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Friday, January 28, 2011

Recent Law Review Articles -- January 2011 from PEN by Jack McNeill, Associate Library Director

Recent Law Review Articles -- January 2011

Bingham, Lisa Blomgren. The next generation of administrative law: building the legal infrastructure for collaborative governance. 2010 Wis. L. Rev. 297-356.

Gervais, Daniel. The regulation of inchoate technologies. 47 Hous. L. Rev. 665-705 (2010).

Nelson, Laura Anzie. Delineating deference to agency science: doctrine or political ideology? 40 Envtl. L. 1057-1104 (2010).

Centner, Terence J. Nutrient pollution from land applications of manure: discerning a remedy for pollution. 21 Stan. L. & Pol’y Rev. 213-243 (2010).

Hornstein, Donald T. The environmental role of agriculture in an era of carbon caps. 20 Health Matrix 145-174 (2010).

Kool, Amanda L. Halting pig in the parlor patents: nuisance law as a tool to redress crop contamination. 50 Jurimetrics J. 453-507 (2010).

Reed-Huff, LaVonda N. Dirty dishes, dirty laundry, and windy mills: a framework for regulation of clean energy devices. 40 Envtl. L. 859-912 (2010).

Animal Law Symposium. Articles by Bruce A. Wagman, Megan A. Senatori, Pamela D. Frasch, Taimie L. Bryant and Kathy Hessler; roundtable with Nancy Perry, Colby Dolan, Jessica Almy, Zak Smith and Matthew Liebman , participants. 60 J. Legal Educ. 193-295 (2010).

Craig, Mary W. A horse of a different color: a study of color bias, anti-trust, and restraint of trade violations in the equine industry. 22 St. Thomas L. Rev. 433-469 (2010).

Favre, David. Living property: a new status for animals within the legal system. 93 Marq. L. Rev. 1021-1071 (2010).

Ritter, Michael J. Standing in the way of animal welfare: a reconsideration of the zone-of-interest “gloss” on the Administrative Procedures Act. 29 Rev. Litig. 951-986 (2010).

Wilder, Meagan P. Who gets the oil?: Arctic energy exploration in uncertain waters and the need for universal ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. 32 Hous. J. Int’l L. 505-544 (2010).

Miron, Brier K. Federal common law versus state law: can a federal common law veil-piercing standard for indirect CERCLA liability of a parent corporation satisfy the Kimbell Floods test? (United States v. Kimbell Foods, Inc., 440 U.S. 715, 1979.) 39 Sw. L. Rev. 513-540 (2010).

Heischmidt, Christina M. China’s dumping ground: genocide through nuclear ecocide in Tibet. 18 Penn St. Envtl. L. Rev. 213-233 (2010).

Gordon, Ruth. Panama and the specter of climate change. 41 U. Miami Inter-Am. L. Rev. 129-185 (2010).

International Human Rights and Climate Change. Dedication by Anne Marie Pippin; introduction by Daniel Bodansky; keynote address by Thomas Pogge; articles by Marc Limon, Naomi Roht-Arriaza, Svitlana Kravchenko, Rebecca M. Bratspies and Edward Cameron. 38 Ga. J. Int’l & Comp. L. 511-716 (2010).

Miller, Matthew Edwin. The right issue, the wrong branch: arguments against adjudicating climate change nuisance claims. 109 Mich. L. Rev. 257-289 (2010).

Pogge, Thomas. Keynote address: poverty, climate change, and overpopulation. 38 Ga. J. Int’l & Comp. L. 525-542 (2010).

Childs, J. Scott. Continental cap-and-trade: Canada, the United States, and climate change partnership in North America. 32 Hous. J. Int’l L. 393-457 (2010).

Myers, Bruce, William W. Buzbee, Wm. Robert Irvin and Michael W. Evans. The scope of congressional authority to protect the environment. 40 Envtl. L. Rep. News & Analysis 10977-10988 (2010).

Bookbinder, David. Some thoughts on the Constitution and the environment. 40 Envtl. L. Rep. News & Analysis 10974-10976 (2010).

May, James R. New and emerging constitutional theories and the future of environmental protection. 40 Envtl. L. Rep. News & Analysis 10989-10993 (2010).

Eifert, Valerie. Collaboration before legislation: the current state of e-waste laws and a guide to developing common threads for the state patchwork quilt. 18 Penn St. Envtl. L. Rev. 235-256 (2010).

Carminati, M. Vittoria Giugi. Clean air & stormy skies: the EU-ETS imposing carbon credit purchases on United States airlines. 37 Syracuse J. Int'l L. & Com. 127-144 (2010).

Lotay, Jessie S. Subprime carbon: fashioning an appropriate regulatory and legislative response to the emerging U.S. carbon market to avoid a repeat of history in carbon structured finance and derivative instruments. 32 Hous. J. Int’l L. 459-504 (2010).

Shufelt, Jennie. New York’s CO2 cap-and-trade program: regulating climate change without climate change legislation. 73 Alb. L. Rev. 1583-1606 (2010).

Balent, Alvan. Note. An energy-efficient Internet: the next revolution. 37 Fla. St. U. L. Rev. 981-1001 (2010).

Deatherage, Scott D., et al. Environmental law. 63 SMU L. Rev. 557-575 (2010).

Environmental Protection in the Balance: Citizens, Courts, and the Constitution. Articles by Hon. Peter Hall, Holly Doremus, Bradford C. Mank, David Bookbinder, Bruce Myers, William W. Buzbee, Wm. Robert Irvin, Michael W. Evans, James R. May, Daniel A. Farber and Robert Glicksman. 40 Envtl. L. Rep. News & Analysis 10953-11010 (2010).

Recent developments. In the Congress. 40 Envtl. L. Rep. News & Analysis 11011-11012 (2010).

Recent developments. In the courts. 40 Envtl. L. Rep. News & Analysis 11013-11015 (2010).

Recent developments. In the federal agencies. 40 Envtl. L. Rep. News & Analysis 11015-11019 (2010).

Recent developments. In the state agencies. 40 Envtl. L. Rep. News & Analysis 11020-11023 (2010).

Thomas, Seth M., et al. 2008-2009 environmental law survey. 43 Ind. L. Rev. 723-771 (2010).

Reeder, Daniel. Federalism does well enough now: why federalism provides sufficient protection for the environment, and no other model is needed. 18 Penn St. Envtl. L. Rev. 293-317 (2010).

Hoefsmit, Christina A. Southern Ocean shakeup: establishing sovereignty in Antarctica and the consequences for fishery management. 15 Roger Williams U. L. Rev. 547-582 (2010).

Jeffers, Jennifer. Climate change and the Arctic: adapting to changes in fisheries stocks and governance regimes. 37 Ecology L.Q. 917-977 (2010).

Abrams, Marc. Native Americans, Smokey Bear and the rise and fall of eastern oak forests. 18 Penn St. Envtl. L. Rev. 141-154 (2010).

Boyd, William. Ways of seeing in environmental law: how deforestation became an object of climate governance. 37 Ecology L.Q. 843-916 (2010).

Bramwell, Lincoln. The looming fire problem in the East. 18 Penn St. Envtl. L. Rev. 177-183 (2010).

Cheever, Federico. The phantom menace and the real cause: lessons from Colorado’s Hayman fire 2002. 18 Penn St. Envtl. L. Rev. 185-211 (2010).

Smithwick, Erica A.H. Pyrogeography: lessons for future northeastern U.S. landscapes. 18 Penn St. Envtl. L. Rev. 155-175 (2010).

Epstein, Richard A. Carbon dioxide: our newest pollutant. 43 Suffolk U.L. Rev. 797-827 (2010).

Rajamani, Lavanya. The making and unmaking of the Copenhagen Accord. 59 Int’l & Comp. L.Q. 824-843 (2010).

Fanizzo, Kelly Y. Separation of powers and federal land management: enforcing the direction of the President under the Antiquities Act. 40 Envtl. L. 765-828 (2010).

Zweig, Jennifer Lynn. A globally sustainable right to land: utilizing real property to protect the traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples and local communities. 38 Ga. J. Int’l & Comp. L. 769-797 (2010).

Mackielo, Andrea Laura. Core rules of international environmental law. 16 ILSA J. Int’l & Comp. L. 257-299 (2009).

Steiner, Achim. Eleventh Annual Grotius Lecture. "Focusing on the good or the bad: what can international environmental law do to accelerate the transition towards a green economy?" 25 Am. U. Int'l L. Rev. 843-875 (2010).

Moose, James G. The relationship between water supply and land use planning: leading cases under the California Environmental Quality Act. 4 Golden Gate U. Envtl. L.J. 27-68 (2010).

Shwab, Melanie. Crossing the home-rule boundaries should be mandatory: advocating for a watershed approach to zoning and land use in Ohio. 58 Clev. St. L. Rev. 463-494 (2010).

Gulf of Maine Conference Panel Transcript: The Gulf of Maine Case Revisited. Charles H. Norchi, moderator; Ralph I. Lancaster Jr., chair; Ralph Gillis, David Colson, Davis Robinson and Judge Stephen M. Schwebel, speakers. 15 Ocean & Coastal L.J. 185-234 (2010).

Fanning, Lucia and Rita Heimes. Ocean planning and the Gulf of Maine: exploring bi-national policy options. 15 Ocean & Coastal L.J. 293-337 (2010).

Van Dyke, Jon M. The Romania v. Ukraine decision and its effect on East Asian maritime delimitations. 15 Ocean & Coastal L.J. 261-283 (2010).

Doremus, Holly. The persistent problem of standing in environmental law. 40 Envtl. L. Rep. News & Analysis 10956-10957 (2010).

Mank, Bradford C. Summers v. Earth Island Institute: its implications for future standing decisions. 40 Envtl. L. Rep. News & Analysis 10958-10973 (2010).

Mollett, Sarah. The Chesapeake Bay’s oysters: current status and strategies for improvement. 18 Penn St. Envtl. L. Rev. 257-291 (2010).

Howe, Jason G. Fednav, Ltd. v. Chester: ballast water and the battle to balance state and federal regulatory interests. (Fednav, Ltd. v. Chester, 505 F. Supp. 2d 381, 2007, aff’d, 547 F.3d 607, 2008.) 15 Ocean & Coastal L.J. 381-399 (2010).

DelCotto, Adrianne. Suction dredge mining: the United States Forest Service hands miners the golden ticket. 40 Envtl. L. 1021-1055 (2010).

Sullivan, Bethany C. Changing winds: reconfiguring the legal framework for renewable-energy development in Indian Country. 52 Ariz. L. Rev. 823-852 (2010).

Washburn, Sarah. Distinguishing Carcieri v. Salazar: why the Supreme Court got it wrong and how Congress and courts should respond to preserve tribal and federal interests in the IRA’a trust-land provisions. (Carcieri v. Salazar, 129 S. Ct. 1058, 2009.) 85 Wash. L. Rev. 603-646 (2010).

Brown, Richard F. and Laura L. Hale. Oil, gas and mineral law. 63 SMU L. Rev. 675-701 (2010).

Wexler, Lesley. Regulating resource curses: institutional design and evolution of the blood diamond regime. 31 Cardozo L. Rev. 1717-1780 (2010).

Slaten, Emily M. Note. "We don't fish in their oil wells, and they shouldn't drill in our rivers": considering public opposition under NEPA and the highly controversial regulatory factor. 43 Ind. L. Rev. 1319-1349 (2010).

Young, Michael K. Non-state actors in the global order. 2010 Utah L. Rev. 81-90.

Urdaneta, Karla. Transboundary petroleum reservoirs: a recommended approach for the United States and Mexico in the deepwaters of the Gulf of Mexico. 32 Hous. J. Int’l L. 333-391 (2010).

Cuervo, Luis E. The uncertain fate of Venezuela’s black pearl: the petrostate and its ambiguous oil & gas legislation. 32 Hous. J. Int’l L. 637-693 (2010).

Glicksman, Robert L. The Constitution, the environment, and the prospect of enhanced executive power. 40 Envtl. L. Rep. News & Analysis 11002-11010 (2010).

Mark, Tyler F. Rocky Mountain shootout: free exercise & preserving the open range. (Rocky Mountain Christian Church v. Board of County Commissioners, 481 F. Supp. 2d 1213, 2007.) 98 Geo. L.J. 1859-1889 (2010).

Hodges, Brian T. and Daniel A. Himebaugh. Have Washington courts lost essential nexus to the precautionary principle? Citizens’ Alliance for Property Rights v. Sims. 40 Envtl. L. 829-858 (2010).

Pribbenow, Traci M. Comment. Back in the saddle again: but which way do we go from here? A view of agency suggestions for systemic risk regulation. 60 Case W. Res. L. Rev. 559-582 (2010).

Gansler, Douglas F., Atty. Gen. Md. Protecting Maryland’s environment: a holistic solution. 40 U. Balt. L.F. 205-227 (2010).

Real Water: California’s Land Use-Water Law Turns Ten. Introduction by Paul Stanton Kibel and Anthony A. Austin; articles by A. Dan Tarlock, James G. Moose, Ellen Hanak, Barry Epstein, Kevin M. O’Brian, Randele Kanouse, Douglas Wallace and Lincoln Davies. 4 Golden Gate U. Envtl. L.J. 1-198 (2010).

Carroll, Ellie. Twenty-five years in the making: why sustainable development has eluded the U.N., and how community-driven development offers the solution. 32 Hous. J. Int’l L. 545-585 (2010).

Lopez, Matthew L. Student article. The effects of free trade on the environment: conserving the environment while maintaining increased levels of economic prosperity for developing countries. 3 Phoenix L. Rev. 701-728 (2010).

Blumm, Michael C. and J.B. Ruhl. Background principles, takings, and libertarian property: a reply to Professor Huffman. 37 Ecology L.Q. 805-841 (2010).

Jackson, Janet Thompson. What is property? Property is theft: the lack of social justice in U.S. eminent domain law. 84 St. John’s L. Rev. 63-116 (2010).

Lindberg, Eric A. Multijurisdictionality and federalism: assessing San Remo Hotel’s effect on regulatory takings. (San Remo Hotel, L.P. v. City of San Francisco, 545 U.S. 323, 2005.) 57 UCLA L. Rev. 1819-1878 (2010).

Rosenthal, Brent M. Toxic torts and mass torts. 63 SMU L. Rev. 845-863 (2010).

Shaw, Andrea. A dirty job: how identifying hazardous substance releases under "all appropriate inquiry" creates liability for environmental professionals. 40 Cumb. L. Rev. 555-592 2009-2010).

Hildebrand, Lawrence P. and Aldo Chircop. A gulf united: Canada-U.S. transboundary marine ecosystem-based governance in the Gulf of Maine. 15 Ocean & Coastal L.J. 339-380 (2010).

Beckman, Ben. The wholesale decommissioning of vacant urban neighborhoods: smart decline, public-purpose takings, and the legality of shrinking cities. 58 Clev. St. L. Rev. 387-461 (2010).

Epstein, Barry. Friant Dam holding contracts: not an entitlement to water supply under SB 610. 4 Golden Gate U. Envtl. L.J. 91-129 (2010).

Hanak, Ellen. Show me the water plan: urban water management plans and California’s water supply adequacy laws. 4 Golden Gate U. Envtl. L.J. 69-89 (2010).

Dagne, Teshager Worku. The debate on environmentally motivated unilateral trade measures in the World Trade Organization: the way forward. 9 Wash. U. Global Stud. L. Rev. 427-456 (2010).

Anderson, Arthur J. and Thomas Mann. Zoning and land use. 63 SMU L. Rev. 893-917 (2010).

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Crop Warning Over China Drought -- BBC

A prolonged dry spell in parts of northern, central and eastern China is threatening both crops and water supplies, Chinese state media says.

Shandong province is experiencing its driest weather for 60 years.

Half the wheat-growing land there is affected, while almost a quarter of a million people face drinking water shortages, the China Daily said.

Beijing has also been experiencing its longest dry spell for more than 30 years, another state daily said.

The Chinese capital has had no significant rainfall for three months, the Beijing Times reported.

Analysts say this drought is likely to put further pressure on food prices, which have been rising sharply for months.

Read more ....

More News On China`s Drought

Beijing and surrounding areas gripped by prolonged drought -- Irish Times
Key China wheat growing province hit by drought -- Bloomberg Businessweek
China province faces worst drought in a century -- Reuters
Key China wheat growing province hit by drought -- AP
China drought threatens water supplies: media -- AFP
China's wheat-growing areas hit by worst drought -- Business Recorder
Premier Wen urges efforts to fight drought, ensure agricultural production -- Xinhuanet
Lingering China drought sparks fears of wheat price hikes -- Xinhuanet
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Peak Water: What Is it -- and Are We There Yet?

Peak Water: What Is it -- and Are We There Yet?

Increasingly, around the world, in the U.S., and locally, we are running up against peak water limits.
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Warming North Atlantic water tied to heating Arctic, according to new study

Warming North Atlantic water tied to heating Arctic, according to new study

January 27, 2011 Warming North Atlantic water tied to heating Arctic, according to new studyEnlarge
Photo of the German research vessel Maria S. Merian moving through sea ice in Fram Strait northwest of Svalbard. The research team discovered the water there was the warmest in at least 2,000 years, which has implications for a warming and melting Arctic. Credit: Credit: Nicolas van Nieuwenhove (IFM-GEOMAR, Kiel)
The temperatures of North Atlantic Ocean water flowing north into the Arctic Ocean adjacent to Greenland -- the warmest water in at least 2,000 years -- are likely related to the amplification of global warming in the Arctic, says a new international study involving the University of Colorado Boulder.
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The Empty Press Room

The Empty Press Room

How Corporate Journalism Happily Lost Interest in Climate Change
In the media’s coverage of climate change, are we really still stuck on square one of some ghastly board game?
Global warming was recognised as a hugely serious problem as far back as 1988 when the United Nations set up the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Since then the science has become more solid, more detailed, in fact, irrefutable: the risk of dangerous climate change has risen alarmingly, and the corporate media has continued to bury serious debate on what to do about it. According to NASA researchers at the Goddard Institute for …

Global Pacts Like REDD Ignore Primary Causes Of Destruction Of Forests

Although the authors cite some successful examples of efforts to slow destruction of forests, it is argued in the report that REDD shows signs of repeating many of the mistakes of the past. Even an expanded REDD effort, known as REDD+, falls short of considering the needs and roles of forest communities and other local inhabitants.

New York NY (SPX) Jan 27, 2011 A new study issued by some of the world's top experts on forest governance finds fault with a spate of international accords, and helps explain their failure to stop rampant destruction of the world's most vulnerable forests. The report suggests that global efforts have too often ignored local needs, while failing to address the most fundamental challenge to global forest management-that deforestation usually is caused by economic pressures imposed from outside the forests.
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Man Has Been Provoking Climate Change For Thousands Of Years

The story of our influence on the climate began with the first farmers.

Lusanne, Switzerland (SPX) Jan 27, 2011 The Roman Conquest, the Black Death and the discovery of America - by modifying the nature of the forests - have had a significant impact on the environment. These are the findings of EPFL scientists who have researched our long history of emitting carbon into the environment. "Humans didn't wait for the industrial revolution to provoke environment and climate change. They have been having an influence for at least 8000 years." Jed Kaplan is putting forward a new interpretation of the history of man and his environment.
This SNSF professor at EPFL and his colleague Kristen Krumhardt have developed a model that demonstrates the link between population increase and deforestation. The method enables a fairly precise estimate of human-origin carbon emissions before the advent of industrialization.
The story of our influence on the climate began with the first farmers. At that time, the prevailing technology didn't allow an optimal use of the soil. "For each individual, it was necessary to clear a very large area of forest", explains Jed Kaplan.
However, with time, irrigation, better tools, seeds and fertilizer became more effficient. This development was a critical factor, which would partially counterbalance the increase in population, and contain the impact of human pressure on the natural environment.
Agriculture - the story of a race for productivity The relationship between population levels and agricultural land-use is therefore not simply proportional, as was formerly believed. In the Middle Ages, Europe had fewer forests than today, although since then the population has increased more than five fold.
"The real innovation in our research has indeed been the taking into account of the improvements in farming techniques. Standard models simply state that the bigger the population, the more forest is cleared; but this doesn't correspond to the historical reality.
Ignoring the progress in agriculture, the preceding models implied that the same area of land is required to feed a European living in the fifth century as in the 20th century. This is why scientists struggled in trying to estimate the amount of CO2 produced by man before the industrial era. The work of Jed Kaplan's team now enables us - for the first time - to travel back thru time.
The influence of the Roman Empire and the Black Death on the climate The results of this research tell a very different story from that which has been circulating up until now. They show, for example, a first major boom in carbon emissions already 2000 years before our era, corresponding to the expansion of civilizations in China and around the mediterranean.
Certain historical events, almost invisible in the preceding models, show up strongly in the data produced by the scientists. A good example is the re-growth of the forests as a consequence of the fall of the Roman Empire. The Black Death, a plague which resulted in the death of more than a third of the European population, also led to a fall in carbon emissions.
From the decline of the American indians to the minor ice age Lastly, a significant decrease in emissions began in the 16th century - the one which would herald the minor ice age. Jed Kaplan has an audacious hypothesis to explain the dip in the data curve: "Thanks to the reports of the early explorers, we know that the forests were less abundant on the American continent. Then the settlers gradually eliminated the indigenous population."
Threatened with extinction, these populations effectively deserted the forested areas, which - by taking up the carbon in the atmosphere - in turn set off the legendary frosts of the 19th century. "Of course, it's only a hypothesis", he concludes, "but given the data we have gathered, it's entirely plausible".
Jed Kaplan's model is not in contradiction with the previous ones on one critical point: the enormous increase in emissions from the beginning of the industrial era, and the massive use of fossil fuels.
"We are just saying that our influence on the climate began a lot earlier than we thought. In 6000 BC, we were already accumulating significant quantities of carbon in the atmosphere, even though it was nothing compared to the situation today", adds the scientist. A conclusion that could turn out to be critical in the future for the improved evaluation of the decisive impact of the forests on the climate.
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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Studying Cycles: Chemistry And Climate by Alison Hawkes for The Hot Zone

Sunset on a smoggy summer day in Los Angeles during the early 1990's. Photograph by Barbara Gaitley, JPL image P-48863A

Moffett Fields CA (SPX) Jan 27, 2011 Climate modeling is an inexact science, and scientists have long known that the models don't account for everything, even though precision and accuracy is a big goal. But the limitations of climate modeling may have caused scientists to underestimate the Earth's sensitivity to CO2 by a factor of two, according to an analysis by National Center for Atmospheric Research scientist Jeffrey Kiehl. In a perspectives piece published in the journal Science, Kiehl says that the models have typically not factored in some of the long term feedback processes that determine the Earth's temperature over the course of centuries or millennia, including ice sheet loss and processes related to vegetation and carbon cycle changes.
He came to this conclusion by looking into periods of high CO2 levels in Earth's history.
At current rates of CO2 emissions, the Earth is on a trajectory to reach between 900 to 1100 parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere by the end of the century (right now we're at 390 ppm).
The last time the Earth experienced that concentration of CO2 was 35 million years ago, a world that has sea surface temperatures more than four times higher than today. Based on this scenario, Kiehl calculated the net radiative forcing rate - or the difference between incoming and outgoing solar radiation - and compared that to estimates from other warm periods in the Earth's history.
He found a similar magnitude of forcing in other past warm climate periods, and with confidence in those numbers estimated that the Earth was about 29 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than modern era pre-industrial levels, some 35 million years ago.
"The conclusion from this analysis," he writes, "is that Earth's sensitivity to CO2 radiative forcing may be much greater than that obtained from climate models."
Once the atmosphere reaches 1000 ppm CO2, he points out that it could take tens of thousands of years to return to modern day levels. "Thus, if atmospheric CO2 reaches 1000 ppmv, then human civilization will face another world, one that the human species has never experienced in its history (over the last 2 million years)."
If CO2 concentration reaches this high level, long term feedback processes will amplify global warming beyond current modeling estimates, Kiehl says.
"The human species and global ecosystems will be placed in a climate state never before experienced in their evolutionary history and at an unprecedented rate."
That's the thing about modern day climate change. In the past, CO2 buildup appears to have happened over longer periods of time, but nowadays the rate of change puts us into a new pace for climate change.
Nitrous oxide from streams contributing to climate change at three times rate previous expected
Carbon dioxide is bad for global warming, but nitrous oxide (N2O) may be one of the worst chemical compounds you can pump up into the air. Not only does it have 300 times the potency of CO2, but it also destroys stratospheric ozone (the good kind) - a double whammy on the atmosphere.
That's why it's unnerving to read a new study out of the Biological Sciences department of the University of Notre Dame that found N2O emissions coming from streams and rivers at three times the rate of IPCC estimates. Waterways may be responsible for some 10 percent of human-caused NO2 in the atmosphere, which from all sources accounts for 6 percent of global warming. Nitrogen gets into rivers and streams as runoff from agricultural areas, where it's applied as fertilizers, and from urban areas. Once it gets there microbes go to work and in a process call denitrification convert the nitrogen into nitrous oxide and another gas called dinitrogen (we worry less about the latter).
In the study, published in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 72 streams were tested along different land-use types in the U.S.
Those streams with the highest nitrous oxide emissions were also those closest to urban and agricultural areas. That suggests humans are loading the streams and stimulating the production of NO2, the authors claim.
It all goes back to the way people have freed up the availability of Nitrogen in the biosphere, largely through growing crops. Nitrogen in waterways has been the source of other problems, too, namely nutrient loading of water bodies that causes sudden algae blooms that then strip away oxygen for other species.
NO2 production is a less known problem emanating from waterways, but as the study shows, no less important.
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First-Ever Global Map Of Surface Permeability Informs Water Supply

First-Ever Global Map Of Surface Permeability Informs Water Supply

A better understanding of large scale permeability of rock and sediment is critical for water resource management--groundwater represents approximately 99 per cent of the fresh, unfrozen water on earth. Groundwater also feeds surface water bodies and moistens the root zone of terrestrial plants.

Vancouver, Canada (SPX) Jan 27, 2011 University of British Columbia researchers have produced the first map of the world outlining the ease of fluid flow through the planet's porous surface rocks and sediments. The maps and data, published in Geophysical Research Letters, could help improve water resource management and climate modelling, and eventually lead to new insights into a range of geological processes.
"This is the first global-scale picture of near-surface permeability, and is based on rock type data at greater depths than previous mapping," says Tom Gleeson, a postdoctoral researcher with the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences.
Using recent world-wide lithology (rock type) results from researchers at the University of Hamburg and Utrecht University in the Netherlands, Gleeson was able to map permeability across the globe to depths of approximately 100 metres. Typical permeability maps have only dealt with the top one to two metres of soil, and only across smaller areas.
"Climate models generally do not include groundwater or the sediments and rocks below shallow soils," says Gleeson. "Using our permeability data and maps we can now evaluate sustainable groundwater resources as well as the impact of groundwater on past, current and future climate at the global scale."
A better understanding of large scale permeability of rock and sediment is critical for water resource management--groundwater represents approximately 99 per cent of the fresh, unfrozen water on earth. Groundwater also feeds surface water bodies and moistens the root zone of terrestrial plants.
"This is really an example of mapping research from a new, modern era of cartography," says Gleeson. "We've mapped the world, peering well below the surface, without ever leaving our offices."
The study's maps include a global map at a resolution of 13,000 kilometres squared, and a much more detailed North American map at a resolution of 75 kilometres squared.
The research also improves on previous permeability databases by compiling regional-scale hydrogeological models from a variety of settings instead of relying on permeability data from small areas.
The paper's authors include UBC Professors Leslie Smith and Mark Jellinek, as well as researchers from the US Geological Survey in Denver, Colorado, the University of Hamburg, and Utrecht University.

Climate Benefits of Natural Gas May Be Overstated

Climate Benefits of Natural Gas May Be Overstated

JASON: Can Climate Change Agreements be Verified?

JASON: Can Climate Change Agreements be Verified?

12 Politicians and Execs Blocking Progress on Global Warming Rolling Stone

12 Politicians and Execs Blocking Progress on Global Warming Rolling Stone

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Is The World's Largest Super-Volcano Set To Erupt For The First Time In 600,000 Years, Wiping Out Two-Thirds Of The U.S.? -- The Daily Mail

  • The super-volcano beneath Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming has been rising at a record rate since 2004
It would explode with a force a thousand times more powerful than the Mount St Helens eruption in 1980.
Spewing lava far into the sky, a cloud of plant-killing ash would fan out and dump a layer 10ft deep up to 1,000 miles away.
Two-thirds of the U.S. could become uninhabitable as toxic air sweeps through it, grounding thousands of flights and forcing millions to leave their homes.
On the verge of a catastrophe? Yellowstone National Park's caldera has erupted three times in the last 2.1million years and scientists monitoring it say we could be in for another eruption (file picture)
On the verge of a catastrophe? Yellowstone National Park's caldera has erupted three times in the last 2.1million years and scientists monitoring it say we could be in for another eruption (file picture)
This is the nightmare that scientists are predicting could happen if the world’s largest super-volcano erupts for the first time in 600,000 years, as it could do in the near future.

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Scenario to Cap World Emissions by 2020 Is Fading Fast, Warns IEA Economist

Scenario to Cap World Emissions by 2020 Is Fading Fast, Warns IEA Economist

IEA's Birol: Say goodbye to climate goals

IEA's Birol: Say goodbye to climate goals

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only Paris (UPI) Jan 24, 2011 Without a serious policy turnaround from the world's largest emitters, the world won't meet its target of limiting the global temperature increase to no more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, a top IEA official has warned. The 3.6 degree F cap -- 2 degrees Celsius -- a threshold scientists say is crucial to avert the most catastrophic effects of the temperature increase, can't be reached given the international community's current level of commitment, said Fatih Birol, the chief economist of the International Energy Agency.
"As we stand now, we're only a few meters away from saying goodbye to the 2-degree target," The New York Times, in a story from the ClimateWire, quoted Birol as saying. "When I look at the next 10 years, even if I take into consideration the pledges made after the Copenhagen meeting, the best case is that this could put us on a trajectory in line with 3.5 degrees C," or 6.3 degrees F.
Decarbonization efforts had to be increased by 400 percent to stay within the 3.6 degree F limit, Birol said.
At a climate summit in Cancun, Mexico, the limit was included in a joint statement by the countries present, including the world's two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, China and the United States.
Yet the international community has still not agreed to a binding climate protection treaty. Adding up industrialized nations' reduction targets while considering all the loopholes buried in the current agreements amount to carbon dioxide reductions of 2 percent in 2020 based on 1990 levels, the Heinrich Boell Foundation, a policy think tank linked to the German Green Party, said in its analysis of the decisions taken at the Cancun climate summit. "That's a catastrophe," it added.
With the economy picking up again in many parts of the world, the hunger for oil is approaching pre-recession levels.
"The later we move, the more difficult it will be, especially in the United States," Birol was quoted as saying. "There is a lot of infrastructure being built, lots of power plants. The later we move, the more expensive it will be."
In the United States, the discovery of massive unconventional gas resources, which kept gas prices near record lows, had undermined investments in renewable energy sources, Birol said.
If the phenomenon of cheap gas stays around for while, it could turn into a "problem for the competitiveness of renewable energy," he said.
Founded in the 1970s during the oil crises by the world's largest economies to stand guard over western oil interests, the IEA has become an influential adviser to industrialized nations over energy issues.
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World needs global food system overhaul: report

London (AFP) Jan 24, 2011 The world needs fundamental changes to the global food system to feed the expanding population, according to a British government report out Monday on how to feed the planet until 2050. Governments must take action to change dietary habits, cut waste, reduce subsidies and embrace genetically modified food, said the "Global Food and Farming Futures" report.
The study led by Professor John Beddington, the British government's chief scientific adviser, said that with the global population forecast to reach nine billion in 40 years' time, radical changes were needed to a system already struggling to feed the existing population.
"With the global population set to rise and food prices likely to increase, it is crucial that a wide range of complementary actions from policy makers, farmers and businesses are taken now," Beddington said.
"Urgent change is required throughout the food system to bring sustainability centre stage and end hunger. It is also vital for other areas, such as climate change mitigation, conflict, and economic growth."
The report found that the threat of hunger could increase, saying that current efforts were already stalling and food prices could rise substantially over the next 40 years.
As hunger spreads, the threat of migration and conflict will increase, while wider economic growth would also be affected, it said.
The global food system is already living beyond its means, consuming resources faster than they can be replenished, it said.
Substantial changes to water and energy use and addressing climate change are needed to bring about sustainability, the report found.
It also warned that there was "no quick fix" to the problems.
Beddington said the world's food system was already failing on two counts.
"Firstly, it is unsustainable, with resources being used faster than they can be naturally replenished," he said.
"Secondly, a billion people are going hungry with another billion people suffering from 'hidden hunger', whilst a billion people are over-consuming."
The report said that new technologies such as genetic modification, cloned livestock and nanotechnology "should not be excluded a priori on ethical or moral grounds" and have the potential to be "very valuable for the poorest people in low-income countries".
Meanwhile investment in technology research is "essential" given the magnitude of the food security challenges ahead.
Britain's Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said the report showed ways to unlock an "agricultural revolution in the developing world".
New strategies would "benefit the poorest the most, simply by improving access to knowledge and technology, creating better access to markets and investing in infrastructure".
Britain's International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell said that "with one seventh of the world's population still hungry, the report was a clarion call to arms".
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Researchers Find Smoking Gun Of World's Biggest Extinction

Researchers Find Smoking Gun Of World's Biggest Extinction

Researchers walk through sediments deposited shortly after the worst extinction event in earth history, on the shores of Buchanan Lake, Axel Heiberg Island, Nunavut. Credit: Credit: Steve Grasby, University of Calgary/NRCan Calgary, Canada (SPX) Jan 25, 2011 About 250 million years about 95 per cent of life was wiped out in the sea and 70 per cent on land. Researchers at the University of Calgary believe they have discovered evidence to support massive volcanic eruptions burnt significant volumes of coal, producing ash clouds that had broad impact on global oceans. "This could literally be the smoking gun that explains the latest Permian extinction," says Dr. Steve Grasby, adjunct professor in the University of Calgary's Department of Geoscience and research scientist at Natural Resources Canada.
Grasby and colleagues discovered layers of coal ash in rocks from the extinction boundary in Canada's High Arctic that give the first direct proof to support this and have published their findings in Nature Geoscience.
Unlike end of dinosaurs, 65 million years ago, where there is widespread belief that the impact of a meteorite was at least the partial cause, it is unclear what caused the late Permian extinction.
Previous researchers have suggested massive volcanic eruptions through coal beds in Siberia would generate significant greenhouse gases causing run away global warming.
"Our research is the first to show direct evidence that massive volcanic eruptions - the largest the world has ever witnessed -caused massive coal combustion thus supporting models for significant generation of greenhouse gases at this time," says Grasby.
At the time of the extinction, the Earth contained one big land mass, a supercontinent known as Pangaea. The environment ranged from desert to lush forest. Four-limbed vertebrates were becoming more diverse and among them were primitive amphibians, early reptiles and synapsids: the group that would, one day, include mammals.
The location of volcanoes, known as the Siberian Traps, are now found in northern Russia, centred around the Siberian city Tura and also encompass Yakutsk, Noril'sk and Irkutsk. They cover an area just under two-million-square kilometers, a size greater than that of Europe. The ash plumes from the volcanoes traveled to regions now in Canada's arctic where coal-ash layers where found.
Grasby studied the formations with Dr. Benoit Beauchamp, a professor in the Department of Geoscience at the University of Calgary. They called upon Dr. Hamed Sanei adjunct professor at the University of Calgary and a researcher at NRCan to look at some of peculiar organic layers they had discovered.
"We saw layers with abundant organic matter and Hamed immediately determined that they were layers of coal-ash, exactly like that produced by modern coal burning power plants," says Beauchamp.
Sanei adds: "Our discovery provides the first direct confirmation for coal ash during this extinction as it may not have been recognized before."
The ash, the authors suggest, may have caused even more trouble for a planet that was already heating up with its oceans starting to suffocate because of decreasing oxygen levels.
"It was a really bad time on Earth. In addition to these volcanoes causing fires through coal, the ash it spewed was highly toxic and was released in the land and water, potentially contributing to the worst extinction event in earth history," says Grasby.
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Yellowstone Has Bulged by as much as ten inches as Magma Pocket Swells

Yellowstone Has Bulged by as much as ten inches as Magma Pocket Swells

Volcanic eruptions are ranked on a scale ranging from 1 to 8 called the Volcanic Explosivity Index, or VEI. As the relative size of the circles representing the volume of ash and ejecta show, the last major Yellowstone Caldera eruption, more than 600,000 years ago, dwarfs that of "typical" volcanoes, like Mount St Helens.

National Geographic and other sources report that Yellowstone National Park's supervolcano just took a deep "breath," causing miles of ground to rise dramatically, scientists report.
Volcanologists with the U.S. Geological Survey believe that supervolcanoes are likely to give decades — even centuries — of warning signs before they erupt.

* Beginning in 2004, scientists saw the ground above the caldera rise upward at rates as high as 2.8 inches (7 centimeters) a year

* The rate slowed between 2007 and 2010 to a centimeter a year or less.

* since the start of the swelling, ground levels over the volcano have been raised by as much as 10 inches (25 centimeters) in places.

"At the beginning we were concerned it could be leading up to an eruption," said Smith, who co-authored a paper on the surge published in the December 3, 2010, edition of Geophysical Research Letters.

"But once we saw [the magma] was at a depth of ten kilometers, we weren't so concerned. If it had been at depths of two or three kilometers [one or two miles], we'd have been a lot more concerned.

The last three super-volcano-eruptions have been in Yellowstone itself. The most recent, 640,000 years ago, was a thousand times the size of the Mount St. Helens eruption in 1980, which killed 57 people in Washington. But numbers do not capture the full scope of the mayhem. Scientists calculate that the pillar of ash from the Yellowstone explosion rose some 100,000 feet, leaving a layer of debris across the West all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. Pyroclastic flows—dense, lethal fogs of ash, rocks, and gas, superheated to 1,470 degrees Fahrenheit—rolled across the landscape in towering gray clouds. The clouds filled entire valleys with hundreds of feet of material so hot and heavy that it welded itself like asphalt across the once verdant landscape. And this wasn't even Yellowstone's most violent moment. An eruption 2.1 million years ago was more than twice as strong, leaving a hole in the ground the size of Rhode Island. In between, 1.3 million years ago, was a smaller but still devastating eruption.

Volcanologists with the U.S. Geological Survey believe that supervolcanoes are likely to give decades — even centuries — of warning signs before they erupt. The scientists think those signs would include lots of earthquakes, massive bulging of the land, an increase in small eruptions, "swarms" of earthquakes in specific areas, changes in the chemical composition of lavas from smaller eruptions, changes in gasses escaping the ground and, possibly, large-scale cracking of the land.

None of those indicators are present at Yellowstone, says Smith.

There is no argument that a major eruption at Yellowstone in modern times would be devastating. It would obliterate the national park and nearby communities, spread ground-glass-like volcanic ash from the Pacific coast to the Midwest, and cause worldwide weather changes from the airborne dust and gases, according to Smith, who described the potential effects in detail in his book Windows Into the Earth, published in 2000.

A modern full-force Yellowstone eruption could kill millions, directly and indirectly, and would make every volcano in recorded human history look minor by comparison.
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