Top Stories

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. 

Giant African land snails invading Cuba
February 20, 2015 07:44 AM - s.e. smith, Care2

Kennedy couldn’t manage it in 1961, but someone else has. According to the BBC, Giant African Land Snails have been spotted on Cuban soil, which is bad news for native molluscs in the island nation as well as numerous plants. As if that weren’t bad enough, they also pose a health risk to people. This is one invasion Cubans definitely want to stop in its tracks, and for once the CIA has absolutely nothing to do with it.

These snails have a number of characteristics that make them a formidable problem in regions where they’ve been introduced, which includes parts of Asia, Central America, and the US. For starters, they’re big. Really big. Giant African Snails typically grow up to eight inches long, and they’ve been known to get even bigger. They lay hundreds of eggs every month, with a very high hatch rate, ensuring that once a few snails make land, they can quickly spread across a region and they’re extremely difficult to stop — in part because applying molluscicide would kill other species. Also introducing predators is also problematic because all of the snail’s natural predators would be more likely to pick on smaller, vulnerable native species.

Giant African land snails invading Cuba
February 20, 2015 07:44 AM - s.e. smith, Care2

Kennedy couldn’t manage it in 1961, but someone else has. According to the BBC, Giant African Land Snails have been spotted on Cuban soil, which is bad news for native molluscs in the island nation as well as numerous plants. As if that weren’t bad enough, they also pose a health risk to people. This is one invasion Cubans definitely want to stop in its tracks, and for once the CIA has absolutely nothing to do with it.

These snails have a number of characteristics that make them a formidable problem in regions where they’ve been introduced, which includes parts of Asia, Central America, and the US. For starters, they’re big. Really big. Giant African Snails typically grow up to eight inches long, and they’ve been known to get even bigger. They lay hundreds of eggs every month, with a very high hatch rate, ensuring that once a few snails make land, they can quickly spread across a region and they’re extremely difficult to stop — in part because applying molluscicide would kill other species. Also introducing predators is also problematic because all of the snail’s natural predators would be more likely to pick on smaller, vulnerable native species.

Going Tubeless
February 19, 2015 09:09 AM - Catherine Gill, Care2

Recently one of the country’s most popular paper goods suppliers, Scott Products, did away with the cardboard inner tube inside of its toilet paper rolls and is now going tubeless. Here’s why that’s good news for the environment. Each year over 17 billion toilet paper tubes are thrown away, and most end up in landfills. To put that in perspective, this amount of waste is enough to fill the Empire State Building…twice! And did you know that in New York City alone, 14,000 toilet paper inner tubes are thrown away every 15 minutes? 

The effects of Global warming on fisheries assessed in new study
February 19, 2015 06:35 AM - Oregon State University

A report to be published Thursday in the journal Nature suggests that global warming may increase upwelling in several ocean current systems around the world by the end of this century, especially at high latitudes, and will cause major changes in marine biodiversity.

Since upwelling of colder, nutrient-rich water is a driving force behind marine productivity, one possibility may be enhancement of some of the world’s most important fisheries.

However, solar heating due to greenhouse warming may also increase the persistence of “stratification,” or the horizontal layering of ocean water of different temperatures. The result could be a warm, near-surface layer and a deep, cold layer.

The effects of Global warming on fisheries assessed in new study
February 19, 2015 06:35 AM - Oregon State University

A report to be published Thursday in the journal Nature suggests that global warming may increase upwelling in several ocean current systems around the world by the end of this century, especially at high latitudes, and will cause major changes in marine biodiversity.

Since upwelling of colder, nutrient-rich water is a driving force behind marine productivity, one possibility may be enhancement of some of the world’s most important fisheries.

However, solar heating due to greenhouse warming may also increase the persistence of “stratification,” or the horizontal layering of ocean water of different temperatures. The result could be a warm, near-surface layer and a deep, cold layer.

Oil Train Derailment Causes Huge Fire in West Virginia
February 18, 2015 02:17 PM - Judy Molland, Care2

A huge fire is burning out of control in West Virginia and 1,000 people have been evacuated from their homes, after a train carrying crude oil derailed. When the accident happened, on the afternoon of Monday, February 16, crude oil began pouring into a river that supplies drinking water. Officials noted that at least one of the derailed tanker cars fell into the Kanawha River. The area is about 30 miles from the location where 10,000 gallons of a coal industry chemical called crude MCHM spilled and tainted the drinking water supply a little over one year ago.

Feds Propose Protection of Calving, Foraging Areas of Last 450 Right Whales on East Coast
February 18, 2015 07:55 AM - Center for Biological Diversity

In response to the efforts of conservation and wildlife protection groups, the National Marine Fisheries Service today proposed to protect 39,655 square miles as critical habitat for North Atlantic right whales. Only about 450 of the critically endangered whales exist today, and without additional protections the species faces a serious risk of extinction.

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