Archive | June, 2016

By 2025 Half Our Power Should Be Emissions-Free

30 Jun

wind farm green energy

The United States, Mexico, and Canada have signed a continent-spanning agreement to increase production of emissions-free electricity, improving the number to 50% across the three nations. Currently, about 37% of the continent’s electricity is generated with emissions-free means, such as hydropower, wind power, or solar power. Such generation doesn’t create carbon emissions, which are a […]

Climate Change Is Messing With Plant and Animal Calendars

29 Jun

birds migrating at sunset

Thanks to the longstanding tradition in the United Kingdom of people observing and recording natural events like flowering, bird migration, or nesting habits, researchers have been able to determine that changing weather patterns are impacting the “calendars” that plants and animals keep. Temperature change tends to have a bigger impact on nature’s cycles than precipitation, […]

The City Bee and the Country Bee

23 Jun

A city bee overlooks a Los Angeles freeway

As humans have known for millennia, and as many authors have reminded us, city life is hard–but it has some advantages. The same turns out to be true for bees, who suffer from a higher rate of parasites in urban environments, but pollinate more plants than they do in agricultural areas. First off, the parasites in […]

Learning About Carbon Storage From Nature

21 Jun

carbon dioxide molecule

Scottish researchers have been looking at ancient rocks to learn more about reducing climate change. Throughout the world, there are underground pockets of CO2, which are securely and safely held without the gases escaping to the atmosphere. While this is something we’ve known about and have been working on for some time, we’re learning more about […]

Conservation Fights to Preserve a Wilderness that Never Was

17 Jun

Recent research reveals that the pristine landscapes that inspired the conservation movement and artists like Albert Bierstadt, who painted “Among the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California,” in 1868, haven’t existed for millennia.

Conservation is a key philosophy and practice focused on preserving the planet for future generations of all species. Human passion fueling the conservation movement was inspired by images of unspoiled forests and wide-open prairies. But was it all a dream? Recent study by archeologists from the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia finds that […]

Artificial Seawater Revolutionizes Ocean Research

15 Jun

Michael Henson, LSU doctoral candidate, collects samples in the Gulf of Mexico.

Microbial creatures living in the world’s oceans are an important part of those ecosystems. Studying the ocean’s microbial life will help us understand the ocean’s ecosystem. Research of this type could lead to interesting discoveries in a number of fields. However, scientists pursuing this area of study don’t understand these life forms even though they […]

Bees Eat Poor Pollen to Keep Away Parasites

13 Jun

Bees gather pollen from a sunflower

Bees evolve to specialize in different kinds of pollen for a variety of reasons. Some specializations arise from the availability of plants within a species’ range, while it turns out that some may develop as a response to parasitic activity. Sunflowers, which include dandelions, daisies, and thistles, generally produce pollen that is a poor quality food […]

Ethane Emissions Rising Quickly

8 Jun

ethane emissions can come from cars

Ethane is an air pollutant and greenhouse gas, which tends to break down low in the atmosphere and can lead to an increase in ground-based pollution, posing both health and environmental risks. Back in the 1970s, a number of systems were put into place, which significantly reduced ethane emissions; but those gains are quickly being reversed. […]

Bees Collect Most Pollen From Non-Crops, But Still Get Those Pesticides

6 Jun

A recent study from Purdue University has found that bees collect the vast majority of their pollen from uncultivated crops, but that they still come into contact with a lot of pesticides and herbicides which pose a threat to them. While bees do collect pollen from corn or soybeans, they spend more of their time […]

Now We Know Why Antarctic Waters Are Warming So Slowly

3 Jun

Some new research from the University of Washington and MIT has some bad news for climate deniers, but good news for the climate. For some time, we’ve known that warming is a lot faster in the Arctic than in Antarctica, but we didn’t know why. Climate deniers, of course, seized on this as an argument […]