Environmental Protection

Ecosystems


Study Says Wind Can Carry Away Soil Particles That Help Build Soil and Recycle Nutrients

It was all too evident during the Dust Bowl what a disastrous impact wind can have on dry, unprotected topsoil. Now a new study has uncovered a less obvious, but still troubling, effect of wind: Not only can it carry away soil particles, but also the beneficial microbes that help build soil, detoxify contaminants and recycle nutrients.

Plastic Trash Altering Ocean Habitats

A 100-fold upsurge in human-produced plastic garbage in the ocean is altering habitats in the marine environment, according to a new study led by a graduate student researcher at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.

Warming Affects Ecosystems Not Just Biodiversity

Ecosystems perform important tasks – like nutrient cycling, breakdown of waste and carbon storage – on which humans depend, so it's important we understand how climate change might affect them.

Study Shows Antarctic Waters Changing due to Climate

The densest waters of Antarctica have reduced dramatically over recent decades, in part due to man-made impacts on the climate, Australian scientists said Friday.

Lightning Signature Could Help Reveal Solar System Origins

An electromagnetic signature called the Schumann Resonance could be used to study other planets besides Earth in the solar system and could shed light on how the solar system formed, according to a paper published in the Astrophysical Journal.

Global Change Puts Plankton Under Threat

Changes in the ocean’s chemistry, as a result of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels, threaten marine plankton to a greater extent than previously thought, according to new research.

Scientists Core Into Clear Lake in California to Explore Past Climate Change

Scientists at University of California, Berkeley, will begin drilling into ancient sediments at the bottom of Northern California's Clear Lake to look at how today's plants and animals will adapt to climate change and increasing population.

Ecosystem Effects of Biodiversity Loss Could Rival Impacts of Climate Change and Pollution

Biodiversity loss could impact ecosystems as much as climate change, pollution and other major forms of environmental stress, according to a new study by an international research team.



Study Shows Experiments Underestimate Plant Responses to Climate Change

Researchers from UC San Diego have analyzed 50 plant studies on four continents to see how plants will respond to climate change in the future. Their study, published this week in the journal Nature, found that shifts in the timing of flowering and leafing in plants due to global warming appear to be much greater than estimated by warming experiments.

Gas Development Linked to Wildlife Habitat Loss

Intense development of the two largest natural gas fields in the continental United States is driving away some wildlife from their traditional wintering grounds, according to a study by the Wildlife Conservation Society.

SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Parks Say Goodbye to Plastic Bags

Paper or plastic? Soon there will be just one choice at the 10 theme parks of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment -- paper -- as the company eliminates plastic shopping bags within the next year. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment will be the largest theme park operator to make this commitment.

New Tools Launched to Determine Solar, Wind Energy Potential on Contaminated Lands

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have developed and launched new tools designed to test underutilized sites and contaminated land for solar and wind energy potential. The tools give local communities and landowners ways to evaluate sites for renewable energy potential without the need for technical expertise.

Almost Seven Million Birds Perish at Communication Towers in North America Each Year

Every year nearly 7 million birds die as they migrate from the United States and Canada to Central and South America, according to a new University of Southern California (USC) study published in the journal PLoS ONE.

Marine Scientists Urge Government to Reassess Oil Spill Response

On the second anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon blowout, a national panel of researchers including University of Georgia marine scientist Samantha Joye is urging the federal government to reassess how it would respond to similar oil spills that might occur in the future.

Mild Winters Are Detrimental to Butterflies

The recent mild winter throughout much of the United States was a cause for celebration for many. However, butterfly aficionados shouldn't be joining in the celebration.

New Poll Finds Americans Want Less Population Growth 40 years After Government Called for Stabilization

Forty years after a multi-year bi-partisan government commission recommended slowing U.S. population growth and eventually stabilizing, Americans still would like to see it happen, according to poll results to be released this weekend at the 2012 Earth Day Dallas festival.

Can Sound Science Guide Dispersant Use During Subsea Oil Spills?

Two years ago this week, oil began streaming from the seafloor into the Gulf of Mexico following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon platform. All told, the disaster cost 11 lives, released 4.9 million barrels of crude oil, and caused still unspecified impacts to marine life and the Gulf economy.

Up to $20 Million Available From EPA for 2012 Great Lakes Restoration Projects

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced that it is requesting applications from states, municipalities, tribes, universities and nonprofit organizations for new projects to restore and protect the Great Lakes. EPA will distribute approximately $20 million through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant program during Fiscal Year 2012.

Shark-Dive Tourism in Fiji Worth U.S. $42.2 Million a Year

A new analysis by the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the University of Western Australia concluded that in 2010, shark-related diving contributed $42.2 million ($73 million Fijian) to the economy of Fiji. Shark-diving operations generated $4 million that year for Fijian communities through salaries and local levies.

Deadly Jellyfish Weapons Unraveled

Heidelberg researchers have succeeded in unravelling the defense mechanisms of jellyfish. Scientists working with Prof. Dr. Thomas Holstein and Dr. Suat Özbek from the Centre for Organismal Studies (COS) of Heidelberg University, together with collaborators from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), analyzed the proteome, or full set of proteins, of the stinging cells in the freshwater polyp Hydra.

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