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Could wind farm installation deafen marine life?
May 26, 2015 09:05 AM - Steve Williams, Care2
Wind farms may be a vital source of green energy, but new research shows that the construction of off-shore wind farms could potentially be damaging the hearing of harbour seals and other marine life. Researchers at St. Andrews University in Scotland believe that there is cause for concern that human building operations in our coastal waters, for example the pile driving process that hammers the foundation posts for wind turbines into the sea bed, could be damaging the hearing of marine mammals to an extent we hadn’t previously guessed at.
The Ozone hole is shrinking
May 18, 2015 07:14 AM - Steve Williams, Care2
New NASA satellite data confirms what other research has shown, namely that the hole in the ozone layer appears to be getting smaller.
The ozone is crucial for us here on Earth because it shields us from some of the Sun’s most damaging radiation. In the 1980s it was confirmed that a host of chemicals like CFCs that we had been using in manufacturing and, in particular in aerosols, had been breaking down that ozone layer, creating several holes including a worryingly large hole over the Arctic. In the long term our CFC use threatened to destroy this vital shield completely if we did not act.
Meet Chernobyl's Wild Residents
May 11, 2015 12:04 PM - S.E. Smith, Care2
It seems like a strange place to call a wildlife park: Nearly 30 years after the most catastrophic nuclear incident in global history, Chernobyl’s exclusion zone has turned into a paradise for animals of all species and sizes. A variety of raptors, deer, big cats, foxes, bears and birds have moved into the region, taking advantage of a vast habitat with almost no humans. That habitat, though, is contaminated with radioactive materials, and scientists still hotly debate the potential costs of radiation exposure to the animals of Chernobyl, some of whom have become famous.
Researchers have seen an explosion of wildlife at the site in recent years, with camera traps providing an opportunity to look deep into the world of the region’s animals without disturbing them. Stunning photography shows animals like wolves and bears roaming freely in the exclusion zone, unconcerned about the potential for human visitors. Perhaps most astonishingly, a population of Przeswalski’s horses, an endangered species critical to the biological and evolutionary history of modern equids, is booming in the region—which isn’t exactly what one might expect, given the radioactive contamination.
California Resident Poll Expresses Wide Concern Over Drought
May 7, 2015 09:13 AM - Chris Sosa, Care2
A recent Care2 poll has found that slightly over 90 percent of respondents express major concern over the current drought engulfing the state, despite the fact that only 60 percent of respondents consider themselves strong environmentalists. Fewer than 1 percent expressed no concern about the drought. Nearly 75 percent of respondents cited fears about the fate of wildlife. Concern for humans came in second at 71 percent and agriculture at 61 percent.
Why Bees Can't Avoid Pesticides
April 27, 2015 01:07 PM - Steve Williams, Care2
Pesticides such as as neonicotinoids are already under close scrutiny because research appears to show that, certainly for honey bees at least, they may interrupt the insect’s normal behaviors and they are suspected to play a part in colony collapse disorder.
What countries have the most endangered animals?
April 23, 2015 10:55 AM - Susan Bird, Care2
If you had to guess which countries are losing the greatest number of endangered mammals to extinction, which would you pick? Actually, you don’t have to guess. There’s a new map that will show you, in no uncertain terms, where in the world we’re losing animals the fastest. The top three “winners” of this unfortunate contest are Indonesia (184), Madagascar (114), Mexico (101), with India following close behind at 94.
City Ants love Junk Food - but then again, who doesn't?
April 8, 2015 02:03 PM - Steve Williams, Care2
We know that many animals have adapted to deal with our sprawling urbanization, but a new study reveals that ants might also be getting in on the act by developing a taste for our waste food scraps and our junk food. The research, conducted by scientists at North Carolina State University and published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, aimed to investigate the eating habits of the most common ant species in our big cities.
EPA Moves to Restrict Bee-killing Pesticides
April 7, 2015 01:45 PM - Alicia Graef, Care2
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finally taken some action to restrict the use of pesticides that are believed to be causing serious declines in pollinators, but environmentalists are arguing the agency still needs to do more.
President Obama approves Arctic drilling
April 5, 2015 08:01 AM - Kevin Mathews, Care2
President Barack Obama has seemingly spent a lot of his second term trying to cement his reputation as one of the United States’s most environmentally conscious leaders. However, his most recent decision to approve controversial oil and gas drilling in the Arctic is certain to lose him favor within the environmental community. How can he preach about the consequences of global warming and carbon emissions and simultaneously give corporations permission to drill in a vulnerable region for decades to come?
As Scientific American reminds us, although we tend to romanticize some of Obama’s environmental policy, his decision to give Arctic drilling a thumbs-up is not incongruent with his overall scheme to have America reliant on multiple sources of energy, including both renewable options, as well as gas and oil.
Carbon storage in world's biomass is increasing
April 2, 2015 02:08 PM - Steve Williams, Care2
The threat of deforestation is understood as one of the major problems in the world today, but a new study suggests that the total amount of vegetation in the world appears to have increased in the past decade, suggesting a rare ray of light in conservation and climate change news.
The study, which was published late last month in the journal Nature Climate Change, saw researchers from Australia assess the amount of carbon stored in living plant mass, also known as biomass, stored above ground. This is one established way that we can measure not just how much carbon is stored but also the density of biomass in any given area and so provides us with an interesting way of assessing regional and global forest densities.