Sustainability

Rising Waters: Can a Massive Barrier Save Venice from Drowning?
December 5, 2017 08:44 AM - Yale Environment 360

It’s tempting to believe that the devastating sequence of hurricanes in the Atlantic this year has blown in a new awareness of the risks of rising waters and increasingly powerful storms on our rapidly warming planet. In a rational world, the destruction wrought by these storms would inspire us to redouble our efforts to cut carbon pollution as quickly as possible and begin planning for an orderly retreat to higher ground. 

Flying Laboratory Reveals Crucial Tropical Forest Conservation Targets in Borneo
December 4, 2017 11:20 AM - Carnegie Institution for Science

About 40 percent of northern Malaysian Borneo’s carbon stocks exist in forests that are not designated for maximum protections, according to new remote sensing and satellite mapping from Carnegie’s Greg Asner and his colleagues.

Top Credit Agency to Cities and States: Prepare for Climate Change or Face Lower Credit Rating
December 4, 2017 10:49 AM - Yale Environment 360

Moody’s Investors Service, one of the top credit rating agencies in the world, warned cities and states in the U.S. that unless they prepare for climate change, the agency could lower their credit ratings, making it harder for them to obtain low-interest bonds.

When to fish: Timing matters for fish that migrate to reproduce
November 30, 2017 09:35 AM - University of Washington

It’s no secret that human activities affect fish, particularly those that must migrate to reproduce. Years of building dams and polluting rivers in some regions have left fish such as salmon struggling to return to their home streams and give birth to the next generation.

NUS Scientists Develop Artificial Photosynthesis Device for Greener Ethylene Production
November 24, 2017 10:49 AM - National University of Singapore

A team of scientists from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has developed a prototype device that mimics natural photosynthesis to produce ethylene gas using only sunlight, water and carbon dioxide. The novel method, which produces ethylene at room temperature and pressure using benign chemicals, could be scaled up to provide a more eco-friendly and sustainable alternative to the current method of ethylene production.  

Correctly Used Neonics Do Not Adversely Affect Honeybee Colonies, New Research Finds
November 24, 2017 09:07 AM - University of Guelph

The three most widely used neonicotinoid pesticides for flowering crops pose no risk to honeybee colonies when used correctly as seed treatments, according to new studies by University of Guelph researchers.

Amid mounting controversy over use of neonicotinoids (neonics) and declining bee populations, a new analysis by U of G scientists of previously unpublished studies and reports commissioned by agri-chemical companies Bayer and Syngenta – as well as published papers from the scientific literature – shows no significant ill effects on honeybee colonies from three common insecticides made by the companies.

The Social Cost of Carbon Doubles
November 22, 2017 09:29 AM - University of California – Davis

The “social cost of carbon” — an influential figure used by policymakers to weigh the value of efforts that reduce greenhouse gas emissions — is outdated and underestimated. Updated estimates focused on the agricultural sector alone more than double the social cost of carbon, according to analysis from the University of California, Davis, and Purdue University.

Scientific team selected to conduct independent abundance estimate of red snapper in Gulf of Mexico
November 22, 2017 08:09 AM - NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

A team of university and government scientists, selected by an expert review panel convened by the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium, will conduct an independent study to estimate the number of red snapper in the U.S. waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

“American communities across the Gulf of Mexico depend on their access to, as well as the long term sustainability of, red snapper,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “I look forward to the insights this project will provide as we study and manage this valuable resource.”

New trap for mountain pine beetles could help weaken their spread
November 22, 2017 08:09 AM - University of Alberta

By tweaking the existing bait and changing up the spacing of pine trees used to trap and monitor the spread of the mountain pine beetle, UAlberta researchers caught greater numbers of the pest.

“As part of an operational control program, these methods could potentially weaken the spread of mountain pine beetle,” said lead researcher Jennifer Klutsch.

How carbon farming can help solve climate change
November 21, 2017 08:06 AM - Dalhousie University

Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, nations pledged to keep the average global temperature rise to below 2C above pre-industrial levels and to take efforts to narrow that increase to 1.5C. To meet those goals we must not only stop the increase in our greenhouse gas emissions, we must also draw large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere.

The simplest, most cost effective and environmentally beneficial way to do this is right under our feet. We can farm carbon by storing it in our agricultural soils.

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