Gardens in space
April 29, 2014 10:15 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
Catching floating raindrops, soil and seeds are making gardening just that much harder in the International Space Station. But this is how the astronauts function in their weightless environment. Even the plants don’t know which way to grow. Without gravity the soil and water simply float away unless contained; plant roots grow every which way. Without gravity the plant doesn’t know what is up or down. There is no rising or setting sun, just a 24 hour a day grow light.
Glyphosate found in breast milk
April 28, 2014 11:13 AM - Editor, The Ecologist
A pilot study of American mothers' milk has found levels of the herbicide glyphosate around 1,000 times higher than allowed in European drinking water. Campaigners are demanding a ban on the use of glyphosate on food crops. In the first ever testing on glyphosate herbicide in the breast milk of American women, Moms Across America and Sustainable Pulse have found 'high' levels in three out of the ten samples tested.
Who came first: the farmer or the hunter-gatherer?
April 25, 2014 08:54 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
This is the question being asked by researchers from Uppsala and Stockholm Universities. And now with a genomic analysis of eleven Stone Age human remains from Scandinavia the researchers have concluded that the Stone Age farmers assimilated local hunter-gatherers who were historically lower in numbers than the farmers. There has been much debate as to when the transition between hunting-gathering and farming began. Now with DNA science being used on human material, scientists have a whole new way to learn about this sliver of time.
Unleashing the inner green consumer
April 24, 2014 11:08 AM - Click Green Staff, ClickGreen
Academics have uncovered a key influence in the consumer's decision to go green, whether it's recycling, composting or buying environmentally friendly products. Research from Concordia University's John Molson School of business, proves that even just asking ourselves, or predicting, whether we will engage in sustainable shopping behavior can increase the likelihood of following through — especially when there's an audience.
Cry for global STEM funding
April 24, 2014 10:50 AM - Oliver Girard, Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) , SciDevNet
In today's global economy, a workforce trained in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) is recognized as a primary driver of growth. Around the world, STEM education initiatives vary in scope, size, type, target populations and funding sources. What’s missing is a unified global mechanism for STEM education. Creating a Global STEM Fund would help support and implement effective and innovative STEM programs in developing countries. The NGO Cosmos Education, the STEM Innovation Camp in South Africa, the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences and the Bunengi STEM Africa are but a few examples of organizations and programs that could benefit.
The Andes' pulsating rise
April 22, 2014 03:10 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
New research by Carmala Garzione, Earth and Environmental Sciences professor from the University of Rochester suggests that the Antiplano plateau in the central Andes Mountains along with the entire mountain range likely arose in a series of periodic rapid pulses instead of a more continuous gradual surface uplift. According to Garzione, "In geologic terms, rapid means rising one kilometer or more over several millions of years, which is very impressive."
The Evolution of Earth Day
April 22, 2014 10:29 AM - Allison Winter, ENN
Each year April 22nd, marks the anniversary of what many consider the birth of the environmental movement in 1970. Not only did this movement help pass landmark legislation like the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act but it has also engaged more than 1 billion people who now participate in Earth Day activities each year.
Narcotics + Deforestation = Narco-Deforestation
April 21, 2014 02:12 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
Narco-Deforestation, a newly coined term for the destruction of sensitive forest ecologies in Central and South America has been identified as a greater threat to the South and Central American forests than other previously identified concerns such as legal logging and development. The drug traffickers are creating new autoroutes and airplane strips for greater access to and through the forests and jungles of the Central and South America. These new routes make it easier to transport drugs from Mexico to South America and vice-versa.
Turtle Trouble: 20-year study finds large decrease in green turtle catch rates
April 21, 2014 02:05 PM - Allison Winter, ENN
Sea turtle populations have been exploited for hundreds of years, and even though conservation efforts have increased substantially in modern times, populations still suffer across the globe. In fact, according to conservation scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society and University of Florida, over-fishing is to blame for more than 170,000 green turtles deaths between 1991 and 2011.
That sinking feeling on the Mississippi Delta
April 21, 2014 09:49 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
Every engineering control has its drawbacks. As communities upstream of the Mississippi Delta continue to emplace dams and other flood control measures to prevent community flooding, less sediment is pulled from the lands upstream. Flood control measures have eliminated about half of the annual supply of marshland sediment to the Mississippi Delta. The existing soils continue to compact and sink without sediment replenishment. But researchers have found that the river’s supply of sand, the key ingredient used by engineers for rebuilding, will remain constant for many centuries.