Environmental Protection

Research and Technology


Testing the Water for Bioenergy Crops

Many energy researchers and environmental advocates are excited about the prospect of gaining more efficient large-scale biofuel production by using large grasses like miscanthus or switchgrass rather than corn. They have investigated yields, land use, economics and more, but one key factor of agriculture has been overlooked: water.

Study Shows That Florida Reefs Cannot Endure a Cold Snap

Corals like this one in the Florida Keys experienced unprecedented mortality rates during the severe cold snap in 2010, according to a new study published in PLoS ONE.

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.

A Math-Based Model for Deep Water Oil Drilling

Oil well control is one of the most important processes during drilling operations. In deepwater drilling, controlling pressure in the oil well is crucial, as excessive pressures in the drilled hole can result in blowouts, leading to disastrous events like the 2010 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill.

Increasing Fuel Efficiency with a Smartphone

In July, at the Association for Computing Machinery’s MobiSys conference, researchers from MIT and Princeton University took the best-paper award for a system that uses a network of smartphones mounted on car dashboards to collect information about traffic signals and tell drivers when slowing down could help them avoid waiting at lights.

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.

Research Suggests Scented Laundry Products Emit Hazardous Chemicals Through Dryer Vents

The same University of Washington researcher who used chemical sleuthing to deduce what’s in fragranced consumer products now has turned her attention to the scented air wafting from household laundry vents.

Scientists Develop New Approaches to Predict the Environmental Safety of Chemicals

Baylor University environmental researchers have proposed in a new study a different approach to predict the environmental safety of chemicals by using data from other similar chemicals.

EPA's $6 Million Challenge to Restore Great Lakes and Create Jobs

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced that the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is setting aside approximately $6 million for federal agencies to sign up unemployed workers to implement restoration projects in federally-protected areas, on tribal lands and in Areas of Concern in the Great Lakes basin.

Researchers at UC-Irvine Produced Fuel from Sewage

Imagine being able to get the equivalent of 70 miles per gallon in your car, keep your home cool and power your computer – all from sewage. Thanks to technology developed by University of California-Irvine’s National Fuel Cell Research Center and partners, that’s now possible.

Gotham Greens Lifts Fresh Veggies to New Heights

Gotham Greens, a hydroponics greenhouse facility, sits on a warehouse rooftop and brings new meaning to the phrase "locally grown" – especially atop a 15,000-square-foot manufacturing building in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Study Finds Scented Laundry Products Emit Hazardous Chemicals Through Dryer Vents

Findings, published online this week in the journal Air Quality, Atmosphere and Health, show that air vented from machines using the top-selling scented liquid laundry detergent and scented dryer sheet contains hazardous chemicals, including two that are classified as carcinogens

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.

Low Oxygen Triggers Moth Molt

A new explanation for one of nature's most mysterious processes, the transformation of caterpillars into moths or butterflies, might best be described as breathless.

EPA Accepts First GHG Reporting Data

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced a new tool to allow 28 industrial sectors to submit their 2010 greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution data electronically.

Researchers Explore Links Between Poverty and Biodiversity

In rural areas of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, poor farmers supplement their livelihoods by hunting and cutting wood, but such practices can seriously threaten biodiversity in the developing world. Now, two Cornell University researchers are leading the way to explore solutions that not only protect biodiversity but also improve the livelihoods of the poor.

Researchers Discover Nitrogen in Soil Cleans the Air

Eutrophication harms the environment in many ways. Unexpectedly, nitrogen fertilizer may also be positive for the environment. And even acidic soils, promoting the destruction of forests, can have a positive effect. Researchers from the Biogeochemistry Department at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz found out that nitrogen fertilizer indirectly strengthens the self-cleaning capacity of the atmosphere.

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.

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.

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