Sat.Feb 10, 2024 - Fri.Feb 16, 2024

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We Crossed 1.5 C. Did We Breach the Paris Agreement?

Legal Planet

If you’re not a climate scientist—and maybe even if you are—reading news headlines this month has been confounding and a little scary. “In First, Earth’s Temperature Breached Key Threshold Over a 12 Month Period ” is how the Wall Street Journal put it. “ Earth Just Experienced 12 Months Of Global Temperatures Above Critical 1.5C Climate Threshold ,” was the version at Forbes.

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Plastics Reckoning: PVC Is Ubiquitous, But Maybe Not for Long

Yale E360

Used in everything from water pipes to car seats, PVC has long attracted criticism: a key ingredient is carcinogenic, and its additives include known endocrine disruptors. Now, the EPA is evaluating PVC’s safety, and an emerging global plastics treaty may limit its use.

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Plug-in Hybrids: Are They Really a Solution to Reducing Emissions?

Union of Concerned Scientists

It’s immediately clear how fully-electric battery electric vehicles (BEVs) can help reduce emissions; eliminating gasoline and tailpipes in favor of increasingly clean electricity helps limit both climate change and air pollution. Plug-in hybrids are a bit more complicated. A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (or PHEV) has both a gasoline engine and one or more battery-powered electric motors.

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A Breach of Fiduciary in the Oil Patch

Energy & the Law

Antero Resources Corp. v. C & R Downhole Drilling, Inc. et al , proves again the extreme risk when one bites the hand that feeds him (shoutout to Greek poet Sappho, 600 BCE. He probably had a Dalmation). Antero sued former employee Kawsak and his accomplices Robertson and his companies for breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, and unjust enrichment. The jury award Antero $11.1 million against Kawsak in actual damages, $775,000 as recoupment for the value Kawcak received as a result of the breach,

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Manufacturing Sustainability Surge: Your Guide to Data-Driven Energy Optimization & Decarbonization

Speaker: Kevin Kai Wong, President of Emergent Energy Solutions

In today's industrial landscape, the pursuit of sustainable energy optimization and decarbonization has become paramount. Manufacturing corporations across the U.S. are facing the urgent need to align with decarbonization goals while enhancing efficiency and productivity. Unfortunately, the lack of comprehensive energy data poses a significant challenge for manufacturing managers striving to meet their targets.

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A New Strategic Plan for California Offshore Wind

Legal Planet

For those following offshore wind development in California, January 19, 2024, marked an important moment—the release of the long-awaited Draft Assembly Bill 525 Offshore Wind Strategic Plan from the California Energy Commission (CEC). Some important foundations for offshore wind, a new but growing industry in California, had already been laid. Assembly Bill 525 (AB 525, Chiu, Chapter 231, Statutes of 2021) lent momentum to the development of offshore wind in the state by identifying important n

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How a Legal Loophole Allows Gas Leaks to Keep on Flowing

Yale E360

A new federal rule will cut major methane emissions from natural gas production. But residents of Pennsylvania’s fracking region contend that the cumulative impact of smaller leaks, which go unreported, will continue unabated, compromising their air, water, and health.

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EPA Proposes New RCRA Rules With Significant Compliance Obligations

Clean Energy Law

The proposed rules would expand the RCRA Corrective Action regime to PFAS and potentially other emerging contaminants. They may complicate ongoing compliance efforts as well as lead to significant value chain impacts. By Gary P. Gengel , Julia A. Hatcher , Thomas C. Pearce , and Guy Jack Mathews The Resource Conversation and Recovery Act (RCRA) mandates a two-part “corrective action” regime: Permits for any “solid waste management unit” (SWMU) at a “treatment, storage or disposal facility” (TSDF

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Making a case for business in environmental monitoring

Cleannovate

In our world, taking care of the environment is super important because things have become really urgent. Businesses can actually make money while also helping the planet. Imagine a big city with tall buildings – it looks cool, but there’s a problem.

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Nearly Half of Migratory Species in Decline, UN Report Finds

Yale E360

A sweeping new report, unveiled at the start of a major U.N. conference on the conservation of wildlife, held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, finds that nearly half of migratory species are in decline, from Egyptian vultures to steppe eagles to wild camels.

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Something Stinks: California Must End Manure Biomethane Accounting Gimmicks in its Low Carbon Fuel Standard

Union of Concerned Scientists

California’s transportation fuel policy is knee deep in cow poop, and it’s not a good look. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is considering amendments to its Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) regulation, but indicated they have no plans to address the problems caused by counter-productive subsidies for manure biomethane. CARB’s use of the LCFS as a cash cow to fund manure digesters is bad transportation fuel policy and bad agricultural policy.

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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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Rising greenhouse gases have cooling effect on Antarctica’s atmosphere

New Scientist

A "negative greenhouse effect" means rising concentrations of CO2 and methane have slightly cooled parts of Antarctica’s upper atmosphere, but that could change as the air becomes more humid

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Couples therapy – let’s fix our relationship with the financial sector

Enviromental Defense

Roses are red, violets are blue. I love climate-aligned financial regulations, and you should too. You have a relationship with your bank and pension, but the way they are managing your money might not be in the best interest of you or the climate. Maybe it’s started to grind your gears. This Valentine’s Day, we ask: how can we fix the broken relationship between financial institutions and climate action, so you can feel good about your bank again?

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In Icy Greenland, Area Covered by Vegetation Has More Than Doubled in Size

Yale E360

In Greenland, where temperatures are rising twice as fast as across the rest of the world, the icy, rocky landscape is turning increasingly green, a new study finds.

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A New Election Science Task Force Aims to Strengthen Our Elections—and Our Democracy 

Union of Concerned Scientists

A strong and healthy democracy reflects the will of the people. It gives everyone an equal opportunity to participate and have their vote counted, regardless of race, gender, wealth, or social status. It ensures that all voters have the ability to advocate for themselves and their communities. It depends on all of us to take part and strengthen our democracy together, and science has a crucial role to play.

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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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Genetically modified banana approved by regulators for first time

New Scientist

Regulators in Australia and New Zealand havegiven the green light to growing a genetically modified banana resistant to a devastating fungal disease spreading worldwide

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Space Lasers Will Seek a New Kind of Gravitational Waves

Scientific American

The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) will open a new era in astronomy that brings scientists to the brink of studying gravitational waves from the beginning of time

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Deep in Death Valley, a Sprawling Lake Takes Form

Yale E360

Repeated bouts of heavy rain have filled Badwater Basin in Death Valley, the driest spot in North America.

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The World Is Losing Migratory Species At Alarming Rates

Inside Climate News

A first of its kind U.N. study by conservation scientists finds nearly half of internationally protected migratory species are on their way to extinction. By Katie Surma Humans are driving migratory animals—sea turtles, chimpanzees, lions and penguins, among dozens of other species—towards extinction, according to the most comprehensive assessment of migratory species ever carried out.

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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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Microdosing LSD increases the complexity of your brain signals

New Scientist

A measure of consciousness called neural complexity increases even with small doses of LSD, but we still don't know the potential risks of microdosing psychedelic drugs

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How El Niño Will Influence 2024 Weather

Scientific American

The strong El Niño pattern that made 2023 particularly hot is finally starting to weaken, which scientists expect will conclude by late spring. What does that mean for weather this year?

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Statement in Response to Private Member’s Bill to End Thermal Coal Exports

Enviromental Defense

Statement by Julia Levin, Associate Director, National Climate Ottawa | Traditional, unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg People – We welcome the tabling of a new Private Member’s Bill C-383 , an Act to prohibit the export of thermal coal from Canada. If passed, this new law would finally put an end to the millions of tonnes of coal – the world’s dirtiest and deadliest fossil fuel – that are shipped overseas from Canada’ west coast every year.

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One of the World’s Rarest Whales

Ocean Conservancy

Each year we discover new species on land and at sea. In 2023, more than 5,000 new deep-sea species were discovered in a large area between Hawaii and Mexico in the Pacific. Defying all biological norms, recently discovered Antarctic strawberry-feather star species can have more than 20 arms. Jumping size brackets, in 2019 a new species called Sato’s beaked whales was identified in the North Pacific , and in 2021, the 40-foot-long Rice’s whale was formally recognized in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Great apes like teasing each other - which may be the origin of humour

New Scientist

Chimpanzees, bonobos, orangutans and gorillas frequently toy with their peers by poking, tickling or stealing from them, perhaps showing behaviours that were prerequisites for human joking

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If the Atlantic Ocean Loses Circulation, What Happens Next?

Scientific American

Researchers found that if melting glaciers shut down the circulation of the Atlantic Ocean’s circulation pattern, the global climate could see major changes within just 100 years

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Welcoming our 2024 Associate Editor Mentees!

The Applied Ecologist

Journal of Applied Ecology offers a two-year mentoring opportunity for early career researchers to gain experience of the Associate Editor role. Each mentee works with one of our five Senior Editors, who act as a mentor, as well as receives on-going support from the Editorial Office.

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California Isn’t Ready for a Megaflood. Or the Loss of Daniel Swain.

Inside Climate News

The state’s legendary and beloved “climate scientist-communicator” finds his public outreach isn’t valued by the institutions in America that fund science. By Liza Gross Powerful storms drenched California last week, as massive rivers in the sky unleashed destructive downpours and winds that caused widespread flooding and mudslides, toppled trees that killed four people in Northern California, cut power to nearly 900,000 people statewide and dumped record-setting rainfall on Southern California,

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Babies in bilingual homes have distinct brain patterns at 4 months old

New Scientist

Infants aged just 4 months old who live in a home where two languages are spoken have distinct patterns of brain activation compared with infants living in monolingual environments

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How Risky Are Repeat COVID Infections? What We Know So Far

Scientific American

Four years into the pandemic, many people have had COVID more than once—but the health consequences of repeat infections are not yet clear

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As Demand Grows for Electric Cars, So Does the Market for Green Jobs in the EV Industry

NRDC

Analysts expect openings for all types of electric vehicle jobs to expand over the next decade, with new opportunities across the country.

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A New Study Revealed Big Underestimates of Greenland Ice Loss—and the Power of New Technologies to Track the Changes

Inside Climate News

Better tracking of declines at the edges of the ice sheets suggests previous estimates missed 20 percent of the meltoff. The research highlights the role AI can play in accurately capturing the glaciers’ decline. By Moriah McDonald Although a new study of the mass of the Greenland Ice Sheet shows that previous research underestimated its ice loss by about 20 percent, which could lead to unexpected increases in sea level rise, it also held good news about the technological advancements used to ma

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Satellite beamed power from space to Earth for the first time ever

New Scientist

If we are ever going to have a solar power station in space, we will need to be able to transmit power from orbit - a feat that has now been achieved

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See What the Solar Eclipse Will Look Like across Most of the U.S.

Scientific American

Even if you’re not in the path of totality, the solar eclipse on April 8 will offer a show to nearly everyone across North and Central America

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Temporal mismatches in flight activity patterns between Pipistrellus kuhlii and Prays oleae in olive farms: Implications for biocontrol services potential

The Applied Ecologist

In this blog post José M. Herrera discusses their latest research, conducted alongside co-authors, which looks at the temporal relationship between the nightly activity patterns of the common pipistrelle bat (Pipistrellus kuhlii) and the olive fruit moth (Prays oleae).