Environmental News: December 17th- December 24th 2009

Quote for the week

"We abuse the land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.” - Aldo Leopold

Obama Says Disappointment At Copenhagen Justified
Alister Bull and Tabassum Zakaria
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama said on Wednesday that disappointment over the outcome of the Copenhagen climate change summit was justified, hardening a widespread verdict that the conference had been a failure.
Read more here.

Pacific Warming Continues: Australia Weather Bureau
Jonathan Standing
SYDNEY - Pacific Ocean temperatures remained at levels typical of a drought-bringing El Nino weather pattern, Australia's Bureau of Meteorology said on Wednesday.
Read more here.

EPA to Curb Ship Air Emissions
December 24, 2009
The US EPA has finalized a rule setting tough engine and fuel standards for large US flagged ships, a major milestone in the agency’s coordinated strategy to slash harmful marine diesel emissions.
Read more here.

UN Climate Chief Urges Avoiding Blame Over Summit
December 23, 2009
AMSTERDAM (AP) -- The top U.N. climate official said Wednesday that though the Copenhagen global warming summit went sour, countries should avoid blaming each other and get down to work on a better deal next year.
Read more here.

EPA announces plan to require disclosure of secret pesticide ingredients
December 23, 2009
By Marla Cone
Editor in Chief
Environmental Health News
Reversing a decade-old decision, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday that it plans to require pesticide manufacturers to disclose to the public the inert ingredients in their products.
Read more here.

Sullivan, Young call for study of Inlet beluga whales
December 23rd, 2009
COOK INLET: Sullivan, Young want state to fund opposing science.
Two of the state's top politicians Tuesday said the state should finance an aggressive round of scientific research of Cook Inlet's beluga whales to counter a federal conclusion that the whales are endangered and need special habitat protections.
Read more here.

Mystery of Amazon manatee migration solved
December 23, 2009
By Jody Bourton
Earth News reporter
The mystery of why Amazonian manatees migrate has been solved.
Only in recent years did scientists find that the secretive aquatic mammal migrates from shallow to deep water.
Read more here.

Large U.S. Ships Must Meet Strict New Emissions Standards
WASHINGTON, DC, December 22, 2009 (ENS) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today finalized a rule setting stricter exhaust emission standards and cleaner fuel standards for large marine diesel engines on large U.S.-flagged ships, a part of the agency’s long-term strategy to reduce harmful marine diesel emissions.
Read more here.

British Antarctic Survey finds rich Antarctic marine life
By Gordon Shetler
Environmental Health News
December 22, 2009
The British Antarctic Survey has released new photographs of ice fish, octopus, sea pigs, giant sea spiders, rare rays and beautiful basket stars that live in Antarctica's continental shelf seas are revealed this week by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).
Read more here.

2009 A Deadly Year For Florida's Manatees
Tom Brown
MIAMI - A record number of endangered manatees died in Florida waters this year, according to the state's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
In a preliminary report on Friday, the commission said its Fish and Wildlife Research Institute had documented 419 manatee deaths in state waters between January 1 and December 11, the most for any year since record-keeping began in 1974.
Read more here.

Climate accord offers some grounds for hope, say analysts
December 21, 2009
The UN Climate Change Conference ended on Saturday (19 December) with frustration and verdicts of failure from many delegates because it did not reach a binding agreement on how to tackle climate change — or any agreement at all on targets for carbon emissions.
Read more here.

A Grudging Accord in Climate Talks
Published: December 19, 2009
COPENHAGEN — After two weeks of delays, theatrics and last-minute deal-making, the United Nations climate change talks concluded here early Saturday morning with a grudging agreement by the participants to “take note” of a pact shaped by five major nations.
Read more here.

Industry To Phase Out decaBDE
DECEMBER 18, 2009
Flame Retardants: Production will shift to greener alternatives
Following negotiations with the Environmental Protection Agency, three companies have agreed to phase out production and sale of the brominated flame retardant decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE) for most uses within three years.
Read more here.

Eerie Music, Stealthy Ship To Battle Antarctic Whalers
Date: 18-Dec-09
Author: Pauline Askin
HOBART - An international conservation society is using a small, space-age-like vessel to scare off whaling fleets from Antarctic waters, with a ghostly tune as its main weapon.
Read more here.

Glint of Sunlight Confirms Liquid in Northern Lake District of Titan
December 17, 2009
PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Cassini Spacecraft has captured the first flash of sunlight reflected off a lake on Saturn's moon Titan, confirming the presence of liquid on the part of the moon dotted with many large, lake-shaped basins.
Read more here.

Talks in Deadlock Ahead of Leaders' Arrival
President Obama Makes Phone Calls to Lobby Other Countries as Pressure Rises to Reach a Face-Saving Agreement

December 17, 2009
COPENHAGEN -- Negotiators at the United Nations climate summit scrambled Wednesday to bridge multibillion-dollar disagreements as President Barack Obama and other world leaders prepared to descend on the Danish capital Friday.
Read more here.

Small conservation areas could make big difference for whales
By Greenbang on Dec 17, 2009
Creating conservation areas — even small ones — in the oceans could help better protect endangered whale species, according to the findings of international researchers.
Scientists in Scotland, Canada and the US describe their findings in a new issue of the journal Animal Conservation.
Read more here.

Blue Ocean film festival moves to Peninsula
Movies, researchers focus on ocean conservation

Herald Staff Writer
The Blue Ocean Film Festival & Conservation Summit will relocate from Savannah, Ga., and make its permanent home in Monterey County, beginning with the 2010 event.
Read more here.

Lawsuit: Hawaii Swordfish Fishery Expansion Jeopardizes Turtle Survival
December 16, 2009 (ENS)
Three conservation groups are taking the National Marine Fisheries Service to federal court in Honolulu to challenge a new rule removing all limits on fishing effort in the Hawaii-based longline swordfish fishery. The groups contend that the rule allows the longline fleet to catch nearly three times as many endangered sea turtles as previously permitted.
Read more here.

Squid invasions signal changes in the Pacific Ocean
December 15, 2009
When large numbers of jumbo squid first showed up in California’s Monterey Bay in 1997, scientists weren’t sure what had brought the cephalopod that far north. An unusually strong El Niño event had warmed the eastern Pacific.
Read more here.

NASA Data Reveal Major Groundwater Loss in California
December 14, 2009
PASADENA, Calif. – New space observations reveal that since October 2003, the aquifers for California's primary agricultural region -- the Central Valley -- and its major mountain water source -- the Sierra Nevadas -- have lost nearly enough water combined to fill Lake Mead, America's largest reservoir.
Read more here.

NRDC Applauds Obama's Environmental Record Ahead of Climate Summit
December 15, 2009 (ENS)
Often critical of government officials for their failure to protect the environment, one of the largest U.S. environmental groups had praise today for President Barack Obama as he heads to the climate summit in Copenhagen.
Read more here.

Obama Ocean Task Force Plans to Resolve Competing User Conflicts
December 14, 2009 (ENS)
The Obama administration is trying a new approach to federal resource planning for oceans, coasts and the Great Lakes by establishing nine regional planning bodies that will work together and with the administration in an integrated manner.
Read more here.