Archive | June, 2015

Earth Entering Sixth Mass Extinction

30 Jun

Mass Extinction

According to a recent study published in Science Advances, the Earth has entered into a sixth mass extinction, and species are dying out faster than they have since the event that killed the dinosaurs. And, coming as little surprise, this event is humanity’s fault. Mass extinctions have, previously, been naturally occurring events that have meant […]

The Rockefeller University Sustainability Initiatives Honored by AEE

26 Jun

The Rockefeller University’s multi-year initiative to reduce energy usage and carbon emissions was recognized last week with an award from the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE). The local award recognizes the consistent achievements of an entire team and is presented to a public sector institution for outstanding accomplishments in developing, organizing, managing, and implementing its […]

Study Illustrates Importance of Bee Biodiversity

24 Jun


A recently completed three-year study of bee pollination has helped to reinforce the insects’ importance to global ecosystems and agriculture. The study estimates that bee pollination is worth about $3,000 per hectare, which puts that value into the billions of dollars globally. Anyone who knows anything about agriculture likely knows that bees are important to […]

Bachelor Birds Help Preserve Genetic Diversity

22 Jun


The hihi, an endangered bird species native to New Zealand, might have better survival chances than previously thought. Currently, there are only about 2,000 individuals left in a species that is the only one of its family, and unique among birds. The species has been decimated by the introduction of new predators like rats, the […]

Some Earth Microorganisms Could Survive on Mars

18 Jun


According to Rebecca Mickol, a graduate student at the University of Arkansas, some Earth organisms could survive on Mars. In particular, she means methanogens, anaerobic microorganisms responsible for creating methane. Methanogens do not require oxygen, that’s what anaerobic means, and use hydrogen as an energy source and carbon dioxide as a carbon source. They basically […]

Climate Change Could Lead to Devastating Migration for Aquatic Species

15 Jun

Aquatic Life

Two new studies, both published in Science, have drawn attention to a previously unforeseen problem of global climate change. As ocean temperatures rise, many species will be forced to move toward colder waters. For many aquatic creatures, namely fish, crustaceans, and coral, water temperature is linked to metabolism. As the temperature rises, their metabolism increases, […]

Global Warming Means Less Growing Days for Plants, Not More

13 Jun

Dying Plant

Conventional wisdom has held that despite it’s many downsides, a warming planet would be good for plant growth, at least among plants in northern regions. Recent evidence has proven that wrong, quite wrong in fact, as current projections claim that by 2100 we could see as much as an 11% decrease, globally, in the number […]

Study Shows 75% of Carbon Emissions Limited by National Targets

11 Jun

Carbon Emissions

According to the London School of Economics, three-quarters of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions are limited by national targets. While this isn’t enough to prevent climate change, and may not even be enough to keep that change within targeted manageable levels over the next century, it’s certainly a start. The European Union plus another 98 […]

Trevor Day School Becomes First to Use Geothermal Energy in NYC

9 Jun

Geothermal Energy

In the fall of 2014, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans to reduce the city’s carbon footprint, an initiative that would be spearheaded via the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. According to a recent press release found on Business Wire, “Through an increased reliance on renewable energy sources, the Mayor has set forth […]

Research Team Tackles Rio Grande Drought

6 Jun

California Drought

The Rio Grande region, which includes three US states and five Mexican states, is currently facing a drought. El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, the cross boarder urban giant, is the largest urban center in that region, with a combined population of 2.1 million people. Many surrounding farms and ranches are affected as well, and the […]