Environmental Protection

Research and Technology


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.

Increasing Speed of Greeland Glaciers Gives New Insight for Rising Sea Level

Changes in the speed that ice travels in more than 200 outlet glaciers indicates that Greenland's contribution to rising sea level in the 21st century might be significantly less than the upper limits some scientists thought possible, a new study shows.

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.

Students Use Dog Waste to Light Park

Every day, about 200 dogs and their owners visit the Cosmo dog park in Gilbert, Ariz. When they go home, they leave behind about eight cubic yards of dog waste, plastic bottles, bags and other trash. Normally, all of that junk ends up in a landfill. But starting this month, the little gifts that Fido leaves will be used to power a light at the park, thanks to a team of engineering and technology students from ASU’s Polytechnic campus.

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.

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.

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.

Researchers Waste-to-Energy Technology Moves from the Lab to the Marketplace

Technology invented by a University of California, Davis, researcher that converts solid waste into renewable energy recently debuted as the first commercially available, high-solid anaerobic digestion system in the United States.

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.

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.

New Study Links Air Pollution and Early Death in the U.K.

In a study appearing this month in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, MIT researchers report that emissions from cars, trucks, planes and powerplants cause 13,000 premature deaths in the United Kingdom each year.

Natural Clothing with Solar Power Chargers In the Works at Colorado State University

Colorado State University apparel design and production researchers and students are working to develop natural-fiber outdoor clothing that can charge MP3 devices, tablets, computers, GPS units and cell phones with built-in -- but comfortable to wear -- solar panels. The project is so impressive that it was recently selected to compete in a sustainability design competition in Washington, D.C., from April 21-23.

UC Berkeley Advances Sustainable Chemistry Education with Dow Gift

A Dow gift allows UC Berkeley to renovate and update its green chemistry program.

Italian Researcher Invents Floating Solar Panels

Marco Rosa-Clot, a professor at Florence University, has introduced his new project that addresses the limited-space concerns of photovoltaic panels: The Floating Tracking Cooling Concentrator (FTCC) System, which harnesses small basins and natural and artificial lakes to install PV plants.

New Study Shows No Evidence of Groundwater Contamination from Hydraulic Fracturing

Wait. What? Hydraulic fracturing of shale formations to extract natural gas has no direct connection to reports of groundwater contamination, based on evidence reviewed in a study released by the Energy Institute at The University of Texas at Austin.

EPA Health Assessment for Popular Dry Cleaning Solvent

In an effort to protect public health, the EPA completed an assessment of the popular dry cleaning solvent - perc. The final assessment determined that perc is a "likely human carcinogen."

Biosphere Study at the University of Arizona

Scientists are preparing to launch a 10-year project to study water resources, gas exchange and carbon cycling in three man-made landscapes built in a half-acre laboratory at the University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2.

USDA Creates Online Tool for Mapping Water Use and Drought

Farmers and water managers may soon have an online tool to help them assess drought and irrigation impacts on water use and crop development, thanks to the work of two U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists.

Examining the Strength of Spider Silk

A study combines experimental observations of spider webs with complex computer simulations has shown that web durability depends not only on silk strength, but on how the overall web design compensates for damage and the response of individual strands to continuously varying stresses.

Computer Model Optimizes Biofuel Operations

Research into biofuel crops, such as switchgrass and Miscanthus, has focused mainly on how to grow these crops and convert them into fuels. But many steps lead from the farm to the biorefinery, and each could help or hinder the growth of this new industry.

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