Agriculture

Can Dirt Really Save Us From Global Warming?
September 3, 2009 08:17 AM - Christopher Joyce, NPR

This month the Senate is set to take up the climate and energy bill that Congress began work on last spring. One provision will likely set up a system to pay farmers for something called "no-till farming."

Climate-change technology risks 'catastrophic' outcome
September 3, 2009 06:50 AM - Alun Thorne, Birmingham Post, Environmental Health News

Risky and unproven climate-changing technologies could have "catastrophic consequences" for the earth and humankind if used irresponsibly, according to a new report.

Our best guess about global warming may be wrong
September 2, 2009 06:40 AM - Moises Velasquez-Manoff, The Christian Science Monitor, Environmental Health News

Fifty-five million years ago, the world was a much warmer place. The poles were ice-free year-round. Palm trees grew in Alaska. Forests stretched right into the Arctic Circle. There, swamps like those in today’s southeastern United States hosted alligators, snakes, and giant tortoises. Scientists call this time in Earth’s history the Eocene, the dawn of the age of mammals. And climatologists have naturally taken a keen interest in how it began. They know that a dramatic spike in carbon dioxide associated with rapid climate change kicked off the epoch – called the "Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum" (PETM). But what scientists don’t understand about the PETM may hold the most relevant lessons for where the world’s climate is headed today.

10,000 Homes Threatened in Los Angeles FIres

The unstoppable Angeles National Forest fire threatened 10,000 homes Saturday night as it more than tripled in size and chewed through a rapidly widening swath of the Crescenta Valley, where flames closed in on backyards and at least 1,000 homes were ordered evacuated. Sending an ominous plume of smoke above the Los Angeles Basin, the fire was fueled by unrelenting hot weather and dense brush that has not burned in 60 years.

Los Angeles Wildfires Fueled by Heat
August 29, 2009 10:21 AM - Mary Milliken, Reuters

Firefighters battling four wildfires around Los Angeles saved hundreds of homes in an affluent coastal community but struggled against a larger fire coming down the mountains toward another exclusive suburb. With temperatures in excess of 100 Fahrenheit (37 Celsius), flames flared above La Canada Flintridge, where nearly 900 homes were under voluntary evacuation, 1,500 acres had burned and containment was zero percent.

Renewable Energy Needs Land, Lots Of Land
August 28, 2009 11:23 AM - Christopher Joyce, NPR

Pending climate and energy legislation puts a lot of stock — and money — into switching from fossil fuels, like coal and oil, to renewable energy such as wind, solar and ethanol. But some new analysis by environmental experts shows that alternative energy comes with some stiff penalties. For example: Energy Sprawl.

Sun Spot-Climate Link
August 28, 2009 07:38 AM - David Fogarty, Reuters

Small changes in the energy output of the sun can have a major impact on global weather patterns, such as the intensity of the Indian monsoon, that could be predicted years in advance, a team of scientists said.

Banana diseases threaten African crop
August 26, 2009 09:36 AM - Reuters

Two banana diseases spreading in Africa could hurt food supply for 30 million people on the continent who largely rely on the crop, an international agricultural research body said on Wednesday.

Atrazine in US Drinking Water Found Widespread
August 26, 2009 06:39 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

A widely used pesticide known to impact wildlife development and, potentially, human health has contaminated watersheds and drinking water throughout much of the United States, according to a new report released today by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Banned by the European Union, atrazine is the most commonly detected pesticide in U.S. waters and is a known endocrine disruptor, which means that it affects human and animal hormones.

Signaling Pathway Ensures That Plants Remember To Flower

Why do some plants blossom even when days are short and gray?

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