Environmental Policy

Forest fires on the rise as JRC study warns of danger to air quality
October 19, 2017 10:48 AM - European Commission Joint Research Centre

The JRC’s annual forest fires report confirms a trend towards longer and more intense fire seasons in Europe and neighbouring regions, with wildfires now occurring throughout the year. The report coincides with an international study which finds that global wildfire trends could have significant health implications due to rising harmful emissions.

Regreening the Planet Could Account for One-Third of Climate Mitigation
October 19, 2017 10:31 AM - Yale Environment 360

Planting trees, restoring peatlands, and better land management could provide 37 percent of the greenhouse gas mitigation needed between now and 2030 to keep global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, according to a new study published in the Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences.

Fighting fires before they spark
October 17, 2017 05:02 PM - University of New Mexico

With warm, dry summers comes a deadly caveat for the western United States: wildfires. Scientists say the hot, dry climates found west of the Mississippi, along with decades of fire suppression efforts, are creating a devastating and destructive combination – leading to fires like the ones currently burning in California.

Paris to Ban Fossil Fuel Cars by 2030
October 16, 2017 03:40 PM - Yale Environment 360

Paris announced it will ban all gas- and diesel-fueled cars within city limits by 2030, allowing only electric vehicles onto its streets, according to Reuters

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.

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