• Gulf of Mexico Coral

    A team of U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and academic scientists are analyzing samples of coral and surrounding sediments from an area damaged near the Deepwater Horizon site in the Gulf of Mexico. These samples, collected in December, are being used to investigate how and why the corals on these reefs died. There are many potential causes of coral death. This particular case may be related to the oil release from Deepwater. Coral colonies may live for decades or centuries. Some causes are predation by other sea creatures such as Sea Stars. Global warming is a potential cause as well as other human related activities. >> Read the Full Article
  • On Eve of New Climate Regs, A Primer, Part II: Lawsuits

    Yesterday ScienceInsider went through the implications of new federal rules on greenhouse gases for industries which pollute the air with these pollutants. But legal challenges could complicate an already complex landscape for the rules. >> Read the Full Article
  • Texas files again to block EPA carbon rules

    Texas on Thursday filed a fresh motion in federal appeals court to block the Obama Administration's attempts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions in the state, one day after another federal court rejected the state's petitions. At issue is the state's lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to prevent the agency from forcing it to issue greenhouse gas permits for its biggest polluters when national carbon rules take effect in January. Until there is a ruling on the case, Texas asked the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans to block the EPA's mandate that the state expand its pollution regulations to include greenhouse gases. The Fifth Circuit court denied that request on Wednesday. On Thursday, EPA published in the Federal Register details of its proposed permit rules for Texas to go into effect on Sunday, January 2. >> Read the Full Article
  • U.S. court rules Texas cannot delay EPA - mandated greenhouse gas rules

    A federal court on Wednesday blocked an attempt by Texas to delay the Environmental Protection Agency's plans to impose carbon regulations in the state early next year. The state of Texas is suing the EPA to prevent the agency from forcing it to issue greenhouse gas permits for the biggest polluters when national carbon rules take effect in early January. Until there is a ruling on the case, Texas asked the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to block the EPA's mandate that the state expand its pollution regulations to include greenhouse gases. The court denied the request. The EPA issued a finding last year that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases endanger human health and welfare. Since then the agency has moved forward with developing rules under the Clean Air Act to limit emissions blamed for climate change. >> Read the Full Article
  • On Eve of New Climate Regs, A Primer on Federal Greenhouse Gas Regimes: Part I

    For 2 years industry officials, states, and environmentalists have had 2 January 2011 circled on their calendars. That's the date greenhouse gases officially become regulated pollutants under the Clean Air Act—a direct result of a 2007 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that carbon dioxide is a pollutant under that law. The Environmental Protection Agency's effort to control greenhouse emissions will only get more controversial as myriad lawsuits challenge the regime and Republicans, now ascendant in the House of Representatives, seek to stop EPA in its tracks. >> Read the Full Article
  • Indonesia moves ahead on climate action

    Indonesia has chosen once of its largest and richest provinces to test efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by saving forest and peatlands, a key part of a $1 billion climate deal with Norway. Central Kalimantan province on Borneo island is the second largest producer of greenhouse gases among Indonesia's 33 provinces because of deforestation, destruction of carbon-rich peat swamps, and land use change, the government says. "The assessment showed that Central Kalimantan is a province with large forest cover and peatland and faces a real threat of deforestation," top technocrat Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, head of a special presidential delivery unit charged with managing the Norway deal, said in a statement on Thursday. >> Read the Full Article
  • Climate change: we are like slave-owners

    An economy run on slave labour has much in common with one run on fossil fuels, argues Jean-Francois Mouhot. Ending suffering means we all need to become modern-day abolitionists. >> Read the Full Article
  • Coral bleaching may be over-estimated

    Problems with how scientists communicate with the media and in how reefs' health is assessed have created a skewed public understanding of coral bleaching, according to a new study. Coral bleaching is a widespread phenomenon in which corals lose their vivid colours. It's a major concern to conservationists, as it can be triggered by rapid environmental change and sometimes presages the death of whole reefs, along with the complex ecosystems they support. But the researchers suggest we need to take a more complex view of the matter - bleaching isn't always a bad thing. 'We go out to Indonesia twice a year, and in spring when the waters are warmest the reefs are always bleached,' says Dr David Suggett, a marine biologist at the University of Essex's Coral Reef Research Unit and co-author of the paper, published in Global Change Biology. >> Read the Full Article
  • Wheat Poised to Weather Climate Change

    With climate change predicted to alter precipitation and raise temperatures in North American grain-growing regions by 3 to 4 degrees Celsius (about 5 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century, crops in the future will face dramatically different growing conditions than they do today. But a new study shows that over the last century and a half, North American wheat crops spread into regions with even wider temperature and precipitation differences than will arise over the next century. This analysis suggests it will be possible to adapt to new wheat-growing conditions. >> Read the Full Article
  • Drilling Project in the Dead Sea Aimed at Climate History and History of Humankind

    ScienceDaily (Dec. 22, 2010) — About 50 miles from Bethlehem, a drilling project is determining the climate and earthquake activity of the area. Scientists from eight nations are examining the ground below the Dead Sea, by placing a borehole in this deepest basin in the world. >> Read the Full Article