Environmental Policy

Tourists Must Now Sign an Environmental Pledge to Enter Palau
December 15, 2017 12:58 PM - Yale Environment 360

Visitors to the tiny island nation of Palau in the Pacific Ocean are now being required to sign a pledge that they will not damage the environment during their stay, The Guardian reports. It is the first such immigration policy in the world.

More frequent fires reduce soil carbon and fertility, slowing the regrowth of plants
December 15, 2017 09:53 AM - Stanford University

Frequent burning over decades reduces the amount of carbon and nitrogen stored in soils of savanna grasslands and broadleaf forests, in part because reduced plant growth means less carbon being drawn out of the atmosphere and stored in plant matter. These findings by a Stanford-led team are important for worldwide understanding of fire impacts on the carbon cycle and for modeling the future of global carbon and climate change.

Saving Salamanders: Vital to Ecosystem Health
December 15, 2017 08:11 AM - USGS (United States Geological Survey)

Amphibians—the big-eyed, swimming-crawling-jumping-climbing group of water and land animals that includes frogs, toads, salamanders and worm-like caecilians—are the world’s most endangered vertebrates. 

One-third of the planet’s amphibian species are threatened with extinction. Now, these vulnerable creatures are facing a new foe: the Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) fungus, which is the source of an emerging amphibian disease that caused the die-off of wild European salamander populations.

Reclaiming Appalachia: A Push to Bring Back Native Forests to Coal Country
December 14, 2017 11:47 AM - Yale Environment 360

Near the top of Cheat Mountain in West Virginia, bulldozer operator Bill Moore gazes down a steep slope littered with toppled conifers. Tangled roots and angled boulders protrude from the slate-colored soil, and the earth is crisscrossed with deep gouges.

Melting of East Antarctic Ice Sheet Could Cripple Major U.S. Cities
December 14, 2017 10:18 AM - USF Health - University of South Florida

The world’s largest ice sheet may be less stable than previously thought, posing an even greater threat to Florida’s coastline. The first-ever marine geologic survey of East Antarctica’s Sabrina Coast, published this week in Nature, concludes that some regions of the massive East Antarctic Ice Sheet have been sensitive to climate change for millions of years. Much like the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, this region of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet is grounded below sea level and local glaciers are experiencing ice mass loss due to ocean warming.

Sea-Level Rise Projections Made Hazy by Antarctic Instability
December 13, 2017 10:03 AM - Rutgers University

It may take until the 2060s to know how much the sea level will rise by the end of this century, according to a new Rutgers University–New Brunswick-led analysis. The study is the first to link global and local sea-level rise projections with simulations of two major mechanisms by which climate change can affect the vast Antarctic ice sheet.

Exposure to Air Pollution Just Before or After Conception Raises Risk of Birth Defects
December 11, 2017 10:37 AM - Cincinnati Hospital Medical Center

Women exposed to air pollution just prior to conception or during the first month of pregnancy face an increased risk of their children being born with birth defects, such as cleft lip or palate or abnormal hearts.

Successful Nigerian business-NGO partnerships rooted in collaboration
December 7, 2017 08:18 AM - York University

What’s the key ingredient to successful partnerships? York University Development Studies Professor Uwafiokun Idemudia reviewed existing research on an unorthodox union between a non-governmental organization (NGO) and an oil company with a history of spills in Nigeria. He found that collaboration was beneficial even when innate creative tensions exist, and to reach sustainable targets, the company needs to align its overall strategy with the goals of the partnership.

London air pollution cancels positive health effects of exercise in over-60s
December 6, 2017 10:06 AM - Imperial College London

Exposure to air pollution on city streets is enough to counter the beneficial health effects of exercise in older adults, according to new research.

Rising Waters: Can a Massive Barrier Save Venice from Drowning?
December 5, 2017 08:44 AM - Yale Environment 360

It’s tempting to believe that the devastating sequence of hurricanes in the Atlantic this year has blown in a new awareness of the risks of rising waters and increasingly powerful storms on our rapidly warming planet. In a rational world, the destruction wrought by these storms would inspire us to redouble our efforts to cut carbon pollution as quickly as possible and begin planning for an orderly retreat to higher ground. 

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