Sustainability

Rooftop considerations amidst climate change
March 13, 2014 11:54 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

As the realities of climate change set in, so too are realizations that building technologies impact both internal and external environments. The percentage increase of asphalt and blacktopped roofs create urban heat islands. Resultantly cities have become earth's newest desserts exhibiting high temperatures and arid conditions with little vegetation. Urban expansion as a stand-alone factor (omitting greenhouse gas-induced climate change considerations) is expected to raise temperatures by roughly six degrees. Because of this, scientists are now exploring new technologies to cope with the new reality.

Sustainable urban lawns
March 12, 2014 01:16 PM - robin Blackstone, ENN

Concern for the homogenization of America's urban landscape prompted a recent research study into the care and maintenance of residential landscapes. The study demonstrated fewer similarities than expected but the concern, according to researchers is that "Lawns not only cover a larger extent [of land] than any other irrigated 'crop' in the U.S., but are expected to expand in coming decades. The researchers go on to point out that the potential homogenization of residential lawn care has emerged as a major concern for carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and water flows."

Is There a Sustainable Big Mac in Your Future?
March 12, 2014 07:58 AM - RP Siegel, Triple Pundit

Giant corporations like McDonald's and Walmart cast a long shadow across the planet with the enormous amount of resources that they use, process, consume and sell. McDonald's flips and bags 70 million hamburgers every day and is responsible for a full 2 percent of the world's beef consumption. So when you consider the impact that beef production has on the environment, particularly with regard to climate change, a move by them to sustainable beef could be a really big deal.

Feral cats a growing health concern
March 11, 2014 04:17 PM - Editor, ENN

A coalition of more than 200 groups which include various bird and wildlife conservation organizations and animal rights groups are calling on Secretary Sally Jewell of the Department of Interior to take action to reduce mortality to wildlife populations on public lands stemming from the nation's ever-increasing population of feral cats. The group brings evidence from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that feral cats pose a threat to human health as a result of an exposure to rabies and toxoplasmosis, a parasitic disease affecting the human brain when exposed to cat feces.

Renewable energy helps Scotland become one of the world's wealthiest nations
March 11, 2014 03:32 PM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen

Scotland’s control over a quarter of Europe’s offshore wind and marine energy has helped it become one of the world’s wealthiest nations, according to new analysis released today. The new figures from the Scottish Government show that Scotland with its broad base of economic strengths would be ranked as the 14th wealthiest nation per head within the OECD, the grouping of the world’s richest countries.

Many small glaciers make up the whole in Greenland
March 11, 2014 09:59 AM - George Hale, NASA

Research using NASA data is giving new insight into one of the processes causing Greenland's ice sheet to lose mass. A team of scientists used satellite observations and ice thickness measurements gathered by NASA's Operation IceBridge to calculate the rate at which ice flows through Greenland's glaciers into the ocean. The findings of this research give a clearer picture of how glacier flow affects the Greenland Ice Sheet and shows that this dynamic process is dominated by a small number of glaciers.

COLLEGIATE CORNER: Trash talk: Ocean Dumping
March 10, 2014 11:01 AM - McKaylee Reavis, Class of 2015, Wakefield High School, Arlington, VA

Remember the excitement that filled your body when your parents told you the family was going to go to the beach? Remember the excitement slowly leaving your body when you witnessed the trash that covered the beach for miles? Ocean dumping has become a major problem for marine life and the people who enjoy its many benefits. Many marine animals have suffered from the trash in the water and people have suffered from the sight of trash filling the ocean and cluttering the beaches ruining their supposed beautiful day. Industries, cities, and militaries have been dumping their waste into the ocean for years now. One solution to prevent this problem is to impose stricter restrictions on ocean dumping that range from pedestrian waste to toxic nuclear hazard.

Warming up all over, even in the Arctic
March 10, 2014 09:55 AM - Tim Radford, Ecologist

It's long been established that Arctic Ocean sea ice is on the retreat, writes Tim Radford. But it's the pace of change that's surprising scientists: latest studies show that the ice-free period is increasing by 5 days / decade. Ice in the Arctic continues to retreat. The season without ice is getting longer by an average of five days every 10 years.

How to do a Successful Spring Garden
March 9, 2014 09:23 AM - Beth Buczynski, Care2, Care2

This is it. The year you stop wasting time and energy on inedible grass, and plant a garden instead. Growing your own food is a powerful, revolutionary action. It reduces your dependence on an agricultural system that’s more concerned with profit than nutrition or food safety. It also gets you outside, hands in the dirt, appreciating Mother Nature’s glorious ability to turn a tiny seed into a delicious supper. But we're not as good as gardening as we once were. We're out of practice. Those of us who've never tried gardening (or tried and failed) have lots of doubts. You’ve heard the saying "failure to plan is a plan to fail"? Although Spring has yet to officially arrive, now is the time to start planning your garden, and gathering the tools you'll need to make it thrive. That’s why we've put together this simple to-do list. And if you've got any tips or suggestions that can help turn brown thumbs green, please share them in the comments!

Challenges and a call for Conservation Cooperation in the Arab world
March 8, 2014 08:31 AM - Mark Henley, SciDevNet

The Arab region's best chance of facing the challenges of food insecurity, water scarcity and natural disasters lies in collaborating on environmental preservation, a study says. The study, published in The Lancet (20 January), argues that current academic discussions about health, population and development in the Arab region fail to convey the true level of urgency.

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