Environmental

Recent Posts

Oil Spills At Sea: Better Prevention and Cleanup
Posted on 5 Oct 2015 by Dianne Saxe

Some rare good news. Oil tanker spills into world oceans: there aren’t as many as there used to be, and they do not do as much damage as they used to do. According to the excellent newsletter of the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation... Read More

New SCCCL Report: Flag State Regulation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Posted on 11 Feb 2015 by Columbia Law - Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

The Sabin Center for Climate Change Law has released a new white paper addressing state authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from ships. According to international law, all ships must have a nationality and must register with and fly the flag... Read More

Ocean Exchange Launches 2014 Call For Solutions
Posted on 10 Apr 2014 by E. Lynn Grayson

By: E. Lynn Grayson The Ocean Exchange has announced the launch of its fourth annual global competition for the 2014 Gulfstream Navigator Award of $100,000 and the 2014 Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics Orcelle Award of $100,000. The theme for the... Read More

Coast Guard stumbles as it tries to preempt Massachusetts state law
Posted on 27 May 2011 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

The Massachusetts Oil Spill Prevention Act (OSPA) was enacted following an oil spill in Buzzards Bay. [As the appellate court notes, Buzzards Bay is a scenically beautiful body of water. See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Buzzards_Bay_map.png... Read More

Acidification of Oceans May Affect the Brains of Fish
Posted on 28 May 2012 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Yesterday's post noted some of the adverse consequences that are likely to arise from acidification of oceans. Another recent study shows that such acidification can influence the behavior of fish because of impacts on their brains; the response of... Read More

Red Tuna Crabs Overrun CA Beaches
Posted on 30 Jul 2015 by E. Lynn Grayson

Masses of small red tuna crabs have been washing up along San Diego, California area beaches from Ocean Beach to La Jolla. The species, Pleuroncodes planipes, is unique in that it can live its entire life cycle, from larva to adulthood, in the water column... Read More

Amount of plastic trash in the ocean may be vastly underestimated
Posted on 28 Apr 2012 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Prior posts have noted the various plastic debris wastes that are located in the oceans. Prior posts have also suggested that there may be plastic waste in the water column, though its quantification was uncertain. A recent assessment suggests that the... Read More

Acidification of Oceans May Affect the Brains of Fish
Posted on 28 May 2012 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Yesterday's post noted some of the adverse consequences that are likely to arise from acidification of oceans. Another recent study shows that such acidification can influence the behavior of fish because of impacts on their brains; the response of... Read More

Where is the methane from the BP Deepwater Horizon blowout?
Posted on 5 Feb 2011 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Natural gas in various forms comprised approximately 2/3 of the hydrocarbons emitted from the Deepwater Horizon well blowout. Methane is believed to compose an estimated 87.5% of that natural gas. Sampling in June 2010 found no microbial breakdown of... Read More

An entirely new carbon sink in the oceans may have been discovered
Posted on 30 Nov 2010 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

One of the themes that has run through prior posts is to note that our understanding of the carbon cycle may leave more than a little to be desired. Such lack of understanding may explain why the impacts of global warming are, in some cases, more severe... Read More

What killed off much of the explosion of life following the Cambrian "explosion"?
Posted on 5 Feb 2011 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Prior posts have discussed the Cambrian explosion, and noted the evidence suggesting that it was a more gradual process than stereotypically described. However, there has been little solid evidence to explain why, following this alleged burst of complex... Read More

Another potential sign of global warming: Crabs are invading the shallow waters of the Southern Ocean
Posted on 12 Mar 2011 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

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... Read More

What is the source of the oceans' production of N2O, a potent GHG?
Posted on 7 Aug 2011 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

The oceans emit an estimated 30% of the nitrous oxide (N2O) entering the atmosphere. Nitrous oxide gives rise to NO (nitric oxide) when it reacts with oxygen atoms, and this NO in turn reacts with ozone. As a result, N2O is the main naturally occurring... Read More

Arctic salt clouds are reducting the impact of Global Climate Change on the Arctic region
Posted on 15 May 2011 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

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... Read More