ComSciCon-Rocky Mountain West 2018 will be held October 20-21, 2018 in Fort Collins, CO at Colorado State University. The application deadline is August 10th. Questions may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wants a federal court to toss a lawsuit filed by Utah, New Mexico and the Navajo Nation seeking the repayment of cleanup costs for a mine spill in Colorado that polluted rivers in three states.
The EPA said in a motion Wednesday that the court doesn’t need to intervene because crews are already working on the cleanup of water contaminated with heavy metals that was accidentally released from an EPA-monitored mine.
“Granting any relief in New Mexico, within the Navajo Nation, or in Utah would conflict and interfere with EPA’s exclusive jurisdiction over its on-going response action activities and cleanup remedies,” the federal government said in court documents filed in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque.
Utah is seeking for $1.9 billion in damages from the EPA. The Navajo Nation filed a claim for $162 million, and the state of New Mexico is seeking $130 million.
Cement Creek aerial photo — Jonathan Thompson via Twitter
Cement Creek photo via the @USGS Twitter feed
Confluence of Cement Creek and the Animas River from the Coyote Gulch archives (11/21/2010)
There shouldn’t be any doubt that some of the deadliest of this summer’s disasters—including flooding in Japan and wildfires in Greece—are fueled by weather extremes linked to global warming, said Corinne Le Quéré, director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia.
“We know very well that global warming is making heat waves longer, hotter and more frequent,” she said.
“The evidence from having extreme events around the world is really compelling. It’s very indicative that the global warming background is causing or at least contributing to these events,” she said.
The challenges created by global warming are becoming evident even in basic infrastructure, much of which was built on the assumption of a cooler climate. In these latest heat waves, railroad tracks have bent in the rising temperatures, airport runways have cracked, and power plants from France to Finland have had to power down because their cooling sources became too warm.
“We’re seeing that many things are not built to withstand the heat levels we are seeing now,” Le Quéré said.
Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann said this summer’s extreme weather fits into a pattern he identified with other researchers in a study published last year. The jet stream’s north-south meanders have been unusually stationary, leading to persistent heat waves and droughts in some areas and days of rain and flooding in others, he said. “Our work last year shows that this sort of pattern … has become more common because of human-caused climate change, and in particular, amplified Arctic warming.”
Temperatures in Algeria reached 124 degrees Fahrenheit, setting a record for the African continent. A few weeks earlier, a city in Oman is believed to have broken a global record when it went more than 24 hours with temperatures never falling below 108 degrees. Japan set a national record of 106 amid a heat wave that has been blamed for more than 80 deaths.
Regional western heat events are becoming so pronounced that some climate scientists see the current extremes in the U.S. as a climate inflection point, where the global warming signal stands out above the natural background of climate variability.