Sustainability

Wind Surpasses Hydroelectric as Top U.S. Renewable Energy Source
February 10, 2017 02:57 PM - Yale E360

For decades, hydroelectric dams served as the United States’ top source of renewable energy. But last year, wind power took the top spot, according to a new report by the American Wind Energy Association, an industry trade group. It is now the fourth largest source of energy in the U.S., behind natural gas, coal, and nuclear.

New Scientific Approach Assesses Land Recovery Following Oil and Gas Drilling
February 7, 2017 03:28 PM - USGS

When developing oil and gas well pads, the vegetation and soil are removed to level the areas for drilling and operations. The new assessment approach, called the disturbance automated reference toolset, or DART, is used to examine recovery patterns after well pads are plugged and abandoned to help resource managers make informed decisions for future well pad development.

Re-Purposing Air Pollution to make Air Inks
February 7, 2017 09:49 AM - Laura Briggs, The Ecologist

Imagine if you could take pollution produced by diesel engines and turn it into a non-carcinogenic substance used in ink, reducing the need for burning fossil fuels.

Protected Nature Areas Protect People, Too
February 3, 2017 08:04 AM - Michigan State University

A group of scientists is recommending giving the world’s nature reserves a makeover to defend not only flora and fauna, but people, too.

Scientists in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences argue that the world’s protected areas such as nature reserves, traditionally havens for endangered animals and plants, can be made better if they ratchet up benefits that directly help people. The world’s nature reserves not only defend nature for nature’s sake, but also can curb erosion, prevent sandstorms, retain water and prevent flooding and sequester carbon. The authors include more of a place for people – judiciously.

An entrepreneurial approach to Egypt's water crisis
February 2, 2017 08:00 AM - Ryerson University

In Egypt, two out of five households do not have access to clean drinking water. This reality hit home for fourth-year entrepreneurship student Omar El Araby in December, when he visited the city of Asyut with Enactus Ryerson.

An entrepreneurial approach to Egypt's water crisis
February 2, 2017 08:00 AM - Ryerson University

In Egypt, two out of five households do not have access to clean drinking water. This reality hit home for fourth-year entrepreneurship student Omar El Araby in December, when he visited the city of Asyut with Enactus Ryerson.

Asian grass carp pose ecological threat to Great Lakes
February 1, 2017 08:29 AM - University of Toronto

Asian grass carp pose a significant ecological threat to the Great Lakes and that threat could be extreme over the next 50 years.

This is the major finding of a large binational risk assessment authored by a team of American and Canadian researchers, including Nick Mandrak, associate professor of biological sciences at U of T Scarborough.

Wind is Canada's largest source of new electricity generation for more than a decade
January 31, 2017 01:49 PM - Canadian Wind Energy Association

OTTAWA – Canada’s wind energy industry had another year of strong growth in 2016, adding 702 MW of new capacity through the commissioning of 21 projects in Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia. Sixteen of these projects are owned, at least in part, by aboriginal or local communities, or municipal governments. Canada now has 11,898 MW of installed wind generation capacity, enough to supply six percent of Canada’s electricity demand and meet the annual electricity needs of more than three million homes.

Getting the Measure of Sustainable Economic Growth
January 30, 2017 10:20 AM - James Curran, The Ecologist

The new Index of Sustainable Economic Growth shows there is a shift to strike a healthier balance between support for the economy, and care for essential social and environmental systems. But can it ever replace GDP as a measure of progress? 

New Paper Explains Consequences of Plant Disappearance in Salt Marshes on the Atlantic Coast
January 25, 2017 09:36 AM - The American Phytopathological Society

An important new research paper, titled “Response of Sediment Bacterial Communities to Sudden Vegetation Dieback in a Coastal Wetland,” examines the consequences of plant disappearance and changes in salt marsh soil communities following Sudden Vegetation Dieback (SVD).

The paper, published in Phytobiomes, an open-access journal of The American Phytopathological Society, is written by Wade Elmer, Peter Thiel, and Blaire Steven, scientists at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven. The setting for this study was the marshes of Connecticut’s Hammonasset Beach State Park.

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