Environmental Policy

Smog alerts for Europe
April 4, 2014 04:21 PM - Rob MacKenzie, The Ecologist

The UK news media has been buzzing with reports of air pollution alerts associated, at least in part, with the long-range transport of dust from the Sahara. Colleagues from Africa have asked why we in the UK are worried about the health effects of a relatively rare occurrence of this long-range dust all the way across Europe, when African countries experience dust storms of much higher intensity almost daily at some times of year.

Filipino vulnerability
April 3, 2014 11:24 AM - By Esperanza Garcia, Worldwatch Institute

Climate change has been a constant reality for many Filipinos, with impacts ranging from extreme weather events to periodic droughts and food scarcity. The most affected populations are coastal residents and rural communities that lack proper disaster preparedness.

Crib mattresses expose infants to harmful emissions
April 2, 2014 03:30 PM - ENN Staff

University of Texas at Austin's Cockrell School of Engineering has found that crib mattresses expose sleeping infants to high levels of chemical emissions. Specifically, the team analyzed the foam padding from crib mattresses and found that the mattresses release significant amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are potentially harmful chemicals found in many household items including cleaners and scented sprays.

American's energy usage jumps in 2013
April 2, 2014 01:08 PM - ENN Staff

Despite many individual efforts to decrease energy usage for 2013 increased by 2.3 Quadrillion thermal units over the previous year. These statistics have been monitored and presented by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in the most recent energy flow charts measuring renewable, fossil and even nuclear energy.

Ground breaking battery technology promises to extend EV range
March 30, 2014 09:09 AM - BOB SHETH, Electric Forum

Over the last few years much of the talk with regards to the electric vehicle sector has focused upon battery restrictions with many people calling for greater investment in the sector. There was a general consensus emerging that lithium ion batteries had perhaps been pushed to their technological limit and we may need to strip back the battery sector and go back to square one. However, researchers at the University of Limerick have announced a ground breaking breakthrough which could effectively double the life of an electric vehicle battery. This new development incorporates the latest nanotechnology which is something that will impact every area of everyday life. It is a technology which has been around for a few years but is still in its infancy with regards to its potential to change areas such as battery storage capacity.

Cost of agriculture related emissions outweigh benefits
March 29, 2014 08:03 AM - Editor, ENN

Revenues associated with ammonia pollution generated by agriculture equate to higher than expected health care costs according to Harvard researchers Fabien Paulot and Daniel Jacob. The NASA funded study used computer models that identified the harmful ammonia emissions created by the interaction of agriculturally generated ammonia in the atmosphere.

A sooner Spring and a later Autumn suggests the new normal
March 28, 2014 10:36 AM - University of Southampton newsroom

A study by the University of Southampton suggests that on average the end of Autumn is taking place later in the year and Spring is starting slightly earlier. A team of researchers examined satellite imagery covering the northern hemisphere over a 25-year period (1982 - 2006), and looked for any seasonal changes in vegetation by making a measure of its 'greenness'. They examined in detail, at daily intervals, the growth cycle of the vegetation – identifying physical changes such as leaf cover, color and growth.

Horses threaten panda population
March 26, 2014 07:27 AM - Editor, ENN

Pandas rely upon a specific diet and habitat. They typically live far away from human populations on gently sloping hillsides. Their diet is made up of exclusively bamboo. China invests billions to protect its panda habitat and conserve the 1,600 remaining endangered supported by this habitat. China has instituted many conservation programs limiting the timber harvesting that had greatly threatened this habitat. But now it seems that with the timber harvesters are under control the bamboo is still being devastated before the pandas can get it.

Air pollution, now the world’s single largest environmental risk
March 25, 2014 03:19 PM - ENN Editor

The World Health Organization today released mortality data from 2012 estimating that around 7 million people (one person in eight) died globally that year as a result of air pollution exposure. This finding more than doubles previous estimates and confirms that air pollution is now the world’s largest single environmental health risk.

COLLEGIATE CORNER: Humanity of factory farming
March 25, 2014 02:01 PM - Jake Bucks, Class of 2015, Wakefield High School

Most omnivores like bacon, but I say omnivores because not every human is an omnivore. Have you ever thought to yourself what was the process this bacon went through? Well if you have, it was not a fun process for that pig. Farming has helped humans advance in size, without the farming innovations created through the industrial revolution, humans would have never had the resources to make such a huge population.

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