New York Times: A Crack in an Antarctic Ice Shelf Grew 17 Miles in the Last Two Months
A rapidly advancing crack in Antarctica’s fourth-largest ice shelf has scientists concerned that it is getting close to a full break. The rift has accelerated this year in an area already vulnerable to warming temperatures. Since December, the crack has grown by the length of about five football fields each day.
The crack in Larsen C now reaches over 100 miles in length, and some parts of it are as wide as two miles. The tip of the rift is currently only about 20 miles from reaching the other end of the ice shelf.
Once the crack reaches all the way across the ice shelf, the break will create one of the largest icebergs ever recorded, according to Project Midas, a research team that has been monitoring the rift since 2014. Because of the amount of stress the crack is placing on the remaining 20 miles of the shelf, the team expects the break soon.
Los Angeles Times: Californians Are Paying Billions for Power They Don't Need
California has a big — and growing — glut of power, an investigation by the Los Angeles Times has found. The state’s power plants are on track to be able to produce at least 21% more electricity than it needs by 2020, based on official estimates. And that doesn’t even count the soaring production of electricity by rooftop solar panels that has added to the surplus.
To cover the expense of new plants whose power isn’t needed — Colusa, for example, has operated far below capacity since opening — Californians are paying a higher premium to switch on lights or turn on electric stoves. In recent years, the gap between what Californians pay versus the rest of the country has nearly doubled to about 50%.
Reuters: U.S. EPA Employees Protest Trump's Pick to Run Agency
Former and current employees of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency expressed opposition to President Donald Trump's pick to run the agency on Monday – in an open letter and a small street protest – reflecting divisions over the new administration's plans to slash regulation.
Over 400 former EPA staff members sent a letter to the U.S. Senate asking it to reject the nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as the agency's new leader, saying “he has shown no interest in enforcing environmental laws.”
In Chicago, around 30 employees of the EPA's regional office there joined a protest organized by the Sierra Club environmental group and the American Federation of Government Employees to protest Pruitt's nomination.
Yale 360: With Norway in Lead, Europe Set for Surge in Electric Vehicles
On Europe’s northern margins, lightly populated Norway has been at the cutting edge of electromobility for years, even decades now. The capital of Oslo, like most of Norway’s cities and towns, boasts bus-lane access for electric vehicles (EVs), recharging stations aplenty, privileged parking, and toll-free travel for electric cars.
The initiative began in the 1990s as an effort to cut pollution, congestion, and noise in urban centers; now its primary rationale is combating climate change. Today, Norway has the highest per capita number of all-electric [battery only] cars in the world: more than 100,000 in a country of 5.2 million people. Last year, EVs constituted nearly 40 percent of the nation’s newly registered passenger cars.
Renewable Energy World: Rocky Mountain Power to Test Biomass That May Cut Coal Use
Rocky Mountain Power, a unit of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., will test a new biomass fuel that may reduce the amount of coal being burned by power plants. The U.S. utility, which is part of Pacificorp, will use a plant in Utah to test a biomass fuel made by Active Energy Group Plc, Paul Murphy, a spokesman for RMP, said by phone. Active Energy’s fuel, called CoalSwitch, is processed from low-grade forestry residue.
Active Energy, which manages woodlands and develops clean-energy products, is seeking to supply its fuel to utilities willing to switch to biomass in order to cut carbon emissions. The London-based company in November obtained funding for its first industrial-scale plant. It will be located in Canada and turn waste and wood into CoalSwitch.