Enn Original News

With spring migration in full flight, a new report urges greater protection for an avian haven
May 5, 2014 10:18 AM - Guest Contributor, Lisa McCrummen

It's been dubbed North America's bird nursery: the sprawling billion-plus-acre boreal forest that spans the continent from Alaska across Canada to Newfoundland and Labrador. Each spring, an estimated 1 billion to 3 billion nesting birds make the long journey north to the boreal forest from wintering grounds throughout the United States and central and South America. Their populations swell during the boreal breeding season, and as many as 3 billion to 5 billion birds of remarkable diversity—from ring-necked ducks to whooping cranes to Cape May warblers to golden eagles—can make the return trip south in the fall. These are the birds that populate America's backyards, parks, and wetlands, providing enjoyment and recreation to millions of birders, conservationists, and waterfowl hunters.

New hopes for getting the lead out of solar
May 5, 2014 10:16 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

Solar energy is arguably our most viable low cost energy source. It is forever sustainable and easily captured and converted. But now the technology may have taken yet another leap forward. To date the foundational technology behind photovoltaics was a structure called perovskite, which has been made with lead. Using tin instead of lead perovskite as the harvester of light, a team of Northwestern University researchers has created a new solar cell with "good efficiency". This good efficiency solar cell is low-cost, environmentally friendly and can be easily made using "bench" chemistry -- no fancy equipment or hazardous materials.

"Close the door to landfilling." says the European Commission's Director-General for Environment
May 2, 2014 10:58 AM - Editor, ENN

In a passionate call for change, Karl Falkenberg, European Commission Director-General for Environment calls for a closure of landfilling, as we know it. "Separate collection is very much at the heart of this circular economy - [but] we are coming to realize that separate collection is not enough," said Falkenberg, the at a conference in Brussels on Tuesday (29 April).

Local residents chronicle lake water quality
May 2, 2014 10:29 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

Long-term water quality trends in Midwestern lakes yield good news in the form of little change in water clarity in the regions 3,000 lakes. But what makes this news unique is that the data to make this determination was collected by non-scientists and local residents from the area’s towns and villages.

Thoughtfully green Mother's Day gifts for your mother and Mother Nature
May 1, 2014 03:11 PM - Editor, ENN

No one is more special that your own mother - especially on Mother's Day. Celebrate your own mother and "Mother Nature" with one of these five great green gift ideas. These options offer a sustainable alternative to the chemical-laden flowers and mass-produced chocolates that dominate the market on Mother's Day. 1. Buy eco-friendly flowers- Although they are a beautiful part of nature, flowers aren't always eco-friendly. Most flowers are grown with a slew of chemicals and pesticides. They also typically come from warmer climates, such as South America, and have to make a long temperature-controlled journey before they reach your door. Opt for a greener option instead. There are several companies that sell eco-friendly flowers that are organically and locally grown. You could also purchase a potted plant from your local nursery. Not only are potted plants greener, they typically last a lot longer than a fresh-cut bouquet.

Oil underpinnings in Virunga National Park
May 1, 2014 11:06 AM - Editor, ENN

Virunga National Park, classified as a World Heritage site sits amongst the Rwenzori Mountains on the eastern portion of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). It spectacular features include its most well known residents, hippos and mountain gorillas. It is believed to have more biological diversity than any other protected area in Africa, no doubt in large part due to its mountain forests, wetlands, savanna grassland, volcanoes and lakes.

Dissolving shells on the West Coast
April 30, 2014 01:10 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

Evidence now indicates that acidity of West Coast continental shelf waters is dissolving the shells of tiny free-swimming marine snails, called pteropods, the major food source for pink salmon, mackerel and herring. Funded by NOAA, the study estimates the percentage of pteropods in this region with dissolving shells due to ocean acidification has doubled in the nearshore habitat since the pre-industrial era and is on track to triple by 2050 when coastal waters become 70 percent more corrosive than in the pre-industrial era due to human-caused ocean acidification.

The EPA is enhancing sustainability: one Great Lake at a time
April 29, 2014 10:58 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

Two Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants were awarded on Friday totaling $1 million earmarked towards Chicago green infrastructure projects. The projects will improve water quality in Lake Michigan. The infrastructure projects will prevent stormwater from carrying contamination into Lake Michigan.

Gardens in space
April 29, 2014 10:15 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

Catching floating raindrops, soil and seeds are making gardening just that much harder in the International Space Station. But this is how the astronauts function in their weightless environment. Even the plants don’t know which way to grow. Without gravity the soil and water simply float away unless contained; plant roots grow every which way. Without gravity the plant doesn’t know what is up or down. There is no rising or setting sun, just a 24 hour a day grow light.

Who came first: the farmer or the hunter-gatherer?
April 25, 2014 08:54 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

This is the question being asked by researchers from Uppsala and Stockholm Universities. And now with a genomic analysis of eleven Stone Age human remains from Scandinavia the researchers have concluded that the Stone Age farmers assimilated local hunter-gatherers who were historically lower in numbers than the farmers. There has been much debate as to when the transition between hunting-gathering and farming began. Now with DNA science being used on human material, scientists have a whole new way to learn about this sliver of time.

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