Are Large Dams Economical?
April 23, 2014 08:51 AM - Editor, The Ecologist
A study of 245 large dams carried out at Oxford University shows that big hydropower is uneconomic. Actual costs are typically double pre-construction estimates - and have not improved over 70 years. Researchers at Oxford University have found that planners and policymakers systematically underestimate the costs and time required to implement large dam projects.
The Andes' pulsating rise
April 22, 2014 03:10 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
New research by Carmala Garzione, Earth and Environmental Sciences professor from the University of Rochester suggests that the Antiplano plateau in the central Andes Mountains along with the entire mountain range likely arose in a series of periodic rapid pulses instead of a more continuous gradual surface uplift. According to Garzione, "In geologic terms, rapid means rising one kilometer or more over several millions of years, which is very impressive."
The Evolution of Earth Day
April 22, 2014 10:29 AM - Allison Winter, ENN
Each year April 22nd, marks the anniversary of what many consider the birth of the environmental movement in 1970. Not only did this movement help pass landmark legislation like the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act but it has also engaged more than 1 billion people who now participate in Earth Day activities each year.
Agencies and Regulators Step Up to Combat 'Pirate Fishing'
April 22, 2014 08:09 AM - ENN Staff
A new study shows that a surprisingly large amount of the seafood sold in U.S. markets is caught illegally. In fact, 90 percent of U.S. seafood is imported, and according to a new study in the journal Marine Policy, as much as a third of that is caught illegally or without proper documentation.
Narcotics + Deforestation = Narco-Deforestation
April 21, 2014 02:12 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
Narco-Deforestation, a newly coined term for the destruction of sensitive forest ecologies in Central and South America has been identified as a greater threat to the South and Central American forests than other previously identified concerns such as legal logging and development. The drug traffickers are creating new autoroutes and airplane strips for greater access to and through the forests and jungles of the Central and South America. These new routes make it easier to transport drugs from Mexico to South America and vice-versa.
Turtle Trouble: 20-year study finds large decrease in green turtle catch rates
April 21, 2014 02:05 PM - Allison Winter, ENN
Sea turtle populations have been exploited for hundreds of years, and even though conservation efforts have increased substantially in modern times, populations still suffer across the globe. In fact, according to conservation scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society and University of Florida, over-fishing is to blame for more than 170,000 green turtles deaths between 1991 and 2011.
That sinking feeling on the Mississippi Delta
April 21, 2014 09:49 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
Every engineering control has its drawbacks. As communities upstream of the Mississippi Delta continue to emplace dams and other flood control measures to prevent community flooding, less sediment is pulled from the lands upstream. Flood control measures have eliminated about half of the annual supply of marshland sediment to the Mississippi Delta. The existing soils continue to compact and sink without sediment replenishment. But researchers have found that the river’s supply of sand, the key ingredient used by engineers for rebuilding, will remain constant for many centuries.
Weird and Mysterious: Scientists Find New Shark Species
April 18, 2014 01:01 PM - Chris Samoray, MONGABAY.COM
A long snout with teeth jutting from the sides? Check. Catfish-like barbels dangling from its chin? Got them. Gills on the side of its body? It has those, too. These are characteristics of a bizarre group of sharks known as sawsharks (family Pristiophoriforidae). And until recently, only seven species were recognized. However, following examination of specimens caught in the western North Pacific, researchers discovered that the number of species should be raised one more.
The Atlantic Cup looks to raise awareness on Rhode Island’s increasingly polluted shorelines
April 18, 2014 11:32 AM - Guest Contributor, Jeff Pomeroy
The 2014 Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing, now entering its fourth year as the United States premiere class 40 yacht race, continues to lead the way in clean sailing and increasing ecologically awareness in the sailing community. In 2012, the Atlantic Cup became the first carbon-neutral sailing race in the country by offsetting an estimated 23,030 pounds (10.45 metric tons) of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. Last year, in partnership with 11th Hour Racing and Green Mountain Energy Company, the Atlantic Cup was chosen as the first event to meet all the requirements to earn Sailors for the Sea Clean Regatta Platinum Level Status. The Atlantic Cup will once again maintain its commitment to being the most environmentally responsible sailing race in the U.S. by using biodiesel hydro generators, solar panels and fuel cells to limit the use of fuel during competition, recycling waste, and becoming a plastic water bottle free event.
Scenario development yields environmental success story
April 17, 2014 03:37 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
With so much scenario modeling currently available, we are able to better predict our future and anticipate the outcomes of various habits and activities. While invaluable in the area of prediction, how has that information transformed our environmental status? Is our environmental future optimistic or dismal? Will we be able to celebrate Earth Day in the future knowing that we have responded appropriately to the bleak prophecies?