Agriculture

Tomatoes thrive on urine diet
September 10, 2009 07:22 AM - Wagdy Sawahel, SciDevNet

Using human urine as a fertilizer produces bumper crops of tomatoes that are safe to eat, scientists have found.

ANSI Approves Green Seal Standard for Restaurants
September 9, 2009 07:26 AM - GreenerBuildings Staff, GreenBiz.com

Green Seal's certification standard for restaurants and foodservice operations has been approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), making the guidelines the first of their kind to be nationally recognized, Green Seal said today. The GS-46 Environmental Standard for Restaurants and Foodservices, released in May, is also the first Green Seal specification to be approved as an American National Standard.

Fish Farms Supply 50% of Global Harvest
September 8, 2009 11:45 AM - R. Greenway, ENN

Fish farms, once a fledgling industry, now account for 50 percent of the fish consumed globally, according to a new report by an international team of researchers. And while getting more efficient, it is putting strains on marine resources by consuming large amounts of feed made from wild fish harvested from the sea, the authors conclude. Their findings are published in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Humans Causing Erosion Comparable To World’s Largest Rivers And Glaciers
September 7, 2009 07:09 AM - ScienceDaily, Adapted from materials provided by University of British Columbia

A new study finds that large-scale farming projects can erode the Earth's surface at rates comparable to those of the world's largest rivers and glaciers. Published online in the journal Nature Geoscience, the research offers stark evidence of how humans are reshaping the planet. It also finds that - contrary to previous scholarship - rivers are as powerful as glaciers at eroding landscapes.

Iraq’s new war is a fight for water
September 4, 2009 08:32 AM - Phil Sands and Nizar Latif, The National

As bombs continue to tear apart its towns and villages, Iraq is now in the grip of an environmental crisis that experts and officials warn may do what decades of war have not been able to – destroy the country. The new war on Iraq, say some, "is a war of water".

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.

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