Sierra Magazine: Explore, enjoy and protect the planet.
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UP TO SPEED | Two Months, One Page

Hurricane Sandy ravages the Mid-Atlantic region, causing losses up to $50 billion and more than 110 deaths.

In a national Yale poll, 74 percent of Americans agree that "global warming is affecting weather in the United States"--up 5 points since March.

In September, all new electricity capacity added to the U.S. grid comes from wind and solar.

Climate scientist Michael E. Mann sues the National Review and the Competitive Enterprise Institute for defamation for comparing him to convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky. (See "Meltdown," page 18.)

Two-thirds of the U.S. winter wheat crop is impaired by drought, and U.S. corn and soybean production falls below consumption levels for the first time in 38 years.

Drought will cut world wheat stocks by 13 percent in 2013, predicts the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization warns that low grain stores this year leave "no room for unexpected events."

California moves to protect its solitary gray wolf, OR7.

Gray wolves in Wyoming are taken off the endangered species list, and a hunting season is initiated.

Wolf hunting is also legal in Montana, Idaho, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. (See "Prime Cuts.")

September 2012 ties for the hottest September ever.

Worldwide, land-surface temperatures for the period of June through August 2012 are the hottest ever recorded.

Surpassing previous records, the 12-month period from August 2011 to July 2012 is the hottest in U.S. history, beating the record set from July 2011 to June 2012. The six warmest 12-month periods in the U.S. temperature record all ended during 2012.

The dying Salton Sea blankets 10,000 square miles of Southern California in extreme stink.

Drought in the Midwest is driving skunks into urban areas.

Massive dust storms engulf the cities of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Phoenix, Arizona.

Half of Australia's Great Barrier Reef has disappeared over the past 27 years because of cyclones, invasive starfish, and coral bleaching.

Despite sitting on 3,684 unused oil leases in the Gulf of Mexico, oil companies are issued the most deepwater drilling permits since 2007, before the BP spill.

The containment dome that BP hoped would stanch the Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010 has to be capped itself after it SPRINGS A LEAK.

Shell abandons its oil-drilling operation in the Arctic for 2012 after an accident involving its oil-spill containment barge.

The number of California oak trees infected with the disease sudden oak death increased tenfold in 2012.

Criminal gangs, rebel groups, and regional armies in Africa are engaging in an epic elephant slaughter, killing tens of thousands a year for their tusks.

Radioactivity in the waters surrounding Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant may make fish there inedible for a decade.

In what's being called a case of "rogue geoengineering," U.S. businessman Russ George dumps 100 tons of iron sulfate into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of British Columbia. He hopes to prove that the resulting plankton bloom will absorb excess carbon dioxide and sink to the bottom of the sea--allowing him to sell the carbon credits. —Paul Rauber

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