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GM Crops Causing a Stir in Washington State, Mexico, and Hawaii
October 28, 2013 10:30 AM - Sophie Wenzlau, Worldwatch Institute
Courts, councils, and voters across North America are weighing in on genetically modified (GM) crops this month In Washington state, voters are beginning to cast ballots in favor of or opposing Initiative 522, which would mandate that all GM food products, seeds, and seed stocks carry labels in the state.
The People’s Choice: Americans Would Pay to Help Monarch Butterflies
October 28, 2013 08:47 AM - Ethan Alpern, USGS
Americans place high value on butterfly royalty. A recent study suggests they are willing to support monarch butterfly conservation at high levels, up to about 6 ½ billion dollars if extrapolated to all U.S. households. If even a small percentage of the population acted upon this reported willingness, the cumulative effort would likely translate into a large, untapped potential for conservation of the iconic butterfly.
The Abundance of Invasive Species
October 25, 2013 04:05 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
Recognizing that invasive species are major catalysts for environmental change, researchers from the University of Wisconsin—Madison are relooking at how we account for invasive species populations. Instead of researching the behaviors and habits of the invasive species, researchers Gretchen Hansen and Jake Vander Zanden are considering abundance distributions of invasive species. They hypothesize that measuring abundance in an area is a more helpful determinate for defining the most optimal methods of prevention, containment, control and eradication.
The Benefits of Allergies
October 25, 2013 09:22 AM - Editor, ENN
For those of us that suffer from seasonal allergies, or even from indoor allergens like dust or mold, the symptoms that we have to these allergens is actually a positive reaction as two new studies show that our sneezing and wheezing may actually protect us. In a study involving reactions to bee stings, researchers report that mice that develop an allergic response to the venom in honeybee stings are more likely to survive potentially lethal doses of the same venom later on.
Introduction to Persistent, Bioaccumulative, Toxic (PBT) Compounds in the Environment
October 24, 2013 05:03 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
Global chemical contamination is a worldwide concern affecting every being on earth. Chemical exposure, whether it is through air, water, plants, soil or our modern living environment is unavoidable. But certain chemicals and compounds having Persistent, Bioaccumulative, Toxic (PBT) characteristics are more dangerous to our environment than others because of their inability to break down easily, are easily transferred throughout all forms of environmental media, and posing risks to human health and the ecosystem due to their toxicity at low concentrations.
Ecology: Life's Connections
October 24, 2013 04:41 PM - Glen Barry, Ecologist
Ultimately, all humanity and all life have is the biosphere, the thin layer of life just above and below Earth’s surface, composed of ancient, miraculously evolved natural ecosystems. The natural Earth is a marvel - a complex coupling of species within ecosystems, whereby life begets life. Ecology is far more than the study of life and its environment. The word is used here as a synonym for ecosystems - the vibrant connections that emerge between species across scales, which cumulatively make life on Earth possible.
Air Pollution and Cancer Spikes linked in Alberta
October 23, 2013 11:48 AM - Editor, ENN
Alberta is Canada's industry epicenter and home to more than 40 companies that produce industrial emissions. Recent studies conducted by the University of California and the University of Michigan have indicated higher levels of contaminants which can potentially be linked to spikes in the incidences of cancer in the region.
Great Progress in Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident Remediation Efforts
October 23, 2013 08:27 AM - Editor, ENN
United Nation experts are encouraging the Japanese government to better communicate contamination goals with the public but are otherwise very positive about the progress that has been made in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident remediation efforts in Japan. The experts are from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) a U.N. task force who oversees and reviews remediation efforts. They have been conducting ongoing reviews of the situation since the 2011 earthquake.
High school student finds 'Joe', the dinosaur!
October 22, 2013 02:08 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
High school student Kevin Terris, from Claremont, CA has found the smallest and most complete known fossilized skeleton at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah. The dinosaur would have grown to about 25 feet in length if it had been able to reach adulthood. This plant eating baby tube-crested dinosaur Parasaurolophus would have lived about 75 million years ago and roamed across much of the western portion of North America. The duck-billed (hadrosaurid) Parasaurolophus featured a long hollow bony tube on top of its head, which paleontologists speculate would have been used to emit a trumpet like sound to communicate.
Red Smog alert chokes northern China
October 21, 2013 12:23 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
A red alert has been issued for several cities in northern China including Changchun and Harbin. A red alert is the highest level on the four-tiered alert system and is defined as serious air pollution for three consecutive days. According to Xinhuanet News, "the density of PM 2.5 -- airborne particles measuring less than 2.5 microns in diameter, exceeded 500 micrograms per cubic meter on Monday morning." Visibility is presently less than 50 meters in the downtown capital city of Harbin of Heilongjiang Province.