Scientists have engineered an enzyme which can digest some of our most commonly polluting plastics, providing a potential solution to one of the world’s biggest environmental problems.
If you've ever noticed yourself thinking about the timing of a plan in two opposing ways – something that feels longer off than your actual time calculation -- you’re on to something. New research shows our different ways of estimating time don't necessarily move in lock-step.
Consider these three recent developments: California emerged from drought in April 2017, fewer companies reported impacts associated with water scarcity, and the average freshwater intensity of companies in the MSCI ACWI Index dropped by 15 percent between 2015 and 2016. While these are positive short term signals for investors concerned with water scarcity, 2017 was also the most costly in U.S. history for natural disasters. This underscored the thinking behind a key trend that MSCI ESG Research identified in the beginning of 2017: institutional investors are shifting their portfolio analysis from the measurement of regulatory risks, such as the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, to physical risks, such as exposure to coastal flooding along the U.S. Gulf Coast.
In 2014, I predicted “Desert Greening the Next Big Thing”, would be led by green investors. I’m still waiting for this shift from humanity’s single minded focus on traditional agricultural crops (glycophytes) relying on the planet’s three percent of fresh water. Why so little shift to more sustainable, nutrient-richer, salt loving (halophyte) plant foods, such as quinoa? Because vested interests in the vast incumbent global agro-chemical industrial complex are as powerful and persistent as those in the worldwide fossilized sectors. Corporations like Cargill and ConAgra dominate, along with agro-chemical giants Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer, BASF, and DowDupont, selling fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and genetically-modified seeds, as well as those selling farm machinery, Deere, Caterpillar, Yamaha and their thousands of dealers around the world.
Shared fates and experiences in a community can help it withstand changes to water availability due to climate change, a recent study by Sandia National Laboratories researchers found.
A moss capable of removing arsenic from contaminated water has been discovered by researchers from Stockholm University. And it happens quickly – in just one hour, the arsenic level is so low that the water is no longer harmful for people to drink. The study has been published in the journal Environmental Pollution.
REDD+ (Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) is an UN-led programme aiming to increase carbon sequestration in tropical forests. REDD+ is included among technologies for negative emissions, which stand for a large share of the emission reductions in the climate models internationally agreed on to keep global warming below 2°C. But increasing forest cover in developing counties can threaten other values, as shown in this new study. In southern Ethiopia the tree heather heathlands above the treeline are regularly burnt in order to improve livestock pasture, a practice that authorities within the REDD+ system now tries to stop in order to increase carbon storage. A new study from Stockholm University shows that the ancient pasture burning maintains biodiversity and habitats for alpine plant species not found anywhere else
Seeking the feel good factor? Go natural.
That is the simple message from University of Otago researchers who have discovered raw fruit and vegetables may be better for your mental health than cooked, canned and processed fruit and vegetables.
Plants may have exerted greater influence on our terrestrial ecosystems than the megaherbivores that used to roam our landscapes, according to new research.
The Greenland Ice Sheet is melting, discharging hundreds of billions of tons of water into the ocean each year. Sea levels are steadily rising.
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