I could explain how bad the California drought is by citing meteorological records, water table levels, or degrees of snowpack, but who needs numbers when you’ve got pictures like these? These two photographs (and there's more like them) of Bidwell Marina—taken by Paul Hames and Justin Sullivan, respectively—are worth 1,000 tables and graphs. The top image is from the summer of 2011. The bottom is the marina last week.
Other things to know this morning:
A major new United Nations report says climate change is already decreasing grain production, raising sea levels, and bringing heat waves and torrential rainstorms. But perhaps the most frightening finding is that elevated temperatures are reaching the point at which the melting of Greenland’s ice sheet will become unstoppable.
Climate change sure sounds like a serious problem that needs solutions quick. That's why President Obama is pushing forward with an international climate accord—"a 'politically binding' deal that would 'name and shame' countries into cutting their emissions"—to be signed next year in Paris. And he's doing it without the help of Congress.
What do the Yuma clapper rail, yellow-billed cuckoo, and southwestern willow flycatcher have in common? They're all bird species that have been killed by solar energy installations. Although solar (and wind) projects kill far fewer birds (and bats) than fossil fuels, many conservationists think it’s time we get serious about finding ways that birds and solar can safely co-exist.
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