July 29, 2005
Easterbrook on Energy
Here's a reaction to the Energy Bill from Gregg Easterbrook. Brookings Institute
July 28, 2005
Evidence indicates that marine predator diversity has declined 10 - 50% in the past 50 years as a result of fishing pressure and changing climate. Link: Global Patterns of Predator Diversity in the Open Oceans -- Worm et al., 10.1126/science.1113399 -- Science.
The NY Times reported, after this post, on the Worm study. It provides a more complete summary. Biodiversity reduced in open oceans
NAS President Cicerone on Climate Change
Ralph Cicerone testified on climate change last week. His testimony is an excellent primer on the subject. Cicerone testimony
Science has published a critique of the implementation of the Northwest Forest Plan. Link: FOREST CONSERVATION: Learning to Adapt -- Stokstad 309 (5735): 688 -- Science.
The Science of Global Warming -- who is right about el nino v. la nina?
Earlier this month, I posted a link to the Wara study (published on line before its publication today in Science). The study suggests "permanent" el nino warm ocean currents governed a past era,which had global temperatures in the range we expect during the next century.
Ralph Kerr's note (published in Science today) explains the significance of the Wara study and a previous British study that indicated a permanent la nina cold ocean current governed that geological period.
Fluctuation between el nino and la nina ocean currents drives the global climate regime. So, it is important whether global warming will lead to el nino warm ocean currents or la nina cold ocean currents. The effects of global warming on regional climates greatly depend on whether global warming will be accompanied by el nino, la nina, or fluctuations between the two.
2005 Energy Bill Passed by Congress
Here is a link to the 2005 Energy bill sent to the President. Conference Report. (warning: 1724 pp PDF).
US Fuel Efficiency Headed Wrong Way
EPA embargoed its report on fuel economy while the House and conference committee deliberated on the energy bill. The conference energy bill will soon be headed to the President's desk.
The report, available through the NY Times, indicates that fuel economy for the US fleet of cars and trucks has worsened since the 1980s. The decrease in fuel economy is primarily due to the increased sales of vans, SUVs, and pickups, which now constitute 50% of the cars and trucks sold in the US.
DOT as of 2003 relaxed CAFE standards for trucks from 20.7 mpg for 2005, to 21.0 mpg in 2005, 21.6 mpg in 2006, and 22.2 mpg in 2007. Relaxation of the CAFE standards promises to further decrease overall US fleet fuel economy.
Link: Text of Embargoed E.P.A. Report - New York Times.
"Vision Statement" from Asia-Pacific clean development pact
July 27, 2005
U.S. to Join China and India in Climate Pact
The NY Times reports that the US may help form an Asian-Pacific climate change pact including China and India. The US, China and India appear to be ready to offer an alternative to Kyoto. There are no details available about the strategies of implementing latest technology and technology sharing without mandatory limits. Link: U.S. to Join China and India in Climate Pact - New York Times.
Resource Management by Injunction
In May, Judge Jim Redden invalidated the biological opinion on operation of the Columbia River hydropower system. In June, he issued a preliminary injunction requiring specific flows (spills) at five Columbia river and Snake river dams to protect fall juvenile chinook salmon. Yesterday, the 9th CIrcuit upheld Judge Redden's issuance of a preliminary injunction. It remanded to Judge Redden the defendants' complaints that the injunction was not narrowly tailored. The 9th Circuit did not reach the merits of Judge Redden's decision on the biological opinion. After decades of recalcitrance by the federal government, Judge Redden seems to have decided that natural resources management by injunction is better than the job that the federal government is doing and the 9th Circuit apparently agrees. Next stop? Link: Ninth Circuit Opinion 0535569.pdf).
July 25, 2005
Weighting in on Whales
In a perspectives and policy article, scientists urge emergency action to protect right whales. The article is accompanied by a wonderful set of links if you are interested in covering whales this year. Link: ECOLOGY: Enhanced: North Atlantic Right Whales in Crisis -- Kraus et al. 309 (5734): 561 -- Science.
Risk Assessment - CDC 3rd National Exposure Report
For those of you interested in risk assessment, CDC has issued its 3rd national report on exposure to numerous chemicals. Here is the link to CDC's report. Link: CDC - Third National Exposure Report.
The Legacy of Global Warming
Scientists estimate that the two most recent generations contributed 2/3 of the CO2 emissions that are causing global warming. If emissions stop today, global temperature will rise by .7C in 2100; if they stop in 2025, global temperature will rise by 1.3Cin 2100; if they are held constant in 2025, global temperature will rise 2.6C in 2100. No doubt one of our generation's most enduring legacies. Link: Contributions of past and present human generations to committed warming caused by carbon dioxide -- Friedlingstein and Solomon.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 10.1073/pnas.0504755102