Environmental Policy Collection - 732 Matching Results

Search Results

WMO Statement on the Status of the Global Climate in 1995

Description: There is continuing international concern about global warming and its potential to cause serious disruption to vulnerable social and economic sectors of society as well as to sustainable development efforts. As recently as December 1995, scientists of the World Meteorological Organization/United Nations Environment Programme (WMO/UNEP) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated that "the balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate", through emissions of greenhouse gases. At the same time, there is a developing capability within national Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) to provide comprehensive information on past, present, and future (seasons to a year ahead) climate and its variations, to a wide spectrum of users. The rapid development of global communications systems means that such information can be provided on a timely basis and is, therefore, of great use to national decision makers.
Date: 1995
Creator: World Meteorological Organization
Partner: UNT Libraries

Climate change

Description: The Earth's climate has not been constant over geological time. This record is contained in ice, which has built up as snowfall accumulated in distinct yearly layers. Pockets of air trapped between the snow crystals contain traces of past atmospheres, which in turn tell us about the climate at the time the snow formed. Glaciologists collect this record by drilling ice cores and then use sensitive chemical techniques to analyse the layers.
Date: 2003
Creator: British Antactic Survey
Partner: UNT Libraries

Recent Greenhouse Gas Concentrations

Description: Gases typically measured in parts per million (ppm), parts per billion (ppb) or parts per trillion (ppt) by volume are presented separately to facilitate comparison of numbers.
Date: July 2009
Creator: Blasing, T.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

DIVERSITAS Science Plan

Description: This Science Plan is mainly concerned with the current extinction crisis on Earth, which, unlike its predecessors, is occurring at an unprecedented rate, is the direct result of human activities and is occurring at all levels at which diversity is measured - from the genetic diversity of many natural and domesticated species to the diversity of ecosystems and landscapes, through the tremendous richness of species. Current human-induced rates of species extinction are estimated to be about 1,000 times greater than past background rates. Biodiversity is the variety of life on Earth. Scientists commonly measure and describe this variety at the level of genes, species and ecosystems, but scientific interest in biodiversity goes far beyond describing and measuring it. The DIVERSITAS programme was founded to address the scientific questions that need to be answered in order to understand how biodiversity supports life on Earth, what the impacts of the present loss of biodiversity are for human and ecosystem survival and how humans can sustainably use and conserve biodiversity.
Date: September 2002
Creator: DIVERSITAS
Partner: UNT Libraries

Ozone

Description: The term "ozone depletion" means more than just the natural destruction of ozone, it means that ozone loss is exceeding ozone creation.
Date: 2002
Creator: NASA Earth Observatory
Partner: UNT Libraries

Ozone

Description: The amount and distribution of ozone molecules in the stratosphere varies greatly over the globe. Ozone molecules are transported around the stratosphere much as water clouds are transported in the troposphere. Therefore, scientists observing ozone fluctuations over just one spot could not know whether a change in local ozone levels meant an alteration in global ozone levels, or simply a fluctuation in the concentration over that particular spot. Satellites have given scientists the ability to overcome this problem because they provide a picture of what is happening daily over the entire Earth.
Date: 2002
Creator: NASA Earth Observatory
Partner: UNT Libraries

New Source of Natural Fertilizer Discovered in Oceans

Description: New findings suggest that the deep ocean is teeming with organisms that produce essential natural fertilizers. A National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded research team led by Jonathan Zehr, a marine scientist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, has discovered a previously unknown type of photosynthetic bacteria that fixes nitrogen, converting nitrogen from the atmosphere into a form other organisms can use.
Date: August 8, 2001
Creator: National Science Foundation Office of Legislative and Public Affairs
Partner: UNT Libraries

Climate Change Science Program Overview and Management

Description: This program identifies the following criteria of interest: scientific or technical quality; relevance to reducing uncertainties and improving decision support tools; track record of consistently good past performance and identified metrics for evaluating future progress; and cost and value.
Date: December 11, 2003
Creator: U.S. Climate Change Science Program
Partner: UNT Libraries

The U.S. Climate Change Science Program Vision for the Program and Highlights of the Scientific Strategic Plan

Description: The vision document provides an overview of the Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) long-term strategic plan to enhance scientific understanding of global climate change.This document is a companion to the comprehensive Strategic Plan for the Climate Change Science Program.
Date: July 2003
Creator: Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research
Partner: UNT Libraries

Weather and Highways: Report of a Policy Forum

Description: This report of a policy forum on "Weather and Highways" presents recommendations that, if implemented, could offer considerable benefits to the safety of the nation's traveling public and the national economy by supporting the effective application of weather information services to the operation of our road systems. The AMS Atmospheric Policy Program developed this forum to address the issues connected with effective use of road weather information. The participants included nearly 100 public, private, and academic representatives of weather information providers; transportation managers and users; and policy makers knowledgeable about the nation's highway system.
Date: 2004
Creator: Atmospheric Policy Program American Meteorological Society
Partner: UNT Libraries

Fiscal Year 2005- 2006 Accelerated Research on Global Climate Observations Fact Sheet

Description: Coincident with the release of the Climate Change Science Program strategic plan, the Administration announces plans for the acceleration of select high priority research projects and climate observations. These activities contribute to filling critical knowledge gaps identified in the plan (aerosols, oceans and the natural carbon cycle). The selected investments have been coordinated among the agencies to maximize the overall impact. Funding will be reallocated from lower priority areas to enable these critical investments.
Date: 2003
Creator: Climate Change Science Program
Partner: UNT Libraries

The ozone hole

Description: Discovery of the hole in the ozone layer showed that human activity can have major, and often unexpected impacts on the planet. The destruction of ozone in the stratosphere high above the planet's surface has been brought about as the result of the widespread use of chemicals which under normal conditions are chemically inert and harmless
Date: 2003
Creator: British Antactic Survey
Partner: UNT Libraries

Ozone

Description: Although it represents only a tiny fraction of the atmosphere, ozone is crucial for life on Earth. Depending on where ozone resides, it can protect or harm life on Earth.
Date: 2002
Creator: NASA Earth Observatory
Partner: UNT Libraries

Ozone

Description: In the stratosphere, ozone is created primarily by ultraviolet radiation. When high-energy ultraviolet rays strike ordinary oxygen molecules (O2), they split the molecule into two single oxygen atoms, known as atomic oxygen. A freed oxygen atom then combines with another oxygen molecule to form a molecule of ozone. There is so much oxygen in our atmosphere, that these high-energy ultraviolet rays are completely absorbed in the stratosphere.
Date: 2002
Creator: NASA Earth Observatory
Partner: UNT Libraries

Solid Waste Disposal Act

Description: The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) gives EPA the authority to control hazardous waste from the "cradle-to-grave." This includes the generation, transportation, treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste. RCRA also set forth a framework for the management of non-hazardous solid wastes. The 1986 amendments to RCRA enabled EPA to address environmental problems that could result from underground tanks storing petroleum and other hazardous substances. HSWA - the Federal Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments - are the 1984 amendments to RCRA that focused on waste minimization and phasing out land disposal of hazardous waste as well as corrective action for releases. Some of the other mandates of this law include increased enforcement authority for EPA, more stringent hazardous waste management standards, and a comprehensive underground storage tank program.
Date: 1976
Creator: United States. Congress.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics (GLOBEC) Science Plan

Description: Human population and associated industrial activities continue to increase rapidly, and have reached levels that put the environment under stress in many areas of the world. In addition natural fluctuations of the Earth's physical and biological systems, often occur in time frames that are not readily evident to man. Such fluctuations cause additional stress on the environment, and can result in changes that impact society in terms of diminished availability of clean water, unspoiled land and natural vegetation, minerals, fish stocks, and clean air. Human societies are making a rapidly increasing number of policy and management decisions that attempt to allow both for natural fluctuations and to limit or modify human impact. Such decisions are often ineffective, as a result of economic, political and social constraints, and inadequate understanding of the interactions between human activities and natural responses. Improved understanding of such issues is important in its own right, and will contribute to ameliorating economic, political and social constraints. Developing improved understanding of environmental change is within the realm of the natural sciences and is being addressed by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) and other programmes concerned with describing and understanding the Earth System. Natural variability, occurring over a variety of time scales, dominates the health of complex marine ecosystems, regardless of fishing or other environmental pressure. We are only now beginning to compile quantitative documentation of such variability, and consequently our knowledge concerning its causes remains at the level of hypotheses. Understanding of the role of variability in the functioning of marine ecosystems is essential if we are to effectively manage global marine living resources such as fisheries during this period of tremendously increased human impact, and concurrent dependence, on these resources.
Date: 1997
Creator: Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics (GLOBEC)
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Kalahari Transect: Research on Global Change and Sustainable Development in Southern Africa

Description: The Kalahari Transect is proposed as one of IGBPs Transects (see Koch et al. 1995 [IGBP Report 36]). It is located so as to span the gradient between the arid subtropics and the moist tropics in southern Africa, a zone potentially susceptible to changes in the global precipitation pattern. Its focus is the relationships between the structure and function of ecosystems and their large-scale biophysical and human drivers (climate, atmosphere and land use). The Kalahari Transect spans a strong climatic gradient in southern Africa, from the arid south to the humid north, while remaining on a single broad soil type, the deep sands of the Kalahari basin. The vegetation ranges over the length of the transect from shrubland through savannas and woodlands to closed evergreen tropical forest, with land uses ranging from migratory wildlife systems, through pastoralism, subsistence cropping to forestry. The objectives of the Kalahari Transect activity are to: build an active network of regional and international researchers around the issue of ecosystem structure and function in savanna woodlands undergoing climatic and land use change; quantify the current and future role of southern African savanna woodlands in the global carbon, water and trace gas budgets and the degree of dependence of these budgets on climate and land use change; develop a predictive understanding of future changes in southern African savannas and woodlands on sandy soils, including their capacity to deliver forage, timber and other products. A five year project is proposed, commencing in 1997. The project revolves around four themes: vegetation structure, composition and dynamics; biogeochemistry, trace gas emissions and productivity; resource use and management and water and energy balance. These themes define the minimum set of processes necessary for understanding of the Kalahari system.
Date: 1997
Creator: Scholes, R.J. & Parsons, D.A.B.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Predicting Global Change Impacts on Mountain Hydrology and Ecology: Integrated Catchment Hydrology/Altitudinal Gradient Studies: A workshop report

Description: Documentation resulting from an international workshop in Kathmandu, Nepal, 30 March - 2 April 1996. The following themes were addressed by the working groups: 1. "Role of ecology and hydrology for the sustainable development in mountain regions" (the "human dimensions"). 2. "Coupled ecological and hydrological studies along altitudinal gradients in mountain regions", with a sub-group dealing with the "Assessment of the spatial distribution pattern of basic water balance components." 3. "Impacts of global change on the ecology and hydrology in mountain regions", with a sub-group on the "Identification of global change impacts on hydrology and ecology in high mountain areas."
Date: 1997
Creator: Becker, Alfred & Bugmann, Harald
Partner: UNT Libraries

START Implementation Plan 1997-2002

Description: The primary goals of the SysTem for Analysis, Research and Training in global change science (START), which is co-sponsored by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP); the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP); and the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) are to promote regional global change science and to enhance the capacity of individuals, institutions and developing regions to undertake such research. START capacity building initiatives include the recognition that human capacity building is much more than training and that, as with all development, sustainable development is best. Once-off training exercises are easy to organize, but are the least effective method of capacity enhancement and result in large cost/benefit ratios. In contrast, sustained development of human capacity through continual involvement with research maximizes efficiency and minimizes the cost/benefit ratio. START seeks to enhance regional global change research while at the same time enhancing the individual and institutional capacity to conduct such research. The details as to how START operates, and how it plans to encompass its vision and meet its objectives are given in the START Implementation Plan.
Date: 1998
Creator: Fuchs, Roland; Hassan, Virji & Fleming, Cory
Partner: UNT Libraries

Energy Policy Act

Description: The Energy Policy Act (EPA) addresses energy production in the United States, including: (1) energy efficiency; (2) renewable energy; (3) oil and gas; (4) coal; (5) Tribal energy; (6) nuclear matters and security; (7) vehicles and motor fuels, including ethanol; (8) hydrogen; (9) electricity; (10) energy tax incentives; (11) hydropower and geothermal energy; and (12) climate change technology. For example, the Act provides loan guarantees for entities that develop or use innovative technologies that avoid the by-production of greenhouse gases. Another provision of the Act increases the amount of biofuel that must be mixed with gasoline sold in the United States.
Date: January 4, 2005
Creator: United States. Congress.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Endangered Species Act of 1973

Description: The Endangered Species Act (ESA) provides a program for the conservation of threatened and endangered plants and animals and the habitats in which they are found. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) of the Department of the Interior maintains a worldwide list which, as of Feb. 20, 2008, included 1574 endangered species (599 are plants) and 351 threatened species (148 are plants). Species include birds, insects, fish, reptiles, mammals, crustaceans, flowers, grasses, and trees. Anyone can petition FWS to include a species on this list. The law requires federal agencies, in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and/or the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service, to ensure that actions they authorize, fund, or carry out are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any listed species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of designated critical habitat of such species. The law also prohibits any action that causes a "taking" of any listed species of endangered fish or wildlife. Likewise, import, export, interstate, and foreign commerce of listed species are all generally prohibited.
Date: January 24, 2002
Creator: United States. Congress. House.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Antarctic fact-file

Description: Antarctica is a continent for science. All countries working in Antarctica carry out scientific research, in a surprising range of physical and biological sciences, from the vastness of space to the minute scale of micro-organisms. Activities are regulated by the Antarctic Treaty, which has been in force since 1959 and is signed by all countries operating there. The Treaty reserves the continent for peaceful purposes, and all military and industrial activities are banned.
Date: 2003
Creator: British Antactic Survey
Partner: UNT Libraries

More El Niños May Mean More Rainfall Extremes

Description: Researchers at NASA and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), studying changes in tropical precipitation patterns, have noted a higher frequency of El Niños and La Niñas over the last 21 years. In addition, when either of those events occur, the world can expect more months with unusually high or low precipitation with droughts more common than floods over land areas.
Date: January 16, 2001
Creator: Earth Observatory
Partner: UNT Libraries