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Asian Dust Feeds Giant Sequoias In the United States

3 Apr

Giant sequoias in the Sierra Nevadas get some of the nutrition they need thanks to Asian dust.

People are largely used to thinking of ecosystems as separate and self-contained. But as scientists learn more about the Earth and how its myriad systems work together to give us the world we know, some things come as a surprise–like the relationship between giant sequoias and Asian dust. The Sierra Nevadas are naturally low in […]

The World Needs A More Sustainable Supply of Technology Minerals

29 Mar

A research team at the University of Delaware argues that we need to develop a more sustainable supply of technology minerals.

A recent international study shows that many materials that are necessary for technology ranging from cell phones to hybrid or electric cars are hard to come by and poorly documented. “There are treaties on climate change, biodiversity, migratory species and even waste management of organic chemicals, but there is no international mechanism to govern how […]

Researchers Reinvent Sawdust As an Oil Spill Cleanup Tool

21 Dec

Scientists have reinvented sawdust as an oil spill cleanup tool.

As long as we continue to rely on oil for fuel, we’re going to have to deal with oil spills. While there are several ways to clean up oil spills, they were designed for use in warm water, not the cold and sometimes rough seas of far northern latitudes. But scientists working for the Pacific […]

Sharks Need Conservation to Help Combat Climate Change

18 Nov

Sharks could help combat climate change

Sharks are an essential part of the ecosystems in which they live. Many operate as apex predators. They are at the top of the food chain and help keep ecosystems balanced by preventing prey animals from spreading too quickly. When sharks have plentiful food and safety, prey creatures can and often do grow in population […]

Fracking Wastewater Might Actually Be Useful

28 Oct

Fracking wastewater is mostly brine and might actually be useful.

On the list of reasons why people are unsure about fracking, wastewater usually ranks very high. The concern is that wastewater produced as a side effect of fracking could leak into other water supplies and cause great damage. It is assumed that the wastewater contains many unnatural chemicals used in the fracking process. A recent […]

A Quick Fall Vegetable Planting Primer

28 Sep

Fall garden crops

It’s pretty common for people to grow herbs and vegetables during the spring and summer. As the air gets crisp and frost sets in, most plants freeze and die. Many people don’t realize there are a variety of crops that can be planted in the fall. In fact, the cool weather even brings out the flavor […]

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 […]

Something’s Brewing at California’s New Coffee Farm

12 Nov

Coffee beans

We’ve all heard the reports that by 2080 Arabica coffee beans could be extinct. Not only that but factors like drought, coffee rust, and fungal disease are driving up the costs of those precious beans in Brazil. For us coffee lovers, the days may seem limited. But, with new research in California, there is hope […]

Study Concludes BP Oil Spill Left “Oily Ring” on Seafloor

4 Nov


A recent study reports that the infamous BP oil spill of 2010 has left an “oily bathtub ring” on the seafloor. The report by David Valentine, a professor of microbial geochemistry at the University of California at Santa Barbara, estimates that roughly 10 million gallons of oil has coalesced in an area around the size […]

RipeNearMe Helps You Find Homegrown Produce

30 Apr


An innovative new website is helping to connect local micro-farmers and foodies connect with each other. RipeNearMe ( was launched in Australia as a way to help make cities more “edible,” allowing people to get fresh food from their local neighborhood—instead of from the supermarket. The website was founded by Alistair Martin and Helena Martin, […]