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UN Climate Change Conference Opens in Cancun

By E. Lynn Grayson, Partner, Jenner & Block An estimated 15,000 people, including officials and environmental leaders from 194 countries, will attend the UN's Climate Change Conference at the Moon Palace Hotel in Cancun, Mexico. The 12-day conference and associated meetings will seek to...

UN Launches Climate Change Funding Website

By E. Lynn Grayson, Partner, Jenner & Block The UN announced yesterday the launch of a website to help developing countries make sense of the multiple funds available to finance climate change-related needs. It estimates that developing countries will require as much as $100B a year for adaptation...

UN Climate Change Leaders Seek Cooperation, Creativity And Compromise

By E. Lynn Grayson , Partner, Jenner & Block Executive Director of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Christiana Figueres, opened the conference saying "You are gathered in Cancun to weave together the elements of a solid response to climate change, using both reason...

Meet Me In Cancun - United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference on Global Warming

By E. Lynn Grayson, Partner, Jenner & Block An estimated 15,000 people, including officials and environmental leaders from 194 countries, will attend the UN's Climate Change Conference at the Moon Palace Hotel in Cancun, Mexico. The 12-day conference and associated meetings will seek to...

United Nations Announces Climate Change Website for Funding Needs of Developing Nations at Cancun Conference

By E. Lynn Grayson, Partner, Jenner & Block The UN announced yesterday the launch of a website to help developing countries make sense of the multiple funds available to finance climate change-related needs. It estimates that developing countries will require as much as $100B a year for adaptation...

Christiana Figueres, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Urges Cancun Attendees to Be Creative, Seek Compromise and Cooperation

By E. Lynn Grayson , Partner, Jenner & Block Executive Director of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Christiana Figueres, opened the conference saying "You are gathered in Cancun to weave together the elements of a solid response to climate change, using both reason...

Because some ships may be less carbon intensive than others, customers can influence emissions

"If the shipping industry were a country, it would be the sixth-biggest industrial carbon emitter in the world. Whereas big countries have plans for cutting emissions, shipping does not. The UN climate talks in Cancún are unlikely to change that. But customers, who indirectly pay for shipping...

California sets forth indicators of disproportionate impacts of climate change on environmental justice communities

To assist Cal-EPA with the examination of potential environmental justice concerns associated with climate change, Cal-EPA requested the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) [best known for its role in setting drinking water related Public Health Goals and in overseeing much of the...

Decline of Western Aspen trees swells population of rodents that carry the deadly sin nombre virus

As noted in prior posts, Aspen trees in the West have been dying. There appears to be no single cause. However, drought in the 1990's and early 2000's probably made the trees more susceptible to cankers, fungi, and other maladies. The result is that some sites have lost as much as 2/3 or more...

Another potential sign of global warming: Crabs are invading the shallow waters of the Southern Ocean

Numerous past posts have noted that evidence for global warming can be found in the numerous reports on specific environmental conditions and events around the globe (for example, the migration of corals around Japan, the trend in lakes around the world to become warmer). Although these events and conditions...

Some aircraft designers think outside the box to improve efficiency

Concern has been expressed in recent years over the contribution of aircraft to GHG emissions. Some airlines have gotten favorable publicity for experimenting with bio-derived fuels. But, what if aircraft were to target reducing fuel consumption by half, or more. That will require some radical rethinking...

Data from crop trials demonstrates threat climate change poses to crops

Serendipity has helped more than a few scientists with insights and discoveries. Researchers were chatting, and realized that data from work one of them was focused upon various crop trials spread across southern and eastern Africa, if correlated with local weather conditions (other than drought), could...

Smoke from fires can travel thousands of miles impacting weather, climate, and air quality

Prior posts have noted the impact of fires in Southeast Asia on air pollution throughout the region. While it has been known for decades that large wildfires can create or enhance thunderstorm clouds, leading to what are called pyrocumulonimbus clouds ("pyroCbs"), only recently have researchers...

Arctic salt clouds are reducting the impact of Global Climate Change on the Arctic region

Prior posts have noted both the various impacts of Global Climate Change ("GCC") on various aspects of the Earth and its atmospheric systems, as well as the failure of many/most models to include such impacts within their parameters. For example, a recent post noted that the solar cycle has...

Human impacts on the climate preceded the dawn of the petroleum age

Prior posts, occasionally with tongue planted firmly in cheek, have noted that human impact on carbon loading in the atmosphere goes back to well before the industrial era. A recent assessment has calculated that over the eight millennia before 1850, clearing land (for both hunting and for farming...

Sulfur Masking Global Warming?

By Patrick Greissing, Alston & Bird LLP A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences states that despite the increase in greenhouse gas emissions from 1998 to 2008, global surfaces temperatures have leveled off. The researchers, led by Robert Kaufman, a professor...

Penguin decline may turn on presence or absence of krill, not the loss of sea ice per se

Researchers have been following the penguin population off the tip of the West Antarctic Peninsula since the 1970's. Winter air temperatures in the region have climbed a significant 5 to 6 degrees Celsius in recent decades with a concomitant loss of sea ice; this region is one of the fastest warming...

Early European explorers of North America may have indirectly triggered the Little Ice Age by exposing the local population to new diseases

By the end of the 15th century, between 40 and 80 million people are thought to have been living in the Americas. Many of them burned trees to make room for crops, leaving behind charcoal deposits that have been found in the soils of Mexico, Nicaragua, and other countries. About 500 years ago, this charcoal...

California Superior Court blocks regional GHG regulations for failing to undertake CEQA review

In Nov. 2010 the California Building Industry Association (CBIA) filed suit against the Bay Area Air Quality Management District's (BAAQMD) CEQA Guidelines re GHG emissions. Among other requirements, environmental evaluations were required if a project was to be built within 1,000 feet of a freeway...

Global Warming: Reasonable, Cost-effective Steps that can slow the Temperature Rise

First, some good news. Prior posts have noted repeatedly the key role that methane plays in global warming (the longterm trend in temperature, not seasonal or annual variations). Prior posts have also noted the role that particulates-aerosols play in global warming, and their adverse effect on human...

Area from Massachusetts to North Carolina Faces Accelerating Sea Level Increase

Climate change has, on average, raised the surface of the world's oceans in recent decades by melting glaciers and causing seawater to expand as it warms. But the rise has not been uniform, just like the increase in ocean temperature. As noted in prior posts, both temperature increases and rising...

Climate Crisis: Insurers Tell Weather Like It Is

By Dianne Saxe, Ontario Environmental Lawyer The Canadian federal government does not like to talk about climate change, so the Insurance Bureau of Canada has released a hard hitting report on the damage that climate change is already causing in Canada: Telling the Weather Story: Can Canada Manage...

Climate Change Burns While Governments Fiddle

By Dianne Saxe, Ontario Environmental Lawyer Everywhere I look, I see galloping evidence of climate change. Last weekend, southern Ontario watched ski trails and ice rinks melt under the onslaught of record high temperatures and heavy rain. Spring perennials and bulbs were blooming in Toronto gardens...