• Relating the trees in the Amazon to west coast droughts

    In research meant to highlight how the destruction of the Amazon rainforest could affect climate elsewhere, Princeton University-led researchers report that the total deforestation of the Amazon may significantly reduce rain and snowfall in the western United States, resulting in water and food shortages, and a greater risk of forest fires. >> Read the Full Article
  • Global map provides new insights into land use

    In order to assess the global impacts of land use on the environment and help provide appropriate countermeasures, a group of researchers under the leadership of the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) has created a new world map of land use systems. Based on various indicators of land-use intensity, climate, environmental and socio-economic conditions, they identified twelve global patterns called land system archetypes. The scientists from UFZ with colleagues from the Humboldt-University Berlin and University Bonn have recently published their results in the journal Global Environmental Change. >> Read the Full Article
  • Tesla in the Mass Market

    Tesla Motors is a company, which seems to go from strength to strength and indeed to all intents and purposes this is a company, which has dragged the electric vehicle market kicking, and screaming to the point of mass acceptance. Anybody who has even looked at electric vehicles will be well aware that Tesla began life at the top end of the luxury car market and once this particular niche was dominated the company began to look further down the electric car food chain. >> Read the Full Article
  • Ice Cores may yield 1.5 million year climate record

    How far into the past can ice-core records go? Scientists have now identified regions in Antarctica they say could store information about Earth's climate and greenhouse gases extending as far back as 1.5 million years, almost twice as old as the oldest ice core drilled to date. The results are published this week in Climate of the Past, an open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU). By studying the past climate, scientists can understand better how temperature responds to changes in greenhouse-gas concentrations in the atmosphere. This, in turn, allows them to make better predictions about how climate will change in the future. >> Read the Full Article
  • Deep sea Drilling in New Zealand

    Deep sea drilling will soon commence in the rough waters off the New Zealand coast. This could mark the beginning of an oil rush in which democratic process, public concern, environmental protection and safety considerations are all swept aside. The Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) around New Zealand is fifteen times larger than the country's land area - it extends from the sub-tropical to the sub-Antarctic. Like the Arctic, New Zealand's EEZ supports a multitude of species which travel from far-flung areas of the globe to reach these rich waters. Like the Arctic, New Zealand's EEZ is fast becoming an oil exploration frontier. >> Read the Full Article
  • Playing loud pop music boosts output of solar panels by 40%

    Playing loud pop and rock music improves the performance of solar cells, according to new research from scientists at Queen Mary University of London and Imperial College London. The high frequencies and pitch found in pop and rock music cause vibrations that enhanced energy generation in solar cells containing a cluster of 'nanorods', leading to a 40 per cent increase in efficiency of the solar cells. >> Read the Full Article
  • 2013 PCB dredging on the Hudson

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that more than 612,000 cubic yards of river bottom sediment contaminated with PCBs were removed from the upper Hudson River during 2013, exceeding the annual goal of 350,000 cubic yards for this historic dredging project. This is similar to the amount dredged in 2012 when more than 650,000 cubic yards were removed. The Superfund cleanup required by the EPA calls for the dredging of approximately 2.65 million cubic yards of PCB-contaminated sediment from a 40-mile stretch of the upper Hudson River between Fort Edward and Troy, New York. The project began in 2009 and is about 73% complete, putting the dredging on track to be finished in two years. To date, about 1.9 million of the 2.65 million cubic yards million have been removed. Filling of previously dredged areas with clean sand and gravel will continue over the next several weeks, weather permitting. About 280 local area contractors, subcontractors, vendors and suppliers have provided goods or services related to Hudson River dredging. >> Read the Full Article
  • Sea stars wasting away on both U.S. coasts

    Evidence suggests that we are at the onset of another sea star wasting event. Sea stars on both the east and west coasts of the United States have fallen victim to a wasting disease that overcomes the Pisaster ochraceus in a matter of days once an initial lesion appears. The disease, while currently not understood, is rapidly transmitted amongst the population once it takes hold. On the west coast studies show that the disease is bacterial but on the east coast it is viral. Both result in a similar disintegration of the flesh within a very short period of time. >> Read the Full Article
  • Scientists start to tap marine microbes for biotech use

    [PARIS] The hot, brackish waters of French Polynesia’s lagoons in the Pacific could harbour microbes with huge commercial potential, including for drug creation or to produce alternatives to plastics, say researchers. The extreme conditions found in some Polynesian aquatic ecosystems, which are often characterised by high temperatures and salinity, mean that unique marine bacteria have evolved there. >> Read the Full Article
  • The Juncture of Politics and the Environment

    When announcing his plan to kick-start the U.S. economy in the midst of the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt famously declared that the country had "nothing to fear but fear itself." In just 100 days, through a flurry of legislation and investment, his government dragged the country up off its knees – a towering political achievement. >> Read the Full Article