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Category Archives: Environmental Law

The ends of the Earth are melting really fast. Here’s what you need to know

The Correspondent: “The ends of the Earth are melting at a rate not seen in at least 115,000 years. And over the past few months, there’s been increasing evidence that the changes we’re seeing at our planet’s poles are only growing more severe.

  • On 1 August, the Greenland ice sheet lost 12.5bn tonnes of ice on a single day, a new all-time record.
  • On 18 September, the Arctic Ocean reached its second lowest extent of sea ice in history.
  • On 9 February, the temperature reached an astounding 20.75C (69F) on Seymour Island, just off the coast of the Antarctic peninsula, the warmest temperature ever measured on the continent. “[W]e have never seen anything like this,” said Carlos Schaefer, a Brazilian scientist working on Seymour Island.
  • These changes in the most remote places on Earth have huge consequences for our daily lives because our daily lives have huge consequences for the most remote places on Earth. Decades of routine human activities – going to work, driving a car, eating a hamburger, choosing a stock portfolio – have transformed the frozen parts of this planet on a scale never seen before. If we do not change our behaviour drastically to slow down and eventually stop the Arctic melt, rising sea levels and even faster rising global temperatures will threaten our very way of life…”

Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by Johns Hopkins CSSE

Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by Johns Hopkins CSSE – total confirmed cases world wide as of 02/24/2020 – 79,554. Lancet Article: Here. Mobile Version: Here. Visualization: JHU CSSE. Automation Support: Esri Living Atlas team. Data sources: WHO, CDC, ECDC, NHC and DXY. Read more in this blog. Contact US. Downloadable database: GitHub: Here. Feature layer: Here. Point level: City level – US,… Continue Reading

Elephant behavior toward the dead

Washington Post – An elephants story does not end when it dies See also Goldenberg, S.Z., Wittemyer, G. Elephant behavior toward the dead: A review and insights from field observations. Primates 61, 119–128 (2020). “Many nonhuman animals have been documented to take an interest in their dead. A few socially complex and cognitively advanced taxa—primates,… Continue Reading

Forest Service says Appalachian Trail isn’t “land” in pipeline fight at SCOTUS

Quartz: “It’s not every Supreme Court brief that goes off the beaten legal path, supplementing jurisprudence with humor and spicing up statutory interpretation with devastating wit. But the filing from environmentalists fighting the US Forest Service (USFS) over its grant of a license for a gas pipeline through the Appalachian Trail is one such gem. … Continue Reading

You want to reduce the carbon footprint of your food?

Focus on what you eat, not whether your food is local – “Our World in Data presents the empirical evidence on global development in entries dedicated to specific topics. This blog post draws on data and research discussed in our entry on the Environmental impacts of food and CO2 and Greenhouse Gas Emissions.”People across the… Continue Reading

Global Tailings Dam Portal Project

Press release, 24 January 2020: World’s first public database of mine tailings dams aims to prevent deadly disasters – “The team at GRID-Arendal has built the Global Tailings Portal, a public, searchable database with detailed information on more than 1,700 mine tailings dams around the world. The data is based on disclosures provided by mining… Continue Reading

Are plastic containers safe for our food?

The Guardian –  The industry says its containers are safe but some experts point to a lack of data and warn that plastic and heat aren’t a good mix: “Many of us have an overflowing kitchen cupboard of plastic containers to store our leftovers.But as awareness grows over the health and environmental pitfalls of plastic,… Continue Reading

Visualizing Climate Change Data in Real-Time

Center for Data Innovation – “Bloomberg has created a climate data dashboard that features a series of data visualizations that update in real-time. The dashboard includes visualizations that show that arctic sea ice is melting faster than scientists’ projections and that the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere continues to increase rapidly. The visualizations… Continue Reading

1,000 of the most stunning landscapes in Google Earth

Google Blog: “…Earth View is a collection of thousands of the planet’s most beautiful landscapes, seen from space. Over the last decade, the collection has been witnessed by millions around the world as wallpapers for Android devices, screensavers for Chromecast and Google Home, and as an interactive exhibit in Google Earth’s Voyager. Earth View was… Continue Reading

Environmental Protection Rises on the Public’s Policy Agenda

“Reflecting a strong U.S. economy, Americans’ policy priorities have changed in recent years. The public now places less priority on economic and job concerns than it did just a few years ago. At the same time, environmental protection and global climate change are rising on the public’s agenda for the president and Congress. For the… Continue Reading