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Study Discovers Air Pollution Particles in the Human Brain
September 9, 2016 07:21 AM - Julie Rodriguez, Care2
A new study from Lancaster University has discovered toxic nanoparticles from air pollution in large quantities in human brains. The researchers examined brain tissue from 37 people aged between 3 and 92 years old in the U.K. and Mexico. Magnetite, a type of iron oxide, was found in massive quantities in the samples – millions of particles per gram of brain tissue.
Meet a Surprising Plastic Alternative: Milk
September 1, 2016 07:07 AM - s.e. smith, Care2
What if you could have your packaging and eat it too? We’ve seen rice paper packaging on Japanese candies, but edible plastic? Thanks to researchers at the USDA, it’s not too far in the future.
And it’s not just an edible and environmentally-friendly plastic alternative; it’s actually better at keeping food fresh than petroleum-based plastics. It’ll be a few years before you see the material on shelves — don’t start chomping down just yet — but it represents a big revolution in the way we view food packaging.
Obama Creates the World's Largest Marine Reserve
August 30, 2016 07:12 AM - Steve Williams, Care2
The Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, first named a national monument by President George W. Bush in 2006, is a massively important marine nature reserve.
Designated a World Heritage site, the region surrounding the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands teems with more than 7,000 marine and land species — some of which are unique to the area, including endangered whales and sea turtles. As a result, the region has been deemed irreplaceable by scientists.
Storms in Mexico Kill Millions of Monarchs
August 29, 2016 07:06 AM - Alicia Graef, Care2
While international efforts are under way to help keep dwindling populations of monarch butterflies from disappearing, scientists are raising concerns about how severe weather and a loss of forest habitat at their wintering grounds in Mexico are affecting them.
Every year, monarchs embark on an epic multigenerational migration that takes them thousands of miles from Canada and the U.S. in search of sites in California and in Mexico. The fir trees in the southern regions offer the shelter and warmth they need to survive the winter.
Unfortunately, these vital forests in Mexico have been threatened by illegal logging, and now storms have destroyed hundreds of acres of habitat, while severe weather is believed to have killed an estimated 6.2 million of these iconic butterflies.
Smoke Waves Are the Next Climate Change Problem
August 24, 2016 07:25 AM - s.e. smith, Care2
In the hills near Los Angeles, the Blue Cut Fire just ripped through 36,000 acres, taking dozens of homes along with it, spurring a major evacuation, and even requiring temporary highway closures. But the merciless flames of the Blue Cut Fire almost pale in comparison with the flood of wildfires across the Golden State, and the West at large, in an era when the wildfire season is growing longer and more aggressive every year. Climate change is the reason why, and researchers are discovering that the cost of wildfires may be bigger than we imagined: They’re tracking deadly “smoke waves” that sweep the landscape, causing serious respiratory health problems.
Climate Change Is Altering Our National Parks Forever
August 18, 2016 03:23 PM - Julie M. Rodriguez, Care2
If you’ve ever taken a camping trip, hiked up a forested mountain trail or simply gone bird watching in an American national park, I have bad news: climate change is increasingly putting our nation’s wilderness in danger. And with July 2016 officially declared the hottest month on the planet since recordkeeping began, matters are only poised to get worse.
Rising global temperatures and changing weather patterns are already having wide-reaching effects on these wild places. Nowhere is this more apparent than in areas that used to be thick with ice and snow.
Offshore Wind Moves a Step Closer for North Carolina
August 16, 2016 03:39 PM - Sami Grover, Care2
While we’re a long way behind countries like the UK, there seems to be a growing momentum behind US offshore wind development—suggesting we might finally get serious about the incredible potential for this increasingly competitive technology. The latest such signal is an announcement from the Department of Interior proposing a lease sale for the 122,405-Acre Kitty Hawk Wind Energy Area.
Americans are buying more bottled water than soda
August 16, 2016 07:20 AM - Llowell Williams, Care2
This year is on track to see Americans’ consumption of bottled water outpace their soda drinking for the very first time. According to Euromonitor, a market research firm, the average American will buy 27.4 gallons of bottled water, compared to 26.2 gallons of soda drinks.
Is this a good thing? It’s hard to argue that less consumption of sugary products is a bad thing. However, Americans aren’t necessarily replacing soda with water — for the most part, they are simply buying more bottled water.
Can the Alligator Gar Solve Our Asian Carp Problem?
August 10, 2016 11:54 AM - Steve Williams, Care2
The prehistoric-looking alligator gar was once driven out of its native waters, but recent reports are touting the top level predator as a possible solution to the influx of Asian carp that are devastating local fish stocks. But could reintroduction actually work?
The Associated Press reports:
But the once-reviled predator is now being seen as a valuable fish in its own right, and as a potential weapon against a more threatening intruder: the invasive Asian carp, which have swum almost unchecked toward the Great Lakes, with little more than an electric barrier to keep them at bay.
Efforts are underway to reintroduce the alligator gar to the northern part of its former range.
California Freeways to Go Greener by Generating Electricity
August 10, 2016 10:32 AM - Laura Goldman, Care2
Energy conservation is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think about freeways jammed with idling vehicles.
But in California, which has some of the most congested freeways in the country, that’s about to change. The California Energy Commission (CEC) has approved a pilot program in which piezoelectric crystals will be installed on several freeways.