Legislative & Regulatory Update

Birds abandon mating sites near wind turbines

Shifting to renewable energy sources has been widely touted as one of the best ways to fight climate change, but even renewable energy can have a downside, as in the case of wind turbines’ effects on bird populations.

Is there such a thing as a "Natural GMO"?

The first genetically modified crop wasn't made by a megacorporation. Or a college scientist trying to design a more durable tomato. Nope. Nature did it — at least 8,000 years ago. Well, actually bacteria in the soil were the engineers. And the microbe's handiwork is present in sweet potatoes all around the world today.

How Pollen Can Play a Role in Affecting Climate

Climate Change News - ENN - May 5, 2015 - 1:45pm
The main job of pollen is to help seed the next generation of trees and plants, but a new study from the University of Michigan and Texas A&M shows that the grains might also seed clouds. The unexpected findings demonstrate that these wind-carried capsules of genetic material might have an effect on the planet's climate. And they highlight a new link between plants and the atmosphere.

Carbon storage in permafrost may be released with warming climate

Climate Change News - ENN - May 5, 2015 - 10:13am
While climatologists are carefully watching carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, another group of scientists is exploring a massive storehouse of carbon that has the potential to significantly affect the climate change picture. University of Georgia Skidaway Institute of Oceanography researcher Aron Stubbins is part of a team investigating how ancient carbon, locked away in Arctic permafrost for thousands of years, is now being transformed into carbon dioxide and released into the atmosphere.

Germany is key market for the Tesla Home Battery system

Climate Change News - ENN - May 5, 2015 - 7:24am
Electric car pioneer Tesla unveiled a "home battery" last week which its founder Elon Musk said would help change the "entire energy infrastructure of the world". Environmentally-conscious German customers are targeted as potential buyers of the product.The Tesla Powerwall, unveiled on Thursday (30 April), can store power from solar panels, from the electricity grid at night when it is typically cheaper, and provide a secure backup in the case of a power outage.In theory the device, which typically would fit on the wall of a garage or inside a house, could make solar-powered homes completely independent of the traditional energy grid.

"Living shoreline" can enhance coastal resilience

Climate Change News - ENN - May 4, 2015 - 1:09pm
The resilience of U.S. coastal communities to storms, flooding, erosion and other threats can be strengthened when they are protected by natural infrastructure such as marshes, reefs, and beaches, or with hybrid approaches, such as a “living shoreline” — a combination of natural habitat and built infrastructure, according to a new NOAA study.

Solar power in Scotland is not a little enterprise

Climate Change News - ENN - May 4, 2015 - 8:25am
The call by WWF Scotland follows the publication of new figures revealing that there was enough sunshine in April to have met more than 100% of the electricity needs of an average home in Scotland or 99% or more of an average household’s hot water needs.Wind turbines in Scotland also generated enough electricity on average to supply the electrical needs of 69% of Scottish households - 1.66 million homes.Last month, it was announced that work on Scotland’s largest solar park will start later this year in Angus.

Photosynthesis measured on a global scale

A research team led by geoscientists from Brown University and the Marine Biological Laboratory has provided some crucial ground-truth for a method of measuring plant photosynthesis on a global scale from low-Earth orbit. The researchers have shown that chlorophyll fluorescence, a faint glow produced by plant leaves as a byproduct of photosynthesis, is a strong proxy for photosynthetic activity in the canopy of a deciduous forest. That glow can be detected by orbiting satellites and could be used to monitor global photosynthetic activity in real time.

Photosynthesis measured on a global scale

Climate Change News - ENN - May 1, 2015 - 11:12am
A research team led by geoscientists from Brown University and the Marine Biological Laboratory has provided some crucial ground-truth for a method of measuring plant photosynthesis on a global scale from low-Earth orbit. The researchers have shown that chlorophyll fluorescence, a faint glow produced by plant leaves as a byproduct of photosynthesis, is a strong proxy for photosynthetic activity in the canopy of a deciduous forest. That glow can be detected by orbiting satellites and could be used to monitor global photosynthetic activity in real time.

ACC Welcomes Senate Hearing on Energy Efficiency Legislation

Energy - April 30, 2015 - 6:30am
We welcome today’s hearing, which reaffirmed that there is strong, bipartisan support for energy efficiency.

Can organic farming reverse agriculture from a carbon source to a carbon sink?

Climate Change News - ENN - April 29, 2015 - 5:01pm
More than a third of global greenhouse gases (GHGs) come from agriculture and a new theory suggest human can reverse global warming by sequestering several hundred billion tons of excess CO2 through regenerative, organic farming, ranching and land use. 

Oregon State University study links climate changes in Northern and Southern Hemispheres - with 200 year lag

A new study using evidence from a highly detailed ice core from West Antarctica shows a consistent link between abrupt temperature changes on Greenland and Antarctica during the last ice age, giving scientists a clearer picture of the link between climate in the northern and southern hemispheres.Greenland climate during the last ice age was very unstable, the researchers say, characterized by a number of large, abrupt changes in mean annual temperature that each occurred within several decades. These so-called “Dansgaard-Oeschger events” took place every few thousand years during the last ice age. Temperature changes in Antarctica showed an opposite pattern, with Antarctica cooling when Greenland was warm, and vice versa.

Oregon State University study links climate changes in Northern and Southern Hemispheres - with 200 year lag

Climate Change News - ENN - April 29, 2015 - 4:52pm
A new study using evidence from a highly detailed ice core from West Antarctica shows a consistent link between abrupt temperature changes on Greenland and Antarctica during the last ice age, giving scientists a clearer picture of the link between climate in the northern and southern hemispheres.Greenland climate during the last ice age was very unstable, the researchers say, characterized by a number of large, abrupt changes in mean annual temperature that each occurred within several decades. These so-called “Dansgaard-Oeschger events” took place every few thousand years during the last ice age. Temperature changes in Antarctica showed an opposite pattern, with Antarctica cooling when Greenland was warm, and vice versa.

Selective logging may underestimate carbon stock

Climate Change News - ENN - April 29, 2015 - 9:20am
Up to 64 percent of above-ground biomass in selectively logged forests may consist of dead wood left over from logging damage, argues a paper published this week in Environmental Research Letters. 

New approach to energy savings for supermarkets

Climate Change News - ENN - April 29, 2015 - 9:11am
The capacity to deliver continuous electricity for refrigeration is one of the central planks of the modern-day food distribution system.Using fossil fuel-generated energy to refrigerate and freeze foods around the clock produces a lot of pollution – carbon and greenhouse gas emissions that are warming the global climate, as well as emissions of a range of potentially toxic chemicals that deplete the ozone layer and wind up in our waterways and soil.

How soon after the big bang did water form in the early universe?

How soon after the Big Bang could water have existed? Not right away, because water molecules contain oxygen and oxygen had to be formed in the first stars. Then that oxygen had to disperse and unite with hydrogen in significant amounts. New theoretical work finds that despite these complications, water vapor could have been just as abundant in pockets of space a billion years after the Big Bang as it is today.“We looked at the chemistry within young molecular clouds containing a thousand times less oxygen than our Sun. To our surprise, we found we can get as much water vapor as we see in our own galaxy,” says astrophysicist Avi Loeb of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA).

Climate warming leads to earlier tick season

Climate Change News - ENN - April 28, 2015 - 9:46am
The month of May brings many things, among them Mother’s Day, tulips, and Lyme Disease Awareness campaigns. But according to Dr. Richard S. Ostfeld, a disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, NY, if we want to get a leg up on tick-borne illness we need to become vigilant earlier in the season.

ACC Statement Regarding Markup of TSCA Reform Legislation in the Senate

Chemical Safety - April 28, 2015 - 7:17am
We appreciate the continued work of Senators Vitter and Udall to advance a bipartisan proposal that can garner the support necessary to become law.

ACC Statement Regarding Markup of TSCA Reform Legislation in the Senate

Toxic Substances Control Act - April 28, 2015 - 7:17am
We appreciate the continued work of Senators Vitter and Udall to advance a bipartisan proposal that can garner the support necessary to become law.

How Desalination Technology Is Helping Solve California's Drought

Four years of devastating droughts in California have pushed cities and counties in the Golden State to seriously consider turning to the one drinking source that is not depleting anytime soon – seawater. With the Pacific Ocean abutting their shores, water desalination may be the much-needed solution for Californians. But desalination has its disadvantages, the chief ones being the high costs and the potential environmental damage.

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