Michelle Ma September 30 Washington University News

As its name suggests, the bigleaf maple tree’s massive leaves are perhaps its most distinctive quality. A native to the Pacific Northwest’s wet westside forests, these towering trees can grow leaves up to 1.5 feet across — the largest of any maple.

But since 2011, scientists, concerned hikers and residents have observed more stressed and dying bigleaf maple across urban and suburban neighborhoods as well as in forested areas. Often the leaves are the first to shrivel and die, eventually leaving some trees completely bare. While forest pathologists have ruled out several specific diseases, the overall cause of the tree’s decline has stumped experts for years.


Climate Protection Program would cap and reduce fossil fuel emissions

Casandra Profita, OPB, October 11, 2021

After years of trying and failing to launch a cap and trade program to reduce carbon emissions economy-wide, Oregon has a new plan to cut some of its biggest sources of climate pollution.

Under orders from Gov. Kate Brown, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality developed a new set of rules that would cap greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels and reduce them over time.

The proposed Climate Protection Program would cut emissions from suppliers of gasoline, diesel, propane, kerosene and natural gas 80% by 2050. By capping emissions from fuels, it targets the state’s largest source of carbon dioxide emissions; cars, trucks and other forms of transportation made up 36% of emissions in 2019.


As the weather becomes more extreme, the trees that are synonymous with Washington are suffering.

Julie Titone, Herald Net, October 10, 2021

Climate change is coming for our neighbors, the trees.

Intense heat and rainfall can stress and kill towering native conifers as well as species we’ve imported for their color and grace. As they suffer, city dwellers suffer. Because trees help humans cope with climate change.

Trees — especially big ones — capture and store carbon dioxide, one of the greenhouse gases driving human-caused climate change. Leaves trap particulates from fires and vehicle exhaust. Roots intercept stormwater. Trees release cooling water vapor and offer shade. They provide respite during extreme heat waves, which kill more Americans than any other weather event.


With a Warming Climate, Coastal Fog Around the World Is Declining

By Bob BerwynDavid Hasemyer, Mallory Pickett, Inside Climate News, October 10 2021

Fog is a defining element of summer in Santa Cruz, obscuring the view of day trippers descending the hills to the coast and prompting kids to bundle up to hop on their bikes for summer adventures. Its fingerprints are visible in the vast coastal forests, even when it isn’t hanging in the air. The redwood trees towering in a clear blue sky soak up moisture from the fog on gray days. It is often their only source of water for months at a time.

Fog is essential for plants and animals, agriculture and human health, not only in California but in coastal zones around the world. But many scientists believe that fog is declining, another casualty of global warming.


But California undercounts the human toll……even as heat waves become more frequent and more deadly.

It was the hottest August on record in California.

For more than three weeks in 2020, back-to-back heat waves settled over the Southwest, claiming dozens of lives and leaving tens of millions of people sweltering in triple-digit temperatures. The days brought suffering and the nights offered little relief. On maps of the record heat, Southern California glowed like an ember, its normally temperate coast shaded orange, its inland cities and desert towns a deep, smoldering purple.

Seventy-three-year-old Jorge Valerio-Santiago went to work on Aug. 20 digging cable trenches at a mobile home park outside Desert Hot Springs in Riverside County. After several hours, he began to feel ill and returned home to a trailer that lacked air conditioning. His nephew found him that evening, lying still in the dirt driveway where he had gone into cardiac arrest. The paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.


The reports from 23 federal agencies examine how climate change will disrupt nearly all aspects of life, including more traffic and disease.

The White House, Lauren Egan, October 7 2021

WASHINGTON — Nearly two dozen federal agencies released reports Thursday identifying the major threats climate change poses to their departments and how they plan to respond, underscoring the enormous policy challenges the U.S. faces as the planet continues to warm.

The reports, which President Joe Biden asked each agency to prepare in an executive order in January, detail how climate change will reach all corners of everyday life — from where we live to what we eat and how we get to work.


Environmental groups focused on climate change want to eliminate natural gas use in buildings, and that includes cooking with gas stoves

Jeff Brady, npr October 7 2021

Americans love their gas stoves. It’s a romance fueled by a decades-old “cooking with gas” campaign from utilities that includes vintage advertisements, a cringeworthy 1980s rap video and, more recently, social media personalities. The details have changed over time, but the message is the same: Using a gas stove makes you a better cook.

But the beloved gas stove has become a focal point in a fight over whether gas should even exist in the 35% of U.S. homes that cook with it.


Jeremy Richardson, Charleston Gazette Mail October 5 2021

Once in a generation, Congress has a chance to make transformational change.

We have reached that moment — and visionary thinking is what will launch West Virginia into the 21st-century economy. Fortunately, our state has the upper hand — a certain senator with an outsized say in what can get through Congress.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., holds the keys as one of two deciding votes in the level of ambition we can achieve in this moment.


The ability of climate models to predict levels of warming, and to attribute natural disasters directly to climate change, has gone from being intensely criticized to winning a Nobel Prize for Physics this year.

Kieran Mulvaney, National Geographic October 5, 2021

Climate modelers are having a moment.

Last month, Time Magazine listed two of them—Friederike Otto and Geert Jan van Oldenborg of the World Weather Attribution Project—among the 100 Most Influential People of 2021. Two weeks ago, Katharine Hayhoe of Texas Tech University was a guest on the popular CBS talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live! And on Tuesday, pioneering climate modelers Syukuro Manabe and Klaus Hasselman shared the Nobel Prize for Physics with theoretical physicist Giorgio Parisi—a recognition, said Thors Hans Hansson, chair of the Nobel Committee for Physics, that “our knowledge about the climate rests on a solid scientific foundation, based on a rigorous analysis of observations.”


Eric Tegethoff, Oregon Public News Service, September 28th, 2021

PORTLAND, Ore. — Draft rules are out for a program designed to confront climate change in Oregon, but organizations say it does not go far enough to curb emissions and protect front-line communities.

The Climate Protection Program was the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) answer to an executive order by Gov. Kate Brown in 2020.