Large forest regions in Canada are apparently about to experience rapid change. Based on models, scientists can now show that there are threshold values for wildfires just like there are for epidemics. Large areas of Canada are apparently approaching this threshold value and may in future exceed it due to climate change.
Salt can have drastic effects on the growth and yield of horticultural crops; studies have estimated that salinity renders an about one-third of the world's irrigated land unsuitable for crop production.
Fecal contamination of public beaches caused by sewage overflow is both dangerous for swimmers and costly for state and local economies.
Runoff from the Sierra Nevada, a critical source of California’s water supply, could be enhanced by thinning forests to historical conditions, according to a report from a team of scientists with the University of California, Merced, UC Berkeley and the Environmental Defense Fund.
It’s that holiday time of year again, now that the nation is full from Thanksgiving turkey and cranberry sauce; many people are shopping for Christmas trees facing a perennial question: which is the greener choice – real or fake?
Rainfalls are suspected to trigger the spread of a multitude of foliar (leaf) diseases, which could be devastating for agriculture and forestry. Instead of focusing on the large-scale, ecological impact of this problem, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge and the University of Liege in Belgium are studying the phenomenon from a novel perspective: that of a single rain droplet.
Reduced-impact logging (RIL) in an Amazon rainforest generated profits while emitting a small fraction of carbon compared with total forest clearing, a University at Albany study concludes.
The infamous winds that gust through downtown San Francisco streets, overturning kiosks and sometimes toppling pedestrians, will help to power a revolutionary skyscraper set to open next fall -- and could pave the way for a new world market for energy-generating wind turbines in new buildings.
The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) has developed a highly detailed wind energy forecasting system with Xcel Energy, enabling the utility to capture energy from turbines far more effectively and at lower cost. The system, which Xcel Energy formally took over last month, saves ratepayers several million dollars yearly.
Kawasaki Disease (KD) is a severe childhood disease that many parents, even some doctors, mistake for an inconsequential viral infection. In fact, if not diagnosed or treated in time, it can lead to irreversible heart damage. After 50 years of research, including genetic studies, scientists have been unable to pinpoint the cause of the disease.
Coral reefs can both positively and negatively influence the acidity of their surrounding seawater.
The level of the enzyme carbonyl reductase (CBR) is elevated in the livers of fish that have been exposed to cleaned wastewater. Scientists at the University of Gothenburg can show that CBR has properties that may make it suitable to be used as a biomarker, an early warning signal of environmental toxins.
The first complete genus-level dated phylogeny of palms reveals insights into the evolution of rainforests.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other federal agencies are teaming up to document and track potential marine debris generated by the Japan earthquake and tsunami in March.
Slow-moving winter weather systems that can lead to massive snowfalls are more frequent during the decades when the North Atlantic Ocean is warmer than usual, a new NASA study finds. The study demonstrates that the impacts of such systems, which are often fueled by an atmospheric phenomenon known as atmospheric blocking, go far beyond the atmosphere and can trigger changes in ocean circulation.
Scientists braved ticks and a tiger to discover how human activities have perturbed the nitrogen cycle in tropical forests. Studies at two remote Smithsonian Institution Global Earth Observatory sites in Panama and Thailand show the first evidence of long-term effects of nitrogen pollution in tropical trees.
Both climate change and humans were responsible for the extinction of some large mammals, according to research that is the first of its kind to use genetic, archeological, and climatic data together to infer the population history of large Ice-Age mammals.
There’s an unsuspecting culprit contributing to U.S. water pollution: pet poop.
- By Christina Miralla
- Oct 24, 2011
Plants do not have eyes or legs, yet they are able to "see" and move toward and away from light. This ability, called phototropism, is controlled by a series of molecular-level signals between proteins inside and between plant cells. In a paper published in The Plant Cell, University of Missouri scientists report for the first time the elusive role a critical protein plays in this molecular signaling pathway that regulates phototropism in plants.
As the leaves change and temps drop, the crisp autumn air brings a whole new load of waste possibilities with the new season. As opposed to the scorching summer months coupled with UV rays that dry lawns and surge kilowatts of electricity through homes for cooling, fall brings gutter clutter and leaf waste – not to mention high kilowatt usage in parts of the world prone to freezing temps.