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Texas Doctors Under-Test for Zika

CLICK HERE - CDC MMWR - Notes from the Field: Zika Virus-Associated Neonatal Birth Defects Surveillance — Texas, January 2016–July 2017

Zika birth defects reported in 8% of zika infected Texas mothers

zikanews.com - by Don Ward - August 12, 2017

Zika virus testing for both travel-related cases and local transmission, need increased surveillance from Texas physicians, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

A recent CDC analysis found that 57% of infants or fetuses for whom Zika testing was indicated, did not receive tests.

This is important because 8% of Texas infants or fetal losses were delivered with lab-confirmed Zika.

The Texas birth defect rate of 8% compares with 5.5% for the entire USA, and 4.4% in USA territories.

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Alaskan Towns at Risk from Rising Seas Sound Alarm as Trump Pulls Federal Help

           

Residents of Shishmaref voted to relocate to the mainland, but in common with other Alaskan towns, there is no clear source of funding to do this. Photograph: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Communities in danger of falling into the sea say assistance from Washington has dried up: ‘It feels like a complete abdication of responsibility on climate change’

theguardian.com - by Oliver Milman - August 10, 2017

The US government’s withdrawal from dealing with, or even acknowledging, climate change may have provoked widespread opprobrium, but for Alaskan communities at risk of toppling into the sea, the risks are rather more personal.

The Trump administration has moved to dismantle climate adaptation programs including the Denali Commission, an Anchorage-based agency that is crafting a plan to safeguard or relocate dozens of towns at risk from rising sea levels, storms and the winnowing away of sea ice.

Federal assistance for these towns has been ponderous but could now grind to a halt, with even those working on the issue seemingly targeted by the administration.

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Climate Report: Hottest Year, Highest Greenhouse Gas Marks, Record Sea Levels

CLICK HERE - American Meteorological Society - State of the Climate in 2016 - Special Supplement to the - Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society - Vol. 98, No. 8, August 2017 - (298 page .PDF report)

cnn.com - by Steve Almasy - August 10, 2017

The records highlighted in the "State of the Climate in 2016" report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration sound ominous.

• Global land surface temperatures last year were highest in 137 years of record keeping.

• Sea surface temperatures were also at their highest.

• Sea levels were at record highs in the 24 years that satellite record keeping has been used.

• Greenhouse gas marks rose faster than any year and carbon dioxide readings were above a 400 parts per million average for the year for the first time.

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Government Report Finds Drastic Impact of Climate Change on U.S.

           

A draft report by government scientists concludes that Americans are feeling the effects of climate change right now. Credit Branden Camp/Associated Press

(The Final Fifth-Order Draft is also available for download within the attachment near the bottom of this post.)

CLICK HERE - DRAFT - U.S. GLOBAL CHANGE RESEARCH PROGRAM CLIMATE SCIENCE SPECIAL REPORT (CSSR) - Final Clearance - 28 June 2017 - Fifth-Order Draft (5OD) (669 page .PDF report)

CLICK HERE - DRAFT - U.S. GLOBAL CHANGE RESEARCH PROGRAM CLIMATE SCIENCE SPECIAL REPORT (CSSR) - Third-Order Draft (TOD) - (1217 page .PDF report)

nytimes.com - by Lisa Friedman - August 7, 2017

The average temperature in the United States has risen rapidly and drastically since 1980, and recent decades have been the warmest of the past 1,500 years, according to a sweeping federal climate change report awaiting approval by the Trump administration.

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Utilities companies won't let you sell your own solar power. Why not?

The electric utility sector is broken – but the transformation we need will be virtually impossible so long as a handful of wealthy elites are calling the shots

           

Utilities companies have their sights on ending net-metering: your ability to sell excess power at market rates. Photograph: Rex

CLICK HERE - REPORT - Energy and Policy Institute - Utilities Knew: Documenting Electric Utilities’ Early Knowledge and Ongoing Deception on Climate Change From 1968-2017

theguardian.com - by Kate Aronoff - August 1, 2017

A new report from the US-based Energy and Policy Institute last week found that investor-owned utilities have known about climate change for nearly 50 years – and done everything in their power to stop governments from doing anything about it.

From their commitment to toxic fuels to their corrosive influence on our democracy to their attempts to price-gouge ratepayers, it’s long past time to bring the reign of privately-owned electric utilities to an end.

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Multi-Billion Dollar Electric Grid Risks Need Risk Transfer: Swiss Re

CLICK HERE - REPORT - Swiss Re - LIGHTS OUT: THE RISKS OF CLIMATE AND NATURAL DISASTER RELATED DISRUPTION TO THE ELECTRIC GRID - 25 July 2017

artemis.bm - July 25, 2017

Risks to the electric grid due to severe weather, natural catastrophes and climate change can cause losses in the billions of dollars, and while threats make our energy future more uncertain there is a role for risk transfer and potentially the capital markets in helping to stave off economic disruption.

A new report published by reinsurance firm Swiss Re but authored by students at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) explains that the electric grid is among the most important pieces of our critical infrastructure, but is also one of the most exposed to natural disasters, weather and climate related threats.

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Satellite Snafu Masked True Sea Level Rise for Decades

           

Credit: Joe Raedle  Getty Images 

Revised tallies confirm that the rate of sea level rise is accelerating as Earth warms and ice sheets thaw

scientificamerican.com - by Jeff Tollefson - July 19, 2017

The numbers didn’t add up. Even as Earth grew warmer and glaciers and ice sheets thawed, decades of satellite data seemed to show that the rate of sea-level rise was holding steady—or even declining.

Now, after puzzling over this discrepancy for years, scientists have identified its source: a problem with the calibration of a sensor on the first of several satellites launched to measure the height of the sea surface using radar. Adjusting the data to remove that error suggests that sea levels are indeed rising at faster rates each year.

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CLICK HERE - University of Colorado - CU Sea Level Research Group

CLICK HERE - New estimate of the current rate of sea level rise from a sea level budget approach

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Haitians Found at Sea Show Dire Conditions Could Worsen on Island Nation

reuters.com - by Sebastien Malo - July 13, 2017

U.S. authorities sent home some 100 Haitian immigrants discovered on a rickety boat this week, the most found at sea in more than a year and a sign of more people likely to flee the impoverished island, advocates said on Thursday.

Haitians are struggling to survive a homeland devastated by natural disasters and disease, and the situation could worsen if U.S. officials return home more than 50,000 Haitians in the United States on temporary visas, they said.

Under President Donald Trump, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has cast uncertainty over whether to extend a special immigration status that has been granted to Haitians since a 2010 earthquake.

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Elon Musk: Artificial Intelligence Is Society's Biggest Risk

           

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk responds to a question by Nevada Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval during the National Governors Association's meeting Saturday Providence, R.I. (STEPHAN SAVOIA/AP)

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO urged governors to regulate artificial intelligence before it's too late.

usnews.com - by Casey Leins - July 16, 2017

Artificial intelligence is the "biggest risk that we face as a civilization" Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said Saturday, speaking to state leaders on the last day of the National Governors Association summer meeting.

The business magnate participated in a question and answer session with Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, the incoming chair of the National Governors Association, whose initiative explores how state leaders can prepare for and benefit from innovative technologies.

Musk made his stance clear that governors must address artificial intelligence proactively, or it will be too late.

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To Solve Climate Change, Solve Income Inequality

A new report says that the wider the gap between rich and poor, the more the environment suffers.

           

CREDIT: Pixabay

CLICK HERE - REPORT - Roosevelt Institute - Boiling Points: The Inextricable Links Between Inequality and Climate Change

thinkprogress.org - by Marlene Cimons - May 24, 2017

We often talk about how climate change exacerbates social and economic inequality, but rarely do we consider the opposite: that inequality itself can be a driver of climate change.

“What’s missing from the conversation is what our inequality crisis is doing to our planet,” said Susan Holmberg, a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute and author of a new report that shows how unequal societies inflict more environmental damage than more economically even societies. “One key topic that is still overlooked is how environmental degradation and climate change are themselves the toxic byproducts of our inequality problem,” Holmberg said.

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