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Eco News 2023

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Summary

This document provides environmental news and information including news of droughts, flooding, rising oceans, and more. Entries are listed in chronological order with source and date in the heading. For information on flooding, read “Flooding News 2023.”

Last year’s eco reports include:

  • Ecosystem Restoration Report 2022 [View]
  • Global Flooding News 2022 [View]
  • Green Energy Report 2022 [View]
  • Green Hydrogen Report 2022 [View]
  • Rising Sea Levels 2022 [View]
  • Small-Scale Solar 2022 [View]
  • Water Scarcity News 2022 [View]
  • Wildfire News 2022 [View]
  • Wildlife Habitat News 2022 [View]
  • Winter Storm News 2022 [View]

2023 News

CNBC (14 Nov 2023)

“Why Oil Giants Shell And BP Are Investing In U.S. Farmland” — Through partnerships with solar energy developers, oil giants BP and Shell are investing in an emerging industry called agrivoltaics, which combines solar energy generation with agricultural activities such as sheep grazing, beekeeping and crop production. This multi-use land management strategy could help alleviate the tension between farmers and solar developers, two groups that often find themselves at odds when it comes to matters of land use. [Source]

PBS (14 Nov 2023)

“Latest climate assessment reveals how much climate change is costing Americans” — The National Climate Assessment shows America is warming faster than the global average with climate change impacting nearly every facet of life. It found extreme weather events now cost the U.S. roughly $150 billion per year. Amna Nawaz discussed the report with Katharine Hayhoe, chief scientist of the Nature Conservancy and distinguished professor at Texas Tech University. [Source]

CNN (6 Nov 2023)

Blazing fires, biblical floods and catastrophic storms are becoming increasingly common but they could be just a taste of things to come. Scientists say our planet is teetering towards a number of climate “tipping points” which could cause irreversible changes to the place we all call home. From the Antarctic ice sheet to the Amazon rainforest, the consequences of climate change can be seen right now – but it’s not the only threat to the natural world. In a series of graphics, we take a look at some of the biggest environmental challenges facing our planet. Human activities including logging, pollution, overfishing and urban development are driving a staggering loss of biodiversity. Global wildlife populations plummeted by 69% on average between 1970 and 2018, according to WWF’s Living Planet Report 2022. [Source]

60 Minutes (14 Aug 2023)

“American Prairie: Restoring bison to northern Montana with a patchwork nature reserve” — In one of the most remote parts of the country, a nonprofit organization is working to create the largest nature reserve in the contiguous United States with hopes of restoring several species of wildlife. [Source]

CBS (13 Aug 2023)

“Survivor of Maui wildfire: ‘Everything we had in the past is gone'” — One of the deadliest wildfires in the United States in recent years leveled homes and businesses on the lush Hawaiian island of Maui this past Tuesday. Correspondent Jonathan Vigliotti reports on how residents and tourists were caught off-guard by the fast-moving flames, turning postcard-perfect Lahaina into ruins, as officials warn the number of dead could rise significantly in the weeks to come. [Source]

Channel 4 (13 Aug 2023)

“Hawaii wildfires deadliest in the US in over 100 years” — The Governor of Hawaii has warned the number of people who have died in the wildfires will rise, making this the deadliest fire in the US for more than a hundred years. [Source]

NBC (10 Aug 2023)

“At least 36 killed by raging wildfires in Hawaii” — At least 36 people have been killed and many others remain unaccounted for after homes and business in the historic town of Lahaina were engulfed in flames sparked by wildfires in Hawaii. Some people were seen jumping into the Pacific Ocean to escape the inferno. NBC’s Miguel Almaguer reports for TODAY. [Source]

PBS NewsHour (10 Aug 2023)

“Antarctic sea ice at record lows as global temperatures rise” — As temperature records fall all over the planet this summer, scientists are also increasingly concerned about what’s happening to the sea ice around Antarctica. William Brangham reports. [Source]

60 Minutes (7 Aug 2023)

“The largest offshore wind farm in the world” — Off the coast of Grimsby, England, more than 300 wind turbines produce electricity to help power over 2 million homes a day. Sharyn Alfonsi reports on how the turbines work and how the project has been received. [Source]

ThePrint (5 Aug 2023)

“A whole Mexico missing from Antarctica” — While there is a trend of antarctic ice extent being erratic on a yearly basis, the deviation this year from average expected ice formation is statistically so significant that scientists everywhere are extremely worried. Today, if all the ice missing from Antarctica made up the surface of a country, it would be the tenth biggest country in the world. ThePrint #PureScience, Sandhya Ramesh explains. [Source]

Channel 4 (4 Aug 2023)

“The threat of melting sea ice and marine heatwaves in the Antarctic” — It’s as stark a warning as you can get – the sea ice is melting and marine heatwaves are making some oceans as hot as a relaxing bath. [Source]

DW News (4 Aug 2023)

“The science behind heat domes” — Temperature records have been breaking all over, as our Earth registers some of the hottest periods ever measured. Correspondent David Pogue explains how a “heat dome” has been driving up temperatures, and how extreme heat is affecting residents of Phoenix, where there has been a rise in hospital admissions for heat stress. [Source]

DW News (4 Aug 2023)

“Ocean warming: The dramatic impact on the environment” — The world’s oceans are warmer than ever. The past month’s been the hottest on record with the average temperature reaching 21 degrees Celsius. Data from research institutes in the United States and Europe show record temperatures of 38 degrees off the coast of Florida. Waters in the North Atlantic near the North Pole are also much warmer than normal at this time of year. Scientists are unsure about the causes – but warn the effects will be felt across the world. Martin Visbeck is an oceanographer at the GEOMAR Ocean Research Center in the German city of Kiel. We asked him to explain what is happening there and why we’re getting these record temperatures now? [Source]

BBC News (28 Jul 2023)

“Hundreds of firefighters continue to battle wildfires across Europe” — Wildfires continue to spread across Europe and the Mediterranean, with hundreds of firefighters tackling fires in countries like Italy and Greece. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has said his country needs to take more steps to combat the effects of climate change. The BBC’s Bethany Bell and Sofia Bettiza report from Rhodes and southern Italy. [Source]

Guardian (27 Jul 2023)

“Ring of fire encircles Mediterranean amid record breaking heatwave” — Wildfires spread across nine Mediterranean countries, killing at least 40 people, most of them in Algeria. Algerian authorities said 34 people had died in the mountainous northern region, with neighbouring Tunisia similarly battling wildfires. [Source]

Al Jazeera (26 Jul 2023)

“Scientists warn Gulf Stream could collapse as early as 2025” — Scientists are warning that a crucial tipping point could be reached in 2025 – that would see the start of the collapse of the Atlantic Gulf Stream – if global emissions were not reduced. The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, known as AMOC, drives the Atlantic’s currents – by pushing warm water from the Gulf of Mexico northwards, towards the Arctic, where it cools and sinks. It last collapsed during the previous ice age around 12,000 years ago – and could have catastrophic impacts for humanity. Sea levels would rise around the East Coast of North America – and storms would worsen in Europe. While rains in Asia, Africa and South America would be disrupted – causing issues for food production for billions of people. Matthew England is an ocean and climate dynamics professor at the University of New South Wales. His Antarctic-focussed work is very similar to this latest study. He Joins us live from Sydney to discuss this. [Source]

CBS Mornings (25 Jul 2023)

“Phoenix set to break monthly temperature record as historic heat wave persists” — An unrelenting heat wave in the U.S. is about to spread even farther, to the northern part of the country. Nicole Sganga reports from Phoenix, where temperatures are set to break more records. [Source]

NBC News (25 Jul 2023)

“Wildfires force thousands of evacuations from Greek islands amid extreme heat” — Thousands of tourists on the Greek islands of Rhodes and Corfu have been forced to evacuate as extreme heat and wildfires grip much of southern Europe. NBC News’ Josh Lederman has the details. [Source]

TODAY (25 Jul 2023)

“Extreme heat spreads north and east as hospitalizations rise” — The record-shattering heat wave in the U.S. is spreading to major cities across the Midwest and Northeast while millions face the risk of severe storms and possible tornadoes. NBC’s Maggie Vespa reports and Al Roker tracks the latest forecast for TODAY. [Source]

BBC News (24 Jul 2023)

“U.S. will continue to get warmer, weather will become more extreme, climate scientist warns” — Michael Mann, distinguished professor and director of Penn Center for Science, Sustainability and the Media, joins “CBS Mornings” to discuss the record-breaking heat and extreme weather and why he believes it isn’t too late to slow the human impacts on climate change. [Source]

BBC News (22 Jul 2023)

“Climate change: Broken records leave Earth in ‘uncharted territory'” — A series of climate records on temperature, ocean heat, and Antarctic sea ice have alarmed some scientists who have said their speed and timing is unprecedented. [Source]

Guardian (21 Jul 2023)

“Half of the planet is burning: how heatwaves engulfed the northern hemisphere” — Heatwaves are ripping through North America, Europe, and Asia, with the global hottest day ever recorded at the start of July. [Source]

DW News (13 Jul 2023)

“Climate change – Averting catastrophe” — In the last 30 years, CO2 emissions have increased by 60 percent worldwide. The most pressing problem facing our civilization is global warming. What solutions could there be? This documentary accompanies activists in their efforts to combat climate change. [Source]

CBS News (12 Jul 2023)

“Extreme heat, flooding threatens millions across U.S.” — More than 100 million Americans were under heat alerts Wednesday night — with more than a dozen states reporting “feels like” temperatures in the triple-digits. While parts of the West cope with heat, swaths of the Northeast are disaster zones after heavy rain and catastrophic flooding. CBS News’ Omar Villafranca and Meg Oliver report. [Source]

PBS NewsHour (11 Jul 2023)

“Eastern U.S. hit with flooding as heat wave drags on in West and South” — Extreme weather is making an impact from one end of the country to the other. Ferocious heat and heavy rains persisted Monday and millions of Americans were left to cope and clean up. Stephanie Sy reports on flooding in the eastern U.S. and discusses the streak of 110-plus-degree days in Phoenix with David Hondula. [Source]

ABC News (10 Jul 2023)

“Vermont governor declares state of emergency as state faces catastrophic flooding” — With more rain ahead, Vermont could face its worst flooding since Hurricane Irene in 2011. [Source]

CNN (3 Jul 2023)

“Hear how McDonald’s could help save the earth” — New research suggests that cows could play a part in finding a solution for reducing CO2 emissions which could aid the fight against climate change. CNN’s Bill Weir has more. [Source]

CBS News (20 Jun 2023)

“Melting Himalayan glaciers pose serious dangers to humans, report finds” — The world’s tallest mountains are losing ice — which could pose a serious danger to humanity. That’s according to a new report from the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development, an agency that oversees the Hindu Kush Himalayas. Izabella Koziell, deputy director general of the agency, joins CBS News to break down the findings. [Source]

DW News (20 Jun 2023)

“How catastrophic rising ocean temperatures are for the environment” — Scientists say that over the past three months, water temperatures in the North Atlantic have set new records. It has not only created problems for marine life in region but is expected to affect air temperatures worldwide. For more on this we talk to Samantha Burgess. She is deputy director at the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service which supports the EU’s adaptation and mitigation policies by providing information about climate change. [Source]

CBS Mornings (16 Jun 2023)

“At least 3 dead, dozens injured after tornado hits North Texas” — Three people in Texas are dead after a tornado tore through Perryton, home to about 8,000 people. CBS News’ Omar Villafranca takes a look at the devastation from the severe weather hitting the South. [Source]

PBS NewsHour (15 Jun 2023)

“Scientists issue increasingly dire warnings as ocean surface temperatures spike” — The ocean is rapidly heating up, hitting record-breaking levels. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that ocean surface temperatures spiked in April and May to the highest levels recorded since the 1950s. All this could have dangerous consequences for aquatic life, hurricane activity and global weather patterns. Amna Nawaz discussed what’s happening with Kevin Trenberth. [Source]

CNBC (12 Jun 2023)

“How 3M And DuPont Are Being Sued Over ‘Forever Chemicals’ In Water” — Maine recently joined a growing list of states suing chemical manufacturers over toxic “forever chemicals,” or PFAS, claiming significant harm to residents and natural resources. An estimated 64 million people across the U.S. are affected by drinking water contaminated with the chemicals. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, even tiny exposure to PFAS in drinking water could pose a serious health risk. Watch the video above on how 3M faces a bellwether trial over PFAS that could set the tone for future lawsuits. [Source]

PBS (11 Jun 2023)

“2 out of 3 North American bird species face extinction. How we can save them” — As the climate crisis worsens, so does pressure on wildlife. The number of birds in North America has declined by 3 billion in the last 50 years. Brooke Bateman, director of climate science at the National Audubon Society, joins Ali Rogin to discuss why and what can be done to preserve and renew the populations of bird species at risk of extinction. [Source]

10 Tampa Bay (4 Jun 2023)

“Seaweed containing deadly flesh-eating bacteria found at some Florida beaches” — The seaweed has been washing up on some Florida beaches. [Source]

VICE (10 Jun 2023)

“How Corporate America’s Toxic Waste Destroys Farms” — The result of a nearly yearlong investigation, VICE News examines the role one Michigan automotive supplier has played in spreading toxic ‘forever chemicals’ to neighboring farms. [Source]

Washington Post (5 Jun 2023)

“How cities are trying to stop their land from sinking” — Washington Post, Kasha Patel, 5 Jun 2023. Excerpt: “From 1995 to 2010, parts of the valley fell by as much 0.6 meters (2 feet), a process called land subsidence. The ground became destabilized, creating large cracks in the earth. Uneven sinking damaged the foundations of buildings and roads. The Coachella Canal started to sag so much that water flow was interrupted. The scenario seemed all too familiar, especially in populated dry places. Another city pumped too much groundwater and began dropping, struggling with water demands and unstable land.” [Read More]

AZ Central (2 Jun 2023)

“Metro Phoenix has shut down growth, right? Well, not exactly” — AZ Central, Joanna Allhands, 2 Jun 2023. Excerpt: if everything plays out over the next century according to the assumptions in the model, metro Phoenix won’t have enough groundwater to cover 4% of total demand for it. Because of that imbalance, the state Department of Water Resources will no longer consider new applications for residential developments that would rely heavily on groundwater. [Source]

CBS (27 May 2023)

“Scientists work to protect national security during hurricane season” — More than 1,700 military installations are built along the coast, and many are vulnerable to storms in the upcoming hurricane season. Here’s an inside look at how scientists are working to protect national security amid stormy weather. Manuel Bojorquez reports. [Source]

NBC (27 May 2023)

“State Farm no longer accepting property insurance applications in California” — California homeowners will no longer be able to apply for business or personal property insurance policies with State Farm, as insurance companies have been leaving disaster-vulnerable states. Steve Patterson has more. [Source]

CNN (18 May 2023)

“The world’s largest lakes are shrinking dramatically, and scientists say they have figured out why” — CNN, Laura Paddison, 18 May 2023. Excerpt: “More than half of the world’s largest lakes and reservoirs have lost significant amounts of water over the last three decades, according to a new study, which pins the blame largely on climate change and excessive water use. Roughly one-quarter of the world’s population lives in the basin of a drying lake, according to the study by a team of international scientists, published Thursday in the journal Science.” [Source]

The Guardian (17 May 2023)

“World likely to breach 1.5C climate threshold by 2027, scientists warn” — The Guardian, Fiona Harvey, 17 May 2023. Excerpt: “The world is almost certain to experience new record temperatures in the next five years, and temperatures are likely to rise by more than 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, scientists have warned.” [Source]

CBS (1 May 2023)

“Wind blades and solar panels head for landfills after being replaced” — More than 90% of used solar panels get thrown in the trash, and the world’s wind industry is estimated to produce 43 million tons of blade waste each year. But some companies have found recycling solutions. Ben Tracy reports. [Source]

PBS NewsHour (26 Apr 2023)

“Demand for electric vehicles growing, but can charging network keep up?” — Demand for electric vehicles is growing and a new report forecasts that one out of every five vehicles sold worldwide this year will be electric. But charging those vehicles and getting the power you need when you want it can be more complicated. Science Correspondent Miles O’Brien found that out for himself on a road trip in California. He reports in conjunction with Nova’s “Chasing Carbon Zero.” [Source]

Al Jazeera (22 Apr 2023)

“Have efforts to deal with climate change failed?” — The state of the global climate is alarming, to say the least. That’s according to a report by the UN’s World Meteorological Organization. It says people on every continent are being affected, after many records linked to climate change were broken last year. Temperatures in oceans have also reached record-highs, with nearly 60 percent suffering at least one marine heatwave. The report says trying to save glaciers is a lost cause, underlying the irreversible nature of climate trends on our planet. But who is to blame? And can anything be done to reverse them? [Source]

CBS Mornings (22 Apr 2023)

“How a herd of California goats are preventing wildfires” — A herd of over 100 goats are using San Francisco as a pasture. The goats are eating the grass grown during an especially wet winter, minimizing the risks of wildfires in the summer, and teaching local students an important lesson about sustainability. John Blackstone reports. [Source]

CBS Mornings (22 Apr 2023)

“Climate change threatens to relocate residents of Panamanian Island” — Climate change has risen the sea levels around several Panamanian islands where more than 1,000 residents of the nation’s Guna Yala tribe live. Now, those residents have to relocate in order to survive. Manuel Bojorquez reports. [Source]

PBS NewsHour (22 Apr 2023)

“What it takes to save some of the world’s most threatened plant species” — According to scientists, 80 percent of the Earth’s living species are unknown to humans. Even as more are identified, more are disappearing — and sometimes, we don’t know what’s being lost until it’s too late. This Earth Day, we begin our series “Saving Species” with a look at the world of plants. [Source]

CBS (21 Apr 2023)

“Ghost forests are a haunting new indicator of climate change in the U.S.” — Ever heard of a ghost forest? Well, it looks as haunting as it sounds. CBS News’ Nancy Chen took a trip inside a ghost forest to learn about the striking new indicator of climate change and why the problem is growing along U.S. coasts. [Source]

NBC News (21 Apr 2023)

“World’s glaciers melting at record levels due to climate change” — Today’s UN report details the relentless advance of climate change on every continent and highlights the world’s glaciers shrinking at a dramatic pace. NBC News’ Anne Thompson shares more about the record melt contributing to sea level rise. [Source]

Wall Street Journal (21 Apr 2023)

“Greenwashing: How Companies Can Mislead Consumers Over Eco-Friendliness” — Some companies like American Airlines and H&M have made promises to become more environmentally friendly to attract positive press and increase business. They’ve frequently used buzzwords like ‘sustainable’, ‘carbon neutral’ or ‘eco-conscious.’ But if they fall short of their goals, who holds them accountable? [Source]

GMA (18 Apr 2023)

“New report lists most endangered American rivers” — American Rivers released their annual “America’s Most Endangered Rivers” report, highlighting the vital need for safe water. Matt Rice, Southwest Regional Director joins “GMA3” to go over the report. [Source]

The Guardian (18 May 2023)

“Colorado River snaking through Grand Canyon most endangered US waterway” — The Guardian, Nina Makhani, 18 April 2023. Excerpt: “A 277-mile stretch of the Colorado River that snakes through the iconic Grand Canyon is America’s most endangered waterway, a new report has found. The unique ecosystem and cultural heritage of the Grand Canyon is on the brink of collapse due to prolonged drought, rising temperatures and outdated river management, according to American Rivers, the conservation group that compiles the annual endangered list.” [Source]

Washington Post (18 Apr 2023)

“Climate change is drying out lakes faster than scientists thought” — Washington Post, Dan Stillman, 18 May 2023. Excerpt: “Water loss in large lakes around the world was more widespread during the past three decades than previously thought, according to a study of nearly 2,000 such lakes published in the journal Science on Thursday. A warming climate and human water consumption drove at least half of the decline in natural lakes, the study found. Reservoirs, or artificial lakes, also showed substantial drops. The drying of lakes and reservoirs around the world is increasingly stressing water supplies for drinking and agriculture, endangering habitats for plants and fish, reducing the capacity to generate hydropower, and threatening marine recreation and tourism. The study said accurate tracking of lake water trends and identification of factors contributing to water loss can help guide water-management strategies affecting up to 2 billion people.” [Source]

GMA (17 Apr 2023)

“Rising sea levels force Louisiana community to move” — ABC News chief meteorologist Ginger Zee takes us to the scene of one coastal Louisiana community that’s forced to relocate due to climate concerns. [Source]

PBS NewsHour (15 Apr 2023)

“Native tribe in Louisiana highlights challenges of climate-driven relocation” — In 2022, the Biden administration announced it would pay to help several Native American tribes move away from coastlines and rivers, where waters are rising due to climate change. Special correspondent Megan Thompson reports on an earlier relocation effort in Louisiana that ran into some unexpected complications. [Source]

Deutsche Welle (7 Apr 2023)

“How loss of biodiversity threatens human health” — Animals, plants, fungi – biodiversity offers a treasure trove of chemicals and compounds, some of which can be used to treat diseases from malaria to cancer. But more and more species are being threatened with extinction. Is that jeopardizing our health? DW’s Louise Osborne took a closer look for World Health Day. [Source]

CBS News (20 Mar 2023)

“U.N. report warns “humanity is on thin ice” and must act to avert climate catastrophe” — The world must take action to “defuse the climate time bomb,” the United Nations secretary-general said as the U.N. released its latest report. “Prime Time” host John Dickerson discusses the warning with Mark Hertsgaard, co-founder and executive director of Covering Climate Now. [Source]

Deutsche Welle (20 Mar 2023)

“UN: Without halving emissions by 2030 world faces warming of around 3°C” — The Earth has already warmed by at least 1.1 degrees Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit) compared to pre-industrial times in the mid 19th century. In 2015, world leaders agreed after intense negotiations to limit global warming to a common target of 1.5 degrees. So far, no major country is on schedule to meet this goal. [Source]

The Economist (2 Feb 2023)

“Climate change: what is ocean acidification?” — As carbon emissions change the chemistry of the seas, ocean acidification threatens marine life and human livelihoods. How worried should you be about climate change’s so-called “evil twin”? [Source]

PBS Terra (25 JAn 2023)

“What is the RISKIEST Region in the US as the Climate Changes?” — Climate Change is increasing the frequency and severity of natural disasters all around the world. And in the United States, more and more people seem to be moving to the places that are projected to be most impacted by climate change, from hazards such as flooding, wildfire, storms, drought and extreme heat; and leaving the most climate-resilient areas. At first glance, this seems like a bizarre and paradoxical trend. So, for this episode of Weathered, we decided to see if we could get to the bottom of it. We spoke to experts and sifted through lots of data about moving trends and shifting climate patterns to figure out what’s really going on here and what you can do to avoid moving into harm’s way. [Source]

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com