Twenty years after the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, 17 prominent ecologists are calling for renewed international efforts to curb the loss of biological diversity, which is compromising nature's ability to provide goods and services essential for human well-being.
A group of scientists from around the world is warning that population growth, widespread destruction of natural ecosystems, and climate change may be driving Earth toward an irreversible change in the biosphere, a planet-wide tipping point that would have destructive consequences absent adequate preparation and mitigation.
For decades, oceanographers have collected water samples from the surface of the ocean in order to record how much plastic debris currently litters the waters. But a new study asserts that surface collection alone is insufficient because high winds have a tremendous impact on the buoyancy of the plastic debris.
In cities, the presence of algae, lichens, and mosses is not considered desirable and they are often removed from roofs and walls. It is, however, totally unfair to consider these cryptogamic covers, as the flat growths are referred to in scientific terms, just a nuisance.
Researchers studying Lake Tahoe have found that not only could a major disturbance like a fire affect Lake Tahoe, but so too could a lack of disturbance -- the absence of a fire.
On Friday, PBS NewsHour reporter Hari Sreenivasan will report on how rising sea levels in coastal Louisiana are threatening Native Americans' tribal lands.
Seventy percent of the Gulf of Mexico shoreline is vulnerable to extreme erosion during even the weakest hurricanes, according to a new report by the U.S. Geological Survey released just prior to the start of the 2012 hurricane season.
At national parks out West, lodgepole pine trees are dying because of bark beetle. And atmospheric haze, caused in part by tiny solid particles suspended in the air, is becoming a problem.
The International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University and a committee of scientists from around the world announced their picks for the top 10 new species described in 2011.
Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and Washington State University have seen an increased reaction to stress in animals whose ancestors were exposed to an environmental compound generations earlier.
Amid growing concerns about the spread of harmful mercury in plants and animals, a new study by researchers from The Johns Hopkins University and The National Aquarium has compared levels of the chemical in captive dolphins with dolphins found in the wild.
Responders from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, the US Coast Guard and Moran Environmental Recovery will participate in a boom deployment exercise on the Penobscot River on Tuesday, May 22 and Wednesday, May 23.
Black carbon aerosols and tropospheric ozone, both humanmade pollutants emitted predominantly in the Northern Hemisphere's low- to mid-latitudes, are most likely pushing the boundary of the tropics further poleward in that hemisphere, new research by a team of scientists shows.
A safe haven could be out of reach for 9 percent of the Western Hemisphere's mammals, and as much as 40 percent in certain regions, because the animals just won't move swiftly enough to outpace climate change.
When the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded April 20, 2010, residents feared that their Gulf of Mexico shores would be inundated with oil. And while many wetland habitats and wildlife were oiled during the three-month leak, the environmental damage to coastal Louisiana was less than many expected, in part because much of the crude never made it to the coast.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced the extension of a public process exploring the expansion of incentives for voluntary partnerships with private landowners and other land stewards to help conserve imperiled wildlife.
Carbon nanotubes, which consist of atom-thick sheets of carbon rolled into cylinders, have captured scientific attention in recent decades because of their high strength, potential high conductivity and light weight. But producing nanotubes in bulk for specialized applications was often limited by difficulties in controlling the growth process as well as dispersing and sorting the produced nanotubes.
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.
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.
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.