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Category Archives: Environmental Law

Icebound The climate-change secrets of 19th century ship’s logs

Reuters – “An eccentric group of citizen-scientists called Old Weather has transcribed millions of observations from long-forgotten logbooks of ships, many from the great era of Arctic exploration. As the polar regions grow ever warmer, the volunteers have amassed a rich repository of climate data in a 21st century rescue mission…

Meteorologists have long recorded the weather at land-based stations. But nearly three-quarters of the planet is covered by water, and that’s where most weather takes place. Thousands of ships have criss-crossed the oceans, noting the weather in handwritten logbooks that for decades sat forgotten in bookshelves and basements. In a sometimes-obsessive quest, thousands of Old Weather volunteers have extracted millions of observations about barometric pressure, wind speed, air temperature and ice from the old logbooks. These are fed into a huge dataset at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, creating what NOAA calls “a dauntingly complex, high-resolution, four-dimensional reconstruction of the global climate that estimates what the weather was for every day back to 1836.”

Latest Arctic Report Card – melting permafrost emitting billions of tons of carbon into air

“NOAA’s 14th Arctic Report Card recounts the numerous ways that climate change continued to disrupt the polar region during 2019, with near-record high air and ocean temperatures, a massive melt of the Greenland ice sheet, record low sea-ice extents, and major shifts in the distribution of commercially valuable marine species.  The Arctic Report Card is… Continue Reading

Visualizing the Worst Air Pollution Days of 2019

The New York Times – See How the World’s Most Polluted Air Compares With Your City’s – “We visualized the damaging, tiny particles that wreak havoc on human health. From the Bay Area to New Delhi, see how the world’s worst pollution compares with your local air. …Outdoor particulate pollution was responsible for an estimated… Continue Reading

Court rules Nestlé cannot claim bottled water is ‘essential public service’

The Guardian UK – Nestlé cannot claim bottled water is ‘essential public service’, court rules. “Michigan’s second-highest court has dealt a legal blow to Nestlé’s Ice Mountain water brand, ruling that the company’s commercial water-bottling operation is “not an essential public service” or a public water supply. The court of appeals ruling is a victory… Continue Reading

Study finds North American birds getting smaller

Reuters: “Since 1978, researchers have scooped up and measured tens of thousands of birds that died after crashing into buildings in Chicago during spring and fall migrations. Their work has documented what might be called the incredible shrinking bird. A study published on Wednesday involving 70,716 birds killed from 1978 through 2016 in such collisions… Continue Reading

Too Big to Govern Public Balance Sheet for the World’s Largest Store

Economic Roundtable: “Amazon is flourishing as a corporation. On good days in the stock market it is worth $1 trillion, making it most valuable company on the planet. Amazon has come of age financially. This report examines its standing as a socially accountable corporate citizen, with close attention to the impact of Amazon’s logistics operations… Continue Reading

America’s Champion Trees Announced

“It’s that time of year when American Forests unveils the latest National Register of Champion Trees—a listing of the largest and most impressive trees in the United States. This year’s National Register is spectacular. It includes nearly 700 champions. We are grateful to the public participants who search for America’s giant trees throughout the year,… Continue Reading

UN Global Outlook Report 2019

“The UN Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Climate Change (UNFCCC) have been working together since 2014 to support countries in developing their national climate plans –Nationally Determined Contributions for the Paris Agreement or NDCs.” – The Heat is On – Taking Stock of Global Climate Ambition – “So far, temperatures are already up about 1.0°C… Continue Reading