Regulatory

Trump's wall puts wildlife at risk
February 9, 2017 07:10 AM - Lucina Melesio, SciDevNet

Building the wall that Donald Trump has ordered on January 25th, as one of his first actions as US president, will put on risk more than 50 animal species that share the ecosystem along the border between the United States and Mexico, scientists from various countries have warned.
 
Since 2006, 1,100 kilometers of barriers covering more than 30 per cent of the border between the countries have been built. The newest executive order commands the “immediate construction of a physical wall”, stating that ‘wall’ means “a physical barrier, continuous and impassable”.

Getting the Measure of Sustainable Economic Growth
January 30, 2017 10:20 AM - James Curran, The Ecologist

The new Index of Sustainable Economic Growth shows there is a shift to strike a healthier balance between support for the economy, and care for essential social and environmental systems. But can it ever replace GDP as a measure of progress? 

New technique IDs micropollutants in New York waterways
January 23, 2017 04:28 PM - Blaine Friedlander

Cornell engineers hope that clean water runs deep. They have developed a new technique to test for a wide range of micropollutants in lakes, rivers and other potable water sources that vastly outperforms conventional methods.

“Water quality monitoring is conventionally done by narrowly investigating one or a few contaminants at a time. We aimed to develop an analytical method that would be as broad as possible,” said Damian Helbling, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering. Helbling and Amy Pochodylo, M.S. ’14, published their research as the cover story in the journal Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology.

Obama's clean energy legacy - how long can it last?
January 20, 2017 04:50 PM - The Ecologist - Mark Barteau, University of Michigan

President Trump comes into office determined to discard huge swathes of his predecessor's legacy on day one, writes Mark Barteau. But he will struggle to undo Obama's clean energy regulations. It's not just that they are legally robust, it's also that energy markets in the US and the wider world have shifted firmly, and irreversibly, towards efficiency and renewables. Sorry, Mr Trump.

On Food Waste, the US could learn a lot from Europe
January 13, 2017 07:28 AM - Nithin Coca , Triple Pundit

The U.S. tosses a staggering $161 billion worth of food every year. While numerous efforts are underway to address that problem, they are taking place mostly at the local level or in the business sector. While that is necessary, national- and international-level policy has a role to play as well. And that is one area in which Europe is far ahead.

China Announces End to Ivory Trade in 2017
January 4, 2017 06:18 PM - Laura Goldman, Care2

In an announcement that could prove to be extremely good news for elephants in the wild, the Chinese government has promised to end its domestic ivory market by the end of this year.

Every year, thousands of elephants are killed for their tusks by poachers. Between 2011 and 2014, more than 100,000 elephants were slaughtered. The African elephant population dropped 30 percent from 2007 to 2014. More elephants are being killed than are being born.

Global climate target could net additional six million tons of fish annually
December 24, 2016 07:50 AM - University of British Columbia

If countries abide by the Paris Agreement global warming target of 1.5 degrees Celsius, potential fish catches could increase by six million metric tons per year, according to a new study published in Science.

The researchers also found that some oceans are more sensitive to changes in temperature and will have substantially larger gains from achieving the Paris Agreement.

The Paris Climate Deal Is Now in Force. What Comes Next?
December 4, 2016 09:07 PM - Steve Williams, Care2

The Paris Agreement was hailed as a turning point for world governments tackling climate change, and it has now come into effect. What does this mean for the world — and where do we go from here?

On Friday, November 4, the Paris Agreement went into effect, meaning that the agreement made last year by nearly 200 international delegates must now be honored. To recognize the consensus coming into force, the United Nations stated that it is a moment to celebrate – and to take concerted action.

“We remain in a race against time,” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon emphasized. ”Now is the time to strengthen global resolve, do what science demands and seize the opportunity to build a safer, more sustainable world for all.”

Rising CO2 Threatens Coral And People Who Use Reefs
November 9, 2016 04:26 PM - Erin Mckenzie via Duke University

As atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels rise, very few coral reef ecosystems will be spared the impacts of ocean acidification or sea surface temperature rise, according to a new analysis. The damage will cause the most immediate and serious threats where human dependence on reefs is highest.

A new analysis in the journal Plos One, led by Duke University and the Université de Bretagne Occidentale, suggests that by 2050, Western Mexico, Micronesia, Indonesia, parts of Australia and Southeast Asia will bear the brunt of rising temperatures. Reef damage will result in lost fish habitats and shoreline protection, jeopardizing the lives and economic prosperity of people who depend on reefs for tourism and food.

A new study concludes warm climate is more sensitive to changes in CO2
November 9, 2016 02:46 PM - Rachel Lentz via University of Hawaii At Manoa

It is well-established in the scientific community that increases in atmospheric CO2 levels result in global warming, but the magnitude of the effect may vary depending on average global temperature. A new study, published this week in Science Advances and led by Tobias Friedrich from the International Pacific Research Center (IPRC) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, concludes that warm climates are more sensitive to changes in CO2 levels than cold climates.

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