Top Stories

Canada ranks #2 for most LEED buildings
July 28, 2015 01:24 PM - Roy L Hales, ECOreport

Though LEED is not the world’s only green building rating system, it is the most widely used and recognized. Thus it is no small thing that, for the second year in a row, Canada is #2 for LEED building in the World.

How Corn Became King
July 28, 2015 09:12 AM - Kelly April Tyrrell, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Ten thousand years ago, a golden grain got naked, brought people together and grew to become one of the top agricultural commodities on the planet.

Now, University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers have found that just a single letter change in the genetic script of corn's ancestor, teosinte, helped make it all possible.

Publishing in the journal Genetics this month, UW-Madison genetics Professor John Doebley and a team of researchers describe how, during the domestication of corn, a single nucleotide change in the teosinte glume architectural gene (tga1) stripped away the hard, inedible casing of this wild grass, ultimately exposing the edible golden kernel.

California Farmers Switch to Less Thirsty Crops
July 28, 2015 08:56 AM - Lesley McClurg, NPR

Water scarcity is driving California farmers to plant different crops. Growers are switching to more profitable, less-thirsty fruits, vegetables and nuts.

The light-sensing molecules in plants came from ancient algae
July 28, 2015 06:40 AM - Duke University

The light-sensing molecules that tell plants whether to germinate, when to flower and which direction to grow were inherited millions of years ago from ancient algae, finds a new study from Duke University.

The findings are some of the strongest evidence yet refuting the prevailing idea that the ancestors of early plants got the red light sensors that helped them move from water to land by engulfing light-sensing bacteria, the researchers say.
 

Arctic ice growth doesn't disprove climate change
July 27, 2015 08:52 AM - Steve Williams, Care2

New data shows that in 2013 Arctic ice actually grew rather than retreating as climate change models had predicted. Far from proving climate change is a myth or that ice retreat has ended, as skeptics are now claiming, this reveals something much more interesting about our warming climate.

New MIT study on the historical climate of the American West
July 27, 2015 06:56 AM - MIT News

All around the deserts of Utah, Nevada, southern Oregon, and eastern California, ancient shorelines line the hillsides above dry valley floors, like bathtub rings — remnants of the lakes once found throughout the region. Even as the ice sheets retreated at the end of the last ice age, 12,000 years ago, the region remained much wetter than it is today. The earliest settlers of the region are likely to have encountered a verdant landscape of springs and wetlands.

So just when and why did today’s desert West dry out?

Ocean acidification is impacting phytoplankton now
July 26, 2015 08:37 AM - Steve Williams, Care2

Scientists are warning that ocean acidification is impacting microorganisms in our ocean known as phytoplankton and, as they pay a key role in ocean habitats, any future loss or change in species numbers could impact marine life in a big way.

Ocean acidification isn’t always mentioned in conjunction with phytoplankton blooms, and the U.S. Government has been slow to link the two, but MIT researchers say acidification of our oceans could impact phytoplankton in a big way, and that will be bad news for our marine life.

Ways to improve indoor air quality
July 25, 2015 07:17 AM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen

Indoor air quality isn’t something most people think about, but breathing clean air can and does impact out health. Here’s why paying attention to the air you breathe indoors is so important and how to then go about improving it. 

Vacuum More Often

Vacuuming more often will help keep dust at bay, but many vacuums also come with a filter system which can remove mold, pollen, and other air pollutants. Aim to vacuum at least once a week, twice if you live with animals.

Lake Tahoe's deep blue color explained
July 24, 2015 07:10 AM - UC Davis via NASA

Lake Tahoe's iconic blueness is more strongly related to the lake's algal concentration than to its clarity, according to research in "Tahoe: State of the Lake Report 2015," released today by the Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC) of the University of California, Davis. The lower the algal concentration, the bluer the lake. 

Data from a research buoy in the lake, owned and operated by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, enabled Shohei Watanabe, a postdoctoral researcher at TERC, to create a Blueness Index that quantified Lake Tahoe's color for the first time.

The assumption that lake clarity is tied to blueness has driven advocacy and management efforts in the Lake Tahoe Basin for decades. But Watanabe's research showed that at times of the year when the lake's clarity increases, its blueness decreases, and vice versa. 

Mangroves help protect against sea level rise
July 23, 2015 02:28 PM - University of Southampton

Mangrove forests could play a crucial role in protecting coastal areas from sea level rise caused by climate change, according to new research involving the University of Southampton.

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