Pollution

Are we at a tipping point with weed control?
October 4, 2017 04:07 PM - University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

If farmers could no longer control weeds with existing herbicides, Americans would take notice pretty quickly

University of Saskatchewan hydrologist Howard Wheater to advise on U.S. national water future
October 3, 2017 08:20 AM - University of Saskatchewan

The panel of leading water science experts is charged with identifying America’s highest-priority water science and resource challenges over the next 25 years, and making recommendations on the strategic water science and research opportunities to address those challenges. It will report its finding in 2018.

“The loss of life and $180-billion damage from Hurricane Harvey is a wake-up call to the U.S. for the need to better manage water-related threats, including risks from climate change. And the hurricane’s effect on rising gas prices in Canada shows the far-reaching impacts of extreme events on the global economy,” said Wheater who attended the panel’s first meeting in Washington this week.

Scientists Find New Source of Radioactivity from Fukushima Disaster
October 2, 2017 04:14 PM - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Scientists have found a previously unsuspected place where radioactive material from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster has accumulated—in sands and brackish groundwater beneath beaches up to 60 miles away. The sands took up and retained radioactive cesium originating from the disaster in 2011 and have been slowly releasing it back to the ocean.

“No one is either exposed to, or drinks, these waters, and thus public health is not of primary concern here,” the scientists said in a study published October 2 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. But “this new and unanticipated pathway for the storage and release of radionuclides to the ocean should be taken into account in the management of coastal areas where nuclear power plants are situated.”

 

Stark Evidence: A Warmer World Is Sparking More and Bigger Wildfires
October 2, 2017 02:41 PM - Yale Environment 360

On a single hot, dry day this summer, an astonishing 140 wildfires leapt to life across British Columbia. “Friday, July 7 was just crazy,” says Mike Flannigan, director of the wildland fire partnership at the University of Alberta. A state of emergency was declared. By the end of summer, more than 1,000 fires had been triggered across the Canadian province, burning a record nearly 3 million acres of forest—nearly 10 times the average in British Columbia over the last decade. As the fires got bigger and hotter, even aerial attacks became useless. “It’s like spitting on a campfire,” says Flannigan. “It doesn’t do much other than making a pretty picture for the newspapers.”

World-First Optical Fiber Laser Promises To Revolutionise Detection Of Gases
September 29, 2017 02:46 PM - Macquarie University

An international research group, led by Macquarie University scientists, has developed a world-first optical fiber technology which can help detect a wide range of gases with unprecedented sensitivity, with potential applications ranging from breath analysis to air-quality monitoring. The discovery, which has been published in the journal Optica, outlines the development of an optical fiber device which encompasses an invisible infrared laser coupled to an ultra-broadband supercontinuum generator – two elements that researchers have never managed to combine to a single optical system before.

World-First Optical Fiber Laser Promises To Revolutionise Detection Of Gases
September 29, 2017 02:46 PM - Macquarie University

An international research group, led by Macquarie University scientists, has developed a world-first optical fiber technology which can help detect a wide range of gases with unprecedented sensitivity, with potential applications ranging from breath analysis to air-quality monitoring. The discovery, which has been published in the journal Optica, outlines the development of an optical fiber device which encompasses an invisible infrared laser coupled to an ultra-broadband supercontinuum generator – two elements that researchers have never managed to combine to a single optical system before.

Peak contamination levels from Fukushima off North America now known
September 29, 2017 08:08 AM - University of Victoria

For the first time since 2011, peak contamination levels in Pacific Canadian waters from Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster are known, says a University of Victoria scientist who has been monitoring levels since the meltdown of three reactors at the plant.

Peak contamination levels from Fukushima off North America now known
September 29, 2017 08:08 AM - University of Victoria

For the first time since 2011, peak contamination levels in Pacific Canadian waters from Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster are known, says a University of Victoria scientist who has been monitoring levels since the meltdown of three reactors at the plant.

Olive mill wastewater transformed: From pollutant to bio-fertilizer, biofuel
September 28, 2017 01:00 PM - American Chemical Society

Olive oil has long been a popular kitchen staple. Yet producing the oil creates a vast stream of wastewater that can foul waterways, reduce soil fertility and trigger extensive damage to nearby ecosystems. Now in a study appearing in ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, scientists report on the development of an environmentally friendly process that could transform this pollutant into “green” biofuel, bio-fertilizer and safe water for use in agricultural irrigation.

Removing nitrate for healthier ecosystems
September 27, 2017 03:33 PM - Adityarup Chakravorty, American Society of Agronomy

Nitrogen can present a dilemma for farmers and land managers.

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