Week of January 11, 2016
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has published their annual report on the state of the climate, which found 2015 to have been the second hottest year on record at 54.4° F. According to the NOAA, “This is the 19th consecutive year the annual average temperature exceeded the 20th century average.” The report also cited 10 climate and weather disasters, each incurring losses of over $1 billion. (More from the NOAA)
According to a study released on Tuesday, there are now twice as many jobs in the US solar energy industry as there were in 2010. The independent organization conducting the study also found that the field is adding employees 12 times faster than the US economy overall and is led by the installation sector, which employs 119,931 workers. 2015 is the third year in a row that the solar workforce has grown by 20% or more. (More from The Solar Foundation)
Oil As solar is catching on, the oil and coal industries are burning out. On Wednesday the price of oil dipped below $30 a barrel. House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich) suggested increasing oil exports from the US. British Petroleum has announced they will be cutting 4,000 jobs this year, due to falling prices.
Arch Coal, the second largest coal miner in the US, has filed for bankruptcy this week. The Energy Information Administration recently released data showing a continued decrease in US coal production, now reaching a 30-year low. Coal, which is used to produce electricity in the US, is suffering in part due to the expansions of renewable energy and natural gas in the energy mix. (More from the EIA)
Photo Credit: Flickr/Oregon Department of Transportation, Flickr/Pete Markham, Flickr/NPS Climate Change Response, Flickr/Kurt Haubrich