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Headlines September 2022

Research Shows it’s Already Too Late to Save Greenland’s Ice (Associated Press, Atmos, Axios, NPR)

  • Even under a best-case scenario, more than 120 trillions tons of ice is going to melt, resulting directly in at least 10 inches of sea level rise, new research has concluded.

  • This total is much greater than previous estimates, since new data and changing conditions on the ice sheet are occurring rapidly.

  • This finding comes on the heels of a publication showing that the Arctic is even more susceptible to Climate Change than previously thought and is warming up to 7 times faster than the rest of the planet.

Biden Administration Passes the Inflation Reduction Act (Associated Press, Canary Media, NPR)

  • The month of August saw the Inflation Reduction Act, initially proposed by Joe Manchin, pass both the House of Representatives and the Senate before being signed by President Biden.

  • It includes $375 billion to fight Climate Change, representing the largest federal investment towards climate in the country’s history.

  • Many are hoping that it induces a redoubled worldwide effort to curb the effects of Climate Change.

  • For more details on the Inflation Reduction Act, check out this week’s featured writer blog!

California, Massachusetts make Climate Commitments (Boston Globe, NBC Boston, WBUR, Boston Globe, Reuters, CalMatters)

  • Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed a broad climate legislature this month, which will help fund investments in the state’s energy sector.

  • Notably included is a pilot program that will allow ten cities and towns to ban new fossil fuel infrastructure.

  • Meanwhile, California has announced a plan to prepare for a future with 10 percent less water in 2040, focusing on water capture and reuse.

  • California has also banned all the future sales of gas powered vehicles by 2035, which includes incremental benchmarks to monitor progress toward the goal.

  • Massachusetts and Virginia are following in the footsteps and taking similar actions.

Having Trouble Sleeping in the Heat? You’re not Alone. (Lancet Planetary Health, NPR, The Hill, Independent)

  • Researchers investigating the impact of hotter nights on human health have found that rising nighttime temperatures could drastically increase global mortality rate.

  • Warming night temperatures disrupt natural body functions, which can lead to adverse immune response and many chronic illnesses.

  • By the end of the century, mortality rates could increase as much as 60 percent, disproportionately impacting low income populations.

Climate Change is Making Infection Disease Worse (CBS, The Guardian, PBS)

  • A recent study focusing on the correlation between Climate Change and infectious diseases has found that the impacts of disease are undoubtedly increased.

  • Researchers found that 58 percent of the known human infectious diseases are made worse by at least one type of climate linked extreme weather.

  • These extreme weather patterns, ranging from heat waves to floods, when coupled with a disease's transmission type and other variables can change the impact of said disease on a population.

California See’s Largest Wildfire of 2022, So Far (Associated Press, Axios, Climate Signals)

  • The McKinney fire in Northern California quickly threatened thousands of residents earlier this month as it exploded into the largest fire of the year this far after high winds in stormy conditions caused it to spread rapidly.

  • There are currently forty active large fires throughout the American West, with only three of them contained.

  • Climate Change continues to make wildfires larger, more frequent and more intense due to drought and warmer temperatures, among other things.

Amazon’s Pollution Continued to Grow in 2021 (Amazon Sustainability Report, The Verge, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal)

  • For the second straight year, Amazon’s carbon dioxide emissions grew by double digits; this time by 18 percent compared to 2020.

  • Despite a company pledge to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040, emissions have grown by 40 percent since former CEO Jeff Bezos announced the goal due to an increase in online shopping brought on by the pandemic.

  • However, the emissions intensity of each sale fell by about 2 percent and 85 percent of the company’s energy needs were purchased from renewable energy.

Dozens Confirmed Dead in Kentucky Flooding (NPR, WSAZ, Climate Signals)

  • Kentucky was caught by surprise at the beginning of August as heavy rains led to flash flooding in the region.

  • Politicians from the state proclaimed it as one of the most devastating floods in Kentucky history, and it’s no coincidence that those areas hit hardest are also among the poorest.

  • Due to Climate Change, the Southeastern United States is expected to see much more flooding both on the coast and inland.

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