Environmental Protection

Research and Technology


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Could Saltwater Make Microbial Life on Mars Possible?

How common are droplets of saltwater on Mars? Could microbial life survive and reproduce in them? A new million-dollar NASA project led by the University of Michigan aims to answer those questions.

Study Aims to Improve Fuel Economy by 30 Percent

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside along with their research partners received a $1.2 million grant from the Department of Energy to study and evaluate technologies that provide feedback to drivers so they can cut harmful emissions and reduce fuel use by up to 30 percent.

Smart EV Charging Will Require Utilities to Invest in Cybersecurity Systems

A report forecasts that the EV cybersecurity market will increase from just $26 million in 2011 to $144 million by 2015, with a cumulative investment of $432 million during that period.

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.

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.

Human Health: Biofuels to Grow from Plant Research Center

Improved nutrition for billions of people around the world and the development of clean, green biofuels are two key aims of a major new research center at the University of Adelaide's Waite Campus.

'Momma's Boy' Phenomenon May Occur in Bird Families

Scientists have discovered that zebra finch mothers favor their sons over their daughters, so male chicks end up getting fed more than their sisters do. But fathers don't appear to be as biased.

Single Microbial Gene Linked to Increased Ethanol Tolerance

A team of researchers from the Department of Energy's BioEnergy Science Center has pinpointed a single, key gene in a microbe that could help streamline the production of biofuels from non-food sources.

Another Study Finds Bluefin Tuna In Need of Protection

The team’s analysis—published in a recent issue of Science magazine’s Policy Forum—is the first study of global tuna and billfish populations using the methods of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Professor Presents Research About Effect of Dams on Climate to Congress

As the U.S. government makes decisions on high-profile environmental issues, Faisal Hossain’s influence on those decisions is growing—attesting to the fact that a researcher at a mid-size university in a rural area can have a powerful national, even international, impact.

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