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Climate Change Hero

Climate Change Blog

  • 15
  • February
  • 2018

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Ninth Circuit: We Repeat, Climate Projections for the Year 2100 Okay to Support ESA Listing Decisions

On February 12, 2018, the Ninth Circuit upheld the National Marine Fisheries Service’s use of long-term climate projections to list the Arctic ringed seal (Phoca hispida hispida) as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act, even though the seal population is currently healthy and abundant and there is no evidence of adverse impacts to the seals from climate change.

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  • 06
  • December
  • 2016

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85-Year Climate Forecasts Prompt Species Listing Under the Endangered Species Act

In late October, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the National Marine Fisheries Service’s (NOAA Fisheries) decision to list the Beringia distinct population segment (DPS) of the Bearded Seal as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).1 This listing decision was controversial because the Beringia DPS is not facing any imminent or serious threat or reduction to its population. Indeed, NOAA Fisheries acknowledged that the Beringia DPS currently has a large, widely distributed, and genetically diverse population. Nevertheless, NOAA Fisheries concluded that the Beringia DPS was threatened, based primarily on climate change models that predict the loss of sea ice by the year 2095 in ways that would likely affect the seal’s significant life functions and endanger the seal. This is the first time NOAA Fisheries has looked so far into the future to form a basis to list a species as threatened that is currently faring well.

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  • 28
  • April
  • 2016

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Enviros Allege FWS Ignored Climate Change in Bull Trout Recovery Plan

Two Montana environmental groups sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on April 19, 2016, complaining among other things that the Service’s recovery plan for bull trout, a cold-water species in the Pacific Northwest protected under the Endangered Species Act, ignores the effects of climate change and wrongfully plans for the demise of many bull trout populations, not their recovery.

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