Thursday, October 29, 2015

China court finds in favor of NGOs under new environmental law // JURIST

JURIST - China court finds in favor of NGOs under new environmental law

by Ashley Hogan

[JURIST] The Nanping Municipal Intermediate People's Court of Fujian found in favor [Xinhua report] of two environmental groups on Thursday under a new environmental law. The court ordered defendants to restore destroyed vegetation and pay compensation for the damage that resulted from of an illegal mining expansion. This was the first environmental protection case decided since the Environmental Protection Law[text, PDF; LOC backgrounder] took effect on January 1. The law allows NGOs to directly sue polluters in the public interest, and the victory by Friends of Nature and Fujian Green Home[advocacy websites] suggests that other environmental groups will have more power to combat pollution under the new law.
According to many experts, climate change [JURIST backgrounder] as a result of global greenhouse gas emissions is one of the most pressing and controversial environmental issues [JURIST report] facing the international community today. China has long come under international criticism for lax environmental laws and enforcement, but has taken more proactive steps in recent years. In July China's Qingdao Maritime Court ruled [JURIST report] that a lawsuit against ConocoPhillips China and China National Offshore Oil relating to a 2011 oil spill could proceed under the new environmental law. Also in July China set a 60 percent per capita carbon dioxide emissions reduction goal [JURIST report] for 2030. The announcement followed a November agreement with the US to cut its greenhouse gas emissions [JURIST report].

Cod's decline traced to warming Gulf of Maine // NY Times

Cod's decline traced to warming Gulf of Maine // NY Times

by Erica Goode
Rapid warming in the Gulf of Maine contributed to the collapse of cod fishing in New England, and might help explain why the cod population has failed to recover, even though fishing has largely ceased, according to a new study.
Fisheries managers have tried to reverse the cod’s decline in the gulf by imposing increasingly severe limits on fishing since 2010, reducing quotas to the point that recreational cod fishing has been effectively closed and few commercial fishermen now set out intending to catch cod.A team of marine scientists found that rising temperatures in the gulf decreased reproduction and increased mortality among the once-plentiful Atlantic cod, adding to the toll of many decades of overfishing.
But the quotas, the study’s authors say, were based on population estimates that did not take into account the temperature changes and therefore were set too high. Even when fishermen stayed within the quotas, they were in effect overfishing, the researchers write in their report, which appears in the Oct. 30 issue of the journal Science.
“The failure to consider temperature impacts on Gulf of Maine cod recruitment created unrealistic expectations for how large this stock can be and how quickly it can rebuild,” the researchers write.
The study uses data about water surface temperatures to look at warming trends in the gulf since 1982 and compares the rate of increase to ocean waters in other parts of the world. From 2004 to 2013, the scientists found, temperatures rose faster in the Gulf of Maine than in 99.9 percent of the global ocean.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Greenland Is Melting Away - The New York Times

Rivers of melting ice - video

Greenland Is Melting Away - The New York Times


ON THE GREENLAND ICE SHEET — The midnight sun still gleamed at 1 a.m. across the brilliant expanse of the Greenland ice sheet. Brandon Overstreet, a doctoral candidate in hydrology at the University of Wyoming, picked his way across the frozen landscape, clipped his climbing harness to an anchor in the ice and crept toward the edge of a river that rushed downstream toward an enormous sinkhole.

If he fell in, “the death rate is 100 percent,” said Mr. Overstreet’s friend and fellow researcher, Lincoln Pitcher.

But Mr. Overstreet’s task, to collect critical data from the river, is essential to understanding one of the most consequential impacts of global warming. The scientific data he and a team of six other researchers collect here could yield groundbreaking information on the rate at which the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, one of the biggest and fastest-melting chunks of ice on Earth, will drive up sea levels in the coming decades. The full melting of Greenland’s ice sheet could increase sea levels by about 20 feet.

“We scientists love to sit at our computers and use climate models to make those predictions,” said Laurence C. Smith, head of the geography department at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the leader of the team that worked in Greenland this summer. “But to really know what’s happening, that kind of understanding can only come about through empirical measurements in the field.”

For years, scientists have studied the impact of the planet’s warming on the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. But while researchers have satellite images to track the icebergs that break off, and have created models to simulate the thawing, they have little on-the-ground information and so have trouble predicting precisely how fast sea levels will rise.

Read more

Inlets and Outlets~Jersey shore

Monday, October 26, 2015

Our wildest dreams are ...what Ortiz does in real life.

Miguel Cabrera, Chris David, Jose Bautista, David Ortiz

Boston - Baseball Prospectus

by Matthew Kory

The significance of Bautista’s homer is hard to overstate given the drama of the inning, of the series, of the man. But this is a Red Sox site so you know it had to come around to this sooner or later: thanks to Bautista, now Blue Jays fans are starting to understand how Red Sox fans feel about David Ortiz.
I should say this isn’t meant to talk down to Blue Jays fans or devalue what Bautista accomplished for greater Toronto and batflip-kind.  He has quite probably been the man to turn baseball around in Toronto, and not just with one well-timed homer, but with his own career renaissance. They say you have to walk a mile in a person’s shoes to understand them, and watching Bautista’s bat explode on the ball and the man explode in the moment, it made me think of the treatise on overcoming adversity that Ortiz has authored in Boston, the moments he’s pulled the Red Sox through, the chains of history he’s brushed aside as if they were nothing because they were nothing to David Ortiz.
A year after joining the organization, one that hadn’t won a World Series in 85 seasons at the time, Ortiz kept the Red Sox in the 2004 ALCS with game winning, game-ending hits in both game four and game five. He homered off of Kevin Brown in game seven after Johnny Damon was thrown out at home plate with the all too familiar doom threatening to take hold. But no, because Ortiz wouldn’t let it, crushing the ball into the right-field bleachers off Brown and taking all the pressure off his teammates like stabbing a balloon. Oh, he also won the ’04 Division Series with a two-run homer in the 10th inning after Vlad Guerrero had hit a grand slam to tie the game in the seventh. That’s three game-winning hits, two of them homers, in a six game stretch of playoff games, if you’re the counting sort. Then, if we’re really going to do this, he homered in the first inning of the World Series against the Cardinals, as if to say we’re not done yet. We’re gonna take this whole thing. And all that? That’s just one season

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Fordham 47, Holy Cross 41 - OT

Fordham 47, Holy Cross 41 - OT
Fordham is ranked # 10 in the NCAA Football Championship Series division
The tying 48 yard field goal as time expired

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Landing craft provides vital ‘barging’ in Thousand Islands - Professional Mariner - October/November 2015

Landing craft provides vital ‘barging’ in Thousand Islands - Professional Mariner - October/November 2015

story and photos by Will Van Dorp

Capt. Jakob “Jake” Van Reenen was watchful as the 10-wheeler fuel truck inched down the dock and into the cargo well of Seaway Supplier, a 1954 landing craft.

The instant the truck’s front tires touched Seaway Supplier’s deck, it began to push the vessel away from the dock. Van Reenen reacted, throttling forward to keep his vessel flush with the dock, until loading was completed safely. The fuel truck was then carried across the St. Lawrence River to Grindstone Island to deliver its cargo. At the dock on Grindstone, the same careful control of the vessel throttle was necessary for an uneventful offloading.

Seaway Supplier is the newest acquisition of Seaway Marine Group, owned and operated by Van Reenen in the St. Lawrence River town of Clayton, N.Y. His other boats are smaller and associated with TowBoatUS, although Seaway Supplier is also used in small boat salvage. His family has spent summers in the Thousand Islands since his great-grandfather kept a houseboat there. He now lives in Clayton year-round.

Locally, what Seaway Supplier does is called barging. A customer would say something like, “What is the charge for barging my car over to Grindstone?” But whether you call it a self-propelled barge, LCM-8, or Mike-8, as others say, Seaway Supplier is U.S. Coast Guard-certificated and classified as a freight ship. It was launched in 1954 as U.S. Army LCM-8010, a product of Higgins Industries in New Orleans. Two twin-pack Detroit Diesel engines (four 6-71s) generate about 600 hp, turning two 34-inch-diameter three-bladed screws. The outboard engines of each twin pack also drive air compressors for the air-assist ramp and steering. The inboard engines are belted to battery chargers as well as dewatering and fire pumps.

Monday, October 5, 2015

24 and counting - Friendship - Blueberry fields forever

Starting our 25th year. - gwc

Friendship River meadow

Blueberry fields forever

Our landing

Welcome to Heron Bend

Friendship River from Blueberry Lane

Camden Hills - the view from the dump
I-95 bridge Piscataqua River southbound

The ghost fleet

Sunday, October 4, 2015