Environmental Protection

Global Climate Change


Greenhouse Effect Could Extend Habitable Zone

The distant region beyond Saturn is too cold for liquid water, a necessity for life as we know it. New research indicates that rocky planets far from their parent star could generate enough heat to keep water flowing - if their atmospheres were made up primarily of hydrogen.

Scientists Call for Better Deep Sea Management

A recent study has found that it's being damaged by human activities, and that this is only likely to get worse. Scientists are now calling for better management and conservation of entire deep-sea ecosystems.

As Droughts Decrease Water for Irrigation, Less-Productive Crops Consume Less Carbon

Water shortages - already forecasted to be a big problem as the world warms - could contribute to yet more warming through a positive feedback loop.

Irrigation Impacts on Global Carbon Uptake

Globally, irrigation increases agricultural productivity by an amount roughly equivalent to the entire agricultural output of the U.S., according to a new University of Wisconsin-Madison study.

Study Casts Doubt on Drought-Driven Declines in Plant Productivity, Global Food Security

A new study published in the current issue of Science rebuts earlier claims that drought has induced a decline in global plant productivity during the past decade and poses a threat to global food security.

Study Shows Climate Cycles May Be Driving Wars

The arrival of El Niño, which every three to seven years boosts temperatures and cuts rainfall, doubles the risk of civil wars across 90 affected tropical countries, and may help account for a fifth of worldwide conflicts during the past half-century, say the authors.

Reforestation Practices May Be Lagging Behind Climate Change

A University of Alberta study is sounding a warning about forestry practices in North America, claiming that climate change is already rendering established planting guidelines obsolete.

Evidence Suggests La Nina Will Return This Winter

Less than 2 percent of the October-July periods since 1895 have been drier than they are currently for all of Texas and many parts of New Mexico. These areas experienced either their driest or second driest October-July periods in the last 117 years. Less than six percent of the October-July periods have been drier than current conditions in southeastern Arizona.



Thawing Permafrost Could Release Vast Amounts of Carbon, Accelerating Climate Change

Billions of tons of carbon trapped in high-latitude permafrost may be released into the atmosphere by the end of this century as the Earth’s climate changes, further accelerating global warming, a new computer modeling study indicates

Study: Southern South American Wildfires Expected to Increase

A new University of Colorado - Boulder study indicates a major climate oscillation in the Southern Hemisphere, expected to intensify in the coming decades, will likely cause increased wildfire activity in the southern half of South America.

Growth of Cities Endangers Global Environment

The explosive growth of cities worldwide over the next two decades poses significant risks to people and the global environment, according to a meta-analysis published today in Plos One.

Is Investing in Green House Gas Auditing Companies Worth the Gamble?

Greenhouse gas auditing is predicted to be one of the next biggest global industries as more countries are attempting cut down their carbon footprint and have passed laws requiring corporations to dramatically reduce their levels of pollution. However, serious questions have been raised as to how profitable this industry will be, and whether it is even worth investing in at such an early stage.

Higher-Resolution Microscope Provides Better Insight into Fuel Cell Operations

A novel microscopy method at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory is helping scientists probe the reactions that limit widespread deployment of fuel cell technologies.

EIA Reports 3.9-Percent Increase in U.S. Energy-Related CO2 Emissions in 2010

U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from the consumption of fossil fuels were 5,638 million metric tons carbon dioxide (MMTCO2) in 2010, an increase of 3.9 percent from the 2009 level.

Researcher: Texas Must Make Conservation Plans Now to bring Rangeland Back from Drought

As a blistering drought continues to plague huge portions of Texas, a Texas Tech University researcher says that even now in the midst of the fight, it’s time to plan ahead and logically plot a path for pulling more than 90 million acres of valuable rangeland back from the brink.

Wildlife Responds Three Times Faster to Climate Change Than Previously Predicted

New research by scientists in the Department of Biology at the University of York shows that species have responded to climate change up to three times faster than previously appreciated. These results are published in the latest issue of the leading scientific journal Science.

GHG Verification Instrument Finds Some Fudging in Countries Reported Emissions

The sobering study fount that Western Europe emits about twice as much HFC-23 as officially reported.

Research Shows Polar Ice Caps Can Recover From Warmer Climate Induced Melting

A growing body of recent research indicates that, in Earth's warming climate, there is no "tipping point," or threshold warm temperature, beyond which polar sea ice cannot recover if temperatures come back down. New University of Washington research indicates that even if Earth warmed enough to melt all polar sea ice, the ice could recover if the planet cooled again.

Increased Tropical Forest Growth Could Release Carbon from the Soil

A new study shows that as climate change enhances tree growth in tropical forests, the resulting increase in litterfall could stimulate soil micro-organisms leading to a release of stored soil carbon.

Organic Photovoltaics: Solar Cells of the Future?

Undergraduate researcher Safatul Islam is a member of a team in the College of Optical Sciences investigating organic photovoltaics, which can lead to improved electronics.

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