellectual Ventures, a Bellevue company that buys and licenses patents, Myhrvold has taken food to a new level: photographing lentils under a microscope, shooting gelatin and eggs and blending wine, which he says takes the edge off a young wine.

Hotter Summers Mean More Health Risks In Urban Heat Islands

Oct 2, 2013
Cassandra Profita / Earthfix

PORTLAND – On hot summer days, 74-year-old HelenRuth Stephens doesn't dare leave her apartment. Not to get the mail or take out the trash.

Katie Campbell / Earthfix

SAMMAMISH, Wash. — A photograph displayed in Jacki and John Williford’s home commemorates a camping trip that would go down in family history.

Courtney Flatt / Earthfix

HOOD RIVER, Ore. — For 20 years, Victor Gonzales has traveled the West picking crops. In the Northwest that means pears, cherries and apples.

Right now, he’s working at a Hood River pear orchard. In the summer, temperatures here can reach 100 degrees. Gonzalez remembers one day when he’d been working really hard, sweating more than normal.

Gonzales felt like he was going to pass out. He was shaky and very sleepy, he says through a translator. Instead of sleeping, he went to the farmworker housing unit and drank a lot of water and rested until he recovered.

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