An area of Arctic sea ice bigger than the United States melted this year, and ice cover reached “a new record low” in the area around the North Pole, according to a report released this week by the United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization. Droughts covered nearly two-thirds of the United States this year, as well as western Russia and southern Europe. The Arkansas River in Wichita (in photo) is at its second-lowest level in the 78 years the United States Geological Survey has been keeping records, and the Mississippi River is so low that it is halting some barge traffic. Climate scientists are predicting more devastating storms like Hurricane Sandy due to shifting weather and air patterns caused by global warming. Meanwhile, the Heartland Institute, a libertarian think tank funded heavily by oil companies, is working with the American Legislative Exchange Council to write model legislation for states such as Kansas to repeal renewable-energy mandates.
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