In the Face of Extreme Drought, Australia (and Possibly Texas) Undoes Best Strategy for Water Conservation: Clean Energy

April 14, 2015 by Kate Zerrenner

Drought Risk and Clean Energy

Cowboys, frontier grit, accented English, and wild, wide open spaces are just a few of the similarities shared by Texas and Australia. Both places also have an energy-water problem. But, the good news for Texas is that it’s not too late for us to learn from Australia’s mistakes – and a few successes, too.[read more]

Climate Change Drying Out Southwest Now, With Worse To Come For A Third Of The Planet

April 17, 2014 by Joseph Romm

Southwest Drying Out

Two new studies confirm that warming-driven climate change is already drying the U.S. Southwest and other parts of the globe. More worrisome, nearly a third of the world’s land faces drying from rising greenhouse gases — including two of the world’s greatest agricultural centers.[read more]

Water and the Future of Energy

January 20, 2014 by Elias Hinckley

California is in the midst of an epic drought. It is one of 11 western states (Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Arkansas, Hawaii, Idaho, and Kansas are the others) that the U.S. government declared to be “primary natural disaster areas” due to drought.[read more]

Forests as Rainmakers: New Study Lends Credence to Theory

March 6, 2013 by Tom Schueneman

It seems intuitive that large forests exist in areas where there is a lot of rainfall. But what if the converse were true? What if forests themselves were a significant factor in causing rainfall?[read more]

A Litany of 2012 Extreme Weather Records

January 24, 2013 by Jonathan Smith

2012 was officially the warmest year on record in much of the US, with average temperatures across the country shattering the 20th Century average by 3.2 degrees Fahrenheit.[read more]

Climate Change-Driven Megadroughts Jeopardizing Amazon Forest

January 21, 2013 by Joseph Romm

An area of the Amazon rainforest twice the size of California continues to suffer from the effects of a megadrought that began in 2005, finds a new NASA-led study. These results, together with observed recurrences of droughts every few years and associated damage to the forests in southern and western Amazonia in the past decade, suggest these rainforests may be showing the first signs of potential large-scale degradation due to climate change.[read more]

NOAA: 2012 Was Officially The Warmest Year On Record For The U.S.

January 9, 2013 by Stephen Lacey

Last year was officially the hottest ever recorded for the lower-48 states. Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) tallied weather and temperature data for 2012, and found that the year was both the warmest and the second-most extreme for weather ever recorded for the contiguous U.S.[read more]

Eight Ways The Drought Is Influencing Thanksgiving

November 22, 2012 by Joseph Romm

Thanksgiving is a time of plenty – or, maybe more accurately, of vast over-consumption — from the meal to the midnight shopping rampage afterward.But across the United States this year, “plenty” has not been enjoyed by many farmers. A historic drought devastated crops over the summer, causing a spike in grain prices that led to farmers...[read more]

EPA Unwavering in Support for Ethanol, Despite Drought

November 21, 2012 by Geoffrey Styles

Ethanol Nuzzle via Shutterstock

Last Friday the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rejected the petitions of a bi-partisan group of state governors for a waiver of the federal ethanol mandate, resolving one of several energy-related issues that had been deferred beyond the presidential election.  The waiver requests filed in August cited...[read more]

Epic ‘Dust Bowl Of 2012′ Expands Again

October 1, 2012 by Joseph Romm

The latest weekly Drought Monitor update set another grim record. The brutal U.S. drought expanded to 65.45% of the contiguous U.S. — the highest ever in the Monitor’s 12-year history. The previous record was 64.8% — set just last week.In the third quarter alone, crop production dropped $12 billion “due to this summer’s...[read more]

Summer from Hell: Climate Change Makes Its Presence Known

September 6, 2012 by Frances Beinecke

Thermometer via Shutterstock

The summer of 2012 has come to a close, but it won’t be forgotten anytime soon. It delivered one extreme weather event after another, from heat waves to freak storms, wildfires to drought. People lost their homes and livelihoods, yet even as they try to pick up the pieces, more powerful weather systems are looming on the horizon.Extreme...[read more]

Drought and ethanol crunch U.S. corn crop

August 22, 2012 by Simon Donner

There's a lot of fear-mongering in the media about the impact of the U.S. drought on food production and what that means for the future. A look at the crop supply data, available from the USDA feed grains yearbook, tells the full story, and it is not about food, nor is it entirely about the drought.[read more]

In a Kansas Corn Field, Drought Points to the Need for Climate Solutions

August 15, 2012 by Rocky Kistner

Last month, I spent a week traveling with my NRDC colleague Bob Deans through the drought-decimated corn and wheat fields of Colorado and Kansas, talking to farmers knocked flat by one of the hottest summers ever. This is ground zero for one of the worst droughts in recent history; more than half the counties in the US have been...[read more]

Will the Drought Also Cause the Renewable Fuels Standard to Shrivel?

August 14, 2012 by James Coan

Plant in Drought via Shutterstock

In the wake of the record drought affecting much of the country, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released on Friday an extremely pessimistic paper projecting much lower production of corn and soybeans this year. The report is sure to incite more citizens and legislators to demand that the mandate requiring ethanol consumption...[read more]

Poor Corn Crop Will Have Major Impact on Ethanol Market

July 17, 2012 by Robert Rapier

Recent reports indicate that what had been expected to be a record crop of corn has been downgraded such that only 40% of the corn crop is being classified as in good or excellent condition. This represents one of the biggest threats to the U.S. ethanol industry.[read more]