Thursday, July 27, 2017

Canada's Supreme Court halts seismic testing near Inuit hamlet

Canada

A tiny Inuit hamlet in Canada's northern territory of Nunavut has won a landmark indigenous consultation case in Canada's top court.


The Supreme Court ruled that oil and gas exploration near the community of Clyde River cannot go ahead.


The unanimous decision stated Canada failed in its duty to consult the tiny Inuit hamlet about the impact of seismic testing near their community.


The court heard the case in November.


Full story at http://bbc.in/2eRFVgp


Source: BBC News


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Paying People to Not Cut Down Trees Pays Off, Study Finds

Paying People to Not Cut Down Trees Pays Off, Study Finds

Across dozens of villages in rural Uganda, researchers have explored what they believe could be an easy way to help tackle climate change: paying landowners to leave their trees standing.


The concept is simple—and controversial, because critics say it can foist the burden of cutting emissions onto developing countries. But the researchers, led by an economist from Northwestern University, found that these financial incentives—or "payments for ecosystems services"—have both a climate and economic benefit, something that had not been firmly established in previous studies.


"This idea of payments for ecosystem services is not new, but there's still a lot of debate over how well it works," said Seema Jayachandran, an associate professor of economics at Northwestern who focuses on developing countries.


Jayachandran and her colleagues looked to Uganda—where deforestation rates are the third highest in the world—to find out.


Full story at http://bit.ly/2eS9nCX


Source: Inside Climate News


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Sea level fears as Greenland darkens

Sea level fears as Greenland darkens

Scientists are "very worried" that the melting of the Greenland ice sheet could accelerate and raise sea levels more than expected.


They say warmer conditions are encouraging algae to grow and darken the surface.


Dark ice absorbs more solar radiation than clean white ice so warms up and melts more rapidly.


Currently the Greenland ice sheet is adding up to 1mm a year to the rise in the global average level of the oceans.


Full story at http://bbc.in/2eRFN0p


Source: BBC News


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How Distant Winds May Be Causing Antarctic Meltdown

How Distant Winds May Be Causing Antarctic Meltdown

New research suggests one more unexpected culprit: Changing winds at one end of the continent could actually be setting off a series of changes, like a set of falling dominoes, that pushes warm water below the ice at the other end, thousands of miles away.


Finding these pieces of the Antarctic melt puzzle and putting them together will help scientists better pin down how much sea level rise is in store as the world warms, and when cities from Miami to Shanghai may largely disappear from the map.


Sea levels have already risen by about 8 inches since the beginning of the 20th century from a combination of melting polar ice and the expansion of ocean waters as they absorb some of the excess heat trapped by human-emitted greenhouse gases. And while 8 inches may not seem like much, it is already causing more costly damage from coastal flooding.


Storm surges created by hurricanes and other storms, like Hurricane Sandy, are stronger and higher than in the past, and there are more instances of so-called sunny day flooding, when tidal forces push water into the streets of Miami, Norfolk, Va., and other coastal cities.


Full story at http://bit.ly/2eRFKlf


Source: Climate Central


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How climate change will affect the quality of our water

How climate change will affect the quality of our water

Last year, slimy green and foul-smelling algae took over Florida’s beaches, releasing toxins that killed fish and shellfish and sickened people. The algal bloom prompted the Florida governor to declare a state of emergency and likely caused widespread economic damage. If climate change goes unchecked, we could see more of these algal blooms along our coasts and in lakes, according to new research. That means that climate change won’t just affect the quantity of our water supply — causing drought, for instance — but it will also affect its quality.


A study published today in Science shows that, in the future, more rain and more extreme storms will wash out increasing amounts of nutrients like nitrogen into rivers and coastal waters. Nitrogen is food for tiny algae, called phytoplankton — and when it’s washed ashore, it can feed algal blooms like the ones in Florida. (Warming ocean waters are also to blame.) Using several climate models and projections, researchers showed that nitrogen runoff could increase by nearly 20 percent in the continental US by the end of the century — with the upper Mississippi Atchafalaya River Basin and the Great Lakes seeing the largest increases.


Full story at http://bit.ly/2eS9bDJ


Source: The Verge


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