Which food wastes have greater environmental impacts?
August 14, 2015 11:39 AM - University of Missouri-Columbia
Approximately 31 percent of food produced in the U.S., or 133 billion pounds of food worth $162 billion, was wasted in 2011 according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Now, University of Missouri researchers have found that the type of food wasted has a significant impact on the environment. Although less meat is wasted (on average) compared to fruits and vegetables, the researchers found that significantly more energy is used in the production of meat compared to the production of vegetables. This wasted energy is usually in the form of resources that can have negative impacts on the surrounding environment, such as diesel fuel or fertilizer being released into the environment.
Toxic blue-green algae pose increasing threat to nation's drinking, recreational water
August 13, 2015 01:41 PM - Oregon State University
A report concludes that blooms of toxic cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, are a poorly monitored and underappreciated risk to recreational and drinking water quality in the United States, and may increasingly pose a global health threat.
Power plant CO2 emissions at 27 year low
August 11, 2015 07:09 AM - Kevin Mathews, Care2
Most of the environmental news we hear today is disheartening information about the consequences we’ll soon be facing thanks to climate change. Let’s take a momentary break from that sadness to focus on some good news: U.S. power plants are currently releasing the lowest amount of carbon emissions in 27 years. It seems like we might be making some progress!
The low mark occurred in April of this year, when U.S. power plants generated just 141 million tons of carbon dioxide, a figure we haven’t seen since April of 1988. Because power plants produce roughly one-third of the country’s emissions, this measurement is one of the biggest indicators we have to see how we’re doing at tackling global warming.
Stem Cell Research Identifies Effects of Pollution on Human Health
August 10, 2015 09:01 AM - Elsevier via AlphaGalileo
A recent study published in the Journal of Environmental Sciences (JES) shows that embryonic stem cells could serve as a model to evaluate the physiological effects of environmental pollutants efficiently and cost-effectively.
Are insecticides more toxic than we think?
August 6, 2015 12:15 PM -
Insecticides that are sprayed in orchards and fields across North America may be more toxic to spiders than scientists previously believed. A McGill research team reached this conclusion after looking at changes in the behaviour of individual Bronze Jumping Spiders both before and after exposure to Phosmet, a widely used broad spectrum insecticide. It is a finding with far-reaching implications for agricultural production and ecosystem health.
Ice cores show volcanic eruptions and cold climate strongly linked
August 4, 2015 07:31 AM -
Researchers find new evidence that large eruptions were responsible for cold temperature extremes recorded since early Roman times
It is well known that large volcanic eruptions contribute to climate variability. However, quantifying these contributions has proven challenging due to inconsistencies in both historic atmospheric data observed in polar ice cores and corresponding temperature variations seen in climate indicators such as tree rings.
Are septic tanks doing their job?
August 3, 2015 04:33 PM - Michigan State University
The notion that septic tanks prevent fecal bacteria from seeping into rivers and lakes simply doesn’t hold water, says a new Michigan State University study.
What you should know about America's Clean Power Plan
August 3, 2015 08:30 AM - Gina McCarthy, USEPA
Today, President Obama will unveil the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Clean Power Plan—a historic step to cut the carbon pollution driving climate change. Here are six key things every American should know...
Greenhouse Gas Emissions from US Corn Belt have been Underestimated
July 29, 2015 08:55 AM - University of Minnesota
Estimates of how much nitrous oxide, a significant greenhouse gas and stratospheric ozone-depleting substance, is being emitted in the central United States have been too low by as much as 40 percent, a new study led by University of Minnesota scientists shows.
Ocean acidification is impacting phytoplankton now
July 26, 2015 08:37 AM - Steve Williams, Care2
Scientists are warning that ocean acidification is impacting microorganisms in our ocean known as phytoplankton and, as they pay a key role in ocean habitats, any future loss or change in species numbers could impact marine life in a big way.
Ocean acidification isn’t always mentioned in conjunction with phytoplankton blooms, and the U.S. Government has been slow to link the two, but MIT researchers say acidification of our oceans could impact phytoplankton in a big way, and that will be bad news for our marine life.