Legislative & Regulatory Update

"State of the Air 2014" Shows Half the U.S. Lives with Unhealthy Air

Nearly half of all Americans – more than 147 million – live in counties in the U.S. where ozone or particle pollutions levels make the air unhealthy to breathe, according to the American Lung Association's "State of the Air 2014" report released today. The 15th annual national report card shows that while the nation overall continued to reduce particle pollution, a pollutant recently found to cause lung cancer, poor air quality remains a significant public health concern and a changing climate threatens to make it harder to protect human health.

Alarming data on Arctic Ice Loss

Climate Change News - ENN - May 20, 2014 - 7:43am
The Antarctic ice sheet has lost ice twice as quickly in the past three years as when it was last surveyed between 2005 and 2010, say scientists. Results from the CryoSat-2 satellite mission, published today in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, say the largest ice sheet on Earth is now losing 159 billion tonnes of ice each year.

Canyons in Greenland hold a lot more glacial ice than thought

Climate Change News - ENN - May 19, 2014 - 5:44pm
Greenland is now mostly white. Snow and ice and glaciers abound, but are shrinking as the climate warms. Turns out that some of the glaciers are found in canyons and the canyons are deeper than previously thought. Scientists at NASA and the University of California, Irvine (UCI), have found that canyons under Greenland's ocean-feeding glaciers are deeper and longer than previously thought, increasing the amount of Greenland's estimated contribution to future sea level rise. "The glaciers of Greenland are likely to retreat faster and farther inland than anticipated, and for much longer, according to this very different topography we have discovered," said Mathieu Morlighem, a UCI associate project scientist who is lead author of the new research paper. The results were published Sunday in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Fighting air pollution with innovation and technology

Air pollution has become one of the world's biggest threats to the future of our planet. Chronic air pollution shortens our lives and the lives of the ecologies around us. In parts of Asia, where air pollution is most pervasive, food crops and other plants are exhibiting signs of stress due to low air quality.

Greenland will be far greater contributor to sea rise than expected

Climate Change News - ENN - May 19, 2014 - 8:58am
Greenland's icy reaches are far more vulnerable to warm ocean waters from climate change than had been thought, according to new research by UC Irvine and NASA glaciologists. The work, published today in Nature Geoscience, shows previously uncharted deep valleys stretching for dozens of miles under the Greenland Ice Sheet. The bedrock canyons sit well below sea level, meaning that as subtropical Atlantic waters hit the fronts of hundreds of glaciers, those edges will erode much further than had been assumed and release far greater amounts of water.

Climate Change on JUPITER

We are very concerned with the changing climate on Earth. The climate on other planets is more difficult to study, and direct observations are impossible, save some observations from the Mars rovers. Jupiter has an atmosphere that is very different from Earth's. The prominent Giant Red Spot, a swirling anti-cyclonic storm larger than Earth, appears to be a permanent fixture of the planet's atmosphere, and has been remarkably stable for decades. Now the Great Red Spot has shrunk to its smallest size ever measured. According to Amy Simon of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, recent NASA Hubble Space Telescope observations confirm the Great Red Spot now is approximately 10,250 miles across, less than half the size of some historical measurements. Astronomers have followed this downsizing since the 1930s.

Climate Change on JUPITER

Climate Change News - ENN - May 18, 2014 - 10:07am
We are very concerned with the changing climate on Earth. The climate on other planets is more difficult to study, and direct observations are impossible, save some observations from the Mars rovers. Jupiter has an atmosphere that is very different from Earth's. The prominent Giant Red Spot, a swirling anti-cyclonic storm larger than Earth, appears to be a permanent fixture of the planet's atmosphere, and has been remarkably stable for decades. Now the Great Red Spot has shrunk to its smallest size ever measured. According to Amy Simon of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, recent NASA Hubble Space Telescope observations confirm the Great Red Spot now is approximately 10,250 miles across, less than half the size of some historical measurements. Astronomers have followed this downsizing since the 1930s.

Antarctica, Australia and Climate Change

Climate Change News - ENN - May 17, 2014 - 8:52am
Rising greenhouse gas levels are causing stronger winds over the Southern Ocean. It's good news for Antarctica, writes Tim Radford, as the circumpolar winds are keeping its ice caps cold. But Australia is getting hotter and drier - and its problems will only increase. The answer to one of the enduring puzzles of global warming - the apparently sluggish response of the Antarctic continent to rising greenhouse gas levels - may have been settled by Australian scientists.

A Greener Future For National Parks

Regulatory news - ENN - May 16, 2014 - 10:44am
Yellowstone National Park leaders in 2010 established a five-year plan to elevate Yellowstone as a world leader in environmental stewardship. In other words, lead by example by being one of the greenest parks in the world.

Head in the Clouds

Regulatory news - ENN - May 16, 2014 - 10:42am
Clouds play a critical role in Earth's climate and are the largest source of uncertainty in present climate models, stemming from cloud formation complexity, according to the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Head in the Clouds

Clouds play a critical role in Earth's climate and are the largest source of uncertainty in present climate models, stemming from cloud formation complexity, according to the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Head in the Clouds

Climate Change News - ENN - May 16, 2014 - 10:42am
Clouds play a critical role in Earth's climate and are the largest source of uncertainty in present climate models, stemming from cloud formation complexity, according to the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Scientists discover giant sperm fossilized in bat guano

In a cave in Australia, researchers from the University of New South Wales discovered giant fossilized sperm. The sperm were produced 17 million years ago by a group of tiny, shelled crustaceans called ostracods, making them the oldest fossilized sperm ever found. The results were published recently in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The fossils were excavated in 1988, but it wasn't known they contained sperm until they were studied in detail by an ostracod expert last year.

Patience, self-control and delayed gratification

How long would you wait for six grapes? A chimpanzee will wait more than two minutes to eat six grapes, but a black lemur would rather eat two grapes now than wait any longer than 15 seconds for a bigger serving.

You Know the Ocean's in Trouble When Your Shell Starts Melting

Climate Change News - ENN - May 15, 2014 - 1:48pm
Things are getting really dicey for a little ocean creature called a pteropod. Better known as the "sea butterfly," this delicate little sea snail is serving as an unfortunate bellwether of the deteriorating state of our oceans. Why? Conditions in the Antarctic ocean and along the West Coast of the U.S. have become so unnaturally acidic that the shells of sea butterflies are literally dissolving away.

Green Success: Heaven Hill Distilleries Steps up Recycling Efforts

Regulatory news - ENN - May 15, 2014 - 9:52am
Beginning operation in 1934 after the repeal of Prohibition, Heaven Hill Distilleries located in Louisville, Kentucky has become the largest family-owned and operated producer and marketer of distilled spirits in the nation. Bottling over 12 million cases of spirits in 2012, one could imagine the amounts of leftover materials that could either go to a landfill or be recycled. Fortunately, Heaven Hill decided to try recycling as part of their KY EXCEL membership. KY EXCEL is Kentucky's free, voluntary environmental leadership program open to individuals, communities, and organizations that wish to improve and protect Kentucky's environment in ways that extend beyond state requirements. Kim Harmon, the Environmental Compliance Manager at the distillery, says, "When we started our recycling program in 2011, we tried to find everything that could be recycled and vendors to take the materials. We recycle paper labels, bands around pallets, aerosol cans, brown paper packing, blue drums, label backing, cardboard, plastic and glass."

Green Success: Heaven Hill Distilleries Steps up Recycling Efforts

Beginning operation in 1934 after the repeal of Prohibition, Heaven Hill Distilleries located in Louisville, Kentucky has become the largest family-owned and operated producer and marketer of distilled spirits in the nation. Bottling over 12 million cases of spirits in 2012, one could imagine the amounts of leftover materials that could either go to a landfill or be recycled. Fortunately, Heaven Hill decided to try recycling as part of their KY EXCEL membership. KY EXCEL is Kentucky's free, voluntary environmental leadership program open to individuals, communities, and organizations that wish to improve and protect Kentucky's environment in ways that extend beyond state requirements. Kim Harmon, the Environmental Compliance Manager at the distillery, says, "When we started our recycling program in 2011, we tried to find everything that could be recycled and vendors to take the materials. We recycle paper labels, bands around pallets, aerosol cans, brown paper packing, blue drums, label backing, cardboard, plastic and glass."

Tipping point already reached?

Climate Change News - ENN - May 15, 2014 - 9:04am
Two hundred years from now, the planet could look very different. This week two landmark studies revealed that West Antarctica's ice sheet is in a state of seemingly inevitable collapse linked to climate change. The slow-motion collapse would by itself eventually lead to a rise in global levels of 3.6-4.5 meters (12-15 feet), overrunning many of the world's islands, low-lying areas, and coastal cities. The only silver lining is that scientists conservatively estimate that the collapse could take 200-1,000 years.

Tipping point already reached?

Two hundred years from now, the planet could look very different. This week two landmark studies revealed that West Antarctica's ice sheet is in a state of seemingly inevitable collapse linked to climate change. The slow-motion collapse would by itself eventually lead to a rise in global levels of 3.6-4.5 meters (12-15 feet), overrunning many of the world's islands, low-lying areas, and coastal cities. The only silver lining is that scientists conservatively estimate that the collapse could take 200-1,000 years.

Go out and play!

New research confirms the health benefits associated with outdoor play for children. New research from the University of Bristol shows that while most children spend the largest amount of their after-school time indoors either alone or with their parents, hours spent outdoors with friends has the greatest positive affect on a child's level of physical activity. The correlation works out like this: children get an extra 17 minutes of physical activity for every hour of time spent outdoors.

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