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Category Archives: Climate Change

Great Barrier Reef valued at $56B by Deloitte economists

Great Barrier Reef Foundation – “A new Deloitte Access Economics report has calculated the total asset value of the Great Barrier Reef to be $56 billion, assessing the World Heritage site’s economic, social and iconic brand value together in one study for the first time. In the report commissioned by the Great Barrier Reef Foundation with support from National Australia Bank and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Deloitte Access Economics analysed the Reef’s:

  • Economic, social, and iconic value;
  • Contribution to the economy through industry value added and employment;
  • Brand value to Australia and the international community; and
  • Significance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Owners.

Great Barrier Reef Foundation Director Steve Sargent said: “Like the Great Barrier Reef itself, the numbers revealed in the report are big and highlight just how significant the Reef’s contribution to Australia’s economy is:

  • $56 billion value as an economic, social, and iconic natural asset;
  •  $6.4 billion economic value added to the Australian economy in 2015-16;
  •  $3.9 billion in economic value added to Queensland’s economy in 2015-16;
  • $2.9 billion economic value added to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP) region in 2015-16; and
  • 64,000 jobs nationally linked to the Reef, including 33,000 in Queensland.”

“At $29 billion, tourism is the biggest contributor to the Reef’s $56 billion value, followed by $23.8 billion from indirect or non-use value, i.e. those who haven’t yet visited the Reef but value knowing it exists, and its value to recreational users ($3.2 billion) makes up the balance,” Mr Sargent said. “As the largest living structure on Earth and one of the world’s most complex and diverse natural ecosystems, the Great Barrier Reef is justifiably considered priceless and irreplaceable.”

Plastic emissions from world’s rivers add 5,000 metric tons of plastic waste every day to oceans

River plastic emissions to the world’s oceans, Laurent C. M. Lebreton, Joost van der Zwet, Jan-Willem Damsteeg, Boyan Slat, Anthony Andrady & Julia Reisser. Nature Communications 8, Article number: 15611 (2017). doi:10.1038/ncomms15611. Received: 27 October 2016. Accepted: 11 April 2017. Published online: 07 June 2017. “Plastics in the marine environment have become a major concern… Continue Reading

California again tops list of states with worst air pollution

American Lung Association – State of the Air 2017 – “For 18 years, the American Lung Association has analyzed data from official air quality monitors to compile the “State of the Air” report. The more you learn about the air you breathe, the more you can protect your health and take steps to make our… Continue Reading

Rise in ocean temperatures on northern east coast impacting ecology and economy

Yale Environment 360: Feeling the Heat: How Fish Are Migrating from Warming Waters – “Steadily rising ocean temperatures are forcing fish to abandon their historic territories and move to cooler waters. The result is that fishermen’s livelihoods are being disrupted, as fisheries regulators scramble to incorporate climate change into their planning…Over the last decade, the… Continue Reading

CRS – President Trump’s Withdrawal from the Paris Agreement Raises Legal Question

President Trump’s Withdrawal from the Paris Agreement Raises Legal Questions, CRS Legal Sidebar, June 9, 2017. [via FAS] “On June 1, President Trump announced his long-anticipated decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement—an international agreement intended to reduce the effects of climate change by maintaining global temperatures “well below 2°C above pre-industrial… Continue Reading

Google’s Environmental Report

Urs Hölzle, Senior Vice President of Technical Infrastructure, Google: “The following data [72 page report/PDF] summarize key highlights of our environmental initiatives discussed in our environmental report published in December 2016. They provide a snapshot of our performance and together demonstrate how we’re strengthening our business by reducing the environmental impact of our operations and… Continue Reading

Google is Mapping the invisible: Street View cars add air pollution sensors

Google Environment: “There are 1.3 million miles of natural gas distribution pipelines in the U.S. These pipelines exist pretty much everywhere that people do, and when they leak, the escaping methane — the main ingredient in natural gas — is a potent greenhouse gas, with 84 times the short-term warming effect of carbon dioxide. These… Continue Reading

Atlas of the Human Planet 2017: Global Exposure to Natural Hazards

EU Science Hub – “The Atlas of the Human Planet 2017. Global Exposure to Natural Hazards summarizes the global multi-temporal analysis of exposure to six major natural hazards: earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, floods, tropical cyclone winds, and sea level surge. The exposure focuses on human settlements assessed through two variables: the global built-up and the global… Continue Reading

How a Melting Arctic Changes Everything Part I: The Bare Arctic

Joshua New/Center for Data Innovation: “Bloomberg has created a series of data visualizations and maps illustrating the accelerating rate of ice melt in the Arctic as part of a series of articles examining the political implications of this change. The visualizations show that from 1985 to 2016, the amount of Arctic sea ice that was… Continue Reading

2017 Guide to Sunscreens

Environmental Working Group (EWG) – “Since 2007, when EWG published its first Sunscreen Guide, many sun protection products sold in the U.S. are safer and federal regulators have cracked down on some of the worst phony marketing claims. But our investigation of more than 880 beach and sport sunscreens, 480 moisturizers and 120 lip products… Continue Reading

Note with concern – Arctic Council’s 10th declaration

John Crump/Grid Arendal: “As awareness about the implications about Arctic climate change has grown, so has interest in the region as a potential reservoir of oil, gas and other resources. When the Arctic Council was formed in 1996, it didn’t need a large venue to hold its meetings. The recent Ministerial meeting at the end… Continue Reading

Our National Marine Sanctuary System

“Within the National Marine Sanctuary System, you’ll find places of hope, inspiration, biodiversity, and resilience. The system encompasses more than 600,000 square miles of marine and Great Lakes waters, and contains amazing cultural and historical resources, as well as vibrant ecosystems as diverse as coral reefs and kelp forests. A healthy ocean is the basis… Continue Reading