Calculating your water footprint
February 10, 2014 11:01 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
Water scarcity affects 2.7 billion people worldwide for at least a month each year and in the same way that each of us has a carbon footprint, Professor Arjen Hoekstra of the University of Twente in the Netherlands posits that every person also has a "water footprint". Our water footprint is calculated by counting the amount of fresh water that we each use daily and the amount of water required to produce the goods and services that we consume. Due in large part to our monthly water bill, we recognize our daily fresh water use more than we do the amount of water that it takes to produce other foods and products that we consume. We more commonly think about water consumption in terms daily showers dishwasher and sprinkler usage or dripping spigots.
A Mexican "bee-rometer"
February 7, 2014 05:17 PM - Beth King, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Mexico is the fourth largest honey producer and fifth largest honey exporter in the world. A Smithsonian researcher and colleagues helped rural farmers in Mexico to quantify the genetically modified organism (GMO) soybean pollen in honey samples rejected for sale in Germany. Their results will appear Feb. 7 in the online journal, Scientific Reports.
The first big bite!
February 7, 2014 11:43 AM - Gareth Trickey, University of Toronto
The first top predators to walk on land were not afraid to bite off more than they could chew, a University of Toronto, Mississauga study has found. Graduate student and lead author Kirstin Brink and U of T Biology Professor Robert Reisz suggest that Dimetrodon, a carnivore that walked on land between 298 million and 272 million years ago, was the first terrestrial vertebrate to develop serrated ziphodont teeth. According to the study published in Nature Communications, ziphodont teeth, with their serrated edges, produced a more-efficient bite and would have allowed Dimetrodon to eat prey much larger than itself. While most meat-eating dinosaurs possessed ziphodont teeth, fossil evidence suggests serrated teeth first evolved in Dimetrodon some 40 million years earlier than theropod dinosaurs.
USGS Develops Tool to Help Track Oil Spills
February 7, 2014 10:57 AM - Allison Winter, ENN
Each year, tons of oil can be spilled into the ocean. Whether it comes from an oil tank spill, a leak that occurs during offshore drilling, or even natural seeps that occur within the ocean, oil spills can cause grave environmental and economic damage to marine and coastal ecosystems. When an oil spill occurs, the oil that floats on water will usually spreads out rapidly across the water surface to form a thin layer called an oil slick. As the oil continues spreading, the layer becomes thinner and thinner, eventually turning into a thin layer called a sheen. Managing and predicting the spread and path of oil is often very difficult for first-responders and clean up crews, however, a newly developed computer model holds promise to helping scientists track a spill. U.S. Geological Survey scientists developed the model as a way of tracking the movement of sand and oil found along the Gulf of Mexico since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Submarine melting gives rise to sea levels by chewing away the Greenland Ice Sheet
February 6, 2014 11:22 AM - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Over the past two decades, ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet increased four-fold contributing to one-quarter of global sea level rise. However, the chain of events and physical processes that contributed to it has remained elusive. One likely trigger for the speed up and retreat of glaciers that contributed to this ice loss is ocean warming.
Up to 82,000 Tons of Toxic Coal Ash Spilled Into North Carolina River
February 5, 2014 03:13 PM - Joanna M. Foster, ThinkProgress, Care2
A stormwater pipe under an unlined coal ash pond at a shuttered plant in Eden, N.C., burst Sunday afternoon — draining tens of thousands of tons of coal ash into the Dan River. Duke Energy, which owns the Dan River Steam Station, retired since 2012, estimates that 50,000 to 82,000 tons of coal ash and up to 27 million gallons of water were released from the 27-acre storage pond.
24 fewer days of winter ice
February 4, 2014 09:09 AM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen
The winter ice season is now 24 days shorter than it was in 1950 as Arctic lakes are freezing up later in the year and thawing earlier, according to a new study. The University of Waterloo research, sponsored by the European Space Agency (ESA), also reveals that climate change has dramatically affected the thickness of lake ice at the coldest point in the season. In 2011, Arctic lake ice was up to 38 centimeters thinner than it was in 1950.
February 3, 2014 12:38 PM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen
In a world which faces increasing pressure to reduce carbon emissions, the construction industry must confront demand to adopt modern methods of building which causes less damage to the environment. As a result, there are increasing numbers of alternative materials and methods available, a selection of which are included in this post. While these methods are by no means the only ones available within the industry, the selected materials and methods include: -Metallic paint -Chemical containment -Spray-on insulation -Concrete alternatives -Green roofs Each method boasts the more efficient properties in terms of reducing environmental damage, with the least change to standard methods.
The Effects of Third-hand Smoke
January 31, 2014 02:42 PM - ENN Staff
Many of us are familiar with first-hand smoke and second-hand smoke, but what about third-hand smoke? Well, you better get familiar with it because according to a new study conducted by researchers at the University of California, Riverside, the effects of third-hand smoke may be just as deadly as first-hand smoke. Let's break it down: First-hand smoke refers to the smoke inhaled by a smoker. Second-hand smoke refers to exhaled smoke and other substances emanating from a burning cigarette that can get inhaled by others. Third-hand smoke is the second-hand smoke that gets left on the surfaces of objects. Over time, these left over chemicals can age and becomes progressively more toxic.
Solar Energy is cash and sunshine in your pocket
January 30, 2014 09:48 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
Is there money to be made on your roof? With the never-ending availability of sunshine and the evolution of solar technology many are recognizing the benefits of solar. The decision making process though is not for the faint of heart. Recognizing the difficulty in breaking through the process a company called Generaytor out of Tel Aviv has developed a free web-based app to show how much money can be saved and made with rooftop solar panels.