Week of January 4, 2016
Welcome to the first Eco News Weekly Updates of the New Year! We are excited to help our readers stay in-touch with the global and domestic eco news events that affect our environment and our lives. Whether it’s wildlife or weather, politics or tech, energy or ecological concerns, we will keep you in the loop!
Illegal fishing is in for setbacks this spring. A new satellite program funded and developed in the UK has made it possible to locate and track the illegal fishing operations that trespass in international marine sanctuaries. Due to their vastness and isolation in international waters, many sanctuaries are hard to protect. By providing a way for coastguards to identify these operations, the program seeks to bring those profiting from the declines of endangered species to justice and discourage future threats to global biodiversity. (More from The Guardian)
On Monday the US Department of Justice filed a complaint against Volkswagen for using illegal devices to impair emissions control systems and for violating the Clean Air Act by selling vehicles different from those approved by the Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board. Since the scandal began in September, former CEO of Volkswagen Martin Winterkorn has resigned. (Full article on NPR)
Since October 23rd, methane has been escaping into our atmosphere from a natural gas well in San Fernando Valley at a rate of 70,000 pounds per hour. The greenhouse gas, which is 25 times as potent as CO2 over a span of 100 years, is coming from a well owned by Southern California Gas Company. Locating the exact source of the leak hundreds of feet below ground, then drilling and constructing a relief well is expected to take between two and three months. (More on Grist)
When President Obama rejected plans to build the Keystone XL pipeline in November, TransCanada did not take the hint. The company is now suing the US government for the $15 billion they spent lobbying for its approval. TransCanada’s claims that the rejection is a violation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), an agreement the US has never successfully been sued over. (More from NYT)
The West Coast is finally seeing precipitation and the East Coast has been unseasonably warm. Although it is easy to imagine correlations between these abnormalities and climate change, it is the pattern of El Niño to create storms on the West Coast and push warm air to the North East. (More on NYT)
The Guardian collected gorgeous images of a starling migration flock, or murmuration, in Israel.
Check in next Thursday for more Eco News Updates!
Photo Credit: Flickr/FHKE, Flickr/Elvert Barnes, Flickr/Tim Hurst, Flickr/M 93: „Dein Nordrhein-Westfalen“, Flickr/Ed Schipul, Flickr/hedera.baltica