Environmental Policy

New model projects an increase in dust storms in the US
July 17, 2017 08:46 AM - Princeton University

Could the storms that once engulfed the Great Plains in clouds of black dust in the 1930’s once again wreak havoc in the U.S.? A new statistical model developed by researchers at Princeton University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts that climate change will amplify dust activity in parts of the U.S. in the latter half of the 21st century, which may lead to the increased frequency of spectacular dust storms that have far-reaching impacts on public health and infrastructure.

NOAA's greenhouse gas index up 40 percent since 1990
July 13, 2017 09:27 AM - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

NOAA’s Annual Greenhouse Gas Index, which tracks the warming influence of long-lived greenhouse gases, has increased by 40 percent from 1990 to 2016 -- with most of that attributable to rising carbon dioxide levels, according to NOAA climate scientists.

The role of greenhouse gases on influencing global temperatures is well understood by scientists, but it’s a complicated topic that can be difficult to communicate. In 2006, NOAA scientists introduced the Annual Greenhouse Gas Index as a way to help policymakers, educators and the public understand changes in the direct climate warming influence exerted by greenhouse gas levels over time.

Dartmouth Study: Highway Salt Is Polluting Our Lakes
July 12, 2017 04:54 PM - Dartmouth College

Salt can be good, and it can also be bad. Sprinkled on food, it makes things tastier, but it may also raise your blood pressure. Spread on winter roads, it can make driving safer, but the melting runoff contaminates nearby lakes and ponds.

In a study that gathered data from hundreds of lakes in the Northeast and the Midwest, a Dartmouth researcher and colleagues have found dramatic evidence of highway salt’s impact.

The most effective individual steps to tackle climate change aren't being discussed
July 12, 2017 09:53 AM - IOP Publishing

Governments and schools are not communicating the most effective ways for individuals to reduce their carbon footprints, according to new research.

These 100 Companies Are to Blame For 71% of The World's Greenhouse Gas Emissions
July 11, 2017 04:09 PM - Signe Dean

Since 1988, a mere 100 companies have been responsible for 71 percent of the entire world's industrial greenhouse gas emissions.

This data comes from an inaugural report published by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), an environmental non-profit. Charting the rapid expansion of the fossil fuel industry in the last 28 years, they have now released some truly staggering numbers on the world's major carbon polluters.

Water scarcity hotspots shifting
July 11, 2017 12:43 PM - , SciDevNet

Reservoirs, dams and irrigation systems have shifted global patterns of water scarcity over three decades, “causing a distinct pattern of beneficiaries and losers”, according to recent research.

Can the Monarch Highway Help Save a Butterfly Under Siege?
July 11, 2017 11:21 AM - Yale Environment 360

Interstate 35 lies at the heart of a vast circulatory system, one of the massive transportation arteries that enable Americans to move long distances quickly. The highway also cuts through the heart of the eastern monarch’s central flyway, which produces the vast majority of brilliant orange and black butterflies that undertake one of the world’s most grueling insect migrations.

En route from as far away as southern Canada to their wintering grounds in steep, fir-clad slopes northwest of Mexico City, monarchs must fly through numerous metropolitan areas strung along the 1,568-mile river of asphalt, including Minneapolis-St. Paul, Kansas City, and Dallas-Fort Worth. Once a vast expanse of prairie, today the I-35 corridor not only bisects cities and suburbs but also passes through the Corn Belt, an ever-expanding patchwork of corn and soybean monocultures laced with the pesticide glyphosate. According to Chip Taylor, director of Monarch Watch and a biologist at the University of Kansas, the resulting loss of monarch habitat has been “tremendous.”

New way to predict when electric cars and home batteries become cost effective
July 10, 2017 03:45 PM - Imperial College London

The future cost of energy storage technologies can now be predicted under different scenarios, thanks to a new tool created by Imperial researchers.

Using a large database, the team can predict how much consumers will have to pay in the future for energy storage technologies based on cumulative installed capacity, current cost and future investment.

A simple solution for terrible traffic
July 10, 2017 09:14 AM - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cities plagued with terrible traffic problems may be overlooking a simple, low-cost solution: High-occupancy vehicle (HOV) policies that encourage carpooling can reduce traffic drastically, according to a new study co-authored by MIT economists.

The results show that in Jakarta, Indonesia, travel delays became 46 percent worse during the morning rush hour and 87 percent worse during the evening rush hour, after an HOV policy requiring three or more passengers in a car was discontinued on important city center roads.

McMaster hosts researcher looking for ways to help pregnant women safely fight malaria
July 7, 2017 08:08 AM - McMaster University

Titus Divala has seen the effects of malaria first-hand.

Now a University of Maryland researcher, he was born and raised in Malawi, where the mosquito-borne infectious disease is the third most common cause of death.

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