CONAHEC News and Information

Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019

What does it mean to be alive right now? Right now. Right this second, right this epoch, as mankind alters the Earth beyond recognition.

In Arizona, in the summer, the pinyon pines don’t smell like they used to, says Nikki Cooley, and the wind sometimes feels in error, like it’s blowing the wrong way, at the wrong time of year. She knows these are feelings, not data, but she is measuring them nonetheless.

Thursday, Feb. 07, 2019

Whether it's a deadly cold snap or a hole in an Antarctic glacier or a terrifying new report, there seem to be constant reminders now of the dangers that climate change poses to humanity.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., think they have a start to a solution. Thursday they are introducing a framework defining what they call a "Green New Deal" — what they foresee as a massive policy package that would remake the U.S. economy and, they hope, eliminate all U.S. carbon emissions.

That's a really big — potentially impossibly big — undertaking.

Thursday, Feb. 07, 2019

According to new reports published Wednesday, the last five years—from 2014 to 2018—are the warmest years ever recorded in the 139 years that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has tracked global heat. And 2018 was the fourth hottest year ever recorded.

Friday, Feb. 01, 2019

On its website, the University of Farmington advertised an innovative STEM curriculum that would prepare students to compete in the global economy, and flexible class schedules that would allow them to enroll without disrupting their careers. The Michigan-based school touted the number of languages spoken by its president (four) and the number of classes taught by teaching assistants (zero.) Photos of the campus showed students lounging around with books on a grassy quad or engaged in rapt conversation in its brightly lit modern library.

Friday, Feb. 01, 2019

Researchers say a massive cavity the size of two-thirds of Manhattan was found under a glacier in Antarctica. The pocket is a sign of "rapid decay" and just one of "several disturbing discoveries" made recently regarding the glacier, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said in a news release Wednesday.

"[The size of] a cavity under a glacier plays an important role in melting," said Pietro Milillo of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "As more heat and water get under the glacier, it melts faster."

Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019

Coastal residents, be advised. Not only is climate change causing the oceans to creep upward, it’s making the waves that pound the shore more powerful, according to new research.

Scientists studying the energy contained in ocean waves, which is measured by a metric called wave power, found that wave power has been increasing in direct association with the warming of the ocean surface.

The study was developed at the Environmental Hydraulics Institute at the University of Cantabria in Spain. The results were published last week in the journal Nature Communications.

Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019

The day after President Trump posted a tweet suggesting extreme cold temperatures in the Midwest cast doubt on the existence of global warming, the climate service for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) tweeted a cartoon explaining warming oceans result in more extreme winter weather.

Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019

A Duke University administrator who advised graduate students by email to speak English while on the campus will step down immediately as director of graduate studies in biostatistics, the university announced. 

On Friday, Megan Neely, who is also an assistant professor of biostatistics and bioinformatics, emailed students in the program to report that two faculty members had asked her for pictures to identify graduate students. She said the professors wanted to identify some students who were speaking Chinese in a student lounge area.

Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019

From chronically flooded Midwestern towns to fire-charred California suburbs, from Bangladesh’s sodden delta to low island nations facing rising seas, a long-underplayed strategy for cutting risks related to human-driven climate change is coming to the fore—adaptation.

Through 30 years of efforts to limit global warming, the dominant goal was cutting emissions of heat-trapping gases, most importantly carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels. Efforts to adapt communities or agriculture to warming and the related rise in seas and other impacts were often seen as a copout.

Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019

During the darkest days of the drought that has gripped the western U.S. since the early 2000s, fires raged and crops withered. Dust storms rolled across plains and valleys. And rivers shriveled from north to south.

But the drought had less obvious effects on climate and the environment, too: Low river flows drastically hampered the amount of carbon-free electricity that could be produced by the thousands of hydroelectric power plants dotted along rivers and reservoirs across the West.

(Learn more about how the West is drying out, slowly but surely.)