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Researchers Develop New, Inexpensive Device to Detect Oil Spills

10 Mar

Researchers have developed a new, inexpensive device to detect oil spills and determine the type of oil that was spilled.

Oil spills present a lot of challenges, not the least of which is identifying the kind of oil that has been spilled, and determining the best way to clean it up. Another is tracking how contaminated a particular area has become. Early detection is necessary to respond before too much oil mixes into the water. […]

Humans Have Dramatically Increased Wildfire Damage

1 Mar

Humans have dramatically increased the extent and duration of wildfire season.

According to recent research from the University of Colorado Boulder, humans have dramatically increased the extent and duration of wildfire season. It used to be that wildfires happened most often in the summer and tapered off dramatically after that. However, it now seems like wildfire season lasts the entire year, with fires being started in […]

New Computer Model Predicts Location of Ocean Garbage Patches

24 Feb

ocean garbage patches

Garbage patches form in the world’s oceans when debris starts collecting in one area. It’s a phenomenon that we’ve known about for some time, but are only just starting to understand it. Researchers at the University of Miami Rosentiel School have developed a computer model which can help to explain how debris gets pulled into […]

Drones Don’t Bother Whales, but What About Birds?

22 Feb

Research has shown that drones don't bother marine mammals, but the jury is still out on whether and how much they might harm other mammals.

Drones are increasingly common tools for scientists who study wildlife, allowing them to get to places that might otherwise be physically or financially impossible to reach. But drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) don’t always go unnoticed by animals, and there is growing concern that drone flights might be disrupting the animals they’re being used […]

Aquatic Invasive Species Are An Increasing Concern

10 Feb

Aquatic invasive species like this Chinese mitten crab are transmitted by ships' ballast waters and cause damage to fisheries and aquaculture in the northeastern Atlantic.

We are quite familiar with invasive species on land: plants like milfoil and lupines, for example, take over fields and ponds and cause changes that lead to the extinction of local species. However, since the 1980s, it has also been recognized that there are numerous aquatic species transmitted far from their original homes via ships’ […]

Massive 2015 Sandstorm Caused by Climate Change

23 Jan

A massive sandstorm in Syria was caused by climate change, not the ongoing conflict in the area as previously suggested.

In August of 2015, a massive sandstorm covered seven nations in the Middle East, closing ports, canceling flights, killing several, and causing thousands of injuries. At the time, many news outlets posited that the storm was the result of the Syrian Civil War. While that may sound far-fetched, they argued that increased use of military […]

Changing Climate Means Changing Flood Threat

11 Jan

Flood threat levels around the United States are changing, according to a new study from the University of Iowa.

Flood threat levels around the United States are changing, according to a new study from the University of Iowa. Across the northern half of the country, the risk of floods is rising, while in the southern half it is declining. This is due in part to the amount of groundwater in those regions. The Midwest, […]

China to Invest $361 Billion In Renewable Power Generation

9 Jan

China is set to invest billions in renewable energy in order to combat pollution.

It’s long been known that Beijing is one of the most polluted cities in the world. A recent time-lapse video of smog rolling in over the city proved that point in no uncertain terms. But now it looks like China is getting ready to tackle that issue head on. On January 5, Reuters reported that […]

22 Million Pounds of Plastic Enters the Great Lakes Each Year

4 Jan

An estimated 22 million pounds of plastic garbage enters the Great Lakes every year.

A recent study from the Rochester Institute of Technology has estimated that around 10,000 metric tons (22 million pounds) of plastic enters the Great Lakes each year. It is the first study to take several smaller, local studies and use mathematical models to extrapolate how much plastic is entering the lake system overall. By comparison, […]

Is Campi Flegrei Ready to Blow?

23 Dec

A recent study has noted that the area around Campi Flegrei, a supervolcano in Italy, is showing signs of increased pressure, which could mean an eruption.

Some areas of the world just can’t catch a break. While scientists are by no means certain of the eventual outcome, a recent study has noted that the area around Campi Flegrei (“burning fields”), a supervolcano in Italy, is showing signs of increased pressure, which could mean an eruption. And by “eruption,” we’re talking a […]