Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Category Archives: Environmental Law

Study predicts mass species extinction

Accelerated modern human–induced species losses: Entering the sixth mass extinction Science Advances  19 Jun 2015: Vol. 1, no. 5, e1400253 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1400253 “The oft-repeated claim that Earth’s biota is entering a sixth “mass extinction” depends on clearly demonstrating that current extinction rates are far above the “background” rates prevailing between the five previous mass extinctions.Continue Reading

Report documents extensive drought in western states

Follow up to previous posting – California Curtails Senior Water Rights via ProPublica –  California’s Drought Is Part of a Much Bigger Water Crisis. Here’s What You Need to Know, by Abrahm Lustgarten, Lauren Kirchner and Amanda Zamora. June 25, 2015. “Why do I keep hearing about the California drought, if it’s the Colorado RiverContinue Reading

Study – Uncertainty in global groundwater storage estimates

Uncertainty in global groundwater storage estimates in a total groundwater stress framework. Accepted manuscript online: 16 June 2015 Full publication history  DOI: 10.1002/2015 WR017351 “Groundwater is a finite resource under continuous external pressures. Current unsustainable groundwater use threatens the resilience of aquifer systems and their ability to provide a long-term water source. Groundwater storage isContinue Reading

Environmental Monitoring and Ecosystem Management in Oil Sands

Olszynski, Martin, Environmental Monitoring and Ecosystem Management in the Oil Sands: Spaceship Earth or Escort Tugboat? (June 22, 2015). McGill International Journal of Sustainable Development Law & Policy, Vol. 10, No. 1, 2014. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2621795 “Spurred on by mounting international concern about the environmental impacts of the oil sands and determined toContinue Reading

Report – climate change damage cost at national parks

Adapting To Climate Change in Coastal Parks: Estimating the Exposure of Park Assets to 1 m of Sea-Level Rise Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/NRSS/GRD/NRR—2015/916: “In advance of the two-year anniversary of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today released a report revealing that national park infrastructure and historic and cultural resources totalling more thanContinue Reading

NASA Study – World running out of groundwater

Quantifying renewable groundwater stress with Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) – accepted manuscript online: 16 June 2015, Full publication history “Groundwater is an increasingly important water supply source globally. Understanding the amount of groundwater used versus the volume available is crucial to evaluate future water availability. We present a groundwater stress assessment to quantify the relationship between groundwaterContinue Reading

Paper – How Not to Save the Planet

Brooks, Thom, How Not to Save the Planet (June 19, 2015). Brooks, Thom “How Not to Save the Planet,” Ethics, Policy & Environment (target article) (Forthcoming). Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2620647 “Climate change presents us with perhaps the most pressing challenge today. But is it a problem we can solve? This article argues thatContinue Reading

Cleanup Solution for Massive Ocean Plastic Problem

“About 8 million tons of plastic enters the ocean each year (Jambeck et al., 2015). Part of this accumulates in 5 areas where currents converge: the gyres. At least 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic are currently in the oceans (Eriksen et al., 2014), a third of which is concentrated in the infamous Great Pacific GarbageContinue Reading

GAO Reports – Arctic Planning, Farm Program Modernization, Underutilized Military Facilities

Arctic Planning: DOD Expects to Play a Supporting Role to Other Federal Agencies and Has Efforts Under Way to Address Capability Needs and Update Plans, GAO-15-566: Published: Jun 19, 2015. Publicly Released: Jun 19, 2015. Farm Program Modernization: Farm Service Agency Needs to Demonstrate the Capacity to Manage IT Initiatives, GAO-15-506: Published: Jun 18, 2015.Continue Reading

Extract from Pope Francis’s encyclical on climate change

Via The Guardian – This is an extract from Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si – “The pope’s encyclical on climate change – on Thursday June 18, 2015 the Vatican published Pope Francis’s long-awaited encyclical on the environment, which warns of ‘serious consequences’ if the world does not act on climate change.”: “TheContinue Reading

Study – Arctic Ocean rapidly becoming more corrosive to marine species

“New research by NOAA, University of Alaska, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in the journal Oceanography shows that surface waters of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas could reach levels of acidity that threaten the ability of animals to build and maintain their shells by 2030, with the Bering Sea reaching this level of acidity by 2044. “Our research showsContinue Reading

CRS – Invasive Species: Issues in Brief

Invasive Species: Issues in Brief – M. Lynne Corn, Specialist in Natural Resources Policy; Renée Johnson, Specialist in Agricultural Policy. May 22, 2015. “For the first few centuries after the arrival of Europeans in North America, plants and animals of many species were sent between the two continents. The transfer of non-natives consisted not onlyContinue Reading