• Ninth Circuit Endorses IPCC Climate Forecasts for Endangered Species Act Listing
  • January 18, 2017 | Author: Christopher G. Foster
  • Law Firm: Morris Polich & Purdy LLP - Los Angeles Office
  • The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) used climate projections to determine that the loss of sea ice over shallow waters in the Artic would leave the Pacific bearded seal subspecies (Erignathus barbatus nauticus) endangered by the year 2095. In Alaska Oil and Gas Association v. Pritzker (October 24, 2016), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld NMFS’s 2012 decision, reversing an Alaskan District Court decision that deemed NMFS’s use of climate projections to 2095 too “speculative.” A decision to list a species as threatened must be made “solely on the basis of the best available scientific and commercial data available,” and requires a determination that the species was “likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.”