US to restore El Niño monitoring array, but seeks international collaboration

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has announced that it will restore a network of moored buoys in the equatorial Pacific Ocean that serves as an early warning system for periodic and disruptive warming events, known as El Niños.  Read more

Q&A on the forest agreement in Warsaw

Building on several years of negotiations, countries inked a major agreement on forest conservation at the United Nations climate talks in Warsaw on 23 November. The deal formally integrates forest conservation into the international climate agenda by enabling wealthy countries to offset their emissions by paying poor tropical countries to protect their forests.  Read more

UN climate talks conclude with a whimper, and a new forest policy

After two weeks of frustration and controversy, negotiators departed the United Nations climate talks in Warsaw Saturday with a landmark agreement on forests and a rough roadmap to the next headline summit in Paris two years hence.  Read more

Updated: White House announces Energy Department nominees

President Barack Obama today nominated Franklin “Lynn” Orr, a chemical engineer at Stanford University in California, as under secretary for science at the Department of Energy. Orr’s nomination was accompanied by that of Marc Kastner, a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, to head the department’s office of science.  Read more

National laboratories prepare to shut down

National laboratories prepare to shut down

With no end in sight for the US government shutdown that began on 1 October, the Department of Energy (DOE) is now preparing to shut down the sprawling complex of national laboratories that maintains nuclear weapons and performs a range of basic and applied research.  Read more

EPA proposes emissions limits for new power plants

Following through on President Barack Obama’s climate strategy, the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday proposed greenhouse gas regulations that would effectively ban coal-fired power plants unless they are equipped to capture and sequester a portion of their carbon dioxide emissions.  Read more

New York releases climate assessment and a plan for urban adaptation

Shortly after Hurricane Sandy hammered the eastern seaboard last October, more than a dozen scientists on the New York City Panel on Climate Change reconvened to begin work on a new assessment. The results were released today by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and they served as the basis for a $20-billion urban planning initiative that seeks to prepare the city for extreme weather and rising tides in the decades to come.  Read more

Political thaw raises hopes for refrigerant regulations

Political thaw raises hopes for refrigerant regulations

This week China budged. Depending on one’s perspective, it wasn’t much of a concession. The country agreed, in essence, to do what it and everybody else had already agreed to do back in 2007: accelerate the phase out of a common class of ozone-eating refrigerants that double as powerful greenhouse gases. But rather than haggling over prices each step of the way, China made it simple and cut a single deal – worth up to $385 million – to eliminate hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) between now and 2030.  Read more