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First Hurricane in 11 Years Hits Florida: An 80-mph Category 1 hurricane made landfall at in Florida late last night, causing heavy rains, widespread storm surge and power disruptions for more than 150,000 residents. This is the first hurricane to make landfall in the state in 11 years. Storm surge is estimated to have reached as high as 9 feet in some places. The National Hurricane Center expects storm rainfall totals of 5 to 10 inches across the southeastern US, with isolated totals reaching upwards of 15 inches, and has warned of “life-threatening inundation” along the Gulf Coast of Florida for next 24 hours. Hermine highlights the risks associated with hurricanes in a warming world. Near record-warm ocean temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico evaporated near-record amounts of water into the atmosphere for Hermine. Sea levels in northwest Florida have risen nearly a foot in the past decades, increasing the threat of storm surge and flooding. (News: NPR, ABC News, BBC, CNN, Charlotte Observer, LA Times $, NBC News, Washington Post $, Mashable, New York Times $, Reuters. Commentary: Pacific Standard, Eric Holthaus column. Background: Climate Signals)
CPP Won’t Cost Power Suppliers Much: The operator of the largest US power market said in a report that power suppliers in its region can comply with the Clean Power Plan with very little economic impact. PJM Interconnection — which serves much of the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions — found that wholesale electricity costs could rise as little as one percent depending on how a state chooses to comply with the plan. The report found that regional strategies, like the Northeast’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, would be even more cost effective than state-by-state plans. (Bloomberg, Politico Pro $)
Climate Funds for Pacific Islands: The White House announced $40 million in new programs to help Pacific Islands build resilience to climate change and invest in clean energy. This includes funding for a new USAID Climate Ready Program, which is intended to help national governments increase access to climate finance and strengthen adaptation programs. President Obama visited Hawaii and Midway Atoll to discuss climate change and conservation on his way to Hangzhou for the G20 Summit, where the US and China could formally join the Paris Agreement. (News: The Hill, Huffington Post,CNN, Reuters, New York Times $. Commentary: Washington Post, Juliet Eilperin column $)
Cooling Fabric for A Warming World: A team at Stanford University has engineered a new fabric that could help people stay cool by allowing body heat to escape better than traditional fabrics. The material, called nanoPE, keeps skin temperature nearly 5°F cooler than cotton and 3.8°F cooler than popular synthetic fabrics. The creators of the fabric say nanoPE clothes could reduce the use of air conditioners, which is expected to rise thanks to climate change. (News: AP, The Verge, TIME, Smithsonian, Bloomberg . Commentary: Washington Post, Rachel Feltman column $)