Environmental Protection

Ecosystems


Study Reveals How Gas, Temperature Controlled Bacterial Response to Deepwater Horizon Spill

In a new study, UC Santa Barbara scientists explain how they used DNA to identify microbes present in the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and how they identified the microbes responsible for consuming the large amount of natural gas present immediately after the spill.

Dolphins and Sea Lions Report for Active Military Duty

As the nation heightens security measures across land, air and sea; any proposed tactic in the effort to ward off hostiles is being employed – including an elite team of 75 bottlenose dolphins and 35 California sea lions trained to defend the nation.

Artificial Leaf Makes Fuel from Sunlight

Researchers led by MIT professor Daniel Nocera have produced something they’re calling an “artificial leaf”: Like living leaves, the device can turn the energy of sunlight directly into a chemical fuel that can be stored and used later as an energy source.

Russian tiger

Russian and U.S. Veterinarians Collaborate to Solve Mysterious Wild Tiger Deaths

A team of Russian veterinary colleagues and health experts from the Wildlife Conservation Society's Bronx Zoo are collaborating to understand how distemper -- a virus afflicting domestic dogs and many wildlife species -- may be a growing threat to Siberian (Amur) tigers.

Researchers: Apply Public Trust Doctrine to 'Rescue' Wildlife from Politics

When a species recovers enough to be removed from the federal endangered species list, the public trust doctrine – the principle that government must conserve natural resources for the public good – should guide state management of wildlife, scientists say.

Invasive Sea Squirt Threatens Connecticut's $30 Million Shellfish Industry

The invasive sea squirt, Styela clava, has now been discovered along the Eastern Seaboard as far south as Bridgeport Harbor and poses a significant danger to Connecticut’s $30 million shellfish business, according to field research conducted by Carmela Cuomo, head of the marine biology program at the University of New Haven, and several of her students.

Study Establishes Predictable Sequence of Coral Reef Collapse

Coral reefs that have lots of corals and appear healthy may, in fact, be heading toward collapse, according to a study published by the Wildlife Conservation Society and other groups.

Gulf Fish Show Signs of Reponse to Oil Spill Despite Low Toxin Levels

A research team led by LSU professors Fernando Galvez and Andrew Whitehead has published the results of a combined field and laboratory study showing the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on fish living in Louisiana marshes.



Gene Controlling Flowering Boosts Energy Production from Sorghum

A sorghum hybrid that does not flower and accumulates as much as three times the amount of stem and leaf matter may help the bioenergy industry, according to a study appearing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Research Suggests Global Warming Could Cause Animals to Shrink

The way in which global warming causes many of the world’s organisms to shrink has been revealed by new research from Queen Mary, University of London.

Climate Change Has Affected Marine Animals on Antarctica's Seabed

A rapid increase in the frequency of icebergs pounding the shallow seafloor around the West Antarctic Peninsula — as a result of shrinking winter sea ice — has caused the life expectancy of a tiny marine creature to halve over the last 12 years.

New Plant Science Will Make Ground Level Ozone Predictions More Accurate

Predictions of the ground-level pollutant ozone will be more accurate in future according to research published by environment scientists at research centers including the University of Birmingham in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Emerging Contaminants Found in Narragansett Bay Waterhsed

A group of hazardous chemical compounds that are common in industrial processes and personal care products but which are not typically monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency have been detected throughout the Narragansett Bay watershed, according to a URI researcher.

Scientists Probe Indian Ocean for Clues to Worldwide Weather Patterns

An international team of researchers will begin gathering in the Indian Ocean next month to study how tropical weather brews there and then moves eastward along the equator with reverberating effects around the entire globe. They will use a vast array of tools ranging from aircraft and ships to moorings, radars, and numerical models.

The Hidden Power of Moss

Scientists at Cambridge University are exhibiting a prototype table that demonstrates how biological fuel cells can harness energy from plants.

Weather Patterns Sync Between El Nino and the Tropical Eastern Pacific

Phase synchronization is a phenomenon in which separate oscillatory systems develop joint coherent behavior by some nonlinear mechanism. First described in 1673 by Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens, this phenomenon occurs for instance when an applauding audience suddenly starts to clap in unison or when human breathing patterns lock to multiples of the heart beat.

New Approach Challenges Old Ideas About Plant Species and Biomass

For decades, scientists have believed that a relationship exists between how much biomass plant species produce and how many species can coexist. Stanley Harpole, assistant professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology at Iowa State University, was part of the team researching productivity and richness, and he says the research doesn’t support that relationship.

New Study Finds Nitrate Levels Rising in Northwestern Pacific Ocean

Changes in the ratio of nitrate to phosphorus in the oceans off the coasts of Korea and Japan caused by atmospheric and riverine pollutants may influence the makeup of marine plants and influence marine ecology, according to researchers from Korea and the U. S.

Insight Into River Formation Came From Being in the Right Place at the Right Time

Geography professor Bruce Rhoads and geology professor Jim Best were conducting research where the Wabash River meets the Ohio River in the summer of 2008 when they heard about a new channel that had just formed, cutting off a bend in the winding Wabash just upstream from the confluence. That serendipity gave the researchers a rare view of a dynamic, little-understood river process that changed the local landscape and deposited so much sediment into the river system that it closed the Ohio River.

EPA Fines Ship Owners, Operators $44M for 53,000 Gallon San Francisco Bay Oil Spill

The federal and state natural resource trustees estimate that the spill killed 6,849 birds, affected 14 to 29 percent of the herring spawn that winter, oiled 3,367 acres of shoreline habitat and resulted in the loss of more than one million recreational user-days. A result of a multi-governmental effort by federal and state agencies, and municipal governments, the settlement is expected to fully compensate (in addition to previously reimbursed costs) for the natural resources and other damages and costs resulting from the spill.

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