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Global Climate Change

A satellite scheduled to launch from California later this month will measure sea level rise and provide other crucial data to scientists who study how global warming is affecting the Earth's oceans.

The United States will formally leave the Paris Agreement on Wednesday, no matter who wins the election. Of the nearly 200 nations that signed the agreement, the U.S. is the only one to walk away from its promises to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

President Trump originally announced his intention to withdraw from the landmark agreement in 2017 and formally notified the United Nations last year. A mandatory yearlong waiting period ends on Wednesday, a coincidence that nonetheless highlights the Trump administration's commitment to derailing efforts that address climate change.

Oil is facing an existential crisis.

There has never been so much uncertainty about the future of a commodity that keeps the global economic engine running.

And it's not just environmental activists calling for the end of oil: New reports out this week show the battle lines are shaping up within the industry.

On one side of the argument are those who call for a swift transition away from oil and for charting a path to a zero-emissions future within a few decades.

WCBE files

A coalition of environmental advocates are uniting to support an issue that will appear on the Columbus ballot in November. 

On Nov. 4, the day after the election, the United States will officially exit the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

The date is a coincidence. Still, the timing underscores a crucial victory for the Trump administration in its efforts to derail federal action on global warming, which the president dismisses as a hoax.

Think "climate change activist" and a young, liberal student may come to mind.

A recent NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll showed climate change is the top issue for Democratic voters. For Republicans, it barely registers overall, but there is a growing generational divide.

It's no surprise in an already polarized country that debate over what's causing the wildfires ravaging the West Coast would get partisan, especially with this being an election year.

Visiting California this week, President Trump again tried to put the blame on forest management, while his rival, former Vice President Joe Biden pointed to climate change.

With wildfires devastating the West and a hurricane bearing down on the Gulf Coast, President Trump, who has for years mocked and denied the reality of climate change, was briefed on Monday on the status of fires in California.

Updated at 6:15 p.m.

David Legates, a University of Delaware professor of climatology who has spent much of his career questioning basic tenets of climate science, has been hired for a top position at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The upshot of climate change is that everyone alive is destined to experience unprecedented disasters. The most powerful hurricanes, the most intense wildfires, the most prolonged heat waves and the most frequent outbreaks of new diseases are all in our future. Records will be broken, again and again.

But the predicted destruction is still shocking when it unfolds at the same time.

Updated at 10 a.m. ET Wednesday

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has publicly called for businesses, individuals and governments to work together to fight climate change.

But a new analysis from the World Resources Institute, an environmental think tank, found that the Chamber didn't reflect that goal in its annual scorecard evaluating U.S. lawmakers' voting records.

Scorching heat across the Western United States has left California scrambling to avoid rolling blackouts, as air conditioners send electricity use soaring.

In the midst of another hot summer and an ongoing pandemic, public parks are vital refuge. But a new study has found that access to parks in the U.S. differs sharply according to income and race.

A study published by The Trust for Public Land found that parks serving primarily nonwhite populations are, on average, half the size of parks that serve majority-white populations, and are potentially five times more crowded.

Updated 4:40 p.m.

In Atlanta today, President Trump announced a "top to bottom overhaul" of the regulations that govern one of the nation's most significant environmental laws. The aim is to speed up approval for major projects like pipelines and highways, but critics say it could sideline the concerns of poor and minority communities impacted by those projects, and discount their impact on climate change.

Updated at 7:50 p.m. ET

President Trump spoke in the White House Rose Garden on a broad range of topics on Tuesday, pitching himself as the stronger competitor over rival Joe Biden to manage the deadly coronavirus pandemic and steer the U.S. economy to prosperity.

His remarks come amid mounting concerns raised by public health officials about his administration's aggressive pitch to return the United States to normalcy, including pushing guidance for schools to reopen for in-person classes this fall.

Updated at 2:36 p.m. ET

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Tuesday outlined an updated climate plan, seeking to invest $2 trillion to boost clean energy and rebuild infrastructure.

The proposal is the second plank of his new economic agenda called "Build Back Better," which he first detailed last week in Pennsylvania.

The COVID-19 pandemic is delivering the biggest shock to the global energy system in seven decades, according to a new report by the International Energy Agency.

Since the coronavirus hit the U.S., coal mines across the country have begun shutting down, laying off workers and slowing production.

The number of people breathing unhealthy air in the United States is increasing despite decades of declines in the overall amount of air pollution being released, and climate change is a major cause.

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In an effort to reduce the city's carbon footprint, Columbus City Council this week approved an ordinance requiring large commercial, public and industrial building owners to report their energy use annually.

Ohio Public Radio

More than a thousand people concerned about climate change turned out at Otterbein University in Westerville Sunday for the first town hall from an unlikely alliance of former lawmakers. 

Where there was a white ice cap, there are now brown blotches of land; melted snow and ice have created ponds of water. Those are the effects of the recent record high temperatures in Antarctica, according to NASA, which on Friday released stunning before-and-after satellite images of the northern Antarctic Peninsula.

Winters are warming faster than other seasons across much of the United States. While that may sound like a welcome change for those bundled in scarves and hats, it's causing a cascade of unpredictable impacts in communities across the country.

Temperatures continue to steadily rise around the globe, but that trend isn't spread evenly across the map or even the yearly calendar.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced Monday he is committing $10 billion to fight climate change, which he calls "the biggest threat to our planet."

Bezos says the funds will go toward the creation of the Bezos Earth Fund.

Antarctica experienced its hottest day on record Thursday.

At least, that's what scientists reported at Argentina's Esperanza research station, on the very northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. The finding, announced Thursday by Argentina's national meteorological service, placed the temperature at 18.3 degrees Celsius — or just about 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

Extreme temperatures are driving a dramatic decline in bumblebees across North America and Europe, according to a new study, in yet another way climate change is putting ecosystems at risk.

Researchers looked at half a million records showing where bumblebees have been found since 1901, across 66 different species. They found that in places where bumblebees have lived in North America, you're about half as likely to see one today.

The decline is especially pronounced in Mexico, where bumblebees once lived in abundance.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres laid out a sobering view of the current state of the world Tuesday, saying that "a wind of madness is sweeping the globe" as instability erupts into unpredictable and violent conflicts. The problems are made even worse, he said, by faltering economic situations and countries that disrespect U.N. Security Council resolutions "before the ink is dry."

Microsoft has announced an ambitious plan to not just reduce its carbon emissions, but to actively remove carbon from the atmosphere — going "carbon negative" by 2030.

And by 2050, the tech giant pledges it will "remove from the environment all the carbon the company has emitted either directly or by electrical consumption since it was founded in 1975."

Last year was the second hottest on record globally, according to the latest climate data collected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA.

It's the latest confirmation that the Earth is steadily getting hotter — the planet has already warmed about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (or almost 1 degree Celsius) compared with in the mid-20th century — and that robust greenhouse gas emissions are causing global warming to continue unabated.

BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, says that it will now make climate change central to its investment considerations. And not just for environmental reasons — but because it believes that climate change is reshaping the world's financial system.

That was the message in BlackRock Chairman and CEO Larry Fink's annual letter to CEOs published on Tuesday.

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