Day: November 8, 2019

Legal considerations for urban carbon mitigation policies

Read the full post at the Climate Law Blog.

Last month, the Sabin Center announced our new Cities Climate Law Initiative, a project aimed at helping U.S. cities achieve their climate mitigation commitments by addressing critical gaps or obstacles to advancing implementation of the laws and legal tools available to help reduce urban greenhouse gas emissions. The Initiative is conducting foundational legal research on the policy approaches being used by cities to reduce the carbon footprints of their buildings, transportation, energy and waste sectors. The Initiative is also working directly with urban sustainability offices and city attorneys to address legal questions arising in connection with carbon mitigation efforts.

Research and Rescue: Saving Species from Ourselves

Read the full story at Longreads.

We’re developing high-tech genetic tools to pour new life into animals lost to human destruction. Deciding how — and whether — to use that power is as complex as the science behind it.

People of IonE: Meet Melissa Kenney

Read the full story from the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment.

Melissa Kenney, IonE’s Associate Director for Knowledge Initiatives, originally hails from the east coast and brings her passion for partnership and policy to the bold north. A past AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow, Kenney’s work revolves around multidisciplinary support tools and collaborative decision-making processes methods. She’s an expert at bringing people together to create multidisciplinary research teams, then helping them to contextualize the data and bring it to bear where it matters most.

Report: Flooded Future: Global vulnerability to sea level rise worse than previously understood

Read the full story at Climate Central.

As a result of heat-trapping pollution from human activities, rising sea levels could within three decades push chronic floods higher than land currently home to 300 million people 

By 2100, areas now home to 200 million people could fall permanently below the high tide line

The new figures are the result of an improved global elevation dataset produced by Climate Central using machine learning, and revealing that coastal elevations are significantly lower than previously understood across wide areas

The threat is concentrated in coastal Asia and could have profound economic and political consequences within the lifetimes of people alive today 

Findings are documented in a new peer-reviewed paper in the journal Nature Communications.

The real David Attenborough

Read the full story in The Guardian.

He is the most beloved figure in Britain, and, at 93, a global superstar. His films long shied away from discussing humanity’s impact on the planet. Now they are sounding the alarm – but is it too late?

Learning from Squirrels

Read the full post at The Gloria Sirens.

If there’s one quality I admire about squirrels, it’s the creature’s outrageous tenacity. Squirrels never give up, especially when food is at stake. A squirrel will go nuts if you touch their acorns. Fighting to defend their territory, squirrels bark aggressively at intruders. Squirrels will even charge at an enemy, whether it’s a bird, rabbit, or another squirrel. My backyard is alive with squirrels: eastern gray squirrels and the ones West Virginians call fairy diddles, which are little red squirrels that appear to fly when they leap from tree to tree.

Better Buildings, Better Plants Waste Reduction Pilot

Annually, the U.S. generates 2.7 billion tons of industrial solid waste and more than 260 million tons of municipal solid waste. By reducing waste, organizations may also save energy. Manufacturers, companies, schools, and governments across the country can strengthen their competitiveness and sustainability by setting and realizing robust waste reduction goals. In 2019, DOE announced the Better Buildings, Better Plants Waste Reduction Pilot. Over a 2-year period, DOE will work with organizations to determine the appropriate metrics, goals, and opportunities to reduce waste in different sectors.

Developing a decision-support process for landscape conservation design

Download the document.

Planning for sustainable landscapes is hampered by uncertainty in how species will respond to conservation actions amidst impacts from landscape and climate change. Planning decisions, including tradeoffs among competing species objectives, are complex. We developed a decision-support framework that integrates dynamic-landscape metapopulation models (DLMPs) and structured decision making (SDM) to help guide landscape conservation design. With this framework, we demonstrated that planning for viable populations across broad scales can be achieved under global change. Furthermore, the integration of DLMPs with SDM enabled decisions to be more objective and transparent, and thus, more defensible.

A VW Beetle Spotted in the Insect Collection at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Read the full story from Colossal.

While walking through the Cleveland Museum of Natural History earlier this week, Redditor muppaphone spotted a toy VW Bug hidden amongst a collection of taxidermied beetles. 

You think you have a recycling problem? Try Carnival’s 18M plastic yogurt cups at sea

Read the full story from the Miami Herald.

The largest cruise company in the world is betting on a microscopic solution to fix its massive plastic pollution problem.

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