Pollution

Study examines overall carbon cost of fuel from Canadian oil sands
June 28, 2015 06:34 AM - UC Davis via the ECOreport, ECOreport

Gasoline and diesel fuel extracted and refined from Canadian oil sands will release about 20 percent more carbon into the atmosphere over the oil’s lifetime than fuel from conventional crude sources in the Unied States, according to a study by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory; the University of California, Davis; and Stanford University.

The researchers used a life-cycle, or “well-to-wheels,” approach, gathering publicly available data on 27 large Canadian oil sands production facilities. The study, published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, found the additional carbon impact of Canadian oil sands was largely related to the energy required for extraction and refining.

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Five Years and Counting: Gulf Wildlife in the Aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster
April 17, 2015 09:37 AM - National Wildlife Federation

Five years after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, sending oil into the Gulf of Mexico for 87 days, wildlife are still struggling. The Gulf, with its deep waters, sandy beaches, lush wetlands and coral reefs, is a vast system that supports more than 15,000 species of wildlife – fish, birds, marine mammals and many, many others.

A new report from the National Wildlife Federation looks at how 20 types of wildlife that depend on a healthy Gulf are faring in the wake of the BP oil spill. The full extent of the spill’s impacts may take years or even decades to unfold, but Five Years & Counting: Gulf Wildlife in the Aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster examines what the science tells us so far.

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SPOTLIGHT

Meet Chernobyl's Wild Residents

S.E. Smith, Care2

It seems like a strange place to call a wildlife park: Nearly 30 years after the most catastrophic nuclear incident in global history, Chernobyl’s exclusion zone has turned into a paradise for animals of all species and sizes. A variety of raptors, deer, big cats, foxes, bears and birds have moved into the region, taking advantage of a vast habitat with almost no humans. That habitat, though, is contaminated with radioactive materials, and scientists still hotly debate the potential costs of radiation exposure to the animals of Chernobyl, some of whom have become famous.

Researchers have seen an explosion of wildlife at the site in recent years, with camera traps providing an opportunity to look deep into the world of the region’s animals without disturbing them. Stunning photography shows animals like wolves and bears roaming freely in the exclusion zone, unconcerned about the potential for human visitors. Perhaps most astonishingly, a population of Przeswalski’s horses, an endangered species critical to the biological and evolutionary history of modern equids, is booming in the region—which isn’t exactly what one might expect, given the radioactive contamination.

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11 Nature-Inspired Home Design Ideas

June 29th, 2015
Overall consumer spending on eco-friendly products have increased in the United States as of 2014. Check out some products and ideas to help creatively design your home in beneficial, eco-friendly ways while preserving the beauty that nature has to offer.
To read the full post and comment, visit the ENN Community Blog

EPA study: Climate Change to Wipeout Eastern Trout, Salmon by 2100

June 23rd, 2015
According to an EPA study, in less than 90 years there will no longer be any trout or salmon east of the Mississippi River and populations in the west will only survive in the most mountainous areas. Current projections suggest climate change will render enormous swaths of habitat too warm to support these ecologically, and economically important cold-water fish.
To read the full post and comment, visit the ENN Community Blog

9 Green Air Freshener Ideas

June 17th, 2015
A fragrant home is a happy home. Rethink how you tackle the stink - commercial air fresheners are full of chemicals. Instead, go green and make your own natural air fresheners with a few of these easy alternatives!
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