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Daily Archives: September 6, 2015

The Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment — ABoVE

“Climate change in the Arctic and Boreal region is unfolding faster than anywhere else on Earth, resulting in reduced Arctic sea ice, thawing of permafrost soils, decomposition of long- frozen organic matter, widespread changes to lakes, rivers, coastlines, and alterations of ecosystem structure and function. NASA’s Terrestrial Ecology Program is conducting a major field campaign, the Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE), in Alaska and western Canada, for 8 to 10 years, starting in 2015. ABoVE seeks a better understanding of the vulnerability and resilience of ecosystems and society to this changing environment.

WHAT IS ABoVE? The Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) is a NASA Terrestrial Ecology Program field campaign that will be conducted in Alaska and Western Canada (see Study Domain). ABoVE is a large-scale study of environmental change and its implications for social-ecological systems.  ABoVE’s science objectives are broadly focused on (1) gaining a better understanding of the vulnerability and resilience of Arctic and boreal ecosystems to environmental change in western North America, and (2) providing the scientific basis for informed decision-making to guide societal responses at local to international levels. Research for ABoVE will link field-based, process-level studies with geospatial data products derived from airborne and satellite sensors, providing a foundation for improving the analysis, and modeling capabilities needed to understand and predict ecosystem responses and societal implications. The planning for ABoVE started in 2009 with a scoping study. Throughout 2013, the science definition team wrote a concise experiment plan that was completed 2014. The first ABoVE call for proposals appeared in ROSES 2014 (see Timeline).

WHY DO WE NEED TO STUDY THE ARCTIC AND BOREAL REGION? Climate change in the Arctic and Boreal Region (ABR) is unfolding faster than anywhere else on Earth, resulting in reduced volume and area of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean during summer, warming and thawing of permafrost, increases in the frequency and severity of climate-driven disturbances, and widespread changes to surface water extent, soil moisture, and vegetation structure and function. Environmental and climate change in the ABR is increasingly affecting society both locally and globally. Changes to forests from insects and fires, erosion of Arctic coastlines, and altered wildlife habitats that support subsistence opportunities may affect residents of the ABR both positively and negatively. The ABR also contains a globally significant amount of carbon in both the soils and vegetation, and it is unknown how much of this sequestered carbon will be released to the atmosphere as permafrost thaws and forests burn, potentially further accelerating global climate change.”

England and Germany Limit Bank Resolution Obligations

Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation. Posted by Solomon J. Noh and Fredric Sosnick, Shearman & Sterling LLP “In two recent decisions, European national courts have taken a narrow view of their obligations under the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD)—the new European framework for dealing with distressed banks. The message… Continue Reading

Our World in Data

“Life around the world is changing rapidly – here you find the data visualizations that show you how. Poverty, violence, health, education, the environment and much more. Our World In Data covers a wide range of topics and visualizes the empirical evidence of how living standards changed over the last decades, centuries, and millennia. A… Continue Reading

NOAA – National Preparedness Month: What You Can Do

“If an emergency occurred tomorrow, would you be ready? September is National Preparedness Month. Sponsored by FEMA, National Preparedness Month aims to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to all types of emergencies, including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks. National Preparedness Month is a time to prepare yourself and those in… Continue Reading

An International Legal Framework for SE4All

Kaime, Thoko and Glicksman, Robert L., An International Legal Framework for SE4All: Human Rights and Sustainable Development Law Imperatives (September 4, 2015). 38 Fordham International Law Journal 1405 (2015). Available for download at SSRN: “Governments around the world recognize the link between human development and access to safe, secure, and affordable sources of energy.… Continue Reading

Report – disparate impact theory and bias whose roots are in algorithms

Lauren Kirchner is a senior reporting fellow at ProPublica., writing in the Atlantic – When Discrimination Is Baked Into Algorithms: “…Over the past several decades, an important tool for assessing and addressing discrimination has been the “disparate impact” theory. Attorneys have used this idea to successfully challenge policies that have a discriminatory effect on certain… Continue Reading

Millions of Americans experience poverty outside safety nets

Selling plasma to survive: how over a million American families live on $2 per day by Dylan Matthews on September 2, 2015 – “In early 2011, 1.5 million American households, including 3 million children, were living on less than $2 in cash per person per day. Half of those households didn’t have access to in-kind… Continue Reading