Top conservation threats and opportunities
December 20, 2013 08:00 AM - Tamera Jones, Planet Earth Online
Governments being forced to choose between preventing climate change or averting a financial crisis, carbon solar cells as an alternative source of energy and accelerated loss of rhinos and elephants are among 15 conservation issues scientists say may become significant in 2014. Other threats and opportunities include emerging snake fungal disease, exploitation of Antarctica by nations such as China and Russia, and using synthetic biology to resurrect extinct species.
Good news for corn farmers worth millions of dollars
December 19, 2013 12:01 PM - Sara LaJeunesse, Penn State
Good news for corn farmers: a major corn crop pest, the European corn borer (ECB) has seen a significant population decline in the eastern United States. This information comes from Penn State researchers on the heels of reports of similar population declines in the Midwest. As a result, farmers will save millions of dollars in some parts of the country because they will no longer need to treat for this pest.
More than 40% of Scotland's energy demand is now met by renewables
December 19, 2013 09:18 AM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen
Scotland’s renewable electricity output has reached record-high levels, according to official statistics released today. The figures, published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, show that renewables met a record-breaking 40.3 per cent of gross electricity consumption in 2012, confirming that Scotland is on track to meet its interim target of 50% by 2015.
Damming the Congo
December 18, 2013 09:42 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is looking to capture the more of powers of the Congo River in what will be the largest and most powerful hydroelectric dam in the world. The Grand Inga Hydropower Project will produce up to 40,000 megawatts of electricity, doubling current dam champion, Three Gorges in China. The dam will generate more than one third of the electricity currently produced in Africa as it captures the force of the 1.5 million cubic feet per second cascading into the Atlantic Ocean.
Adorable Seal pups orphaned in England
December 18, 2013 07:40 AM - Kristina Chew, Care2
A record tidal surge that caused severe flooding and "war zone"-like damage in Norfolk, England has washed up and stranded 100 seal pups, many less than three weeks old. Staff at the the RSPCA's East Winch Wildlife Center says that each pup could require up to five months of rehabilitation. Fortunately, many generous souls have responded to an appeal for funds to help care for the orphaned pups. So far, the center has received £25,000 (about $40,773) to help care for them.
EPA settles an unsettling amount of reactive hazardous waste in Oregon
December 17, 2013 08:29 PM - Staff, ENN
Oregon Metallurgical of Albany and TDY Industries of Millersburg have agreed to pay a combined $825,000 to resolve alleged violations related to the improper storage, transportation, and disposal of anhydrous magnesium chloride, a reactive hazardous waste that poses fire and explosion threats. The EPA asserts that both companies must improve their hazardous waste management practices and upgrade their record keeping for wastes generated at their facilities to avoid potential injuries and accidents.
Snow plowing goes high tech
December 17, 2013 11:08 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
Snow, ice and other hazardous wintry conditions account for more than 4,000 lives and thousands of injuries each year in the United States. And while keeping roads clear is a major challenge for every state, doing so strategically and cost effectively is largely dependent upon experience: knowing the trouble spots, anticipating the locations that will freeze over first or be most dangerous because of shading, elevation or north-facing curves.
Rutgers University study looks at climate change and interrelated variables
December 17, 2013 07:38 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN
The changing climate is more complicated to model than we assumed. There are interrelated variables that work together to amplify the effects. For example, as summer sea-ice and snow shrink back in the Arctic, the number of summertime "extreme" weather events in the middle latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere is increasing, according to research published recently in Nature Climate Change by two Chinese scientists and their Rutgers colleague. "It's becoming increasingly clear, I think, that the loss of sea ice and snow cover is setting up the conditions that jump-start summer," said Jennifer Francis, research professor at the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences in Rutgers’ School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. "The soil dries out earlier and that allows it to get hotter earlier. This phenomenon is also changing circulation patterns in the atmosphere."
COLLEGIATE CORNER: Must we drink bottled water?
December 16, 2013 04:10 PM - Alyson Leppla, Earth Science Education, Class of 2015, University of Delaware
More than 780 million people lack access to safe drinking water, two and a half times the population of the United States. More than half of all Americans drink bottled water, yet almost every U.S. household has access to safe drinking water.
EU asks the U.S. to share the energy wealth
December 16, 2013 03:56 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
Taking note of the United States recoupment of natural gas, most specifically from shale, the EU is pressing its Washington counterparts to include energy exports in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TIPP) trade pact currently being negotiated. The pact will account for half of the world's economy covering goods and services to include everything from agriculture to finance.