Agriculture

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?

Farmers Care About Trees Too
August 24, 2009 06:41 AM - Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent, Reuters

Almost half of the world's farmland has at least 10 percent tree cover, according to a study on Monday indicating that farmers are far less destructive to carbon-storing forests than previously believed. "The area revealed in this study is twice the size of the Amazon, and shows that farmers are protecting and planting trees spontaneously," Dennis Garrity, Director General of the World Agroforestry Center in Nairobi, said in a statement.

Arctic Fisheries Get a New Plan – The Fish Would Approve
August 21, 2009 07:17 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

Global Warming is opening up new areas for fishing. We don't know that much about the ecosystems in these areas since they have been under ice until recently. Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke approved a plan to prohibit the expansion of commercial fishing in federal Arctic waters until researchers gather sufficient information on fish and the Arctic marine environment to try to prevent adverse impacts of commercial harvesting activity on the ecosystem.

Mexico Hit By Lowest Rainfall In 68 Years
August 20, 2009 09:55 AM - Reuters via Planet Ark

Mexico is suffering from its driest year in 68 years, killing crops and cattle in the countryside and forcing the government to slow the flow of water to the crowded capital. There is insufficient data to say how much global warming can be blamed, a senior official said.

Mercury Persists in Fish in Many Parts of US
August 20, 2009 06:39 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

The U.S. Geological Survey released a study that showed mercury contamination in every fish sampled in 291 streams across the country. The work was part of the National Water-Quality Assessment Program (NAWQA) which provides an understanding of water-quality conditions such as whether conditions are getting better or worse over time and how natural features and human activities affect those conditions. Regional and national assessments are possible because of a consistent study design and uniform methods of data collection and analysis.

Not from My Back Yard? Homes Pollute
August 19, 2009 11:55 AM - Eurekalert

They say there's no place like home. But scientists are reporting some unsettling news about homes in the residential areas of California. The typical house there — and probably elsewhere in the country — is an alarming and probably underestimated source of water pollution, according to a new study reported today at the 238th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.

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