Sustainable urban lawns
March 12, 2014 01:16 PM - robin Blackstone, ENN
Concern for the homogenization of America's urban landscape prompted a recent research study into the care and maintenance of residential landscapes. The study demonstrated fewer similarities than expected but the concern, according to researchers is that "Lawns not only cover a larger extent [of land] than any other irrigated 'crop' in the U.S., but are expected to expand in coming decades. The researchers go on to point out that the potential homogenization of residential lawn care has emerged as a major concern for carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and water flows."
Feral cats a growing health concern
March 11, 2014 04:17 PM - Editor, ENN
A coalition of more than 200 groups which include various bird and wildlife conservation organizations and animal rights groups are calling on Secretary Sally Jewell of the Department of Interior to take action to reduce mortality to wildlife populations on public lands stemming from the nation's ever-increasing population of feral cats. The group brings evidence from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that feral cats pose a threat to human health as a result of an exposure to rabies and toxoplasmosis, a parasitic disease affecting the human brain when exposed to cat feces.
Supergene defines butterfly patterns
March 11, 2014 10:58 AM - Aathira Perinchery, MONGABAY.COM
Scientists have discovered the gene enabling multiple female morphs that give the Common Mormon butterfly its very tongue-in-cheek name. Doublesex, the gene that controls gender in insects, is also a mimicry supergene that determines diverse wing patterns in this butterfly, according to a recent study published in Nature. The study also shows that the supergene is not a cluster of closely linked genes as postulated for nearly half a century, but a single gene controlling all the variations exhibited by the butterfly's wings.
Bright colors in nature a sure sign of toxicity—or is it?
March 11, 2014 10:29 AM - Editor, ENN
Brightly colored prey generally signify danger in the form of toxins for the predator. Predators instinctively know that a brightly colored prey is a sign of bad news and not a suitable meal. Researchers at Michigan State University however are exploring how this evolved and in the process found some animals have actually only imitated the trait in an effort to survive event though they are not poisonous.
Many small glaciers make up the whole in Greenland
March 11, 2014 09:59 AM - George Hale, NASA
Research using NASA data is giving new insight into one of the processes causing Greenland's ice sheet to lose mass. A team of scientists used satellite observations and ice thickness measurements gathered by NASA's Operation IceBridge to calculate the rate at which ice flows through Greenland's glaciers into the ocean. The findings of this research give a clearer picture of how glacier flow affects the Greenland Ice Sheet and shows that this dynamic process is dominated by a small number of glaciers.
COLLEGIATE CORNER: Trash talk: Ocean Dumping
March 10, 2014 11:01 AM - McKaylee Reavis, Class of 2015, Wakefield High School, Arlington, VA
Remember the excitement that filled your body when your parents told you the family was going to go to the beach? Remember the excitement slowly leaving your body when you witnessed the trash that covered the beach for miles? Ocean dumping has become a major problem for marine life and the people who enjoy its many benefits. Many marine animals have suffered from the trash in the water and people have suffered from the sight of trash filling the ocean and cluttering the beaches ruining their supposed beautiful day. Industries, cities, and militaries have been dumping their waste into the ocean for years now. One solution to prevent this problem is to impose stricter restrictions on ocean dumping that range from pedestrian waste to toxic nuclear hazard.
Warming up all over, even in the Arctic
March 10, 2014 09:55 AM - Tim Radford, Ecologist
It's long been established that Arctic Ocean sea ice is on the retreat, writes Tim Radford. But it's the pace of change that's surprising scientists: latest studies show that the ice-free period is increasing by 5 days / decade. Ice in the Arctic continues to retreat. The season without ice is getting longer by an average of five days every 10 years.
Protecting species in Canada
March 10, 2014 09:24 AM - Dr. David Suzuki, Care2
Of 345 species at risk in Canada, more than 160 have waited far too long for recovery strategies. Thanks to a recent federal court decision, four luckier ones are finally getting overdue plans detailing steps needed to save and protect them, including identifying habitat they need to survive. But to make it happen, environmental groups including the David Suzuki Foundation, with the help of Ecojustice lawyers, had to take the federal government to court. It wasn't the first time we’ve gone to court to protect wildlife.
Study Reveals Deer Slow Down Forest Progression
March 10, 2014 06:07 AM - Editor, ENN
Uncontrolled deer populations in rural and suburban areas have become a nuisance for many communities. Not only do deer cause damage to ornamental plants and private residential landscapes, but a new study confirms that deer populations are also altering forest progression. A team of researchers at Cornell University report that deer can create environmental havoc in forests by disrupting the natural soils and seed banks thus causing additional problems for the forest ecosystem.