Top Stories

Understanding the Forces of Abrupt Climate Change
February 23, 2015 08:30 AM - Northern Arizona University.

By studying African lake sediments from the past 20,000 years, scientists are learning more about abrupt climate shifts, advancing their understanding of changing weather patterns. In a recent paper published in Nature Geoscience, co-author on an NAU assistant professor Nicholas McKay analyzes core samples from Lake Bosumtwi in Ghana. The isolated lake was formed by a meteor and sits like a bowl on the landscape giving scientists a clear view of environmental changes.

Putting a value on forests
February 23, 2015 07:00 AM - Kaz Janowski, SciDevNet

The day I first set foot in a tropical rainforest, in Malaysia in the early 1980s, I experienced something profound. From the echoes of gibbons calling from the canopy in the early morning mist to the iridescent flash of a bird in a beam of sunlight, rainforests are a sensory delight as well as a marvel to anyone’s scientific curiosity. 

As I subsequently watched these forests dwindle and, in some cases, vanish, I have felt an equally profound sense of loss and a nagging guilt that I was somehow part of the story, because I had done little to remedy the situation. 
 

Putting a value on forests
February 23, 2015 07:00 AM - Kaz Janowski, SciDevNet

The day I first set foot in a tropical rainforest, in Malaysia in the early 1980s, I experienced something profound. From the echoes of gibbons calling from the canopy in the early morning mist to the iridescent flash of a bird in a beam of sunlight, rainforests are a sensory delight as well as a marvel to anyone’s scientific curiosity. 

As I subsequently watched these forests dwindle and, in some cases, vanish, I have felt an equally profound sense of loss and a nagging guilt that I was somehow part of the story, because I had done little to remedy the situation. 
 

We need to focus on health and well-being, not economic growth
February 22, 2015 08:02 AM - Jules Pretty, Ecologist

The financial cost of the diseases of modern civilization is almost double the budget of the National Health Service, writes Jules Pretty, while the economy has grown past the point of greatest satisfaction. Our over-riding priority should be to move to greener, healthier, more sustainable and satisfying ways of life.

A substantial financial dividend could be released by a greener and healthier economy. Instead of encouraging material growth and consumption, we should consume in a way that is environmentally sustainable. 

Center for Biological Diversity launches new Environmental Health Program
February 21, 2015 07:47 AM - Center for Biological Diversity

The Center for Biological Diversity this week launched its new Environmental Health program, greatly expanding its capacity to protect wildlife, people and the environment from pesticides, rodenticides, lead, mining, industrial pollution, and air and water pollution.

“The future of people is deeply intertwined with the fate of all the other species that evolved beside us,” said Lori Ann Burd, the program’s director. “This new program will work to protect biodiversity and human health from toxic substances while promoting a deep understanding of the connection between the health of people and imperiled species.”

The best-and worst-places to drive your electric car
February 20, 2015 03:47 PM - Nsikan Akpan, Science/AAAS

For those tired of winter, you’re not alone. Electric cars hate the cold, too. Researchers have conducted the first investigation into how electric vehicles fare in different U.S. climates. The verdict: Electric car buyers in the chilly Midwest and sizzling Southwest get less bang for their buck, where poor energy efficiency and coal power plants unite to turn electric vehicles into bigger polluters. Scientists at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, began their research by pulling public data from FleetCarma, a company that tracks vehicle performance among car fleets operated by governments and businesses. 

ENERGY STAR now certifies Clothes Dryers
February 20, 2015 09:53 AM - Editor, ENN

For the first time, ENERGY STAR is certifying clothes dryers. Starting this past President’s Day weekend, 45 models of ENERGY STAR certified dryers, from five different manufacturers, were available in stores nationwide. ENERGY STAR certified dryers include gas, electric and compact models, and incorporate innovative energy saving technologies, such as moisture sensors that detect when clothes are dry and automatically shut the dryer off. Dryers use more energy than any other appliance in the home, and since 80 percent of American homes own dryers, the savings potential is huge. With over 5 million dryers being soil last year, the new certified clothes dryers represent a great new opportunity for energy savings in the U.S.

ENERGY STAR now certifies Clothes Dryers
February 20, 2015 09:53 AM - Editor, ENN

For the first time, ENERGY STAR is certifying clothes dryers. Starting this past President’s Day weekend, 45 models of ENERGY STAR certified dryers, from five different manufacturers, were available in stores nationwide. ENERGY STAR certified dryers include gas, electric and compact models, and incorporate innovative energy saving technologies, such as moisture sensors that detect when clothes are dry and automatically shut the dryer off. Dryers use more energy than any other appliance in the home, and since 80 percent of American homes own dryers, the savings potential is huge. With over 5 million dryers being soil last year, the new certified clothes dryers represent a great new opportunity for energy savings in the U.S.

Biodiversity may reduce threat of disease
February 20, 2015 08:45 AM - Victor Montoro, MONGABAY.COM

Biodiversity level changes can have consequences for species and habitats around the world. A new study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, reaffirms previous findings that higher diversity in ecological communities may lead to reduced disease threat. The study concludes that higher amphibian diversity in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest is linked to a lower infection rate of a fungus that is devastating amphibian populations around the world. 

Biodiversity may reduce threat of disease
February 20, 2015 08:45 AM - Victor Montoro, MONGABAY.COM

Biodiversity level changes can have consequences for species and habitats around the world. A new study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, reaffirms previous findings that higher diversity in ecological communities may lead to reduced disease threat. The study concludes that higher amphibian diversity in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest is linked to a lower infection rate of a fungus that is devastating amphibian populations around the world. 

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