Environmental Protection


Tension Wood Study Broadens Biofuels Research

Taking a cue from Mother Nature, researchers at the Department of Energy's BioEnergy Science Center have undertaken a first-of-its-kind study of a naturally occurring phenomenon in trees to spur the development of more efficient bioenergy crops.

How Much Water is Enough for Lawns?

Watering grass, whether in a park, a football field or a homeowner’s yard, was an issue throughout the summer as those responsible for upkeep tried to keep things green under drought conditions.

Extreme Melting on Greenland Ice sheet

The Greenland ice sheet can experience extreme melting even when temperatures don't hit record highs, according to a new analysis by Dr. Marco Tedesco, assistant professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at The City College of New York.

EPA recognizes Carnegie Mellon as a Top Buyer of Green Power

Carnegie Mellon’s green power purchase of more than 120 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) is equivalent to avoiding the yearly carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of over 16,000 passenger vehicles or from more than 10,000 average American homes' electricity use.

Two Companies Partner to Solve Water Issue in Marcellus Shale Basin

A new joint partnership provides a solution to the environmental issues surrounding the treatment of mineral-laden brackish water from Marcellus Shale drilling, a problem that has threatened to severely limit natural gas drilling in several northeastern states.

Researchers Testing Non-Chemical Method for DeIcing Planes

Experts have been hard at work on an innovative future for reducing or preventing icing on airplanes using carbon nanotubes.

Lead Poisoning No. 1 Environmental Threat to Children Ages Six and Younger in the U.S.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has declared Oct. 23-30, 2011 Lead Poisoning Prevention Week as part of the agency’s on-going efforts to make families aware of the hazards presented by lead and lead-based paint in the home and places where children under six years of age are regularly present.

Breakthrough Furnace Can Cut Solar Costs

Heat is an indispensable ingredient in each of those steps, and that's why large furnaces dot the assembly lines of all the solar cell manufacturers. The state of the art has been thermal or rapid-thermal-processing furnaces that use radiant or infrared heat to quickly boost the temperature of silicon wafers.

Tips Tuesday: Winter Energy-Efficiency Tips

The average family spends $2,200 a year on energy bills, nearly half of which goes to heating and cooling

Research Links Water Disinfection Byproducts to Adverse Health Effects

This study, published in Environmental Science & Technology, suggests a possible connection to adverse health effects, including neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's.

Penn. Scientists Follow Water to Study Drought

Water is a precious resource many take for granted until there is too little or too much. Scientists and engineers have positioned instruments at the Susquehanna Shale Hills Observatory at Pennsylvania State University to learn much more about the water cycle there. It is one of six Critical Zone Observatories in the United States.

Researcher Discovers Male Bottlenose Dolphins Using Social Network to Secure Mate

Marine biologist Jo Wiszniewski has observed a fascinating approach to mating among the Port Stephens Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins.

Climate Change is Altering the Lives of Alaska Natives

Although the effects of change are well documented along the coast, where higher tides and ferocious storms have threatened native communities, a study by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGC) has found indigenous people in Alaska's interior also have felt the transformation to a warmer climate during the past several decades of their lifetimes.

Trees Detect Contaminants and Health Threats

Researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology have developed a method to detect the presence of soil and groundwater contamination without turning a shovel or touching the water. Instead, they’re using trees.

Students at The University of Findlay Living Green in Campus Houses

The houses at 138 and 146 W. Foulke Ave. on the campus of The University of Findlay, Ohio, may look like “normal” student residences, but the students living in those houses chose to live there with a common goal to reduce energy consumption and to lower their carbon footprints.

Production of Biofuel from Forests will Increase Greenhouse Emissions

The largest and most comprehensive study yet done on the effect of biofuel production from West Coast forests has concluded that an emphasis on bioenergy would increase carbon dioxide emissions from these forests at least 14 percent, if the efficiency of such operations is optimal.

U.S. Residents Say Hawaii's Coral Reef Ecosystems Worth $33.57 Billion Per Year

A peer-reviewed study commissioned by NOAA shows the American people assign an estimated total economic value of $33.57 billion for the coral reefs of the main Hawaiian Islands.

How Plants Sense Touch Gravity and Other Physical Forces

At the bottom of plants' ability to sense touch, gravity or a nearby trellis are mechanosensitive channels, pores through the cells' plasma membrane that are opened and closed by the deformation of the membrane.

Protein Reveals Oxygen Availability to Plants

Plants need water to grow, but every hobby gardener knows that you shouldn’t carry this to excess either. During waterlogging or flooding, plants can’t take up enough oxygen that they urgently need for their cellular respiration and energy production.

Poisonous Oceans Delayed Animal Evolution

Animals require oxygen, but oxygenated environments were rare on early Earth. New research from University of Southern Denmark shows that poisonous sulfide existed in the oceans 750 million years ago making large areas of the seafloor inhospitable to animal life. Such ocean conditions may have prohibited the emergence of animals on early Earth.

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