Sustainability

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.

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.

Achoo! Native Echinacea angustifolia plant is blown away
February 5, 2014 08:17 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

Echinacea, a genus of flower in the daisy family is sold in many over-the-counter cold and flu remedies and sold in pharmacies and health and nutrition stores. Echinacea has nine wild species in eastern and central North America that grow in moist to dry prairies and in open wooded areas. The genus includes the purple coneflower, pale purple coneflower and narrow-leaved purple coneflower. All have large magenta petals that unfurl from early to late summer.

7-Eleven, Avis, Walgreens Reduce Peak Power Demand For Big Energy Savings
February 4, 2014 11:58 AM - Andrew Burger, Triple Pundit

Revenue growth and profits for U.S. power utilities have always been predicated on increasing demand, regulatory framework and relationships with regulators. Though still highly regulated, that business modus operandi is being turned on its head. Rapid growth in distributed solar, wind and other renewable energy resources and the development of smart grid and demand-response systems are two factors driving these changes. The movement to put a price on carbon emissions — based on the polluter pays principle — is another.

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.

Building Green
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.

EPA Releases Annual Climate Protection Partnerships Report
February 3, 2014 08:51 AM - Tina Casey, Triple Pundit

The Environmental Protection Agency has just released its annual Climate Protection Partnerships report, and it indicates that the U.S. is in a strong position to achieve economic growth — in other words, job growth — as it transitions to safer, healthier and more sustainable forms of energy. The report comes on top of great news for job growth in the solar industry, with as-yet untapped offshore wind energy and vast reserves of geothermal energy offering potential for even greater growth in the green jobs sector.

Why can't you walk to the big game?
February 1, 2014 10:31 AM - s.e. smith, Care2

Super Bowl XLVIII, featuring my archenemies the Seattle Seahawks against the Denver Broncos, is about to go down. Millions of fans will be gathering around TV screens across the country to watch, but of course the best experience of all is available to those who get to see the magic in person at MetLife Stadium. Better yet, organizers are touting this as the "greenest Super Bowl ever," with initiatives like composting, low water landscaping, Energy Star Certified equipment, donation of leftover food, a massive solar panel installation, and the use of recycled steel in construction. In other words, you'd think these guys are pretty serious not just about sports, but also the environment, with all this hard work to make the match as eco-friendly as possible. We're seeing the same kinds of initiatives in Sochi for the Winter Olympics, as well as Rio, indicating that in the sports world, green is in. Which is exciting news for those of us who like the Earth and think it should stick around in habitable form a little longer.

Comets and Woolly Mammoths
January 31, 2014 09:42 AM - Julie Cohen, UC Santa Barbara

New evidence suggests that a comet collision might have been the trigger for the Younger Dryas, contributing to North America's megafauna extinction. UC Santa Barbara's James Kennett, professor emeritus in the Department of Earth Science, posits that such an extraterrestrial event did occur killing off woolly mammoths, giant ground sloths and saber-tooth tigers 12,900 years ago.

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