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The Juncture of Politics and the Environment
November 5, 2013 08:41 AM - Duncan Jefferies, Triple Pundit
When announcing his plan to kick-start the U.S. economy in the midst of the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt famously declared that the country had "nothing to fear but fear itself." In just 100 days, through a flurry of legislation and investment, his government dragged the country up off its knees — a towering political achievement.
Do dams bring more harm or more good?
November 4, 2013 09:01 AM - Editor, ENN
As China forges ahead with its goal to generate 120,000 megawatts of renewable energy by 2020, they are damming more and more rivers. According to China, this is a safe strategy that will curb pollution, control floods, and minimize climate change. Conservationists and scientists across the globe however, disagree.
President Obama Signs Executive Order, Addresses Preparedness for Climate Change Impacts
November 4, 2013 06:00 AM - Editor, ENN
On Friday, President Obama established a Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience to advise the Administration on how the Federal Government can respond to the needs of communities nationwide that are dealing with the impacts of climate change. The Executive Order directs federal agencies to modernize Federal programs to support climate-resilient investments, manage me lands and waters for climate preparedness and resilience, provide information, and plan for climate change related risk.
UK Government Panel weighs in on fracking risks
November 3, 2013 09:04 AM - Staff, ClickGreen
Government health chiefs have admitted there is a risk to public health from exposure to emissions from shale gas extraction under the current monitoring framework. And scientists at Public Health England (PHE) admit that in the absence of regulations in the UK, drilling operators could potentially use a "wide range of chemical, many of which are classified as highly toxic and/or carcinogenic". It confirms that the risks from small-scale drilling for exploratory purposes are "clearly different from the risks from commercial scale operations".
Global warming and mammal size linked
November 2, 2013 07:32 AM - University of Michigan via EurekAlert
Mammal body size decreased significantly during at least two ancient global warming events, a new finding that suggests a similar outcome is possible in response to human-caused climate change, according to a University of Michigan paleontologist and his colleagues. Researchers have known for years that mammals such as primates and the groups that include horses and deer became much smaller during a period of warming, called the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), about 55 million years ago. Now U-M paleontologist Philip Gingerich and his colleagues have found evidence that mammalian "dwarfing" also occurred during a separate, smaller global warming event that occurred about 2 million years after the PETM, around 53 million years ago.
Impacts of climate change on soils
November 1, 2013 06:13 AM - Ollivier Girard/CIFOR, SciDevNet
The increased aridity expected this century as a result of climate change may disrupt the balance of key soil nutrients with a knock-on effect on soil fertility threatening livelihoods of more than two billion people, a study finds. The drop in nitrogen and carbon concentrations that occurs as soils become dryer could have serious effects on ecosystem services such as food production, carbon storage and biodiversity, according to the Nature paper published today.
Wind Turbine Arrangement: Staggering Results
October 31, 2013 03:48 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
Location and organization apparently matters after all! Or at least that is what Cristina Archer, Assistant Professor at the University of Delaware has discovered with regard to wind turbine efficiency. Dr. Archer headed up a team of researchers from UD's College of Earth, Ocean and Environment to conduct studies on the effects of various wind turbine organizational placement patterns. Using a wind farm near Sweden for the basis of their study, they compared existing tightly paced, grid-like layouts to six alternate configurations. They tried multiple spacing distances in various styles of rows: straight arrays, linear but equal offsets and a staggered theatre style where any turbine in front does not obstruct the view from any one behind.
Renewable energy revolution will require better management of metals
October 31, 2013 01:38 PM - Jeremey Hance, MONGABAY.COM
If we are to avoid catastrophic climate change, scientists say global society will need a rapid and aggressive replacement of fossil fuel energy for renewable, such as solar, wind, geo-thermal, and tidal. While experts say a renewable revolution would not only mitigate climate change but also likely invigorate economies and cut life-threatening pollution, such a revolution would not come without challenges.
Climate change to disrupt soil nutrients in drylands
October 31, 2013 11:36 AM - Jan Piotrowski, SciDevNet
The increased aridity expected this century as a result of change may disrupt the balance of key soil nutrients with a knock-on effect on soil fertility threatening livelihoods of more than two billion people, a study finds. The drop in nitrogen and carbon concentrations that occurs as soils become dryer could have serious effects on ecosystem services such as food, carbon storage and biodiversity, according to the Nature paper published today.
Rising Summer Temperatures Threaten Eastern Siberia
October 30, 2013 12:24 PM - Editor, ENN
The high cliffs of Eastern Siberia, have been eroding at a relatively fast pace which researchers are attributing to rising summer temperatures in the Russian permafrost regions as well as the retreat of the Arctic sea ice. In an effort to understand permafrost erosion, researchers at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research have evaluated data and aerial photographs of Eastern Siberia coastal regions for the last 40 years.