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The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change as a Gateway Belief: Experimental Evidence

March 12, 2015 Comments off

The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change as a Gateway Belief: Experimental Evidence
Source: PLoS ONE

There is currently widespread public misunderstanding about the degree of scientific consensus on human-caused climate change, both in the US as well as internationally. Moreover, previous research has identified important associations between public perceptions of the scientific consensus, belief in climate change and support for climate policy. This paper extends this line of research by advancing and providing experimental evidence for a “gateway belief model” (GBM). Using national data (N = 1104) from a consensus-message experiment, we find that increasing public perceptions of the scientific consensus is significantly and causally associated with an increase in the belief that climate change is happening, human-caused and a worrisome threat. In turn, changes in these key beliefs are predictive of increased support for public action. In short, we find that perceived scientific agreement is an important gateway belief, ultimately influencing public responses to climate change.

CPW Bushmeat Sourcebook

March 10, 2015 Comments off

CPW Bushmeat Sourcebook
Source: Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (Collaborative Partnership on Wildlife)

The e-sourcebook on bushmeat provides an objective and comprehensive understanding of the global tropical bushmeat issue, by disentangling the topic into the following sections:

  • Bushmeat and conservation issues
  • Bushmeat and local livelihoods
  • Bushmeat and human health
  • Bushmeat and governance issues
  • Bushmeat and climate change
  • Bushmeat and extractive industries
  • Bushmeat and sustainable management
  • Recommendations from the Liaison Group on Bushmeat of the CBD

Each section synthesizes available global scientific knowledge, drawing attention to relevant and current references for further reading.

CRS — Climate Change Adaptation by Federal Agencies: An Analysis of Plans and Issues for Congress (February 23, 2015)

March 5, 2015 Comments off

Climate Change Adaptation by Federal Agencies: An Analysis of Plans and Issues for Congress (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

This report reviews current actions (as of January 2015) of selected federal departments and agencies to adapt their own missions, infrastructure, operations, and personnel to projected climate change. (It does not address federal programs meant primarily to assist others to adapt, although the boundary is often hard to delineate.) This synthesis is not comprehensive. It identifies common approaches among agencies, examples of specific actions, and notable barriers the federal government faces.

As of December 2014, almost 40 federal departments and agencies had, to varying degrees, produced climate change adaptation plans, climate change vulnerability assessments, adaptation milestones, and/or metrics to evaluate adaptation performance. These efforts have identified wide-ranging vulnerabilities to potential climate changes, as well as some opportunities.

Implications of the Circumpolar Genetic Structure of Polar Bears for Their Conservation in a Rapidly Warming Arctic

February 25, 2015 Comments off

Implications of the Circumpolar Genetic Structure of Polar Bears for Their Conservation in a Rapidly Warming Arctic
Source: PLoS ONE

We provide an expansive analysis of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) circumpolar genetic variation during the last two decades of decline in their sea-ice habitat. We sought to evaluate whether their genetic diversity and structure have changed over this period of habitat decline, how their current genetic patterns compare with past patterns, and how genetic demography changed with ancient fluctuations in climate. Characterizing their circumpolar genetic structure using microsatellite data, we defined four clusters that largely correspond to current ecological and oceanographic factors: Eastern Polar Basin, Western Polar Basin, Canadian Archipelago and Southern Canada. We document evidence for recent (ca. last 1–3 generations) directional gene flow from Southern Canada and the Eastern Polar Basin towards the Canadian Archipelago, an area hypothesized to be a future refugium for polar bears as climate-induced habitat decline continues. Our data provide empirical evidence in support of this hypothesis. The direction of current gene flow differs from earlier patterns of gene flow in the Holocene. From analyses of mitochondrial DNA, the Canadian Archipelago cluster and the Barents Sea subpopulation within the Eastern Polar Basin cluster did not show signals of population expansion, suggesting these areas may have served also as past interglacial refugia. Mismatch analyses of mitochondrial DNA data from polar and the paraphyletic brown bear (U. arctos) uncovered offset signals in timing of population expansion between the two species, that are attributed to differential demographic responses to past climate cycling. Mitogenomic structure of polar bears was shallow and developed recently, in contrast to the multiple clades of brown bears. We found no genetic signatures of recent hybridization between the species in our large, circumpolar sample, suggesting that recently observed hybrids represent localized events. Documenting changes in subpopulation connectivity will allow polar nations to proactively adjust conservation actions to continuing decline in sea-ice habitat.

See: Polar Bears Shifting to Areas with More Sea Ice — Genetic Study Reveals (USGS)

Back to the Future: Advanced Nuclear Energy and the Battle Against Climate Change

February 10, 2015 Comments off

Back to the Future: Advanced Nuclear Energy and the Battle Against Climate Change
Source: Brookings Institution

A new Brookings Essay examines innovative nuclear reactor designs that could power the world with nuclear waste and reignite American leadership in the fight against climate change.

Tracing CO2 Emissions in Global Value Chains

February 2, 2015 Comments off

Tracing CO2 Emissions in Global Value Chains (PDF)
Source: U.S. International Trade Commission

This paper integrates two lines of research: trade in global value chains and embodied emissions into a unified conceptual framework. This allows both value-added and emissions to be systematically traced at the country, sector, and bilateral levels through various production network routes. By combining value-added and emissions accounting in a consistent way, the potential environmental cost (emission with per unit of value-added created) along Global Value Chains can be estimated. Based on this unified accounting method, we trace CO2 emission in global production and trade network among 41 economies in 35 sectors from 1995 to 2009 based on the World Input-Output Database (WIOD) database and show how they help us to better understand the impact of cross-country production sharing on the environment.

How climate change could affect corporate valuations

January 30, 2015 Comments off

How climate change could affect corporate valuations
Source: McKinsey & Company

Not surprising, we found that carbon-abatement efforts will put dramatically different levels of stress on the cash flows and valuations of different industries. The level of change for individual public companies within a given sector could of course substantially exceed the average, depending on their current position and their ability to respond to new technologies, changes in consumer behavior, and regulation.

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