Nuclear Power Is Not Quite As Safe as We Thought

23 Sep

The safety of nuclear power is being questioned.

Nuclear power is always a contentious topic, with people on both sides adamant about the safety or danger of such power. Considering how much we have gained from nuclear power plants across the world, and how few notable accidents there have been, many are inclined to argue that it is safe and, in any event, […]

Canvas Bags Aren’t Eco-friendly Because We’re Using Them Wrong

21 Sep

Canvas shopping bags have become an everyday part of life. Many stores and farmers’ market vendors have stopped giving away plastic bags, expecting customers to bring their own canvas bags or selling paper bags for a nominal price. Some cities have banned plastic bags entirely. Plastic bags have become the enemy. But according to a […]

African Mud Helps Us Understand Ancient Climates

19 Sep

Sediments in Lake Malawi are helping us to understand ancient climates

Understanding climate change requires more than just looking at recorded data from the last 150 years. That data shows us that yes, the planet is warming and the climate is changing, but the more we understand about ancient climates and how the planet’s climate has changed, the better we can understand what is happening now. […]

The Ecological Possibilities of De-Extinction

16 Sep

De-extinction has possibilities for saving wildlife, but it needs some examination through the lens of science and ethics.

De-extinction, the process of recreating and reintroducing extinct species, may seem like science fiction, Jurassic Park comes to mind, but there is some real potential for the concept. Some scientists think that it is simply a matter of time before we are able to re-create extinct animals like wooly mammoths. While bringing mammoths and saber-tooth […]

International Project Underway to Reduce Cow Methane Emissions

14 Sep

Research to reduce cow methane emissions is currently underway.

In discussions about climate change, carbon dioxide gets a lot of the attention, but about 16 percent of the greenhouse gases created by human activity consists of methane, and about one-third of those methane emissions are produced by cattle. The roughly one billion cattle grazing at any given time on the planet create about 500 […]

Humanity’s Environmental Footprint Continues to Grow

12 Sep

Humanity's environmental footprint continues to grow despite efforts to reverse it.

A recent study by Professor Bill Laurance of James Cook University has found that humanity’s environmental footprint has impacted almost the entire planet. Only the most remote areas have not been directly impacted or changed by human activity, and 71 percent of ecoregions across the globe have seen a marked increase in human activity in […]

Mayan Water Management May Have Led to Their Demise

9 Sep

Mayan ruins in the city of Tikal. The Mayans may have disappeared due to poor water management.

The decline of the Mayan civilization after the 9th century has long remained, and likely will remain, a mystery. As with any such situation, there were likely a lot of factors, but one of them might have been water. Computer models developed at Technical University Wien in Austria have shown that Mayan water engineering may […]

Nutrient Cycles in Coral Reefs Rely on Big Fish

7 Sep

Coral reefs depend on waste products from larger fish such as barracudas, grouper and others, for nitrogen and phosphorous.

Coral reefs are very delicate ecosystems, and we’ve known for some time that those with fewer large fish tend to grow much slower. This is because nutrients in reefs are sparse; they have what ecologists call tight nutrient cycles. Nitrogen and phosphorus, essential nutrients that coral need in order to grow, come from their fish […]

Sustainable Fertilizer? Try Sewage

5 Sep

The next generation of sustainable fertilizer might just come from sewage.

Phosphorus is an important part of the biochemistry of most plants and animals. We need it to live, and it can compromise our health when there isn’t enough in our diets. Plants also need it to grow well enough to harvest in modern agriculture. It’s naturally occurring, but for a long time we’ve been using […]

Global Warming is Resulting in Saltier Beaches

2 Sep

Intertidal beaches like this one are experiencing increased salinity due to global warming.

Researchers working along the Delaware Bay have discovered a new side effect of global warming: saltier beaches. Ocean beaches naturally contain salt; it’s a byproduct of the tides withdrawing. Such beaches, which are submerged under high tide but exposed during low tide, are favored by a wide variety of animals and plants, like crabs and […]

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