ENN: Top Stories http://www.enn.com/ ENN RSS News How the Alaska Pipeline Is Fueling the Push to Drill in the Arctic Refuge http://www.enn.com/ecosystems/article/53204 <p>The war over the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) — one of the most contentious and enduring environmental fights in U.S. history — is once again heating up. </p> A new way to store thermal energy http://www.enn.com/energy/article/53203 <p>In large parts of the developing world, people have abundant heat from the sun during the day, but most cooking takes place later in the evening when the sun is down, using fuel — such as wood, brush or dung — that is collected with significant time and effort.</p> Scientific Advances Can Make it Easier to Recycle Plastics http://www.enn.com/pollution/article/53202 <p>Most of the 150 million tons of plastics produced around the world every year end up in landfills, the oceans and elsewhere. Less than 9 percent of plastics are recycled in the United States, rising to about 30 percent in Europe.</p> Infrared NASA Imagery Shows Development of Tropical Depression 31W http://www.enn.com/sci-tech/article/53201 <p>NASA&#39;s Aqua satellite provided infrared imagery of the latest tropical cyclone in the South China Sea.</p> Taking a Spin on Plasma Space Tornadoes with NASA Observations http://www.enn.com/sci-tech/article/53200 <p>Interplanetary space is hardly tranquil. High-energy charged particles from the Sun, as well as from beyond our solar system, constantly whizz by. These can damage satellites and endanger astronaut health — though, luckily for life on Earth, the planet is blanketed by a protective magnetic bubble created by its magnetic field. This bubble, called the magnetosphere, deflects most of the harmful high-energy particles.</p> Plant Respiration Could Become a Bigger Feedback on Climate Than Expected http://www.enn.com/sci-tech/article/53199 <p>New research, led by the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, suggests that plant respiration is a larger source of carbon emissions than previously thought, and warns that, as the world warms, this may reduce the ability of Earth’s land surface to absorb emissions due to fossil fuel burning.</p> Seagrass is a Key Fishing Ground Globally http://www.enn.com/ecosystems/article/53198 <p>New research demonstrates that seagrass meadows are important fishing grounds all around the globe. The work highlights that there is an urgent need to start appreciating and understanding this role to be able to build more sustainable fisheries. A study led by Dr Lina Mtwana Nordlund at Stockholm University, published in the scientific journal Fish & Fisheries, examines the global extent to which these underwater meadows support fishing activity.</p> What Climate-Conscious Cities Can Learn From Each Other http://www.enn.com/climate/article/53197 <p>In many ways, Essen is the envy of cities trying to move past their industrial days. Once the steel and coal center of Germany, Essen’s economic success in the early 20th century was evident in the dust blanketing the city and sulfur filling the air with the constant stench of rotten eggs. By one resident’s <a target="_blank" href="https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/germany-rsquo-s-transition-from-coal-to-renewables-offers-lessons-for-the-world/">account</a>, coal miners permanently wore black smudges across their faces, earning them the nickname waschbar, or “raccoons.”</p> The Importance of Biodiversity in Forests Could Increase Due to Climate Change http://www.enn.com/ecosystems/article/53196 <p>Leipzig. Forests fulfil numerous important functions, and do so particularly well if they are rich in different species of trees. This is the result of a new study. In addition, forest managers do not have to decide on the provision of solely one service – such as wood production or nature conservation – as a second study demonstrates: several services provided by forest ecosystems can be improved at the same time. Both studies were led by scientists from Leipzig University and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), and published in the prestigious journal <em>Ecology Letters</em>.</p> Asthma Attacks Reduced in Tree-Lined Urban Neighbourhoods http://www.enn.com/health/article/53193 <p>People living in polluted urban areas are far less likely to be admitted to hospital with asthma when there are lots of trees in their neighbourhood, a study by the University of Exeter’s medical school has found.</p> Widespread chemical contaminants stunt growth of amphibians http://www.enn.com/pollution/article/53194 <p>A series of synthetic chemicals widely used in household products, food packaging and clothing have a significant effect on the development of frogs, even at low doses, according to a Purdue University study.</p><p>Per/polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are man-made chemicals used to make products stain resistant, waterproof and nonstick, and are present in foams used to fight fires. A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study from 2007 showed that some PFASs were present in 98 percent of blood samples collected from American adults and children for the <a style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: 700; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" href="http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhanes/">National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey</a>. According to the CDC, scientific studies on the <a style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: 700; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" href="https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/pfc/health_effects_pfcs.html">impact of PFASs on human health</a> are inconclusive.</p> USGS Estimates 40 Million Pounds of Potential Uranium Resources in Parts of Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma http://www.enn.com/energy/article/53191 <p>The U.S. Geological Survey estimates a mean of 40 million pounds of in-place uranium oxide remaining as potential undiscovered resources in the Southern High Plains region of Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.</p><p>The uranium occurs in a type of rock formation called “calcrete,” which has been well-documented in noted uranium-producing countries like Australia and Namibia. The calcrete formations described in this assessment are the first uranium-bearing calcrete deposits reported in the United States.</p> Virginia Tech works to protect Africa&#39;s crops against invasive pests http://www.enn.com/ecosystems/article/53192 <p>As invasive and indigenous insect pests continue to wreak havoc on crops across Africa, a Virginia Tech-led project is intensifying its work to coordinate a response that looks beyond geographic and financial barriers.</p><p>Stopping crop losses requires working across borders, said Muni Muniappan, director of the Virginia Tech-led Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Integrated Pest Management. “Fighting these pests in just a few of these countries is futile, because it will continue to thrive in the countries where we are not working,” he said.</p> Virginia Tech works to protect Africa&#39;s crops against invasive pests http://www.enn.com/ecosystems/article/53192 <p>As invasive and indigenous insect pests continue to wreak havoc on crops across Africa, a Virginia Tech-led project is intensifying its work to coordinate a response that looks beyond geographic and financial barriers.</p><p>Stopping crop losses requires working across borders, said Muni Muniappan, director of the Virginia Tech-led Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Integrated Pest Management. “Fighting these pests in just a few of these countries is futile, because it will continue to thrive in the countries where we are not working,” he said.</p> Modern Air is a Little Too clean: The Rise of Air Pollution Denial http://www.enn.com/pollution/article/53189 <p>Despite report after report linking air pollution to deterioration of the lungs, heart and brain, Professor Robert Phalen <a style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(255, 20, 75); text-decoration-line: none; background-color: transparent; touch-action: manipulation; transition: all 0.3s ease-in-out; outline: none;" href="https://www.aaas.org/blog/member-spotlight/robert-phalen-tests-our-modern-air">believes </a>the air is “too clean” for children.</p><p>After all, everybody needs a bit of immune-system-boosting dirt in their lungs.</p><p>“Modern air is a little too clean for optimum health,” <a style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(255, 20, 75); text-decoration-line: none; background-color: transparent; touch-action: manipulation; transition: all 0.3s ease-in-out; outline: none;" href="https://www.aaas.org/blog/member-spotlight/robert-phalen-tests-our-modern-air">he told </a>the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), one of the world’s largest scientific societies, in 2012.</p> Groundwater Depletion Could be Significant Source of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide http://www.enn.com/agriculture/article/53186 <p>Humans may be adding large amounts of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere by using groundwater faster than it is replenished, according to new research. This process, known as groundwater depletion, releases a significant amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that has until now been overlooked by scientists in calculating carbon sources, according to the new study.</p> When Vegetables Are Closer in Price to Chips, People Eat Healthier, Drexel Study Finds http://www.enn.com/lifestyle/article/53185 <p>When healthier food, like vegetables and dairy products, is pricier compared to unhealthy items, like salty snacks and sugary sweets, Americans are significantly less likely to have a high-quality diet, a new Drexel University study found. </p> Genomic Study Explores Evolution of Gentle &#39;Killer Bees&#39; in Puerto Rico http://www.enn.com/agriculture/article/53184 <p>A genomic study of Puerto Rico&#39;s Africanized honey bees – which are more docile than other so-called “killer bees” – reveals that they retain most of the genetic traits of their African honey bee ancestors, but that a few regions of their DNA have become more like those of European honey bees. According to the researchers, these changes likely contributed to the bees&#39; rapid evolution toward gentleness in Puerto Rico, a change that occurred within 30 years.</p> New Research Shows: Organic Farming Can Make an Important Contribution to World Nutrition http://www.enn.com/agriculture/article/53183 <p>A global conversion to organic farming can contribute to a profoundly sustainable food system, provided that it is combined with further measures, specifically with a one-third reduction of animal-based products in the human diet, less concentrated feed and less food waste. At the same time, this type of food system has extremely positive ecological effects, i.e. considerable reduction of fertilizers and pesticides, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions – and does not lead to increased land use, despite lower agricultural yields. These are the findings of a new study, which included the Vienna-based Department of Social Ecology among its contributors. Results have recently been published in “Nature Communications”.   </p> &#39;The Brazilian Zika outbreak could end soon&#39; http://www.enn.com/sci-tech/article/53181 <p>In 2016, news about the Zika virus in Brazil made the headlines in Europe for the first time. With approximately 65 million people affected, it is one of the largest epidemics in the last few years. The Olympics additionally fuelled fears that the virus could spread globally. When the first cases of newborns with microcephaly, i.e. malformations of the brain, were observed in connection to Zika, it became apparent that further research was called for. The DZIF responded to this global challenge and, under the leadership of Jan Felix Drexler, Charité – Universitätsklinikum Berlin, initiated a German alliance project with Brazilian scientists, which investigates the pathogenesis and epidemiology of Zika.</p> Climate Change Impacts Already Locked In — But The Worst Can Still Be Avoided http://www.enn.com/pollution/article/53180 <p>Some impacts of global warming – such as sea level rise and coastal flooding – are already locked in and unavoidable, according to a major research project. </p> Species in the North are More Vulnerable to Climate Change http://www.enn.com/wildlife/article/53179 <p>Acclimation means the ability of both animals and plants to adjust their physiology when it gets hotter or colder. In this way, individual organs are able to interact effectively and various processes in the body function optimally in varying conditions.</p> New Research Could Predict La Niña Drought Years in Advance http://www.enn.com/sci-tech/article/53178 <p>Two new studies from The University of Texas at Austin have significantly improved scientists’ ability to predict the strength and duration of droughts caused by La Niña – a recurrent cooling pattern in the tropical Pacific Ocean. Their findings, which predict that the current La Niña is likely to stretch into a second year, could help scientists know years in advance how a particular La Niña event is expected to evolve.</p> University of Oregon research maps major shifts in Colorado River history http://www.enn.com/ecosystems/article/53177 <p>Geologists have long debated how and when the Colorado River made its first connection to the ocean. In a new study, a team led by the UO’s Becky Dorsey has helped pull the river’s story together.</p><p>The river did not, as many thought, simply roar down out of the Colorado Plateau and pour into the Gulf of California.</p> Is that burger bad for your knees? http://www.enn.com/sci-tech/article/53176 <p>One could say that biomedical engineering grad Kelsey Collins is walking in the footsteps of giants.</p><p>When Collins started out as a grad student at the University of Calgary’s Human Performance Laboratory, she didn’t know that her path would lead her to a postdoctoral appointment at Washington University in St. Louis — home to no fewer than 17 Nobel laureates in medicine and physiology, and a world-renowned institute for orthopaedic research.</p>