Legislative & Regulatory Update

U.S. Chemical Industry Investment Linked to Shale Gas Tops $164 Billion

Shale Gas - April 6, 2016 - 10:28am
ACC highlights economic benefits, key policies at Hudson Institute Forum.

NASA examines El Nino's impact on ocean's food source

Climate Change News - ENN - April 4, 2016 - 8:46pm
El Niño years can have a big impact on the littlest plants in the ocean, and NASA scientists are studying the relationship between the two. In El Niño years, huge masses of warm water – equivalent to about half of the volume of the Mediterranean Sea – slosh east across the Pacific Ocean towards South America. While this warm water changes storm systems in the atmosphere, it also has an impact below the ocean’s surface. These impacts, which researchers can visualize with satellite data, can ripple up the food chain to fisheries and the livelihoods of fishermen.

Lower indoor temperatures in winter correlate with thinner waistlines

Climate Change News - ENN - April 1, 2016 - 6:16pm
Elderly adults are bigger around the middle when they turn up the heat inside their homes during the cold season and have smaller waistlines when their homes stay cool, new research finds. Investigators from Japan will present their study results Friday at the Endocrine Society's 98th annual meeting in Boston."Although cold exposure may be a trigger of cardiovascular disease, our data suggest that safe and appropriate cold exposure may be an effective preventive measure against obesity," said the study's lead investigator, Keigo Saeki, MD, PhD, of Nara Medical University School of Medicine Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, Nara, Japan.Cold exposure activates thermogenesis, to generate body heat, in brown fat. This type of fat is the good calorie-burning fat that prior research found most humans have. However, Saeki said the association between the amount of cold exposure and obesity in real life remains unclear. 

Snowshoe hare range moving northward following retreating snow cover

Climate Change News - ENN - March 31, 2016 - 8:52am
If there is an animal emblematic of the northern winter, it is the snowshoe hare.A forest dweller, the snowshoe hare is named for its big feet, which allow it to skitter over deep snow to escape lynx, coyotes and other predators. It changes color with the seasons, assuming a snow-white fur coat for winter camouflage.But a changing climate and reduced snow cover across the north is squeezing the animal out of its historic range, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Writing in the current (March 30, 2016) Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the Wisconsin researchers report that the range of the hare in Wisconsin is creeping north by about five and a half miles per decade, closely tracking the diminishing snow cover the animal requires to be successful. 

Severe water stress likely in Asia by 2050

Climate Change News - ENN - March 30, 2016 - 6:51pm
Economic and population growth on top of climate change could lead to serious water shortages across a broad swath of Asia by the year 2050, a newly published study by MIT scientists has found.The study deploys detailed modeling to produce what the researchers believe is a full range of scenarios involving water availability and use in the future. In the paper, the scientists conclude there is a “high risk of severe water stress” in much of an area that is home to roughly half the world’s population.

Are we what we eat?

In a new evolutionary proof of the old adage, 'we are what we eat', Cornell University scientists have found tantalizing evidence that a vegetarian diet has led to a mutation that -- if they stray from a balanced omega-6 to omega-3 diet -- may make people more susceptible to inflammation, and by association, increased risk of heart disease and colon cancer. The discovery, led by Drs. Tom Brenna, Kumar Kothapalli, and Alon Keinan provides the first evolutionary detective work that traces a higher frequency of a particular mutation to a primarily vegetarian population from Pune, India (about 70 percent), when compared to a traditional meat-eating American population, made up of mostly Kansans (less than 20 percent). It appears in the early online edition of the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution. 

Robust Research, Exchange of Ideas Are Key to Scientific Process

Energy - March 29, 2016 - 5:33pm
As an industry built on scientific innovation, we believe robust inquiry and a free exchange of ideas are essential to innovation and the development of products that grow our economy and improve our environment.

Robust Research, Exchange of Ideas Are Key to Scientific Process

Environmental Regulations - March 29, 2016 - 5:33pm
As an industry built on scientific innovation, we believe robust inquiry and a free exchange of ideas are essential to innovation and the development of products that grow our economy and improve our environment.

Shrinking Arctic ice is impacting Greenland melting

Climate Change News - ENN - March 29, 2016 - 8:48am
Vanishing Arctic sea ice. Dogged weather systems over Greenland. Far-flung surface ice melting on the massive island. 'Blocking-high' pressure systems spawn most of the warming that melts Greenland surface ice, Rutgers study saysThese dramatic trends and global sea-level rise are linked, according to a study coauthored by Jennifer Francis, a research professor in Rutgers University's Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences.During Greenland summers, melting Arctic sea ice favors stronger and more frequent "blocking-high" pressure systems, which spin clockwise, stay largely in place and can block cold, dry Canadian air from reaching the island. The highs tend to enhance the flow of warm, moist air over Greenland, contributing to increased extreme heat events and surface ice melting, according to the study. 

Ocean temperatures predict U.S. heat waves

Climate Change News - ENN - March 29, 2016 - 8:19am
The formation of a distinct pattern of sea surface temperatures in the middle of the North Pacific Ocean can predict an increased chance of summer heat waves in the eastern half of the U.S. up to 50 days in advance.The pattern is a contrast of warmer-than-average water coming up against cooler-than-average seas. When it appears, the odds that extreme heat will strike during a particular week -- or even on a particular day -- can more than triple, depending on how well-formed the pattern is.

Sea level rise and its potential impact to Norfolk, Virginia studied by Sandia Labs

Climate Change News - ENN - March 28, 2016 - 12:37pm
In Norfolk, Virginia, an East Coast city that’s home to the world’s largest naval station and important seaports, catastrophic flooding could damage more than homes and roads. A new study from Sandia National Laboratories assesses how much the city, its region and the nation would suffer in damages to national assets and lost economic activity if it does nothing to address rising sea levels.In partnership with the City of Norfolk’s Resilience Office and 100 Resilient Cities(100RC), pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation, Sandia analyzed the risk to important assets, quantified their value and helped Norfolk prioritize the most effective ways to stay resilient in a natural or manmade disaster. 

The past, present and future of African dust

So much dust is scattered across the planet by the winds of the Sahara that it alters the climate. However, the emission and transport of this dust, which can reach the poles, fluctuate considerably. Although many hypotheses have been put forward to explain this phenomenon, no unambiguous relationship between this dust and the climate had been established until now. According to research carried out by a French-US team of researchers from LATMOS(CNRS/UVSQ/UPMC), CNRM(CNRS/Météo-France) and SIO3, meteorological events such as El Niño and rainfall in the Sahel have an impact on dust emission, by accelerating a Saharan wind downstream of the main mountain massifs of Northwest Africa. The scientists have also developed a new predictive model showing that emissions of Saharan dust will decline over the next hundred years. Their work is published in the 24 March 2016 issue of the journal Nature.

The past, present and future of African dust

Climate Change News - ENN - March 28, 2016 - 8:19am
So much dust is scattered across the planet by the winds of the Sahara that it alters the climate. However, the emission and transport of this dust, which can reach the poles, fluctuate considerably. Although many hypotheses have been put forward to explain this phenomenon, no unambiguous relationship between this dust and the climate had been established until now. According to research carried out by a French-US team of researchers from LATMOS(CNRS/UVSQ/UPMC), CNRM(CNRS/Météo-France) and SIO3, meteorological events such as El Niño and rainfall in the Sahel have an impact on dust emission, by accelerating a Saharan wind downstream of the main mountain massifs of Northwest Africa. The scientists have also developed a new predictive model showing that emissions of Saharan dust will decline over the next hundred years. Their work is published in the 24 March 2016 issue of the journal Nature.

Human impact on Earth's global energy

Climate Change News - ENN - March 26, 2016 - 9:13am
The impact humans have made on Earth in terms of how we produce and consume resources has formed a 'striking new pattern' in the planet's global energy flow, according to researchers from the University of Leicester.The research suggests that Earth is now characterised by a geologically unprecedented pattern of global energy flow that is pervasively influenced by humans -- and which is necessary for maintaining the complexity of modern human societies.The new study, published in the journal Earth's Future, is led by Professors Mark Williams and Jan Zalasiewicz of the University of Leicester's Department of Geology working with an international team of scholars. 

New research on the Rio Grande and impacts of long drought

Climate Change News - ENN - March 23, 2016 - 12:00pm
New research can help water managers along the Rio Grande make wise decisions about how to best use the flow of a river vital for drinking water, agriculture and aquatic habitat. These studies also show how conditions from the prolonged drought in the West have affected the Rio Grande watershed.The Rio Grande forms the world’s longest river border between two countries as it flows between Texas and Mexico, where it is known as the Rio Bravo. The river runs through three states in the U.S., beginning in southern Colorado and flowing through New Mexico and Texas before it forms the border with Mexico.Parts of the Rio Grande are designated as wild and scenic, but most of the river is controlled and passes through several dam and reservoir systems during its 1,896 mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico. The river is managed through a complex system of compacts, treaties, and agreements that determine when and how much water is released along the river’s length. 

We now know what is at the center of our own galaxy

AU astrophysicists research cosmic particle accelerators with unparalleled energyResearchers have been mapping the centre of our galaxy in very-high-energy gamma rays using these telescopes - the most sensitive of their kind - for over 10 years. The results were published in the journal Nature on 16 March 2016.The earth is constantly bombarded by high energy particles from space. Together these particles - protons, electrons and atomic nuclei - are known as cosmic radiation or cosmic rays. The question of which astrophysical sources produce this cosmic radiation has remained a mystery to researchers for over a century. The problem is that the particles are electrically charged and are therefore deflected in interstellar magnetic fields, making it impossible to identify the astrophysical sources that produce them based on their arrival direction. Fortunately, however, the particles interact with light and gas in the neighbourhood of their sources, producing very-high-energy gamma rays that travel to the earth in straight lines. 'These gamma rays allow us to visualise the sources of cosmic radiation in the sky,' says Christopher van Eldik, a professor at FAU's Erlangen Centre for Astroparticle Physics (ECAP) and deputy director of the H.E.S.S. collaboration. 

Australia slashes funding on climate science

Scientists around the world have slammed Australia’s decision to slash its climate research programme — raising concerns about knock-on effects on developing countries.Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is shifting its research focus to efforts to adapt to and mitigate the effects of global warming rather than understanding climate change through fundamental research, CSIRO chief executive Larry Marshall announced last month.“The loss of much of this capability with the impending cuts is a real blow for climate research throughout the region.” 

Australia slashes funding on climate science

Climate Change News - ENN - March 18, 2016 - 12:08pm
Scientists around the world have slammed Australia’s decision to slash its climate research programme — raising concerns about knock-on effects on developing countries.Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is shifting its research focus to efforts to adapt to and mitigate the effects of global warming rather than understanding climate change through fundamental research, CSIRO chief executive Larry Marshall announced last month.“The loss of much of this capability with the impending cuts is a real blow for climate research throughout the region.” 

ACC Welcomes House Legislation to Fix Implementation Process for EPA Ozone Standards

Environmental Regulations - March 17, 2016 - 3:07pm
We commend Chairman Upton, the Committee and other supporters of this important legislation.

Winter storms strongest to hit western Europe since 1948, study shows

Climate Change News - ENN - March 17, 2016 - 9:43am
The repeated storms which battered Europe's Atlantic coastline during the winter of 2013/14 were the most energetic in almost seven decades, new research has shown.And they were part of a growing trend in stormy conditions which scientists say has the potential to dramatically change the equilibrium state of beaches along the western side of the continent, leading to permanent changes in beach gradient, coastal alignment and nearshore bar position.In a study accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, researchers compared modelled and measured data from sites across Scotland, Ireland, England, France, Portugal, Spain and Morocco, and showed the extreme weather conditions were the most energetic since at least 1948.

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