Tag Archives: greenhouse gas pollution

New Report Finds Arctic Bears Face Grim Future in Warming World

15 May

by the Center for Biological Diversity

SAN FRANCISCO— On the fifth anniversary of polar bears’ placement on the endangered species list, the Center for Biological Diversity today launched federal litigation challenging the Obama administration’s failure to consider “endangered” status for the polar bear or develop a recovery plan for this gravely imperiled species. A new Center report released today, On Thin Ice, finds that polar bears face greater threats from melting sea ice and global warming now than they did in 2008, when they were first declared “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act.

In a formal notice of intent to sue under the Endangered Species Act, the Center pointed out that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has not conducted a required five-year review of threats to polar bears despite new evidence that the bears’ status has declined enough to deserve an endangered listing. Similarly, the administration has failed to develop a recovery plan for polar bears despite repeated promises to do so. Continue reading

Obama Administration Finalizes Polar Bear Extinction Plan

20 Feb

by the Center for Biological DiversityWhat-Do-Polar-Bears-Eat

WASHINGTON— After months of high-profile statements about climate change, the Obama administration today finalized a special rule that fails to protect polar bears from greenhouse gas pollution under the Endangered Species Act. The new regulation is modeled on a previous Bush-administration measure excluding activities occurring outside the polar bear’s habitat — such as carbon emissions from coal plants — from regulations that could slow Arctic warming to prevent the bear’s extinction.   Continue reading

Obama Plan Expands Risky Offshore Drilling in Arctic, Gulf of Mexico

28 Jun

by the Center for Biological Diversity

SAN FRANCISCO— The Obama administration announced plans on Thursday to dramatically expand offshore oil drilling, including in the Arctic and the heart of critical habitat for polar bears. The plan will also expand high-risk, ultra-deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, which is still suffering the effects of the Deepwater Horizon disaster that spilled more than 200 million gallons of oil.

The five-year plan schedules 15 lease sales in six offshore areas, including the Arctic’s Beaufort and Chukchi seas, where an oil spill in remote areas would be nearly impossible to clean up, and portions of the Gulf of Mexico near areas where development has so far been off-limits. The plan encourages further reliance on oil and threatens species already stressed by the impacts of climate change.

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Oceans in Peril: How Carbon Dioxide is Changing Our Oceans

11 Jun

by Jaclyn Lopez / Latina Lysta

Pteropods, or sea butterflies, are tiny, free-swimming marine snails which have developed two wing-like flaps in place of the large muscular foot of most snails. They beat these ‘wings’ constantly to remain near the surface of the ocean.

You may have heard the news that atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide have pushed past 400 parts per million at monitoring stations in the Arctic.

Carbon dioxide is a heat-trapping gas, in fact the most pervasive greenhouse gas contributing to climate change, and scientists are noting this signpost with concern as it indicates that the effects of increased CO2 and climate change – soaring pollution and temperatures, melting sea ice and glaciers, and rising sea levels – will continue unabated for the foreseeable future. What you may not have heard is what this milestone means for our oceans and marine life.

Ocean acidification is the lesser known consequence of greenhouse gas pollution. Every day we release millions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, and a significant portion is absorbed by our oceans. The oceans’ regulation of our climate via absorption is a natural process, but the amount of CO2 our oceans are now absorbing is unprecedented and is causing our oceans to become more acidic.

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