Michael D. Lemonick 360

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Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting, and debate on global environmental issues.
Updated: 1 hour 38 min ago

Tourists Must Now Sign an Environmental Pledge to Enter Palau

Fri, 2017-12-15 12:37

Visitors to the tiny island nation of Palau in the Pacific Ocean are now being required to sign a pledge that they will not damage the environment during their stay, The Guardian reports. It is the first such immigration policy in the world.

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U.S. Solar Installations Dropped 22 Percent in 2017 — Even Worse Than Expected

Thu, 2017-12-14 13:28

After years of strong growth, U.S. solar installations are expected to fall 22 percent in 2017, worse than previously expected. The decline is due to weaker demand for residential panels and the delay in large projects because of concerns that the Trump administration would impose tariffs on imported equipment, according to an analysis from the energy group GTM Research.

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Reclaiming Appalachia: A Push to Bring Back Native Forests to Coal Country

Thu, 2017-12-14 08:30

Previous efforts to restore former coal mine sites in Appalachia have left behind vast swaths of unproductive land. Now, a group of nonprofits and scientists are working to restore native trees to the region — even if it means starting the reclamation process from scratch. 

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France Awards 13 U.S. Scientists With Millions in Funding for Climate Research

Tue, 2017-12-12 12:54

French President Emmanuel Macron has announced millions of dollars in funding for 18 foreign scientists, including 13 U.S.-based researchers, to move to France and conduct climate research as part of his government’s “Make Our Planet Great Again” initiative — a direct response to President Trump’s environmental rollback and cuts to science funding.

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California’s 2017 Wildfire Season Continues to Break Records

Mon, 2017-12-11 11:40

The Thomas Fire burning north of Los Angeles in Ventura County, California is now the state’s fifth-largest wildfire on record. Less than 15 percent contained and moving west quickly, the fire is being fueled by dry conditions and strong winds. It is one of five wildfires currently burning in southern California.

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How a Wayward Arctic Current Could Cool the Climate in Europe

Mon, 2017-12-11 06:00

The Beaufort Gyre, a key Arctic Ocean current, is acting strangely. Scientists say it may be on the verge of discharging a huge amount of ice and cold freshwater that could kick off a period of lower temperatures in northern Europe.

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Already on Brink, Right Whales Are Pushed Closer to the Edge

Thu, 2017-12-07 08:53

North Atlantic right whales, decimated by centuries of whaling, had staged a tentative comeback in recent decades. But the whales’ recovery is now imperiled by collisions with ships and entanglement with fishing lines — threats that could be mitigated with long-overdue controls.

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Dozens of U.S. Mayors Vow to Achieve Paris Agreement Emissions Goals

Wed, 2017-12-06 12:15

In the face of the Trump administration’s continued pullback on environmental and climate action, dozens of U.S. mayors gathering in Chicago this week pledged to meet or exceed the emission reduction targets set forth in the 2015 Paris Agreement, signing on to the “Chicago Climate Charter.”

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Despite Worsening Air Quality, India’s Capital Fails to Take Action Against Polluters

Tue, 2017-12-05 12:52

Air quality in India’s capital of Delhi has gotten progressively worse in recent years, with pollution levels measuring 30 times higher than World Health Organization guidelines. But despite the region’s worsening air quality, not a single case was filed against industries exceeding pollutant quotas between 2014 and 2016, according to new data by the National Crime Records Bureau.

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Rising Waters: Can a Massive Barrier Save Venice from Drowning?

Tue, 2017-12-05 06:00

A huge barrier designed to protect Venice from sea level rise and storm surges is set to be operational next year. But the project’s engineering limitations and cost overruns are raising questions about the mega-projects that many coastal cities are hoping can save them.

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Transportation Replaces Power in U.S. as Top Source of CO2 Emissions

Mon, 2017-12-04 12:03

Power plants have been the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States for more than 40 years. But according to new data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, transportation has now claimed the top spot.

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