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The near-infrared reflectance spectra of Pluto and its satellites are rich with diagnostic absorption bands of ices of CH4, N2, CO, H2O, and an incompletely identified ammonia-bearing molecule. Following years of investigation of the spectra of Pluto and Charon with ground-based telescopes, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft obtained spectral maps of these bodies and three small satellites on its passage through the system on July 14, 2015, showing the distribution of these ices, as well as a colored, non-ice component. Spectral modeling mapped the distribution of the various ices and showed their abundance and mixing details in relationship to regions of differing surface elevation, albedo, and geologic structure. Additionally, owing to their greatly different degrees of volatility, the ices of Pluto are distributed in patterns responsive to Pluto’s climatic changes on both short and long terms. The surface of Charon is dominated spectrally by H2O ice with one or more ammoniated compounds, and three of the four very small satellites show both H2O ice and the ammonia signature.
This article examines access to justice for victims of the Southeast Asian haze pollution within the legal system of Indonesia as the source-of-origin state. It argues that bringing civil claims against the polluting companies before Indonesian courts offers a more effective avenue towards justice than relying on resolution at the level of state to state. The article first discusses barriers to resolving the problem through the state-to-state level. It then considers whether, under international law, the source-of-origin state is obliged to provide remedies for victims of transboundary environmental damage. The article then reviews the efficacy of pursuing remedies for transboundary civil claims against polluters through the legal system of the source-of-origin state. Finally, the article considers the limitations of the laws of the affected states, which, as a consequence, mean that transboundary civil litigation in the source-of-origin state may be the most effective avenue for redress.
Private sustainability standards for palm oil – RSPO certification and especially the POIG/No Deforestation standards – show more promise than ASEAN in addressing the political-economic drivers of the fires/haze in Indonesia. ‘Sovereignty-free’ private actors – global NGOs, philanthropic foundations, and social investors – harnessed transnational markets and used consumer product multinationals and Asian palm oil traders/processers as intermediaries to reach oil palm growers previously shielded from private regulation. Exclusion of state actors gave regulatory entrepreneurs a freer hand to institute more stringent standards. This contrasts with ASEAN regional governance where state control of regional governance deflects global and local pressure for change. There are limitations, however, to the reach of voluntary private standards, which cannot address irresponsible cultivation practices in illegal supply chains and those catering to the domestic market, despite NGOs and other private regulatory entrepreneurs acting as ‘functional equivalents’ of state authorities in driving change. Nevertheless, palm oil's economic importance to Indonesia and the global market transformations underway mean that global private standards have a first-mover advantage. However, central state actors have denounced private standards as intrusions on national sovereignty. While private standards have sparked national conversations on sustainability, the political bargaining between state authority, private regulators, and their proponents is only just beginning.
Drawing upon the moral cleanness metaphor and the power height metaphor, we proposed the clear sky effect: polluted air increases perceived corruption. To test the effect, we established a correlation (Studies 1 and 2) and causal link (Studies 3, 4, and 5) between haze pollution and corruption perception. This correlation is unique, in that, of various air pollutants, only the major haze indicator was positively correlated with corruption perception at city (Study 1) and country (Study 2) levels. In addition, recalling feelings concerning haze (Studies 3 and 5) or experiencing hazy days (Study 4) increased corruption perception. Furthermore, in support of embodiment, this effect was moderated by body awareness (Study 4) and mediated by bodily stress responses (Study 5). Taken together, these findings suggest that environmental pollution could be one of the factors that influence our trust in government.
Transboundary haze pollution as a result of indiscriminate land clearance by fire has significant health and economic impacts on member states of the Association of South-east Asian Nations (ASEAN). Meanwhile the impact of the associated carbon emissions, ecological disturbance and biodiversity loss extends well beyond South-east Asia. This is despite the fact there are relatively well-established mechanisms to combat forest fires, and policy-level solutions have existed on paper for years. Although the fires are mostly in Indonesian territory, the involvement of multiple hierarchies of stakeholders in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore adds complexity to the quest for lasting solutions. A more robust approach is required from the region's governments, especially in instilling accountability among large companies, and this is feasible without increasing political tensions within ASEAN. Indonesia's ratification of the Haze Agreement is a significant development but needs to be complemented with actions at the local (e.g. grassroot initiatives in forest protection, firefighting, policing of illegal clearance practices), national (e.g. centralizing ministry-level control of forestry resources) and regional levels (e.g. implementing compliance mechanisms and legal standards to tackle haze and forest fires). Ultimately, actions to combat forest fires may also help secure the long-term conservation of biodiversity-rich peat swamps. Rather than being a source of discord, combating haze pollution could become South-east Asia's defining environmental project.
In recent decades, States have concluded numerous regional investment treaties, even as the feverish growth in bilateral investment treaties worldwide continues apace. This increasing regionalism within international investment law is a double-edged phenomenon. On the one hand, the risks of fragmentation and incoherence increase exponentially as a regional layer is added to the already-messy “spaghetti bowl” of investment treaties. The noble dream of a uniform, multilateralized set of investment-protection standards thus looks ever more unattainable. On the other hand, a regional investment treaty affords an opportunity for a group of States to balance, in a particularistic manner, between investment-related obligations and other non-investment priorities. This essay focuses on the ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement signed in 2009, arguing that it is a region-specific bargain embedded within ASEAN's wider normative and institutional framework. The potential conflicts between ASEAN Member States' investment-related obligations and their commitments under two other regional projects are explored, and recommendations are made as to how arbitral tribunals can manage such conflicts.
Dengue activity depends on fluctuations in Aedes populations which in turn are known to be influenced by climate factors including temperature, humidity and rainfall. It has been hypothesized that haze may reduce dengue transmission. Due to its geographical location Singapore suffers almost every year from hazes caused by wildfires from Indonesia. Such hazes have a significant impact on pollution indexes in Singapore. We set out to study the relationship of dengue activity and haze (measured as pollution standard index) in Singapore, using ARIMA models. We ran different univariate models, each encompassing a different lag period for the effects of haze and temperature (from lag 0 to lag 12 weeks). We analysed the data on a natural logarithmic scale to stabilize the variance and improve the estimation. No association between dengue activity and haze was found. Our findings do not lend support to the hypothesis that haze is associated with reduced dengue activity in Singapore.
A previous mathematical model explaining dengue in Singapore predicted a reasonable outbreak of about 6500 cases for 2006 and a very mild outbreak with about 2000 cases for 2007. However, only 3051 cases were reported in 2006 while more than 7800 were reported in the first 44 weeks of 2007. We hypothesized that the combination of haze with other local sources of particulate matter had a significant impact on mosquito life expectancy, significantly increasing their mortality rate. To test the hypothesis a mathematical model based on the reproduction number of dengue fever and aimed at comparing the impact of several possible alternative control strategies was proposed. This model also aimed at contributing to the understanding of the causes of dengue resurgence in Singapore in the last decade. The model's simulation demonstrated that an increase in mosquito mortality in 2006 and either a reduction in mortality or an increase in the carrying capacity of mosquitoes in 2007 explained the patterned observed in Singapore. Based on the model's simulation we concluded that the fewer than expected number of dengue cases in Singapore in 2006 was caused by an increase in mosquito mortality due to the disproportionate haze affecting the country that year and that particularly favourable environmental conditions in 2007 propitiated mosquitoes with a lower mortality rate, which explains the greater than expected number of dengue cases in 2007. Whether our hypothesis is plausible or not should be debated further.
Leaf water and osmotic potentials and gas exchange were monitored during a prolonged El Niño drought in 1998 for saplings of seven species in a Bornean heath forest and compared with measurements taken during a subsequent wet period. The four dipterocarp species maintained reasonably good water status throughout the drought, especially Dipterocarpus borneensis which had thick and deep tap roots. In contrast, two of three non-dipterocarp species, Cleistanthus baramicus and Tristaniopsis obovata displayed predawn leaf water potentials approaching their turgor-loss points. During the drought, all species except D. borneensis displayed strongly reduced stomatal conductance after a brief exposure to sun, and all displayed lower maximum rates of stomatal conductance and net photosynthesis than during the wet period. Only Cotylelobium burckii displayed significant osmotic acclimation to the drought. T. obovata possessing a superficial root system suffered a high mortality due to the drought, but recovered faster after the first rains than the other species all of which had tap roots. Deep roots and strong stomatal control favour trees in tropical heath forests where water deficits probably occur regularly.