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The Grid: Energy, Resources, Environment, Sustainability | Bloomberg

Data Made Beautiful: Weather, Climate and Fracking Water

Wind and Surface Current Forecast

Data are ruthless. They reduce all of human experience to seconds on a watch and measure inches of snowfall without regard to snow angels. A datum sees the sun set and calls it just another day.

Humans bring life to data and put them together in ways that help us better understand the world. Some people call this art “data visualization,” and 2014 has already produced some mind-splitting examples. Below are four favorites.

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Big Companies Step Up Efforts to Trim Environmental Risks

Bloomberg BNA -- Multinational corporations say they are increasingly taking on a regulatory role in their supply chains to improve performance on environment, health and safety (EHS) issues, especially in developing countries where government oversight can be weak.

Although EHS regulations are strong in some developing countries, including China, they can be difficult to enforce, as governments struggle to keep up with growth in manufacturing.

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Banking on Global Warming: Today's Top Reads

Here are today's top reads:

  • Are big banks fueling global warming? (National Journal)
  • Redford: Alberta won't play emissions chicken on Keystone (Bloomberg)
  • Huge leak of coal ash slows at North Carolina power plant (New York Times)
  • Bloomberg: 'The biggest thing you can do…is to close coal-fired power plants' (National Journal)
  • Coalition 'taking an axe' to environment, says Mark Butler (Guardian)
  • Haze over cities is a problem bigger than China: Today's Pic (Bloomberg)
  • America's power is under threat (Wall Street Journal)
  • Higher education gets smart about climate change (GreenBiz)
  • How the Netflix model impacts the environment, economy and society (Guardian)
  • Opening ceremony: Who has Sochi's craziest outfits? (Bloomberg)

Visit www.bloomberg.com/sustainability for the latest from Bloomberg News about energy, natural resources and global business.

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Chemical Spill West Virginia

Bloomberg BNA – West Virginia residents affected by the recent Elk River chemical spill should trust federal regulators' assurances that their drinking water is safe, according to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D).

Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, Environmental Protection Agency experts have examined the distribution system and determined that levels of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol (MCHM) in tap water are at safe or even undetectable levels, said Region 3 Administrator Shawn M. Garvin, who joined Tomblin at a news briefing Feb. 5 in Charleston.

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Haze Over Cities Is a Problem Bigger Than China: Today's Pic

Particle Pollution in Eastern China

China's big industrial cities are learning the hard way that rapid economic growth comes at a price frequently paid by the lungs.

Residents of Bejing and Shanghai live under continuous threat that air pollution will make walking around the block harder than climbing a mountain. This side effect of economic progress turns out to be somewhat contagious, as local pollution goes global, according to a recent study in Nature Communications by scientists from Texas A&M University, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Peking University.

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Fracking's Thirst for Water: Investors Warned of the Hidden Risk

InsideClimateNews.org -- Some of the nation's driest, drought-plagued places have quickly become its busiest hot spots of drilling for shale gas and oil, especially in Texas, Colorado and California.

It's a dust-bowl-sized problem likely to become worse, according to a study released Wednesday by the nonprofit sustainability advocacy group firm Ceres. Fracking, the controversial drilling technique, is consuming billions of gallons of water each year in states where water is increasingly scarce. The report warns that investors need to demand information about how energy companies are managing this problem or risk their investment portfolios being clobbered.

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Assault on the Grid: Today's Top Reads

Here are today's top reads:

  • Assault on Power Station Raises Alarm on Terrorism (Wall Street Journal)
  • State of green business: Shadow pricing steps into the limelight (GreenBiz)
  • Keystone XL pipeline records sought in Sierra Club suit (Bloomberg)
  • Indoor Arctic Ocean model may reveal secrets of sea ice (Scientific American)
  • France destroys illegal ivory stocks (Guardian)
  • Mid-century heat will be tough to beat in U.K., study says (Bloomberg)
  • Hard winter's mixed blessing (Wall Street Journal)
  • Will others abandon tobacco following CVS Caremark's decision? (Business Journal)
  • Coca-Cola's new formula for water stewardship: Government partnership (Guardian)
  • Russia Blocks Yogurt Bound for U.S. Athletes (NY Times)

Visit www.bloomberg.com/sustainability for the latest from Bloomberg News about energy, natural resources and global business.

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Rising Heat

Hot weather disruptions are projected to rise as decades pass -- they already have -- taking metropolitan areas dangerously past historic high temperatures, sometimes for days or weeks at a time.

A study of the U.K. this week in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, sees a rising probability of dangerous heatwaves as the century progresses. Heat-related deaths could rise by more than 250 percent by mid-century, with some of the most dramatic increases occurring in London.

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‘Glacial Pace’ Is No Longer Glacial: Today's Pic

Iceberg from Jakobshavn Isbræ

Summer glaciers in Greenland seem to be picking up their pace. A new report in The Cryosphere clocks ice moving four times faster it did in the 1990s, 10.5 miles a year or 151 feet a day.

Ice that breaks off flows out to the ocean, where it can exacerbate sea-level rise. “We know that from 2000 to 2010 this glacier alone increased sea level by about 1 mm,” said Ian Joughin, researcher at the Polar Science Center.

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Travel Emissions

Global companies are trying to shrink their carbon footprints by targeting business travel, and the early results are frustrating, even among companies with celebrated green credentials.

Consider Nike, which flew several managers to Davos last month, and was proclaimed by Newsweek to be the greenest U.S. consumer products company back in 2010. Since then, it has revealed that its travel-related emissions soared 89 percent from 2008 to 2011 -- far outpacing the company's 12 percent sales growth during that period.

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About The Grid

Nations and companies face rising competition for strategic resources — energy, food, water, materials — and the technologies that make best use of them. That's sustainability. It's about the 21st-century race for wealth, health and long-term security, across the global grid.

Analyses or commentary in this blog are the views of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloomberg News.

Eric Roston, Editor
eroston@bloomberg.net

Tom Randall, Deputy Editor
trandall6@bloomberg.net

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