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Satellites show major Southwest groundwater loss

YAHOO NEWS/(AP) Groundwater losses from the Colorado River basin appear massive enough to challenge long-term water supplies for the seven states and parts of Mexico that it serves, according to a new study released Thursday that used NASA satellites.  Researchers from NASA and the University of California, Irvine say their study is the first to quantify how much groundwater people in the West are using during the region’s current drought. Stephanie Castle, the study’s lead author and a water resource specialist at the University of California, Irvine, called the extent of the groundwater depletion “shocking.” “We didn’t realize the magnitude
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The Drought Apocalypse Approaches as the Colorado River Basin Dries Up

FROM TAKEPART.COM Scientists on Thursday released the results of a first-of-its-kind study that finds the seven states of the drought-stricken Colorado River Basin are depleting groundwater reserves at a rapid rate. That threatens the future of a river that supplies water to 40 million people and irrigates 4 million acres of farmland. Researchers at the University of California, Irvine, and NASA analyzed data from a satellite that measures underground water reserves to calculate that the Colorado River Basin has lost 65 cubic kilometers—that’s 17.3 trillion gallons—of water between December 2004 and November 2013. That represents twice the capacity of the
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The Story of Dryden: The Town That Fought Fracking (And Is Winning)

FROM EARTHJUSTICE.ORG An upstate New York town is fighting to preserve its way of life in a lawsuit pitting a small town’s rights against an out-of-state oil and gas company’s wishes. More than a hundred towns in New York have enacted local bans or moratoriums on gas drilling, including the controversial process known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” in which drillers blast millions of gallons of chemically treated water into the ground to extract gas from hard-to-reach deposits deep in the earth. Among those municipalities is the Town of Dryden—which is now being sued. In September of 2011, the privately-held
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NASA Launching Satellite to Track Carbon

Original piece featured at the New York Times by Kenneth Chang On an average day, some 100 million tons of carbon dioxide is liberated from oil and coal by combustion, wafting into the air. The gas traps heat in the atmosphere, resulting in the gradual warming that has alarmed scientists and much of the public. But only half of the carbon dioxide stays up there; the other half falls back to earth. While scientists know what happens to half of that half — it dissolves into the oceans — the rest is a continuing puzzle. It is taken up by
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Australia Carbon Tax Repeal Comes As New Research Blames Climate Change For Long-Term Drought

Originally posted at the International Business Times by Maria Gallucci Australia is already feeling the effects of man-made climate change, new research confirms, but the country is quickly losing the political will to fight back. The parliament, under a conservative coalition elected last year, this week repealed a two-year-old tax on carbon dioxide emissions – the country’s only legislated policy for reducing global warming pollution. Yet climate scientists say those very emissions are largely to blame for a decades-long drought. New model simulations indicate that the long-term decline in winter rainfall over parts of southern Australia – especially the southwest,
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World Council of Churches divests from fossil fuels and encourages its members to do the same

Originally posted at Fossil Free by Melanie (no further credit mentioned-see link) The Central Committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC), a fellowship of over 300 churches, which represent some 590 million people in 150 countries, endorsed fossil fuel divestment this week. The WCC agreed to phase out its own fossil fuel holdings and encourage its members to do the same. The WCC Central Committee is made up of dozens of influential religious leaders from around the world, meaning the decision could resonate far and wide. 350.org founder Bill McKibben said: “The World Council of Churches reminds us that
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Australia’s Carbon Tax Repeal Set For Final Showdown

Posted at HuffPost Green via Reuters, by Matt Siegel Australia’s lower house of parliament on Monday voted to scrap the country’s controversial carbon tax, setting up a final showdown in the Senate as early as Tuesday to decide the scheme’s fate. Abolition of the carbon tax was a centerpiece policy of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s 2013 election, but he has struggled to repeal the tax as his government does not control the Senate. Last week the Senate rejected the repeal legislation after lawmakers from mining magnate Clive Palmer’s Palmer United Party (PUP), which holds the balance of power in the
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Dry as a Bone: Lake Mead’s H2O Situation Just Got A Lot Worse

Originally posted at takepart.com by Liz Dwyer The water reservoir has officially fallen to its lowest level since the Hoover Dam was built. The days of millions of Sin City residents and visitors who love swimming in, boating on, and drinking water siphoned from Lake Mead could be numbered. After 14 years of drought in the Southwest, the water reservoir created by the Hoover Dam has officially dipped to its lowest water level since it began filling up with water from the Colorado River in the 1930s. On Sunday, the lake’s water level dropped to 1,081.7 feet above sea level,
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California’s Drought Will Cost $2.2 Billion and 17,000 Jobs This Year, but 2015 Could Be Worse

Original Post at takepart.com By Todd Woody (7/15/14) As California regulators vote to impose water rationing today, a new study estimates that the state’s epic drought will cost farmers $2.2 billion this year, while 17,100 agricultural workers will lose their jobs. But the worst may be yet to come. “We’re in a critically dry this year,” said Jay Lund, a researcher at the University of California, Davis, and a coauthor of the report, at a press conference Tuesday. “There’s a very good chance next year will be dry or critically dry.” Much of California’s $46 billion agricultural industry relies on
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Little Lee’s *MY* Cloud Theory: A Brief Fable

Dear Friends, The fable that follows is soon to be published in two forthcoming volumes in the Global Awakening series: Volume 3, Glimpses of Oneness and Volume 4, First Light. It tells the story of how I first experienced being part of something much bigger than me, and the valuable lesson to be drawn from this simple realization and applied to our global climate crisis. Little Lee’s “MY Cloud Theory” by Lee TempleI can still remember the first time I ever experienced the “wild blue yonder,” or realized that I was a part of something much, much bigger than me—even though
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