In the News: What’s Interesting this Week

Written by Stephanie Hedean on . Posted in Learn

In the News is a Planet Change selection of the latest news, stories and images on climate change, nature, our environment and the impacts of a changing planet. This is what we’ve found and what we’re reading.

Arctic Ice Melt Releasing Ancient Methane
Scientists have identified thousands of sites in the Arctic where methane that has been stored for many millennia is bubbling into the atmosphere. The methane has been trapped by ice, but is able to escape as the ice melts. Writing in the journal Nature Geoscience, the researchers say this ancient gas could have a significant impact on climate change. (BBC)

G-8 Leaders Endorse New Plan To Combat Short-Term Climate Pollutants
During this weekend’s G-8 summit hosted by President Obama at Camp David, leaders from the Group of Eight nations endorsed a new plan to combat “short-lived climate polluters,” with a focus on methane, black carbon, and hydroflurocarbons (HFCs). The Group of Eight will now join the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-lived Climate Pollutants, a partnership originally launched by the United States, with Bangladesh, Canada, Ghana, Mexico and Sweden, in February of this year. (Climate Progress)

Last week seven youth from five US states visited all three branches of government, calling for action against climate change on behalf of their generation. These youth leaders are part of the iMatter Campaign, and are all plaintiffs in the Alec L v Jackson lawsuit, for failing to protect the atmosphere as a public trust.  Like Alec says, “Our generation has no political rights; we can’t vote, we can’t compete with corporate lobbyists… so when our government fails to act with our survival in mind, we must take matters into our own hands.” (iMatter) Related:  An Inconvenient Lawsuit: Teenagers Take Global Warming to the Courts (The Atlantic);  iMatter March: Founder Gives Hope for Action on Climate Change (Planet Change). iMatter video below.

Digging Into Climate Change, Students Find More Than Science
To find the vanguard of climate education in the United States, keep an eye on four teachers in Maryland’s Wicomico County public school district. Using field trips, editorial cartoons, even parent objections, they’re taking climate change far from the science classroom. Multi-part series. (The Daily Climate)

Extreme Weather Text Alerts Set to Begin
Wireless carriers and the federal government are launching a system to automatically warn people of dangerous weather and other emergencies via a special type of text messaging to cellphones. The Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) service, which begins this month, is free, and consumers won’t have to sign up. Warnings will be location-based: If you’re traveling, you’ll get an alert for whatever emergency is happening where you are. (USA TODAY)

Map of Life: Find 25,000 Species on Interactive Map
What Map of Life wants to answer is simple, but difficult: Where in the world do plants and animals live? The freely available online map, which launched last week, now has answers for 25,000 land animal and fish species. Such data could help biologists better understand biodiversity and outdoors enthusiasts identify the critters around them. In addition, knowing the distribution of species around the world will help scientists and government agencies decide how to use different pieces of land and focus conservation efforts. The map could provide data for studies about climate change and about diseases that are passed between animals and people. (MSNBC)

Stephanie Hedean is a Strategic Marketing and Communications Consultant and a Volunteer at The Nature Conservancy.

Credits: Flickr user Vishnu V under a Creative Commons license (Arctic ice photo); (video); (map graphic).

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About Planet Change

Planet Change is a Nature Conservancy blog site designed to share stories about actions the Conservancy and others around the world are taking to fight carbon pollution and the impacts of climate change, and to help people feel the connections between climate change and their daily lives and understand actions they can take.

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