Climate Change

Scientific data strongly suggests that global warming is causing the jet stream to slow down, making it more unpredictable and leaving areas like Utah vulnerable to extreme heat and cold spells.

 

Remember that wild cold snap in Texas last month? How about those single-digit temperatures in Utah just a week ago? Well, scientists say that although global warming will likely make those unusually cold temperatures less frequent, climate change could very well be responsible for some of the most extreme cold temperatures.

 

Today on This Green Earth:

Sean Sublette from Climate Central is talking about last week’s record-breaking cold temps in the Midwest and Southern U.S.

Sublette will have answers about what role the jet stream played in this event, and the influences a warming planet can have on the jet stream.

Sublette also lets us know if we should expect more cold snaps like this, even as the planet warms.

Park City Mountain

With virtually the entire state of Utah classified as experiencing severe drought, snowpack averages will actually look to be rebounding next year. KPCW’s Sean Higgins has more on why those numbers could actually be deceiving.

 

NASA

When NASA released their annual report on the average temperature of the Earth earlier this year, 2020 tied with 2016 for the hottest year on record. Although a few degrees hotter may not seem like much to most people, regions like Utah that rely on snow in the winters and survive wildfires in the summers are acutely affected. 

 

Mountain Money - January 25, 2021

Jan 25, 2021

This morning on Mountain Money, (2:29) David Sandalow, former Under Secretary for the United States Department of Energy, joins us to talk about potential changes in energy policy and their impact on the economy under a Biden administration.

A new book out by author and Professor of Atmospheric Science Michael Mann, titled The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet, takes a look at how governments and corporations can make a lasting impact when it comes to climate change.

 

Mann has taught Atmospheric Science since 1999 and has been at Penn State since 2005. 

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced earlier this week that a petition to protect monarch butterflies under the Endangered Species Act has been put on a waiting list. 

 

Drastic declines in both the eastern and western populations of monarch butterflies in North America led to a 2014 petition by the Center for Food Safety, Center for Biological Diversity, and other advocates seeking endangered species classification. 

 

Joining over one thousand leaders across the United States, Park City Municipal affirmed its commitment to global climate action on the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement.

Park City Municipal commemorated the fifth anniversary of the landmark Paris climate agreement on Saturday,

John Curtis

Climate change is a partisan issue in this country, and one Republican Utah Congressman is working with members across the aisle to address the global climate crisis. 

Republican Utah Congressman John Curtis has openly called on members of his political party to acknowledge climate change. 

He’s worked with Citizens’ Climate Lobby and cosponsored bills ranging from advanced battery recycling programs to legislation that would help farmers get paid to sequester carbon in soil.

In this episode of This Green Earth Chris and Nell are joined by environmental professor and Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Gary Yohe. Dr. Yohe talks about the influence climate change is having on the record-breaking wildfires occurring in Colorado and the Pacific West Coast.  Professor Yohe has been writing about Climate Change since the mid-80's so he'll also share how the predictions made back then are holding up almost four decades later.

Bureau of Land Management

A Wyoming court recently struck down a rule preventing oil and gas companies from deliberately venting or burning off excess natural gas. KPCW looks at what that means for the environment and what the future of that rule might look like.

 

It’s called “venting and flaring” and it’s the practice energy companies use to burn off excess natural gas or release it into the atmosphere during the extraction of oil.

 

Heber City

The Utah Climate and Clean Air Compact was signed by over 130 prominent political, business, and religious leaders earlier this month, including Park City Mayor Andy Beerman and Heber City Mayor Kelleen Potter. KPCW spoke with both of them about the compact and what the Wasatch Back can do on this important issue:

 

The words “climate change” can provoke some polarizing reactions from people these days.

 

TEDxParkCity

A global TED event on climate change and what needs to be done over the next decade to slow its effects on the planet will be hosted by TEDxParkCity starting this weekend. Some heavy hitters are scheduled to speak over the three-day event.

 

If there is an upside to event after event going virtual during the COVID-19 pandemic, the ability to join in on things happening thousands of miles away from the comfort of your own home would have to be it.

 

On this episode of This Green Earth Walt Meier of the National Snow and Ice Data Center joins the show. He talks with Chris and Nell about the record amount of sea ice that has melted this past summer up in the Arctic Ocean, how close open water is to the North Pole and, the role climate change is playing in that annual event.     

National Weather Service

Local reservoirs are close to full and the spring run-off hasn’t begun. Snow falling in the mountains this time of year, according to experts, means the water projections look good for this summer.

Senior State Hydrologist Brian McInerny is wrapping up his 30-year career with the National Weather Service. He retires the end of this month. His plans are to ski and bike more and continue working with an academic climate change non-profit.  Earlier in his career, the subject of climate change was off limits.

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