Environmental Policy

Living in Watersheds with More Trees Reduces Disease Risk
October 11, 2017 04:04 PM - Yale Environment 360

Diarrheal disease from contaminated water is the second leading cause of death among children under the age of five, claiming more than 360,000 lives annually. Now, a new study of children in 35 countries finds that those living in a watershed with more trees had a lower risk of contracting the illness.

Best way to save the caribou? Look at white-tailed deer and moose
October 11, 2017 08:26 AM - University of Alberta

The most effective way to save North America’s dwindling caribou herds is to keep numbers of invading prey animals—like deer and moose—low, according to a new UAlberta research study.

“Prey like moose and deer are expanding in numbers and range because of logging and climate change,” said Robert Serrouya, a postdoctoral fellow in biological sciences professor Stan Boutin’s lab.

Formation of coal almost turned our planet into a snowball
October 10, 2017 02:44 PM - Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)

While burning coal today causes Earth to overheat, about 300 million years ago the formation of that same coal brought our planet close to global glaciation. For the first time, scientists show the massive effect in a study published in the renowned Proceedings of the US Academy of Sciences. When trees in vast forests died during a time called the Carboniferous and the Permian, the carbon dioxide (CO2) they took up from the atmosphere while growing got buried; the plants’ debris over time formed most of the coal that today is used as fossil fuel. Consequently, the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere sank drastically and Earth cooled down to a degree it narrowly escaped what scientists call a ‘snowball state’.

Little growth observed in India's methane emissions
October 10, 2017 01:19 PM - University of Bristol

Methane is the second most powerful greenhouse gas and concentrations are rising in the atmosphere. Because of its potency and quick decay in the atmosphere, countries have recognised that reduction of methane emissions are a means toward mitigating global warming.

Exposure to environmental chemicals is an important risk factor for breast cancer
October 10, 2017 01:00 PM - Silent Spring Institute

Exposure to environmental chemicals, especially early in life, is an important contributing factor in the development of breast cancer, according to the most comprehensive review of human studies to date. The findings could help inform prevention strategies aimed at reducing the incidence of the disease, as rates continue to increase worldwide.

Sunlight and the right microbes convert Arctic carbon into carbon dioxide
October 5, 2017 04:50 PM - Oregon State University

Nearly half of the organic carbon stored in soil around the world is contained in Arctic permafrost, which has experienced rapid melting, and that organic material could be converted to greenhouse gases that would exacerbate global warming.

Australia Experiences Surge in Deforestation
October 5, 2017 04:46 PM - Yale Environment 360

Nearly 1 million acres of trees were cut down in Queensland, Australia from 2015 to 2016, representing a 33 percent rise in deforestation, according to a new government land survey.

University of Saskatchewan hydrologist Howard Wheater to advise on U.S. national water future
October 3, 2017 08:20 AM - University of Saskatchewan

The panel of leading water science experts is charged with identifying America’s highest-priority water science and resource challenges over the next 25 years, and making recommendations on the strategic water science and research opportunities to address those challenges. It will report its finding in 2018.

“The loss of life and $180-billion damage from Hurricane Harvey is a wake-up call to the U.S. for the need to better manage water-related threats, including risks from climate change. And the hurricane’s effect on rising gas prices in Canada shows the far-reaching impacts of extreme events on the global economy,” said Wheater who attended the panel’s first meeting in Washington this week.

University of Saskatchewan hydrologist Howard Wheater to advise on U.S. national water future
October 3, 2017 08:20 AM - University of Saskatchewan

The panel of leading water science experts is charged with identifying America’s highest-priority water science and resource challenges over the next 25 years, and making recommendations on the strategic water science and research opportunities to address those challenges. It will report its finding in 2018.

“The loss of life and $180-billion damage from Hurricane Harvey is a wake-up call to the U.S. for the need to better manage water-related threats, including risks from climate change. And the hurricane’s effect on rising gas prices in Canada shows the far-reaching impacts of extreme events on the global economy,” said Wheater who attended the panel’s first meeting in Washington this week.

DOE Should Take Steps Toward Facilitating Energy Development on Its Public Lands
September 28, 2017 04:45 PM - National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

The U.S. Department of Energy should place a higher priority on developing an accurate and actionable inventory of agency-owned or managed properties that can be leased or sold for energy development, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report recommends a sequence of activities DOE can follow to manage its lands and identify properties that have promising profiles for energy resource development.

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