Last year was the coldest on record in Dubuque, and the sixth coldest in the Quad Cities. In Dubuque, 2014's average temperature was 43.7 degrees, breaking the record of 43.8 set in 1875. In the Quad Cities, last year's average temperature was 3.5 degrees colder than usual at 47.3 degrees.
Once again, Kelly McKay will spend the next three weeks outside, documenting the number of times he sees cardinals, crows, eagles, hawks, herons, sparrows, and other birds. The Christmas Bird Count will begin on Sunday in the Quad Cities.
After two years of planning, a federal agency has okayed the Iowa DNR's plan to reduce air pollution in Muscatine County. This week, the Environmental Protection Agency announced the approval of Iowa's State Implementation Plan to cut fine particle emissions. Amy Algoe-Eakin, from the EPA, says in recent years, air in the county has not met government standards for fine particulate matter. It's a pollutant that can lead to health problems.
A nationally-known environmentalist from the Quad Cities will be back on national television Friday night. One year after CNN named Chad Pregracke its Hero of the Year, the network will update his activities since then.
When it comes to concern for the environment, Dubuque is one of the best cities in the country. Today, the city was recognized as one of the top 16 "Climate Action Champions" by the Obama Administration and the US Department of Energy. The White House and Energy Department say Dubuque was chosen because of its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent, by the year 2030.
Quad Cities residents faced a colder autumn than last year. And, that could be the trend for winter too. Tom Olsen, from the National Weather Service in the Quad Cities, says the average temperature in September, October, and November was 49 degrees, three degrees colder than last year. November's average temperature was 32 degrees, 7.7 degrees below normal.