The Department of Energy has unveiled a new site on energy
literacy.The purpose of the site
is to define what it means to be Energy Literate and to identify the essential principals
that underlie this literacy.This
project is modeled after the already successful Ocean Literacy and Climate Literacy
projects carried out by NOAA. The document will be drafted collaboratively by
the thirteen US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) partner agencies, after
sufficient public input has been collected.To visit the site, please go to http://wiki.citizen.apps.gov/Energy_Literacy/index.php/Main_Page.
Announcing the next installment of "Climate Conversations," USGCRP's monthly seminar/webinar series, presented by Dr. Jeffrey S. Deems, and Dr. Thomas H. Painter:
Dust Impacts on Snowmelt Timing & Water Yield in the Upper Colorado River Basin
waters of the Colorado River serve 27 million people in seven states
and two countries but are overallocated by more than 10% of the river's
historical mean. Climate models project runoff losses of 7-20% from the
basin in this century due to human-induced climate change. Recent work
has shown that by the late 1800s, decades prior to allocation of the
river's runoff in the 1920s, a fivefold increase in dust loading from
anthropogenically disturbed soils in the southwest United States was
already decreasing snow albedo and shortening the duration of snow cover
by several weeks. We present new results showing that peak runoff at
Lees Ferry, Arizona has occurred on average 3 weeks earlier under
heavier dust loading and that increases in evapotranspiration from
earlier exposure of vegetation and soils decreases annual runoff by more
than 1.0 billion cubic meters or ~5% of the annual average. The
potential to reduce dust loading through surface stabilization in the
deserts and restore more persistent snow cover, slow runoff, and
increase water resources in the UCRB may represent an important
mitigation opportunity to reduce system management tensions and regional
impacts of climate change.
S. Deems, PhD, is a Research Scientist at the National Snow and Ice
Data Center and at the NOAA Western Water Assessment at the University
of Colorado at Boulder. He conducts research in snow hydrology, lidar
remote sensing of snow depth, mountain system hydrologic modeling, and
dust and climate change impacts to snow and water resources at catchment
to regional scales. At NSIDC he is the Science Liaison for the NASA
Operation IceBridge Mission.
Thomas H. Painter, PhD, is a Scientist at the Jet Propulsion
Laboratory/California Institute of Technology and a Research Professor
at the University of California, Los Angeles. His areas of interest are
snow hydrology, radiative impacts of light-absorbing impurities on snow
and glacier melt, water resources from mountain snow and ice,
multispectral remote sensing and imaging spectroscopy, and solar system
astrobiology. Dr. Painter has pioneered our understanding of the impacts
of dust emission from land use change on snow and ice cover in mountain
systems and the hydrologic response. He is Chairman and organizer of
the Working Group on Light-Absorbing Impurities in Snow and Ice. He is
the Vice-Chair of the Cryosphere Focus Group of the American Geophysical
Union and member of the AGU Eos Editorial Advisory Board.
On October 14, 2010, the Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Taskforce released a progress report which outlines recommendations to President Obama for how Federal Agency
policies and programs can better prepare the United States to respond to
the impacts of climate change. The Taskforce is co-chaired by
the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), the Office of Science and
Technology Policy (OSTP), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA), and includes representatives from more than 20
Federal Agencies. The report recommends that the Federal Government expand and
strengthen the Nationâ€™s capacity to understand, prepare for, and
respond to climate change. The recommendations include making
adaptation a standard part of agency planning and ensuring scientific
information about the impacts of climate change is easily accessible. Click here to read the full press release and progress report.
The EPA National Water Program has released an update to its Response to Climate Change Strategy.
The original 2008 Strategy included 44 "Key Actions" to be undertaken during 2008 and 2009.
This 2010-2011 Update describes the Key Actions that are continuing to be implemented over the next two years.
The document is available at: http://water.epa.gov/scitech/climatechange/strategy.cfm.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today
released its final strategic plan that will guide the agencyâ€™s efforts
to respond to the threat posed by global warming. The plan, titled â€œRising to the Urgent
Challenge: Strategic Plan for Responding to Accelerating Climate
Change,â€ provides a framework within which the Service will work as part
of the conservation community to help ensure the sustainability of
fish, wildlife, plants and habitats in the face of accelerating climate
change. See the press release for full details.