Emerging from a several years of strategic conversation, cross-state collaboration, and the intense growth of the youth climate movement here in the Midwest, a fledgling coalition is rising. Following in the spirit of regional coalitions launched in the Southeast (Southern Energy Network) and Northwest (Cascade Climate Network), the Midwest Youth Climate Coalition seeks to deepen connections between key youth climate organizations and activists across the Midwest and foster a coordinated approach to regional and national challenges and opportunities.
On Tuesday, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson spoke at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities about the role of science in public health and environmental protection policy. The audience also got a glimpse of Jackson's personal life. She shared the story of her own son who suffers from asthma and her favorite policy, the "right to know" laws (I'm speculating this may have inspired the latest EPA website that makes information about the nation's largest greenhouse gas emitters searchable though an interactive map).
Arctic Oscillation Diagram
It’s hard not to notice the lack of winter across most of the country, at least in the lower 48 states. Two weeks ago a January heat wave smashed records from North Dakota to California before spreading into the Northeast. At least 1,500 daily record high temperatures were set during the period from January 2-8, including Minnesota. Real winter weather is just around the corner though, thanks to the Arctic Oscillation. The Arctic Oscillation is a pattern of atmospheric pressure that helps steer the jet stream in the Northern Hemisphere and is transitioning into a new phase. When it’s in a “positive phase” as it has been so far this winter, cold air tends to remain bottled up in the Arctic. In fact, the Arctic Oscillation has been extremely positive this winter, with the Arctic Oscillation index reaching its second-highest level on record, dating back to 1950. This is the opposite of how things were in December 2010 and January 2011, when the Arctic Oscillation was extremely negative and several major snowstorms slammed the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Scientists do not fully understand what influences the behavior of the Arctic Oscillation, but some studies show links between it and the loss of Arctic sea ice, which is due in large part to global warming, and other research suggests that solar activity can have an effect on it as well. Our friend and Minnesota weather guru Paul Douglas was on MPR’s Midmorning show recently discussing our weird weather and more. Listen here.
At a recent school visit in Proctor, Minnesota in early January, Will Steger explained the difference between weather and climate and talked about how he navigated his expedition teams without a GPS unit using wind, the sun, and weather as a guide. Students were surprised to learn how skills he learned as a young child enabled him to survive in the Arctic. Learn more about Will's early observations and journals in our online classroom.
Nicole Rom, Executive Director
As many student organizations wind down for winter break, student organizers in Ohio continue to ramp things up. Check out these blogs and media hits from the OH Student Environmental Coalition who has launched a well-coordinated, sustained and aggressive campaign on the fracking industry across the state.
Today, we stopped by Senator Klobuchar's office to deliver 1,145 postcards signed by young people across the state urging her to protect the Clean Air Act. Young people in Minnesota need Sen. Klobuchar to stand up for our future and be a champion for clean air safeguards. Any delays or compromises will jeopardize our health and the environment we are inheriting.
ClimateChangeLIVE Education Resources Highlights-Part 2 Webinar
Dec 11 - 07:30pm - 09:00pm
Climate and Energy Literacy Webinar: Eyewitness to Climate Change
Jan 15 - 06:30pm - 08:00pm
Professional Development Programs for Climate Change Education Webinar
Jan 29 - 07:30pm - 09:00pm
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