• Hurricanes with female names result in greater death toll

    Hurricanes with feminine names are likely to cause nearly three times as many deaths than storms with masculine names after new research found girl names are perceived as less threatening. A new University of Illinois study is warning to watch out for hurricanes with benign-sounding names like Dolly, Fay or Hanna because people in the path of these severe storms may take fewer protective measure, leaving them more vulnerable to harm. >> Read the Full Article
  • US EPA Releases Clean Power Plan Proposal

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is releasing the Clean Power Plan proposal today. This is the first attempt to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants, the single largest source of carbon pollution in the United States. According to the EPA, power plants account for roughly one-third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. While there are already standards for the level of arsenic, mercury, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particle pollution that power plants can emit, there are currently no national limits on carbon pollution levels. >> Read the Full Article
  • UNESCO and the Barcelona Foundation for Ocean Sailing Join Forces in Ocean Conservation Effort

    Last Friday at the United Nations in New York, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC) and the Barcelona Foundation for Ocean Sailing (FNOB) took major steps toward Ocean Conservation by presenting their joint commitment for ocean research. The announcement comes just two days before the start of the IMOCA Ocean Masters New York to Barcelona transatlantic sailing race. With members of the sailing community already acting as agents of sustainable use and protection of the world’s seas and oceans and with climate change listed as one of the key priorities of the member organizations of the United Nations for the 2015-16 agenda, this partnership represents an unprecedented alliance between the sailing and scientific communities. The partnership is part of ongoing efforts of UNESCO IOC to build a knowledge base about the oceans and coastal areas and to apply this knowledge to improve the protection and sustainable management of the marine environment and to promote sustainable communities. The formation of this partnership started at the 2011 Barcelona World Race; a two-handed, non-stop around the world race. During the race the teams pledged to collect data in the Southern Ocean, an area for which data is still lacking. The region is considered key in monitoring climate change. >> Read the Full Article
  • Reducing emissions to combat climate change

    Climate engineering is unlikely to provide an effective or practical solution to slowing global warming, according to a new study. Reducing the release of carbon remains the only likely answer to tackling climate change ahead of fanciful projects such as positioning giant mirrors in space to reduce the amount of sunlight being trapped in the earth's atmosphere or seeding clouds to reduce the amount of light entering earth's atmosphere. >> Read the Full Article
  • Antarctica, the Southern Ocean, and Climate Change

    A special issue of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A has been published today (Monday 2 June) which brings together a collection of papers on many of the unresolved issues relating to the Southern Ocean. Professor Michael Meredith from the British Antarctic Survey was a guest editor on the issue; 'The Southern Ocean: new insights into circulation, carbon and climate'. The research includes: Why greenhouse gases and the ozone holes are melting the Arctic sea ice but are having a cooling effect in some parts of Antarctica, and how dust, which provides iron and essential nutrients to the ocean, might have been the cause of increased biological productivity in the southern Atlantic Ocean during the last ice age. >> Read the Full Article
  • Utility emissions in US trending down

    A new report on U.S. power plant emissions from the country's top 100 electric power producers shows a downward trend in nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxides (SO2), mercury and carbon dioxide (CO2) since 2000, with CO2 emissions decreasing 13 percent between 2008 and 2012. The findings show that the industry is already shifting toward a combination of increased energy efficiency and lower carbon fuel sources, which should help it meet new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) carbon standards expected to be announced on June 2. "The electric power industry is firmly on the path toward a low carbon energy future, and history shows that it is not only capable of meeting new pollution limits, but that it can do so while keeping our lights on and our economy growing," said Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres, a nonprofit sustainability advocacy group which helped produce the report. "EPA's proposed standards will stimulate further investment in low-carbon, low-risk resources like renewable power and energy efficiency." >> Read the Full Article
  • British Airways Turns Garbage into Jet Fuel: Sustainable Solution or Incineration in Disguise?

    Can garbage power your plane ride from New York to London? That’s the idea behind a new production plant that will transform waste from London's homes and businesses into a jet fuel that costs about the same price as conventional petroleum-based fuel but burns cleaner and produces fewer carbon emissions. >> Read the Full Article
  • Zebras Break Record for Africa's Longest Terrestrial Migration

    With food and water scarce in many parts of Africa, many species migrate long-distances in order to survive. A new study published in the journal, Oryx has found a new record-breaker for the continent’s longest tracked terrestrial migration: a huge group of zebras that traveled a total distance of 500 kilometers (300 miles). >> Read the Full Article
  • How Sharks Could Help Predict Hurricanes

    Scientists have embarked on a remarkable new project to use shark and large marine predators as biological sensors in the hopes that they could help us predict the formation and course of potentially dangerous hurricanes. Researchers from the University of Miami have tagged a total of 750 marine animals in the past ten years, all to track the temperature and salinity of sea waters at different depths. Earlier this year though, the researchers noticed something special about the data — the tagged marine life gravitated toward water that was about 79 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, which is the temperature at which hurricanes form. >> Read the Full Article
  • New insight on Antarctic Ice Sheet behavior at end of the last ice age

    A new study has found that the Antarctic Ice Sheet began melting about 5,000 years earlier than previously thought coming out of the last ice age – and that shrinkage of the vast ice sheet accelerated during eight distinct episodes, causing rapid sea level rise. The international study, funded in part by the National Science Foundation, is particularly important coming on the heels of recent studies that suggest destabilization of part of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has begun. >> Read the Full Article