REI Commits to Solar Energy to Reduce Climate Impact
April 10, 2014 08:09 AM - Gina-Marie Cheeseman, Triple Pundit
REI, the $2 billion national outdoor retailer, is committed to renewable energy. The company has 26 locations with solar power systems in eight states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Georgia).
LED Bulb Challenge ending soon!
April 9, 2014 01:34 PM - ENN Staff
The most inefficient light bulbs may now be off the market, in response to new federal standards, but nearly 70% of light bulb sockets in the U.S. still contain an inefficient bulb. Retailers across the country are stepping up to help change that, as part of the Energy Star LED Bulb Challenge.
From Seals to Starfish: Polar Bears Radically Shift Diets as Habitat Melts
April 9, 2014 10:37 AM - Andrew Mann, MONGABAY.COM
One of the most iconic species of the ongoing climate change drama, polar bears (Ursus maritimus) have dropped in numbers as their habitat melts, with previous estimates forecasting a further 30 percent reduction within three generations. However, their situation may not be as dire as it seems. A new study, published in the journals Polar Biology, Ecology and Evolution, and BMC Ecology, suggests that polar bears are able to resist the breakup of ice cover in Hudson Bay by shifting their diets to suit a warmer world.
At more than 23,000 feet, why don't bar-headed geese get hypoxic?
April 9, 2014 10:04 AM - ENN Staff
The bar-headed goose migratory path takes it over the Himalayan Mountains each year between China and Mongolia to their Indian breeding grounds. This flight path puts them at 23,917 feet above sea level. University of Exeter led study followed these birds to gain insight into their ability to survive these extreme altitudes in hopes that their findings might have future implications for low oxygen medical conditions in humans.
Shifting bird and reptile distributions
April 8, 2014 12:23 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
With climate change come several dramatic shifts in species distribution within the United States. The U.S. Geological Survey in concert with the University of New Mexico and Northern Arizona University have recently projected distribution losses for nearly half of the 5 examined reptile species including the locally famed chuckwalla. Breeding bird ranges, however exhibited broader expansions and contractions within their breeding habitats.
Desert absorption helps curtail CO2 levels
April 7, 2014 09:55 AM - Eric Sorensen, Washington State University News
Researchers led by a Washington State University biologist have found that arid areas, among the biggest ecosystems on the planet, take up an unexpectedly large amount of carbon as levels of carbon dioxide increase in the atmosphere. The findings give scientists a better handle on the earth's carbon budget — how much carbon remains in the atmosphere as CO2, contributing to global warming, and how much gets stored in the land or ocean in other carbon-containing forms.
Nutritional quality of food crops decreases as CO2 levels rise
April 7, 2014 08:02 AM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen
A field test has demonstrated for the first time that elevated levels of carbon dioxide restrict plants' ability to transform nitrate into proteins, indicating that the nutritional quality of food crops is at risk as climate change intensifies.
The Melting Arctic
April 5, 2014 08:59 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN
As the Eastern US ends what seems to have been the most severe winter in memory, it is hard to remember that the global climate is still warming. A severe winter in a region doesn't mean that the entire hemisphere had an extreme winter. And it really doesn't imply much about long term trends. A key indicator of long term trends is the length of the Arctic melt season. A new study by researchers from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and NASA shows that the length of the melt season for Arctic sea ice is growing by several days each decade. An earlier start to the melt season is allowing the Arctic Ocean to absorb enough additional solar radiation in some places to melt as much as four feet of the Arctic ice cap’s thickness. "The Arctic is warming and this is causing the melt season to last longer," said Julienne Stroeve, a senior scientist at NSIDC, Boulder and lead author of the new study, which has been accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters. "The lengthening of the melt season is allowing for more of the sun’s energy to get stored in the ocean and increase ice melt during the summer, overall weakening the sea ice cover."
Smog alerts for Europe
April 4, 2014 04:21 PM - Rob MacKenzie, The Ecologist
The UK news media has been buzzing with reports of air pollution alerts associated, at least in part, with the long-range transport of dust from the Sahara. Colleagues from Africa have asked why we in the UK are worried about the health effects of a relatively rare occurrence of this long-range dust all the way across Europe, when African countries experience dust storms of much higher intensity almost daily at some times of year.
Unearthing of large tusk in Arabian Desert suggests once greener pastures
April 4, 2014 09:49 AM - ENN Staff
Working in conjunction with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities, researchers from the University of Oxford have discovered two pieces of a tusk that when combined measure six feet in length. The researchers believe it is from a Palaeoloxodon or a "straight tusked elephant". An elephant's carpal bone was recovered in a separate study done by a Swiss team in the Nefud Desert just five meters away. The sand layer dates back to approximately 325,000 years and the elephant is believed to be of the same age.