National Research Council

It’s a Wonderful Law?

A thought experiment about the role of the ESA in California water management

[This post is co-authored by A. Dan Tarlock, Distguished Professor of Law, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law.] Remember the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,” which shows up on TV every year at Christmas season? In it George Bailey, played by Jimmy Stewart, gets a great gift from Clarence, an angel-in-training who intervenes as George is …


Climate Engineering: National Academy Committee recommends starting research (with limits)

An NAS report on controversial engineered responses to climate change gets all the big things right, but avoids the hardest questions

Earlier this week, the National Research Council Committee on Geoengineering Climate released two reports, “Climate Intervention: Carbon Dioxide Removal and Reliable Sequestration” and “Climate Intervention: Reflecting Sunlight to Cool Earth.” Requested and funded by several US federal departments – NASA, NOAA, DOE, and the cutely labeled “U.S. Intelligence Community” – this report is the first …


National Academies Press makes reports available for free

Early this month, the National Academies Press, which publishes National Research Council reports like this recent one on America’s Climate Choices, announced that it will make all pdf versions of its publications available for free downloads. Anyone who does research on environmental science or policy (among other topics) should be happy to hear this news. …


Climate stabilization targets

Everything about climate policy seems to be difficult, but one of the big challenges has been choosing goals. Many of the targets to date, including California’s AB 32 mandate to return to 1990 greenhouse gas emission levels by 2020, have been based more on what seems feasible than on what seems necessary. NASA’s James Hansen …


Ocean acidification gets new attention

Although EPA is beginning to pay attention, the rapidly increasing acidity of the oceans remains a little-known consequence of global atmospheric CO2 loading. But two recent events may be raising the public profile of ocean acidification. First, a National Research Council committee convened to examine the consequences of ocean acidification and make recommendations for a …


Delta NRC committee issues initial report

The National Research Council’s Committee on Sustainable Water and Environmental Management in the California Bay-Delta released its first report this morning (also available through the National Academies Press web site, with registration). On a quick review of the summary, the conclusions are unsurprising — the Committee finds that the provisions of the Biological Opinions for …


More (and better) climate adaptation research needed

The National Research Council has just issued a new study on the U.S. Climate Change Science Program.  The key conclusion: the current program does not effectively support societal response to climate change, in part because it is too focused on natural science to the exclusion of work on the human dimensions of climate change. The …


Which oysters for the Chesapeake Bay?

Sunday’s Washington Post reports that a decision is expected soon on whether to deliberately introduce the Suminoe oyster, native to China and Japan, to the Chesapeake Bay. A decision would mark the end of an analytic process that has been going on for more than 10 years. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a …