Environmental Protection

Ecosystems


Oceans May Mask Effects of Global Warming

The planet’s deep oceans at times may absorb enough heat to flatten the rate of global warming for periods of as long as a decade even in the middle of longer-term warming, according to a new analysis led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).

Researchers Spend 10 Days Underwater to Study Coral

A team of researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology is using the Aquarius underwater laboratory off the coast of Florida to study how the diversity of seaweed-eating fish affects endangered coral reefs. The research mission, which began Sept. 13, may provide new information to help scientists protect and even restore damaged coral reefs in the Caribbean.

U.S. Takes Diplomatic Action Against Icelandic Whaling

U.S. President Barack Obama announced diplomatic measures the United States will take against Iceland to condemn its whaling activities.

'Underwater Windmills' Would Disrupt Sand's Flow Pattern

Farms of “underwater windmills” could affect how sand moves around our coastal seas, affecting beaches, sand banks and ultimately the risk of flooding, according to Bangor University oceanographer Dr. Simon Neill.

Planting Trees on Farms Can Greatly Improve Food Security

Restoring and preserving dryland forests and planting more trees to provide food, fodder and fertilizer on small farms are critical steps toward preventing the recurrence of the famine now threatening millions of people in the Horn of Africa, according to forestry experts from the CGIAR Consortium.

Researchers Examine How Invasive Plants Encourage Wildfires

The past decade has seen 77,951 fires burn about 6.7 million acres in the United States. One condition that facilitates the spread of wildfires is invasive plant species. Nonnative weeds can modify the vegetation of a landscape and provide a source of fuel that did not previously exist.

Scientists Claim Water Evaporated From Trees Cools Global Climate

Scientists have long debated about the impact on global climate of water evaporated from vegetation. New research from Carnegie's Global Ecology department concludes that evaporated water helps cool the earth as a whole, not just the local area of evaporation, demonstrating that evaporation of water from trees and lakes could have a cooling effect on the entire atmosphere.

Researchers Say Oceans' Increasing Acidity Will Likely Hurt Biodiversity

Stanford researchers have gotten a glimpse into an uncertain future where increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere will lead to higher levels in the ocean as well, leaving the water more acidic and altering underwater ecosystems.



NOAA's Climate Prediction Center: La Niña is back

La Niña, which contributed to extreme weather around the globe during the first half of 2011, has re-emerged in the tropical Pacific Ocean and is forecast to gradually strengthen and continue into winter.

Researchers Find High Levels of Toxic PCBs in Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal

University of Iowa researchers have found high levels of toxic polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the deep sediments lining the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal (IHSC) in East Chicago, Ind.

Fishing for Energy Reels in Gear at Everglades City

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recently partnered with Fishing for Energy to remove derelict stone crab traps from the marine environment near Everglades City, Fla., making it the second location in Florida to join the unique partnership.

Researchers Predict Extreme Summer Temps to Become the Norm

Boston University researchers have estimated that even if international efforts to limit temperature increases to 2 degrees Celcius, mean global temperatures will continue to be extreme.

Tree Rings Reveal Forest Fires from Hundreds of Years Ago

Trees can reveal key information about fire events, and some trees have a lot to tell — one tree researchers examined endured 14 separate fires through its lifetime.

Testing Techniques for Restoring Native Prairies Leads to Better Decision-Making

Restoring prairies to their native vegetation can be approached from several directions. Managers might eliminate invasive plants through use of herbicides, encourage growth of native species through seeding, or manipulate conditions to favor native species.

Teeny Teeth Indicate Ancient Shark Nurseries

New research suggests that ancient sharks bred in the shallows of freshwater lakes, forming nurseries for their hatchlings.

Army Corps of Engineers Study Finds Trees' Effect on Levees is 'Highly Variable and Unquantifiable'

The research, conducted by the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), focused primarily on the gathering of root characterization and site conditions through fieldwork, and modeling of single, living trees for both slope stability analyses and seepage analyses.

Exceptional Drought Hits Record Levels in Three More U.S. States

The percent of land area experiencing exceptional drought reached record levels in August in three U.S. states – Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas – amid new concerns about how long the conditions may persist, an official with the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln said.

Pennsylvania DCNR Warns Heavy, Rain Flooding Boost Risk of Landslides

Recent heavy rain and flooding has increased the danger of landslides on moderate to steep slopes, according to scientists in the Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey in the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR).

Study Reveals that National Forests can Provide Public Health Benefits

Each year, more than 170 million people visit national forests for recreation. And the physical activity associated with these visits burns 290 billion food calories. That equals enough french fries laid end to end to reach the Moon and back -- twice -- according to a recent study in the Journal of Forestry.

Public Opinion Research Shows American Interest in Living Green

A new report offers insight into public opinion about the environment, including the need to conserve and safeguard the health of our ocean.

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