Environmental Policy

Feral cats a growing health concern
March 11, 2014 04:17 PM - Editor, ENN

A coalition of more than 200 groups which include various bird and wildlife conservation organizations and animal rights groups are calling on Secretary Sally Jewell of the Department of Interior to take action to reduce mortality to wildlife populations on public lands stemming from the nation's ever-increasing population of feral cats. The group brings evidence from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that feral cats pose a threat to human health as a result of an exposure to rabies and toxoplasmosis, a parasitic disease affecting the human brain when exposed to cat feces.

Many small glaciers make up the whole in Greenland
March 11, 2014 09:59 AM - George Hale, NASA

Research using NASA data is giving new insight into one of the processes causing Greenland's ice sheet to lose mass. A team of scientists used satellite observations and ice thickness measurements gathered by NASA's Operation IceBridge to calculate the rate at which ice flows through Greenland's glaciers into the ocean. The findings of this research give a clearer picture of how glacier flow affects the Greenland Ice Sheet and shows that this dynamic process is dominated by a small number of glaciers.

COLLEGIATE CORNER: Trash talk: Ocean Dumping
March 10, 2014 11:01 AM - McKaylee Reavis, Class of 2015, Wakefield High School, Arlington, VA

Remember the excitement that filled your body when your parents told you the family was going to go to the beach? Remember the excitement slowly leaving your body when you witnessed the trash that covered the beach for miles? Ocean dumping has become a major problem for marine life and the people who enjoy its many benefits. Many marine animals have suffered from the trash in the water and people have suffered from the sight of trash filling the ocean and cluttering the beaches ruining their supposed beautiful day. Industries, cities, and militaries have been dumping their waste into the ocean for years now. One solution to prevent this problem is to impose stricter restrictions on ocean dumping that range from pedestrian waste to toxic nuclear hazard.

Warming up all over, even in the Arctic
March 10, 2014 09:55 AM - Tim Radford, Ecologist

It's long been established that Arctic Ocean sea ice is on the retreat, writes Tim Radford. But it's the pace of change that's surprising scientists: latest studies show that the ice-free period is increasing by 5 days / decade. Ice in the Arctic continues to retreat. The season without ice is getting longer by an average of five days every 10 years.

Protecting species in Canada
March 10, 2014 09:24 AM - Dr. David Suzuki, Care2

Of 345 species at risk in Canada, more than 160 have waited far too long for recovery strategies. Thanks to a recent federal court decision, four luckier ones are finally getting overdue plans detailing steps needed to save and protect them, including identifying habitat they need to survive. But to make it happen, environmental groups including the David Suzuki Foundation, with the help of Ecojustice lawyers, had to take the federal government to court. It wasn't the first time we’ve gone to court to protect wildlife.

Illinois - 1.7 million people choose 100% green electricity
March 9, 2014 09:32 PM - Editor, The Ecologist

Illinois is one of six US states that allows communities to aggregate and specify their energy purchases. Now 91 - comprising 1.7 million people - have used that power to buy 100% renewable electricity. Illinois has embraced renewable electricity on a massive scale not seen anywhere else in the nation, says a new report, Leading from the Middle: How Illinois Communities Unleashed Renewable Energy. With 91 communities providing 100 percent renewable electricity to their residents, the state far outpaces any other, including Ohio, which has two cities providing 100% renewable electricity. The report was released today by World Wildlife Fund, the Environmental Law and Policy Center, LEAN Energy US, the Illinois Solar Energy Association, Illinois Sierra Club, and The George Washington University Solar Institute.

Challenges and a call for Conservation Cooperation in the Arab world
March 8, 2014 08:31 AM - Mark Henley, SciDevNet

The Arab region's best chance of facing the challenges of food insecurity, water scarcity and natural disasters lies in collaborating on environmental preservation, a study says. The study, published in The Lancet (20 January), argues that current academic discussions about health, population and development in the Arab region fail to convey the true level of urgency.

Clear through the haze for marine ecosystems in Southeast Asia
March 7, 2014 11:51 AM - Kimberly Wang, National University of Singapore

The unprecedented high levels of transboundary haze in Southeast Asia last year prompted Dr. Zeehan Jaafar, a lecturer at the Department of Biological Sciences at the National University of Singapore Faculty of Science, and Dr. Tse-Lynn Loh, a postdoctoral research associate at the Daniel P. Haerther Center for Conservation and Research, John G. Shedd Aquarium (Chicago, USA), to critically evaluate the potential impacts of biomass burning and haze to marine ecosystems in the Southeast Asian region.

Arctic sea ice melting one warm river at a time
March 7, 2014 09:32 AM - Maria-Jose Vinas, NASA Earth Science News Team

A new NASA study finds that warmer than normal waters from rivers draining into the Arctic Ocean each summer are eating away at the sea ice in the Arctic Ocean. Led by Son Nghiem of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., the research team used satellite data to measure the surface temperature of the waters discharging from Canada's McKenzie River into the Beaufort Sea during the summer of 2012 and noticed surface waters being warmed suddenly due to the sudden influx of warm river water This warmed the surface layers of the ocean, which in turn increased the melting of sea ice.

DOE Sets New Commercial Refrigeration Energy Efficiency Standards
March 7, 2014 08:01 AM - Andrew Burger, Triple Pundit

Following through on President Barack Obama's Climate Action Plan, the Department of Energy (DOE) on Feb. 28 issued new energy efficiency standards for commercial refrigeration equipment. Over the ensuing 30 years, it's projected that the new standards will reduce carbon pollution by 142 million tons – the equivalent of that produced by generating electricity for 14.3 million U.S. homes – while also saving businesses as much as $11.7 billion on energy bills.

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