JULIA CONLEY – The continuous accumulation of carbon dioxide in the planet’s oceansâ€”which shows no sign of stopping due to humanity’s relentless consumption of fossil fuelsâ€”is likely to trigger a chemical reaction in Earth’s carbon cycle similar to those which happened just before mass extinction events, according to a new study.
CHRIS MOONEY and JULIET EILPERIN – White House officials last year weighed whether to simply â€œignoreâ€ climate studies produced by government scientists or to instead develop â€œa coherent, fact-based message about climate science,â€ according to a memo obtained by The Washington Post. The document, drafted Sept. 18 by Michael Catanzaro, President Trumpâ€™s special assistant for domestic energy and environmental policy at the time, highlights the dilemma the administration has faced over climate change since Trump took office. Even as Trumpâ€™s deputies have worked methodically to uproot policies aimed at curbing the nationâ€™s carbon output, the administrationâ€™s agencies continue to produce reports showing that climate change is happening, is human-driven and is a threat to the United States.
KARL GROSSMAN – Despite protests around the world, the Cassini space probeâ€”containing more deadly plutonium than had ever been used on a space deviceâ€”was launched 20 years ago. And this past weekendâ€”on Earth Dayâ€”the probe and its plutonium were sent crashing into Saturn.
LAURA PARKER – A pioneering lawsuit against the U.S. government on global warming won the right to a trial. Now Trump wants an appeals court to cancel it.
DAVID ROBERTS – Throughout this long, crazy campaign, thereâ€™s been a tension simmering between empiricists like Nate Silver and Sam Wang, who cited poll data showing Obama with a small but durable lead, and pundits who trusted their â€œgutsâ€ and the â€œnarrative,â€ both of which indicated that Romney had all the momentum after the first debate.
BRUCE GAGNON – The next plutonium enabled space mission, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), is scheduled to be launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida between November 25 and December 18 of this year. The MSL rover, known as “Curiosity,” will be fueled with 4.8 kilograms (10.56 pounds) of plutonium dioxide. It will be, NASA says, “the largest, most capable rover ever sent to another planet.”
TOM HASTINGS — San Bruno, California, is about 12 miles south of San Francisco, near the airport. That is where the gas line ruptured and exploded into a massive fireball hundreds of feet tall, burning dozens of homes, killing at least four, and injuring many others. Residents report having gotten whiffs of gas now and then for a period beforehand.
VALERIE TALIMAN: Nearly 400 Native leaders, scholars, elders and Tribal College students from across the country, joined by scientists from the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), came together at a watershed gathering, the Native Peoples Native Homelands Climate Change Workshop II, to formulate a collective response to the far-reaching impacts of climate change on Native lands and communities.