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 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.
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.
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?
Israel’s largest landfill dump has undergone a massive makeover that has seen the mountain of garbage turn into a 2,000-acre ecological park three times the size of New York City’s Central Park. This new “green lung,” which includes a 150-acre recycling station, walking and cycling trails, ponds and extreme sports activities, will soon be home to a 50,000-seat amphitheater, one of the largest concert venues in Israel. And if that’s not enough, the biogas from this landfill, once a toxic pollutant, is now being reused as green energy.
The multi-million-dollar makeover of Hiriya, which started in 2001, has proven to benefit both the surrounding environment and visitors from all over the world. Now, what once was a huge dump between Road 4 and Road 461 in central Israel known for its unpleasant past, is no longer Israel’s ugliest site.
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.
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.
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.
Prolonged cold snaps on the East Coast, California drought and frozen mornings in the South all have something in common – the atmospheric jet stream which transports weather systems that’s taken to meandering all over North America.
Rutgers University climate scientist Jennifer Francis and colleagues link that wavy jet stream to a warming Arctic, where climate changes near the top of the world are happening faster than in Earth’s middle latitudes.
A new study from Francis and University of Wisconsin-Madison scientist Stephen Vavrus, published in IOPscience, backs up that theory, with evidence linking regional and seasonal conditions in the Arctic to deeper north-south jet stream waves which will lead to more extreme weather across the country.
Scientists report that chemicals that are not controlled by a United Nations treaty designed to protect the Ozone Layer are contributing to ozone depletion. In the new study, published today in Nature Geoscience, the scientists also report the atmospheric abundance of one of these ‘very short-lived substances’ (VSLS) is growing rapidly.
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