Category Archives: Climate Change

CO2 Trading Webinar Held October 20, 2017, by Georgetown Climate Center for Va. Regulatory Advisory Committee on Carbon Dioxide Trading Regulation

A public Webinar on “Modeling Results for Virginia Business-as-Usual and Cap Scenarios” will conducted October 20, 2017, 10 a.m., by the Georgetown Climate Center for the Virginia Air Pollution Control Board/Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Regulatory Advisory Committee on Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Trading Regulation.

Register with the Georgetown [University] Climate Center online at, no later than October 19, 2017.

More information about the meeting is available from the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall, online at

The Regulatory Advisory Committee was formed to advise the DEQ on the development of proposed regulatory amendments concerning CO2 trading.  Its formation followed Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s Executive Directive 11 (May 2017) that instructed the DEQ to begin a process of developing regulations to reduce carbon emissions from electric power plants.  Executive Directive 11 is available online (as a PDF) at  A Notice of Intended Regulatory Action was published in the Virginia Register of Regulations on June 26, 2017.  The pertinent section of the Virginia Administrative Code is 9 VAC 5-140.   More information on this regulatory action is available online at

Vibrio Bacteria and Potential Increases in Chesapeake Bay Temperatures Examined in Research Published in September 2017

In research published in September 2017, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists found that, depending on future levels of emissions, changing climate conditions might lead to an increase in Chesapeake Bay populations of three common species of Vibrio bacteria by the end of the 21st Century, with potentially significant economic and healthcare costs.

The research paper is “Projections of the future occurrence, distribution, and seasonality of three Vibrio species in the Chesapeake Bay under a high-emission climate change scenario,” by Barbara A. Muhling, et al.  It was published online on September 26, 2017, by GeoHealth (a journal of the American Geophyical Union) and is available at

Following is an excerpt from NOAA’s news release on the research (Warming Climate Could Increase Bacterial Impacts on Chesapeake Bay Shellfish, Recreation, 9/26/17).

“Researchers have found that three common species of Vibrio bacteria in Chesapeake Bay could increase with changing climate conditions by the end of this century, resulting in significant economic and healthcare costs from illnesses caused by exposure to contaminated water and consumption of contaminated shellfish. …

“Vibrio bacteria occur naturally in the Chesapeake Bay and in coastal and estuarine waters around the world.  About a dozen Vibrio species can cause human illness, known as vibriosis.  Two of the most common species causing human illness in the United States, Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio vulnificus, occur in the Chesapeake Bay.  Their abundance varies with water temperature, salinity and other environmental factors.  A third species, Vibrio cholerae, also occurs in Chesapeake Bay but is not associated with cholera epidemics, although like other Vibrio species it can sometimes cause illness in people who eat contaminated shellfish, such as oysters.

“Researchers used four different global climate models and data from eight locations in and around the bay and its tributaries to project how warming temperatures and changing freshwater inputs might impact the three Vibrio bacteria in the bay and its oyster populations by the end of this century.  The findings showed substantial future increases in the occurrence, distribution, and length of the season for V. vulnificus and V. parahaemolyticus, and an increase in favorable habitat for V. cholerae, although this was confined to low salinity regions of the bay. …

“Laboratory experiments suggest that optimum temperatures for Vibrio species are between 37 and 39 degrees C, or 98.6 to 102.2 degrees F, much warmer than current conditions in the Chesapeake Bay.  All three Vibrio strains now occur more frequently and in higher abundances in warmer months of the year, when water temperatures are also warmer.  Each strain or species appears to have a distinct salinity range, meaning the Vibrios could potentially increase only when other environmental factors are or become favorable in a specific area in the bay. …

“Disease risk from Vibrios already exists in the Chesapeake Bay.  Environmental and resource managers are aware of it, as are many local residents and shellfish consumers.  Some measures designed to reduce the risk of Vibrio-related illness from harvested oysters are already in place.  For example, in warmer months, oysters must be refrigerated by a certain time of day after being harvested.  As temperatures continue to warm, these set times of day may need to be adjusted to ensure that oysters remain safe to eat.  The months of the year where these regulations are applied may also need to be extended.”

Related media article: Climate change brings heightened risks in Bay of contaminated water, shellfish, Bay Journal, 9/28/17.

Climate Change Adaptation in Miami Beach, Fla., is Focus of AWRA Webinars on Oct. 4 and Oct. 18, 2017

In October 2017, two one-hour Webinars on climate change adaptation in Miami Beach, Fla., will be presented by the the American Water Resources Association (AWRA; headquartered in Middleburg, Va.; main Web site:

October 4 – Miami Beach’s Aggressive Action Toward Climate Change Adaptation, Part 1.

October 18 – Adaptation Strategies for Miami Beach, Part 2: Green Infrastructure, Resilience, and Groundwater.

Both events begin at 1 p.m. Eastern Time.  Registration is free to AWRA members and $25 for non-members.  More information and registration is available online at  Descriptions of previous AWRA Webinars are also available at that site.


Pesticides, the Chesapeake Bay, and Climate Change Get Attention at Oct. 24, 2017, Conference in Reisterstown, Md.

The 11th Annual Pesticides and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Project Conference will be held October 24, 2017, in Reisterstown, Maryland (Baltimore County).  The conference is being organized by the Maryland Conservation Council.  This year’s theme is “Research, Practices & Policies: Protecting the Bay & Addressing Climate Change.”  According to the conference Web site, the meeting will “focus on cutting-edge trends in agriculture that simultaneously protect the Bay and address carbon sequestration — including the latest in science research and policy impacting on the watershed.” For more information, visit; or e-mail the Council at

Some of the information in this post was provided by the Virginia Water Monitoring Council (VWMC).  For more information about the VWMC, please visit

Adapt Virginia Web Portal on Climate Change Adaptation Released in Summer 2017

In Summer 2017, the Adapt Virginia Web portal on climate adaptation was announced by the Virginia Institute or Marine Science’s Center for Coastal Resources Management (CCRM).  The Web site is  According to that site, Adapt Virginia (AdaptVA) “is a gateway to information for individuals, local programs, and agencies engaged in climate adaptation.  AdaptVA focuses on the physical and social vulnerabilities by integrating the best available science, legal guidance, and planning strategies.  Visitors will find legal and policy resources, stories that explain adaption through maps and pictures, a searchable web catalogue, and mapping tools that address short and long-term predictions for rising water levels.”  The site’s content currently covers forecasts, adaptations, tools, maps and data, and planning and policy.

Sea Level Rise and Military Readiness are the Focus of Oct. 27, 2017, Conference by the Virginia Coastal Policy Center at the College of William and Mary Law School

Defending Our Coasts: Ensuring Military Readiness and Economic Viability as Waters Rise” is the theme of the 5th annual conference of the William and Mary Law School’s Virginia Coastal Policy Center.  The conference will be held on October 27, 2017, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., at the College of William and Mary School of Education, 301 Monticello Avenue in Williamsburg.

For more information, visit; phone (757) 221-3800; or e-mail:

An Overview of Antarctic Ice Developments, in PBS NewsHour Videos in July 2017 and March 2017

Loss of giant ice sections from Antarctica—the most recent a Delaware-sized piece that broke off in July 2017—is the subject of the following two PBS NewsHour videos.

One of the biggest icebergs ever just broke off Antarctica. Here’s what scientists want to know,” broadcast on July 12, 2017 (8 minutes/26 seconds) describes this July 2017 break-off of the Delaware-sized iceberg and gives background on Antarctica’s ice geography, other notable ice rifts, and scientists’ efforts to assess the connection of these developments to climate changes and their potential for contributing to sea-level rises; the video is available online at

A March 8, 2017, segment on the subject was “How scientists are tracking a massive iceberg in the making.”  That 5 min./55 second video, available online at, describes some of the satellite technology and imagery used to track such large-scale changes.

More information on changes to the Larsen Ice Shelf is available from the National Aeronautic and Space Agency (NASA), “Antarctica’s Changing Larsen Ice Shelf,” online at