Thu.Dec 07, 2023

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Pearl Harbor Today

Legal Planet

Today is Pearl Harbor Day, the anniversary of the Japanese attack that launched the U.S. into World War II. Those of us who don’t live in Hawaii may not think much about the harbor, but I started to wonder how things were going environmentally there. The geography is more complex than I had expected. I think of a harbor as just an area where boats can park, maybe in a protected bay.

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Ancient climate analysis suggests CO2 causes more warming than thought

New Scientist

A reconstruction of 66 million years of climate history indicates global temperature may be even more sensitive to carbon dioxide levels than current models estimate

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The COP28 Halftime Report

Legal Planet

We’ve reached the midpoint of the annual, two-week international climate conference known as COP (for “conference of parties”), so it’s a good time to reflect on what’s gone down in Dubai. I’m attending along with a delegation of UCLA Law students and colleagues here to follow a range of issues, from methane regulation to China’s global role to regenerative agricultural practices.

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Honeyguide birds respond to special calls from human honey-hunters

New Scientist

Honey-hunters from several African cultures use different sounds to communicate with honeyguides, and the birds respond to local calls more than others

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Implementing D.E.J.I. Strategies in Energy, Environment, and Transportation

Speaker: Antoine M. Thompson, Executive Director of the Greater Washington Region Clean Cities Coalition

Diversity, Equity, Justice, and Inclusion (DEJI) policies, programs, and initiatives are critically important as we move forward with public and private sector climate and sustainability goals and plans. Underserved and socially, economically, and racially disadvantaged communities bear the burden of pollution, higher energy costs, limited resources, and limited investments in the clean energy and transportation sectors.

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Sabin Center’s Network of Peer Reviewers Responds to African Commission’s Call for Comments on Climate Change and Human Rights

Law Columbia

Last week, the Sabin Center’s Peer Reviewer Network provided a detailed comment in response to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights’ Call for Comments on the draft study concerning the impact of climate change on human rights in Africa. The comment offers recommendations to strengthen the draft study’s approach to the human rights implications of climate change and addresses key areas of climate change law.

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Insects thrive on solar farms planted with native flowers

New Scientist

Two solar farms in Minnesota saw big increases in bees and other insects after a variety of native grasses and wildlfowers were planted among the panels

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Microplastic pollution rained down on Canada during a hurricane

New Scientist

When Hurricane Larry struck Newfoundland in 2021, large amounts of microplastic fell from the sky, probably because the storm travelled over an ocean garbage patch

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WeConservePA: Schuylkill River Trail's Auburn Gap Closes With Opening Of Auburn Bridge In Schuylkill County

PA Environment Daily

A former Pennsylvania Railroad bridge in Auburn, Schuylkill County has been rehabilitated as part of the extension of the Schuylkill River Trail. The historic plate girder bridge, which crosses the Schuylkill River, has been fitted with a new concrete trail deck and steel railings. This project closes the last remaining break of the trail in Auburn which is located near the borders of Berks and Schuylkill Counties.

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The top ten films about artificial intelligence according to an expert

New Scientist

From Wall-E to Short Circuit via I, Robot, these are the best films out there about AI, says Alan Turing Institute ethics fellow Mhairi Aitken

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U.S. Drinking-Water Systems Still Haven't Defeated This Nasty Parasite

Scientific American

The U.S.’s largest-ever outbreak of waterborne illness—cryptosporidiosis—hit Milwaukee 30 years ago. Why are many other water systems still vulnerable to the same parasite today?

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Shaping a Resilient Future: Climate Impact on Vulnerable Populations

Speaker: Laurie Schoeman Director, Climate & Sustainability, Capital

As households and communities across the nation face challenges such as hurricanes, wildfires, drought, extreme heat and cold, and thawing permafrost and flooding, we are increasingly searching for ways to mitigate and prevent climate impacts. During this event, national climate and housing expert Laurie Schoeman will discuss topics including: The two paths for climate action: decarbonization and adaptation.

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Sand-dwelling fungi discovered and named after Dune's giant sandworms

New Scientist

One of four newly described species of "stalked puffball" fungi from Hungary’s Pannonian steppe erupts out of the sand like the iconic Shai-Hulud

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Editor’s Choice 60:12 Mangrove ecological restoration vs climate variability

The Applied Ecologist

David Alejandro Sánchez-Núñez, J. Alexandra Rodríguez-Rodríguez and José Ernesto Mancera Pineda talk us through Journal of Applied Ecology’s December’s Editor’s Choice research article. This study demonstrates that climate-smart restoration in mangroves should implement the types of hydrological rehabilitation measures that offset or avoid reinforcing ENSO strong phases.

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We now know why we find some jokes funny - thanks to Seinfeld

New Scientist

Scientists have a better understanding of how we enjoy jokes after monitoring people's brain activity while they watched the sitcom Seinfeld

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What is a Sand Dune?

Ocean Conservancy

Along the sandy beach , you’ll find seashells, tiny crabs and—if you look up in the sky—gulls flying overhead. But a little distance from where the ocean meets the land, some beaches have sand dunes. These large mounds of sand are a bit puzzling. How do they stay formed into big hills? Why don’t they collapse or fall apart? And how do they form in the first place?

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Sustainability at Retail

Sustainability impacts every nation, company, and person around the world. So much so that, in 2015, the United Nations (UN) issued a call for action by all countries to work toward sustainable development. In response to this and as part of a global Sustainability at Retail initiative, Shop! worked collaboratively with its global affiliates to address these critical issues in this white paper.

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World predicted to break 1.5°C warming limit for first time in 2024

New Scientist

There is a reasonable chance 2024 will be the first year in which the average global surface temperature is more than 1.

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South Fork Wind Is Also a Victory for Whales

NRDC

The first U.S. utility-scale offshore wind project turns on the lights—and was built with strong protections in place for endangered whales.

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This mathematical trick can help you imagine space-time

New Scientist

Visualising space-time can be a mind-melting exercise, but mathematician Manil Suri has a trick that makes it easier

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Golden Mole That Swims through Sand Rediscovered after 86 Years

Scientific American

The iridescent, blind De Winton’s golden mole was last seen in 1937 and later declared officially lost.

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Unusual dark hedgehog from eastern China is new to science

New Scientist

A species of hedgehog that hadn't been scientifically identified before has been discovered in two eastern Chinese provinces

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Thursday PA Environment & Energy NewsClips - 12.7.23

PA Environment Daily

Pursue Your Constitutional Right To A Clean Environment In Pennsylvania House next voting day Dec. 11, 12, 13 -- Committee Schedule Senate next voting day Dec. 11, 12, 13 -- Committee Schedule -- Click Here for Senate Agency Budget Hearing Schedule. TODAY’s Calendar Of Events TODAY: In-Person, Virtual. Westminster College/Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition Student Symposium On The Environment.

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Seams on a baseball shift its trajectory by unexpectedly large amount

New Scientist

When a baseball is tilted and spinning just right, its raised, hand-stitched seams skew the process by which its wake is created and radically shift its trajectory in the air

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Statement on Canada’s Long-Awaited Oil and Gas Emissions Cap Framework

Enviromental Defense

Statement by Aly Hyder Ali, Oil and Gas Program Manager Ottawa | Traditional, unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg People – We applaud the Government of Canada for releasing the much awaited framework on the oil and gas emissions cap. However, having a framework is not the same as having final rules in place, which need to be implemented as soon as possible.

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EPA Proposes Vulnerable Species Pilot Project

National Law Center

One June 22, 2023, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) released a draft white paper for its Vulnerable Species Pilot Project (“VSPP”), The post EPA Proposes Vulnerable Species Pilot Project appeared first on National Agricultural Law Center.

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International Trade: A Policy Tool for Climate Action?

NRDC

Recently introduced Democrat and Republican bills propose tariffs at the border for widely traded products with high greenhouse gas emissions intensity.

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Uganda is planning a massive clean energy expansion – paid for by oil

New Scientist

Uganda announced a plan at COP28 to use oil revenues to fund a rapid expansion of clean energy across the east African country

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With $25 Million and Community Collaboration, Baltimore Is Becoming a Living Climate Lab

Inside Climate News

A Johns Hopkins climate scientist named Ben Zaitchik came to the city to study the heat island effect. Now, with millions in federal funding, he’s putting neighborhood concerns at the heart of the five-year project on urban heat, flooding, air pollution and decarbonization. By Aman Azhar Harm City: Fifth in a series about environmental justice and climate adaptation in Baltimore’s neighborhoods.

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A Good Night's Sleep May Help Control Blood Sugar

Scientific American

Brain waves during sleep influence glucose and insulin, offering new insights into controlling diabetes

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Bipartisan House Legislation Would Support Biofuels and Biomanufacturing Innovation

Brag

On November 14, 2023, Representatives Nikki Budzinski (D-IL) and Zach Nunn (R-IA) introduced bipartisan legislation that would increase biofuel production and reduce energy costs. The Agricultural Biorefinery Innovation and Opportunity (Ag BIO) Act (H.R. 6413) would increase funding for grants to support innovation in the biofuels and bioproducts industry.

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The World Got Failing Grades on Climate Action. Here's How COP28 Aims to Fix That

Scientific American

The main negotiations at the COP28 climate meeting will aim to address how countries plan to fix shortcomings in their plans to reduce planet-warming emissions, as highlighted in the “Global Stocktake”

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Natural Lands Announced Acquisition Of 46 Acres For Use As A Park In Aston Township, Delaware County

PA Environment Daily

On December 7, Natural Lands announced the acquisition of nearly 46 acres of open space by Aston Township, Delaware County, for a township park. “It’s been a long but incredibly rewarding process that’s culminated in a huge open space achievement,” said Robyn Jeney, land protection project manager for Natural Lands. “The preservation of this land is especially significant in a community that is almost 100 percent developed and with a density of nearly 3,000 residents per square mile.

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AI's Climate Impact Goes beyond Its Emissions

Scientific American

To understand how AI is contributing to climate change, look at the way it’s being used

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COP28: Al Gore in strong criticism of hosts UAE

A Greener Life

Al Gore addresses the audience during his COP28 speech. Photo credit AP / Joshua A. Bickel. By Anders Lorenzen Al Gore , former US Vice President (1992-2000) in the Clinton administration, and strong advocate of tackling climate change, has delivered a strong criticism of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the hosts of COP28 – the United Nations (UN) annual climate talks.

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EPA Issues Orders to Inhance Technologies Related to Long-Chain PFAS SNUNs

Brag

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on December 1, 2023, that it issued orders to Inhance Technologies LLC directing it not to produce per- and polyfluroakyl substances (PFAS), “chemicals that are created in the production of its fluorinated high-density polyethylene [high-density polyethylene (HDPE)] plastic containers.” EPA states that in December 2022, Inhance submitted significant new use notices (SNUN) for nine long-chain PFAS.

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Hair Relaxers Will Be Safer without Formaldehyde, but It's Just a Start

Scientific American

Banning formaldehyde hair relaxers might help protect Black women’s health, but won’t end the racism that drives their use

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