Legislative & Regulatory Update

World losing 2,000 hectares of farm soil daily to salt damage

Climate Change News - ENN - October 28, 2014 - 7:25am
Salt-spoiled soils worldwide: 20% of all irrigated lands — an area equal to size of France; Extensive costs include $27 billion+ in lost crop value / year. UNU study identifies ways to reverse damage, says every hectare needed to feed world’s fast-growing population. Every day for more than 20 years, an average of 2,000 hectares of irrigated land in arid and semi-arid areas across 75 countries have been degraded by salt, according to a new study — Economics of Salt-induced Land Degradation and Restoration — published today by the UNU Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH).

The Aral Desert: Once a Sea - Now, All Dried Up

Climate Change News - ENN - October 27, 2014 - 11:42am
The Aral Sea is a well known environmental disaster zone. But this year, it got a whole worse, writes Anson Mackay, as its biggest basin dried up completely to expose a toxic, salty wasteland. With continuing irrigation and declining river flows due to climate change, the desert is only set to expand. The Aral Sea has reached a new low, literally and figuratively. New satellite images from NASA show that, for the first time in its recorded history, its largest basin has completely dried up. However, the Aral Sea has an interesting history - and as recently as 600-700 years ago it was as small, if not smaller, than today.

Ocean Plays Important Role in Past Climate Change

Climate Change News - ENN - October 27, 2014 - 9:35am
Most of the concerns about climate change have focused on the amount of greenhouse gases that have been released into the atmosphere. But in a new study published in Science, a group of Rutgers researchers have found that circulation of the ocean plays an equally important role in regulating the earth’s climate.

Abundant natural gas will not slow climate change according to new study

Climate Change News - ENN - October 16, 2014 - 7:22am
A new analysis of global energy use, economics and the climate shows that without new climate policies, expanding the current bounty of inexpensive natural gas alone would not slow the growth of global greenhouse gas emissions worldwide over the long term, according to a study appearing today in Nature Advanced Online Publication. Because natural gas emits half the carbon dioxide of coal, many people hoped the recent natural gas boom could help slow climate change — and according to government analyses, natural gas did contribute partially to a decline in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions between 2007 and 2012.

Could California Be Facing A Mega-Drought?

Climate Change News - ENN - October 15, 2014 - 10:29am
Agriculture, one of California’s strongest pillars, has taken the biggest hit: the drought will cost at least $2.2 billion in agricultural losses this year alone. Fields of dead almond trees and dried-out crops are a common sight in central California these days. Central Valley towns are also growing desperate. Many have been forced to install porta-potties in their backyards or even steal water from fire hydrants.

Methane sink discovered in oceanic rock

Climate Change News - ENN - October 15, 2014 - 7:35am
Since the first undersea methane seep was discovered 30 years ago, scientists have meticulously analyzed and measured how microbes in the seafloor sediments consume the greenhouse gas methane as part of understanding how the Earth works. The sediment-based microbes form an important methane "sink," preventing much of the chemical from reaching the atmosphere and contributing to greenhouse gas accumulation. As a byproduct of this process, the microbes create a type of rock known as authigenic carbonate, which while interesting to scientists was not thought to be involved in the processing of methane.

Space Weather and OUR weather

Climate Change News - ENN - October 14, 2014 - 8:25am
What is "space weather"? And how might it affect weather on Earth? Researchers have discovered a formerly undetected impact of space weather on the polar atmosphere, which may explain some previously unexplained variations in winter weather patterns. Their results, published today (Tuesday 14 October), in the journal Nature Communications could have important implications for seasonal weather forecasting.

How did Icebergs reach Florida in the last Ice Age?

Climate Change News - ENN - October 13, 2014 - 8:59am
Using a first-of-its-kind, high-resolution numerical model to describe ocean circulation during the last ice age about 21,000 year ago, oceanographer Alan Condron of the University of Massachusetts Amherst has shown that icebergs and meltwater from the North American ice sheet would have regularly reached South Carolina and even southern Florida. The models are supported by the discovery of iceberg scour marks on the sea floor along the entire continental shelf. Such a view of past meltwater and iceberg movement implies that the mechanisms of abrupt climate change are more complex than previously thought, Condron says. "Our study is the first to show that when the large ice sheet over North America known as the Laurentide ice sheet began to melt, icebergs calved into the sea around Hudson Bay and would have periodically drifted along the east coast of the United States as far south as Miami and the Bahamas in the Caribbean, a distance of more than 3,100 miles, about 5,000 kilometers."

NASA maps methane emissions

Climate Change News - ENN - October 12, 2014 - 9:36am
An unexpectedly high amount of the climate-changing gas methane, the main component of natural gas, is escaping from the Four Corners region in the U.S. Southwest, according to a new study by the University of Michigan and NASA. The researchers mapped satellite data to uncover the nation's largest methane signal seen from space. They measured levels of the gas emitted from all sources, and found more than half a teragram per year coming from the area where Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah meet. That's about as much methane as the entire coal, oil, and gas industries of the United Kingdom give off each year.

Middle Eastern Vegetation Resistant to Climate Change

Climate Change News - ENN - October 10, 2014 - 2:57pm
Ecosystems in the Middle East are home to a wealth of unique species – including the ancestors of many of our staple crops today. Yet the climate scenario in this dry region is alarming. Already, the region has a relatively small amount of water available for every person living there – and it is predicted that in the future, there will be even less rain. That could jeopardize Middle Eastern ecosystems and threaten the survival of important species.

Fish Forced Poleward

Climate Change News - ENN - October 10, 2014 - 10:36am
Large numbers of fish will disappear from the tropics by 2050, finds a new University of British Columbia study that examined the impact of climate change on fish stocks. The study identified ocean hotspots for local fish extinction but also found that changing temperatures will drive more fish into the Arctic and Antarctic waters.

Fracking Footprint Seen From Space

Climate Change News - ENN - October 10, 2014 - 9:38am
An unexpectedly high amount of the climate-changing gas methane, the main component of natural gas, is escaping from the Four Corners region in the US Southwest, according to a new study by the University of Michigan and NASA. The researchers mapped satellite data to uncover the nation's largest methane signal seen from space. They measured levels of the gas emitted from all sources, and found more than half a teragram per year coming from the area where Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah meet. That's about as much methane as the entire coal, oil, and gas industries of the United Kingdom give off each year.

Poland will buy in to climate change plan IF it gets aid

Climate Change News - ENN - October 10, 2014 - 7:27am
Poland says it will need cash and help in curbing its emissions if it is to sign up for a new decade of EU green energy policy at talks this month, according to a document seen by Reuters. The document shows the 28 EU member states are broadly ready to agree a new set of 2030 goals to follow on from 2020 energy and environment policy, although Europe's biggest power Germany says it will not agree a deal "at any price".

Fish may not adjust to rising CO2 levels quickly

Climate Change News - ENN - October 6, 2014 - 5:29pm
Rising carbon dioxide levels in oceans adversely change the behavior of fish through generations, raising the possibility that marine species may never fully adapt to their changed environment, research has found. The study, published in Nature Climate Change, found that elevated CO2 levels affected fish regardless of whether their parents had also experienced the same environment.

Does the public trust what scientists say?

If scientists want the public to trust their research suggestions, they may want to appear a bit "warmer," according to a new review published by Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. The review, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), shows that while Americans view scientists as competent, they are not entirely trusted. This may be because they are not perceived to be friendly or warm.

Does the public trust what scientists say?

Climate Change News - ENN - October 6, 2014 - 4:58pm
If scientists want the public to trust their research suggestions, they may want to appear a bit "warmer," according to a new review published by Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. The review, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), shows that while Americans view scientists as competent, they are not entirely trusted. This may be because they are not perceived to be friendly or warm.

While Water Warms, NASA Study Reveals Deep Sea Hasn't

Climate Change News - ENN - October 6, 2014 - 4:26pm
The cold waters of Earth's deep ocean have not warmed measurably since 2005, according to a new NASA study, leaving unsolved the mystery of why global warming appears to have slowed in recent years. Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, analyzed satellite and direct ocean temperature data from 2005 to 2013 and found the ocean abyss below 1.24 miles (1,995 meters) has not warmed measurably. Study coauthor Josh Willis of JPL said these findings do not throw suspicion on climate change itself.

BPA Lung Function Study Shows Inconsistent Data; Results Fail To Connect BPA Exposure To Asthma in Children

Chemical Safety - October 6, 2014 - 12:00pm
Studies such as this examination of statistical associations have no capability to establish cause-and-effect relationships.

How Air Pollution Affects River-Flow

Climate Change News - ENN - October 6, 2014 - 11:13am
Air pollution has had a significant impact on the amount of water flowing through many rivers in the northern hemisphere, according to the results of a new study. The paper shows how pollution, known as aerosols, can have an impact on the natural environment and highlights the importance of considering these factors in assessments of future climate change.

Lawrence Livermore finds ocean warming underestimated by past analyses

Using satellite observations and a large suite of climate models, Lawrence Livermore scientists have found that long-term ocean warming in the upper 700 meters of Southern Hemisphere oceans has likely been underestimated. "This underestimation is a result of poor sampling prior to the last decade and limitations of the analysis methods that conservatively estimated temperature changes in data-€sparse regions," said LLNL oceanographer Paul Durack, lead author of a paper appearing in the October 5 issue of the journal Nature Climate Change.

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