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Category Archives: Environmental Law

NOAA: 2017 was 3rd warmest year on record for the globe

NOAA, NASA scientists confirm Earth’s long-term warming trend continues – “…The average temperature across the globe in 2017 was 1.51 degrees F above the 20th century average of 57 degrees F. 2017 marks the 41st consecutive year (since 1977) with global land and ocean temperatures at least nominally above the 20th-century average. The six warmest years on record for the planet have all occurred since 2010. Sea ice extent (coverage) at the poles remained low throughout last year. Antarctica had a record-low extent in 2017, while the Arctic had its second-lowest ice coverage on record…”

A Surprising Feature of Historic Photos of DC – the addition of many trees!

Via Casey Trees [please join me in supporting this or similar groups planting trees in communities throughout our cities] – “…Our fair District is a historic and photogenic city, there is no doubt. When looking a before and after photos of places throughout the city, we found ourselves looking at something else – the evolution… Continue Reading

EU declares war on plastic waste

The Guardian – “The EU is waging war against plastic waste as part of an urgent plan to clean up Europe’s act and ensure that every piece of packaging on the continent is reusable or recyclable by 2030. Following China’s decision to ban imports of foreign recyclable material, Brussels on Tuesday launched a plastics strategy… Continue Reading

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR): An Overview

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR): An Overview – CRS report via FAS – Laura B. Comay, Analyst in Natural Resources Policy; Michael Ratner, Specialist in Energy Policy; R. Eliot Crafton; Analyst in Natural Resources Policy. January 9, 2018. “In the ongoing energy debate in Congress, one recurring issue has been whether to allow oil and gas… Continue Reading

9 Places to find data on the environment

Data Drive Journalism: “What is the best way of reporting on data related to the environment? Where do you find the data in the first place? How do you make it relatable to the public and which challenges do you face along the way? Last October, seven experts got together on the Data Journalism Awards Slack team on… Continue Reading

1980-2017 Q4 – U.S. Billion-dollar weather and climate disasters

“NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) tracks U.S. weather and climate events that have great economic and societal impacts (www.ncdc.noaa.gov/billions). Since 1980, the U.S. has sustained 219 weather and climate disasters where the overall damage costs reached or exceeded $1 billion (including adjustments based on the Consumer Price Index, as of December 2017). The… Continue Reading

U.S. Waterways Are Getting Saltier, With Possible Effects on Drinking Water

Science: U.S. rivers are getting saltier, potentially compromising drinking water: “The bomb cyclone that hit the northeastern United States last week left roadways and vehicles caked in a white film of road salt and grime. Those salts might be washing into the region’s fresh waterways, a new study reveals. A 50-year-long analysis of hundreds of… Continue Reading

NYC sues major oil companies over climate change

Washington Post: “The New York City government is suing the world’s five largest publicly traded oil companies, seeking to hold them responsible for present and future damages to the city from climate change. The suit, filed Tuesday against BP, Chevron, Conoco-Phillips, ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell, claims the companies together produced 11 percent of all… Continue Reading

FERC rejects proposal to subsidize coal burning and nuclear power plants

gtm research: “Federal regulators have rejected Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s plan to rewrite energy market regulations that would favor the coal industry in the name of grid reliability, delivering a stark rebuke to what has largely been seen as an effort to reward the coal industry at the expense of ratepayers and the environment. On… Continue Reading

The Nine Lives of Christmas Trees

Casey Trees – “After we learned that D.C. will pick up your Christmas Tree with trash and recycling until February 2nd, we started to wonder what other purposes Christmas trees serve. Surely they can’t just be decorative. Thankfully we found some pretty cool and wide ranging options for the next life of Christmas Trees. (As… Continue Reading

Ocean of Things Aims to Expand Maritime Awareness across Open Seas

DARPA envisions ocean-based “internet of things” made of small, low-cost floating sensors – “The internet of things connects an ever-growing number of smart devices for up-to-the-minute monitoring and tracking of many common events. Head out to most parts of the open ocean, however, and no such capability exists for real-time monitoring of maritime activity. DARPA… Continue Reading

NOAA – 2017 was third warmest year on record for US with record number of climate disasters

Assessing the U.S. Climate in 2017 – “Based on preliminary analysis, the average annual temperature for the contiguous U.S. was 54.6°F, 2.6°F above the 20th century average. This was the third warmest year since record keeping began in 1895, behind 2012 (55.3°F) and 2016 (54.9°F), and the 21st consecutive warmer-than-average year for the U.S. (1997… Continue Reading