Legislative & Regulatory Update

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.

Climate Change Redistributes Global Water Resources

Climate Change News - ENN - March 17, 2016 - 8:21am
Rising temperatures worldwide are changing not only weather systems, but - just as importantly - the distribution of water around the globe, according to a study published today (March 14, 2016) in the journal, "Scientific Reports."Analysis of more than 40 years of water samples archived at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest (HBEF) in New Hampshire tells a vivid tale of how the sources of precipitation have changed. Over the years, there has been a dramatic increase, especially during the winter, of the amount of water that originated far to the north.

Supreme Court and the Obama Administration's Climate Plans

Climate Change News - ENN - March 16, 2016 - 9:15am
Two unexpected and shocking events have left heads swimming about the fate of President Obama’s signature initiative on climate change, the Clean Power Plan, which aims to replace many coal-fired power plants — the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States — with cleaner sources of energy.Last Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay on the Clean Power Plan until the litigation against it is finally resolved, suspending implementation of the plan for the foreseeable future. The vote was 5-4, along the customary ideological lines, and it led to great concern, bordering on quiet despair, among proponents of the plan. who now believed that the Supreme Court would ultimately strike it down. Opponents of the plan, including the coal industry, rejoiced. The court’s order blocking Obama’s Clean Power Plan provides an opportunity for the U.S. to show other nations it has a flexible approach to cutting emissions, David Victor writes.

Using Tomatoes for Power

A team of scientists is exploring an unusual source of electricity -- damaged tomatoes that are unsuitable for sale at the grocery store. Their pilot project involves a biological-based fuel cell that uses tomato waste left over from harvests in Florida.

Administration's Proposed OCS Plan Ignores Energy Needs of U.S. Manufacturers

Energy - March 16, 2016 - 5:21am
The American Chemistry Council (ACC) issued the following statement in response to the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) proposed Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2017-2022, which fails to schedule any lease sales in the Mid- and South Atlantic Program Area.

Administration's Proposed OCS Plan Ignores Energy Needs of U.S. Manufacturers

Energy - March 16, 2016 - 5:21am
The American Chemistry Council (ACC) issued the following statement in response to the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) proposed Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2017-2022, which fails to schedule any lease sales in the Mid- and South Atlantic Program Area.

Sponge cuts oil spill clean-up cost

A simple but super-absorbent artificial sponge could lower the cost of cleaning up crude oil spills in developing countries.A team of researchers, based at the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa, found that simple sponges made from polyurethane foam soaked up oil spills better than more expensive sponges treated with nanoparticles.

Time to re-think the diesel

Climate Change News - ENN - March 11, 2016 - 8:00am
Low Emissions Zones have their place in cleaning up the UK's worst air pollution hotspots, writes Richard Howard. But we also need to adopt fiscal measures to encourage a shift away from diesel vehicles, at once delivering cleaner air, increased tax revenues, and lower carbon emissions.If we are to clean up air pollution in London and the rest of the UK, then Government needs to recognise that diesel is the primary cause of the problem, and to promote a shift away from diesel to alternatives.There is an air pollution crisis taking place in London and many of the UK's other major cities.

ACC and SOCMA Announce Agenda for 2016 Global Chemical Regulations Conference

Toxic Substances Control Act - March 10, 2016 - 9:46am
With Congress closer than ever before to passing bipartisan Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reform legislation, this year’s Global Chemical Regulations Conference and Exhibition (GlobalChem) couldn’t come at a more opportune time.

ACC and SOCMA Announce Agenda for 2016 Global Chemical Regulations Conference

Chemical Safety - March 10, 2016 - 9:46am
With Congress closer than ever before to passing bipartisan Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reform legislation, this year’s Global Chemical Regulations Conference and Exhibition (GlobalChem) couldn’t come at a more opportune time.

ACC and SOCMA Announce Agenda for 2016 Global Chemical Regulations Conference

Chemical Safety - March 10, 2016 - 9:46am
With Congress closer than ever before to passing bipartisan Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reform legislation, this year’s Global Chemical Regulations Conference and Exhibition (GlobalChem) couldn’t come at a more opportune time.

ACC and SOCMA Announce Agenda for 2016 Global Chemical Regulations Conference

Toxic Substances Control Act - March 10, 2016 - 9:46am
With Congress closer than ever before to passing bipartisan Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reform legislation, this year’s Global Chemical Regulations Conference and Exhibition (GlobalChem) couldn’t come at a more opportune time.

Adding evidence that exercise is a potent cancer prevention tool

Compelling evidence suggests exercise is an important component of cancer prevention and care; slashing your risk of developing cancer, improving your chances of successful recuperation, and diminishing your risk of cancer recurrence.A pattern revealed in these studies is that the longer you exercise, the more pronounced the benefits. Studies show that both men and women who exercise during their early years have a lower risk of cancer later in life.But like most things in life, exercise must also be done in moderation and be balanced. There is a sweet spot and excessive exercise can cause its own set of issues, but most in the U.S. are far from being at risk for this problem.

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