Sustainability

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.

Clear through the haze for marine ecosystems in Southeast Asia
March 7, 2014 11:51 AM - Kimberly Wang, National University of Singapore

The unprecedented high levels of transboundary haze in Southeast Asia last year prompted Dr. Zeehan Jaafar, a lecturer at the Department of Biological Sciences at the National University of Singapore Faculty of Science, and Dr. Tse-Lynn Loh, a postdoctoral research associate at the Daniel P. Haerther Center for Conservation and Research, John G. Shedd Aquarium (Chicago, USA), to critically evaluate the potential impacts of biomass burning and haze to marine ecosystems in the Southeast Asian region.

Arctic sea ice melting one warm river at a time
March 7, 2014 09:32 AM - Maria-Jose Vinas, NASA Earth Science News Team

A new NASA study finds that warmer than normal waters from rivers draining into the Arctic Ocean each summer are eating away at the sea ice in the Arctic Ocean. Led by Son Nghiem of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., the research team used satellite data to measure the surface temperature of the waters discharging from Canada's McKenzie River into the Beaufort Sea during the summer of 2012 and noticed surface waters being warmed suddenly due to the sudden influx of warm river water This warmed the surface layers of the ocean, which in turn increased the melting of sea ice.

DOE Sets New Commercial Refrigeration Energy Efficiency Standards
March 7, 2014 08:01 AM - Andrew Burger, Triple Pundit

Following through on President Barack Obama's Climate Action Plan, the Department of Energy (DOE) on Feb. 28 issued new energy efficiency standards for commercial refrigeration equipment. Over the ensuing 30 years, it's projected that the new standards will reduce carbon pollution by 142 million tons — the equivalent of that produced by generating electricity for 14.3 million U.S. homes — while also saving businesses as much as $11.7 billion on energy bills.

How much water do YOU use each day?
March 6, 2014 09:22 AM - Indiana University Newsroom, Indiana University Bloomington

Many Americans are confused about the best ways to conserve water and have a slippery grasp on how much water different activities use, according to a national online survey conducted by Indiana University Assistant Professor, Shahzeen Attari. Experts say the best strategy for conserving water is to focus on efficiency improvements such as replacing toilets and retrofitting washing machines. However, the largest group of the participants, nearly 43 percent, cited taking shorter showers, which does save water but may not be the most effective action. Very few participants cited replacing toilets or flushing less, even though toilets use the most volume of water daily.

2013 Marks Record Year for Solar Power in US
March 6, 2014 08:07 AM - Andrew Burger, Triple Pundit

A new report shows that 2013 was another banner, record-setting year for solar energy in the U.S., with 4,751 megawatts (MW) of new photovoltaic (PV) capacity installed—a year-over-year increase of 41 percent—with another 410 MW of concentrating solar power (CSP) coming online. A record 2,106 MW of solar power capacity was installed in the fourth quarter alone, amounting to 44 percent of the annual total. That bests the old quarterly record by 60 percent.

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