Top Stories

How Can We Reduce Food Waste?

It’s no secret that Americans throw away an enormous amount of food, sending day-old leftovers and slightly wilted spinach straight to the garbage. But what about the food that never even makes it to the kitchen table? A new report released by a British engineering society reveals that worldwide, billions of tons of food are squandered each year because of poor agriculture practices, which include inefficient harvesting and inadequate infrastructure and storage—and it’s depleting Earth's water supply. >> Read the Full Article

Snowmegedan, or Nemo, Whatever you call it, it's a Monster

The Nor'easter that is pummeling the New England region, and to a somewhat lesser extent, the MidAtlantic region is a massive storm. Nor'easters are not that rare, but one this powerful IS rare. The snowfalls from it are likely setting records in many locations. The National Weather Service does not name winter storms, only Tropical Storms and Hurricanes. So why is every one calling this one Nemo? Look to the Weather Chanel which has started making up names for winter storms. Their idea is to increase awareness of powerful winter storms. It seems to be working! Winter Storm Nemo continues to bring blizzard conditions to much of eastern New England this morning. Blizzard warnings are in effect from coastal Maine to southern New England, including Portland, Maine, Boston, Hartford, and Providence. All travel should be avoided! >> Read the Full Article

Old Bird, New Mom

A Laysan albatross known as Wisdom – believed to be at least 62 years old – has hatched a chick on Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge for the sixth consecutive year. This is pretty old to give birth for any species. During the morning hours on Sunday, the chick was observed pipping its way into the world by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Pete Leary, who said the chick appears healthy. Wisdom was first banded in 1956, when she was incubating an egg in the same area of the refuge. She was at least five years old at the time. 5 to 62 and still giving birth to youngsters. That is a dedicated mom. >> Read the Full Article

Converting Less Rainforest into Toilet Paper

Score one for the strategy of pressuring corporations to act now for environmental sustainability. Whereas governments often meet, greet, and retreat on big issues like deforestation, environmentalists have convinced a major Asian pulp company to stop scalping the rainforests of Indonesia to produce paper and packaging. >> Read the Full Article

Climate change could impact wave height, says study

Average wave size will increase in many parts of the southern hemisphere over the twenty-first century, but decrease in the north, according to an international study on the impact of climate change on oceanic activity. The study, published in Nature Climate Change last month (13 January), predicts a wave height increase of between 20 and 30 centimeters in an area covering at least seven per cent of the surface of the world's oceans. This is due to the poleward intensification of the westerly winds in the southern hemisphere, resulting from climate change. >> Read the Full Article

The California Coyote Hunt Will Go On Despite Petition Drive

State wildlife officials in California declined to call off a coyote-hunting contest in Modoc County this weekend but, in response to public outcry, agreed to take steps to clarify the scope of the hunt and protect OR-7, the first wild wolf in California in nearly nine decades. The precautionary steps were recommended by a coalition of conservation groups representing more than a million Californians, including Project Coyote, the Center for Biological Diversity and Animal Welfare Institute. The California Fish and Wildlife Department received more than 20,000 comments and petition signatures from members of the public who oppose the coyote hunt. On Wednesday, following a hearing that included testimony from more than a dozen hunt-contest opponents, wildlife officials agreed to educate the hunt’s sponsors and participants on the physical differences between coyotes and wolves and to make clear that shooting wolves violates both state and federal law. The agency will also provide wardens to monitor the hunt and ensure it complies with the law. >> Read the Full Article

Invasive Striga Weed Serious Problem in Sub-Saharan Africa

Rising soil temperatures are increasing the spread of a deadly, parasitic weed that significantly reduces crop yields in Sub-Saharan Africa, Striga, according to scientists. The noxious weed, also known as witch-weed, usually thrives in the warm and humid tropics but is now spreading to cooler and wetter highlands as a result of warmer soils driven by global warming and low soil fertility, which provides the right conditions for Striga to thrive. Increasing soil temperatures are fuelling the spread of Striga from the tropics to highland areas The deadly weed can reduce crops by up to 80 per cent, threatening livelihoods Research organisations are trialling various strategies, such as intercropping, to combat its spread This spread has threatened the livelihoods of around 100 million people, with more than four million hectares of maize crops infected. In general, Striga reduces maize and cowpea yields by up to 80 per cent in Sub-Saharan Africa. >> Read the Full Article

The Worlds of Red Dwarfs

A red dwarf is a small and relatively cool star on the main sequence. Red dwarfs range in mass from a low of 0.075 solar masses (the upper limit for a brown dwarf) to about 50% of the Sun and have a surface temperature of less than 4,000 K. So they are not very impressive but there are a lot of them. Using publicly available data from NASA's Kepler space telescope, astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics estimate that six percent of red dwarf stars in the galaxy have Earth-size planets in the habitable zone, the range of distances from a star where the surface temperature of an orbiting planet might be suitable for liquid water. >> Read the Full Article

In Tapping REI Chief for Interior Secretary, Obama Sends Latest Signal on Climate Agenda

On Wednesday, President Barack Obama nominated REI CEO Sally Jewell to be the next Secretary of the Interior. Jewell, who took over REI in 2005, has a record both as a successful businesswoman and a longtime conservation advocate. REI, which was founded in 1938, grew rapidly under Jewell's tenure, and the company today operates over 100 stores in around 30 states. >> Read the Full Article

Clean Coal

Coal is somewhat notorious for not being the cleanest of fuels. Similarly all combustion systems release a good deal of carbon dioxide. A new form of clean coal technology reached an important milestone recently, with the successful operation of a research-scale combustion system at Ohio State University. The technology is now ready for testing at a larger scale. The Ohio State combustion unit produced heat from coal while capturing 99 percent of the carbon dioxide produced in the reaction. >> Read the Full Article