• Groundwater Reserves Discovered in Kenya

    It has long been known that Africa has been facing a water crisis. Not only is the continent stressed because of erratic rainfall patterns, arid climates, and hot temperatures, but access to clean, safe drinking water is depriving much of the population of a basic human necessity. Specifically in Kenya, 17 million people lack access to safe drinking water. However, this all could change as an exploration of groundwater resources in northern Kenya has identified two aquifers in the Turkana and Lotikip Basins. >> Read the Full Article
  • New study of the Arctic Ocean finds alarming increase in acidity

    If you ever had a marine aquarium (or a swimming pool) you know that it is very important to keep the level of acidity (ph) within a narrow range for optimum results. In the case of the pool, to minimize corrosion of the metal parts in a heater and to reduce damage to the pool lining or paint. In the case of the aquarium, the ph is directly related to the health of coral and fish. The ocean is no different. Acidity is an important parameter that relates to many other parameters including the health of marine animals and the rates at which corals and rocks grow or are dissolved. Globally, oceans are getting more acidic from CO2 emissions. Acidification of the Arctic Ocean is occurring faster than projected according to new findings published in the journal PLOS ONE. The increase in rate is being blamed on rapidly melting sea ice, a process that may have important consequences for health of the Arctic ecosystem. Ocean acidification is the process by which pH levels of seawater decrease due to greater amounts of carbon dioxide being absorbed by the oceans from the atmosphere. Currently oceans absorb about one-fourth of the greenhouse gas. Lower pH levels make water more acidic and lab studies have shown that more acidic water decrease calcification rates in many calcifying organisms, reducing their ability to build shells or skeletons. These changes, in species ranging from corals to shrimp, have the potential to impact species up and down the food web. The team of federal and university researchers found that the decline of sea ice in the Arctic summer has important consequences for the surface layer of the Arctic Ocean. As sea ice cover recedes to record lows, as it did late in the summer of 2012, the seawater beneath is exposed to carbon dioxide, which is the main driver of ocean acidification. >> Read the Full Article
  • US Forest Service Launches Fall Colors 2013 Campaign

    Let's face it- summer is over. While we still might have one or two days over 80 degrees, there's no denying that fall is coming. And the number one way we can tell that fall is coming is by that colorful foliage. In an effort to get people outdoors and enjoy nature's most colorful season, the U.S. Forest Service has launched its Fall Colors 2013 campaign. "America's public lands, particularly our national forests, are among the most spectacular venues to view the changes in fall colors," said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. "The Forest Service offers numerous resources to help you plan your experience. Nature is closer than you may think." The Forest Service has introduced an online map to help visitors see if and when trees are peaking in their state. The map is shaded in green (not peaking) to bright red (peaking) to brown (past peak). >> Read the Full Article
  • Inviroment Develops Plastic-Dissolving Spray for Use in Landfills

    The idea to develop a plastic-eating spray to decrease landfill capacity began as a roundabout convergence of ideas by a couple of Brigham Young University students – neither of whom had focused on waste management before. >> Read the Full Article
  • Are UK drivers more switched on to electric vehicles?

    It may come as a surprise to those who drive in the UK but a recent survey by Censuswide and Rexel has revealed that 41% of British drivers surveyed would consider the purchase of an electric vehicle or hybrid over the next five years. The survey also revealed a number of anomalies with regards to the public’s perception of the electric vehicle industry which should give food for thought as we move forward with this new mode of transport. >> Read the Full Article
  • The Eugen Maersk and the Future of Clean Shipping

    Unless you're a particularly dedicated shipping enthusiast, it's safe to say that you have probably not come across the name "Eugen Maersk" before. However, it's time that you commit it to memory, as she may well be the future of clean shipping. At full capacity, she weighs in at well over 150,000 tonnes (a weight equivalent to almost a thousand adult blue whales). This bulk is matched by her size – she stretches for more than four football pitches in length, coming in at 397 metres. She takes more than four miles to come to a complete stop from full speed, and burns through significantly more than two hundred tonnes of bunker fuel in one single day. This fuel gives off a large amount of pollution; the total sum of all global shipping activity is responsible for more than three per cent of all carbon dioxide emissions. >> Read the Full Article
  • Fracking fight heats up in Ohio

    What could make a former Marine, retired cop, and self-described "ultra-conservative" oppose fracking in his home state of Ohio? At a diner off of Route 22 near Steubenville, OH, Ed Hashberger had the answer. Dressed in a red polo shirt emblazoned with the U.S. Marine Corps logo and carrying a Marine Corps notebook, Hashberger first described his bona fides. He served three years in Panama. He recited half a dozen close relatives who served in World War II, the Vietnam War, Afghanistan, and Iraq. His son was badly injured from an improvised explosive device (IED) in Afghanistan and remains confined to a wheel chair as a result. >> Read the Full Article
  • NASA study supports soot as cause of glacier retreat in late 1880's

    Several other studies have pointe to the role that soot plays in altering the earth's albedo, its ability to absorb or reflect sunlight, and its role in causing glaciers to retreat. Now a new study by NASA provides crucial evidence supporting these theories. A NASA-led team of scientists has uncovered strong evidence that soot from a rapidly industrializing Europe caused the abrupt retreat of mountain glaciers in the European Alps that began in the 1860s, a period often thought of as the end of the Little Ice Age. The research, published Sept. 3 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, may help resolve a longstanding scientific debate. >> Read the Full Article
  • Ground Level Ozone Linked to Cardiovascular Disease

    The ozone is a protective layer in the upper atmosphere, which helps absorb UltraViolet-B (UVB) from the sun. However, when greenhouse gases are released from ground level, they move up into the ozone layer and essentially damage this layer. Reductions in stratospheric ozone levels lead to higher levels of UVB reaching the Earth's surface. Consequently, laboratory and epidemiological studies demonstrate that UVB can cause nonmelanoma skin cancer and can also play a major role in the development of malignant melanoma. Holes in the ozone layer have been linked to increased cases of skin cancers for some time now, and according to a new study lead by University of California, Berkeley, chronic exposure to ground level ozone itself is now being linked to cardiovascular disease and even premature death. >> Read the Full Article
  • Hawaii Coastlines on Track to Lose 100 Feet of Beach

    Hawaii is known for it's pristine beaches and it's 750 miles of coastline. However with looming sea water rise due to melting ice caps and climate change, a new study by the University of Hawaii shows the state is on pace to lose 100 feet of beach in the coming decades. According to the study, Maui beaches are most at risk as the sea-level rise is approximately 65% higher compared to the island of Oahu. While many beaches have been faced with erosion for years, predictions show that beaches will start to disappear even faster. >> Read the Full Article