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The Lead

A Greener Way to Make Colorful Plastics

July 30, 2014 11:39 am | by American Chemical Society | News | Comments

Long before humans figured out how to create colors, nature had already perfected the process. Now, scientists are tapping into those secrets to develop a more environmentally friendly way to make colored plastics- without the dyes.
                      

Report: Worldwide Water Shortage by 2040

July 29, 2014 2:54 pm | by Aarhus Univ. | News | Comments

Two new reports that focus on the global electricity water nexus have just been published. Three...

U.S. Harms Globe By Sending Dirty Coal Abroad

July 29, 2014 7:00 am | by Dina Cappiello, Associated Press | News | Comments

As the Obama administration weans the U.S. off dirty fuels blamed for global warming,...

Sweet Discovery: Sugar Transporters Key to 'Fuel Crops'

July 28, 2014 1:26 pm | by Berkeley Lab | News | Comments

A powerful new tool that can help advance the genetic engineering of “fuel” crops for clean,...

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Industrial Lead Pollution Beat Explorers to the South Pole

July 28, 2014 9:03 am | by Desert Research Institute | News | Comments

Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen became the first man to reach the South Pole in December of 1911. More than 100 years later, an international team of scientists have proven that air pollution from industrial activities arrived long before.                   

Strong Community Forest Rights Battle Climate Change

July 24, 2014 7:00 am | by WRI and RRI | News | Comments

Strengthening community forest rights is an essential strategy to reduce billions of tons of carbon emissions, making it an effective way for governments to meet climate goals, safeguard forests and protect the livelihoods of their citizens, according to a major new report.

Temperature Increase Good for Forage Plants

July 23, 2014 2:08 pm | by Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo | News | Comments

A 2 C increase in temperature around the world by 2050, according to one of the scenarios predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, may be advantageous to the physiology and the biochemical and biophysical processes involved in the growth of forage plants such as Stylosanthes capitata Vogel, a legume used for livestock grazing in tropical countries like Brazil.

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Existing Cropland Could Feed Billions More

July 18, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment | News | Comments

Feeding a growing human population without increasing stresses on Earth’s strained land and water resources may seem like an impossible challenge. But, according to a new report, focusing efforts to improve food systems on specific regions, crops and actions could make it possible to meet the basic needs of 3 billion more people and decrease agriculture’s environmental footprint.

Climate-cooling Arctic Lakes Soak Up Gases

July 17, 2014 12:00 pm | by Univ. of Alaska Fairbanks | News | Comments

New research indicates that arctic thermokarst lakes stabilize climate change by storing more greenhouse gases than they emit into the atmosphere. Countering a widely held view that thawing permafrost accelerates atmospheric warming, a study suggests that arctic thermokarst lakes are “net climate coolers” when observed over longer, millennial time scales.

Fracking Industry Seeks Better Chemicals

July 17, 2014 7:00 am | by Inside Science News Service, Patricia Waldron | News | Comments

Scientists haven't solved every potential problem with fracking. But they are working to replace many of the chemicals in the fluid, which contains sand, biocides, mineral-dissolving acids and more.

UPDATE: Denton Rejects Partial Fracking Ban

July 16, 2014 12:00 pm | by Associated Press, Emily Schmall | News | Comments

The council governing a North Texas city that sits atop a large natural gas reserve rejected a bid early today that would have made it the first city in the state to ban further permitting of hydraulic fracturing in the community.

Porous Materials Key to Next-gen Green Tech

July 16, 2014 7:00 am | by American Institute of Physics | News | Comments

Every machine and device in your life wastes a lot of energy through the loss of heat. But thermoelectric devices can harness that wasted heat, and possibly provide the green tech energy efficiency that's needed for a sustainable future. Now, a new study shows how porous substances can act as thermoelectric materials.

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California Considers Fining Water Wasters

July 15, 2014 12:00 pm | by Associated Press, Don Thompson | News | Comments

In one of the most drastic responses yet to California's drought, state regulators will consider fines today for up to $500 a day for people who waste water on landscaping, fountains, washing vehicles and other outdoor uses.

Climate Change Makes Evolution Lag

July 15, 2014 12:00 pm | by Univ. of Kansas | News | Comments

Either change or disappear. A great many of Earth’s creatures already have come to this crossroads, or soon will, driven by a rapidly shifting natural environment tied to global climate change. But how quickly can species evolve to cope with dire threats such as new pathogens, competing species and harsher climactic conditions?

Magnets Pump Efficiency into Motors

July 14, 2014 12:00 pm | by Univ. of Adelaide | News | Comments

Researchers are using new magnetic materials to develop revolutionary electrical motors and generators that promise significant energy savings. They have used the new motors to develop patented highly efficient water pump systems with potential widespread application.

Paper-based Study Says Organic is Better

July 14, 2014 8:09 am | by Washington State Univ. | Videos | Comments

The largest study of its kind has found that organic foods and crops have a suite of advantages over their conventional counterparts, including more antioxidants and fewer, less frequent pesticide residues. The study looked at an unprecedented 343 peer-reviewed publications comparing the nutritional quality and safety of organic and conventional plant-based foods, including fruits, vegetables and grains.

‘Fertigation’ is Latest in Lawn Care

July 11, 2014 12:02 pm | by American Society of Agronomy | News | Comments

In New Mexico, nearly every public golf course is now watered with treated municipal wastewater rather than precious potable water supplies. Additionally, golf courses and homeowners alike fertilize their lawns during the growing season. Now, an expert suggests combining "fertigation," drip irrigation and decentralized water treatment.

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Inventor Makes Solar Panels for Roads, Highways

July 11, 2014 12:00 pm | by Associated Press, Nicholas Geranios | News | Comments

The solar panels that Idaho inventor Scott Brusaw has built aren't meant for rooftops. They are meant for roads, driveways, parking lots, bike trails and, eventually, highways.

Toxin 'Electrocutes' German, Not American, Cockroaches

July 11, 2014 7:00 am | by Johns Hopkins Univ. School of Medicine | News | Comments

Researchers have stumbled upon a biological tactic that may offer a new way to protect crops from insect plagues in a safe and environmentally responsible way. Their finding— that naturally occurring insect toxins can be lethal for one species and harmless for a closely related one— suggests that insecticides can be designed to target specific pests without harming beneficial species like bees.

Texas Cities Recycle Wastewater for Drinking

July 10, 2014 12:00 pm | by Associated Press, Emily Schmall | News | Comments

As much of Texas grapples with lingering drought, a second city in the Lone Star State has begun reusing treated wastewater in a state-approved recycling process to bolster drinking supplies.

Japan’s Nuclear Workers Move to Solar Industry

July 10, 2014 12:00 pm | by Associated Press, Yuri Kageyama | News | Comments

Stigma, pay cuts and risk of radiation exposure are among the reasons why 3,000 employees have left the utility at the center of Japan's 2011 nuclear disaster. Now, there's an additional factor: better paying jobs in the feel-good solar energy industry.

Not All Parasites Like Traveling

July 10, 2014 7:00 am | by UC Santa Barbara | News | Comments

A new study of parasites that infect a marine snail suggests that though hosts might expand their geographical range because of climate change, the parasites don’t always follow.

Data Enables Global Maps of Soil Moisture

July 10, 2014 7:00 am | by Goddard Space Flight Center | Videos | Comments

Scientists working with data from NASA's Aquarius instrument have released worldwide maps of soil moisture, showing how the wetness of the land fluctuates with the seasons and weather phenomena.

Shark Teeth Provide Details of Arctic Climate Change

July 10, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Chicago | News | Comments

A new study shows that some shark species may be able to cope with the rising salinity of Arctic waters that may come with rising temperatures. Roughly 53 to 38 million years ago, the Arctic was similar to a huge temperate forest with brackish water, home to a variety of animal life. A new study of shark teeth taken from a coastal Arctic Ocean site has expanded the understanding of Eocene marine life.

Judge OKs Ocean Sound Blasts

July 9, 2014 12:00 pm | by Associated Press, Geoff Mulvihill | News | Comments

Scientific research that involves blasting the ocean floor with sound waves can go ahead despite an effort by Gov. Chris Christie's administration to halt it, a judge has ruled. The project, years in the making, emerged suddenly last week as a major public issue in New Jersey as commercial fishermen and environmentalists spoke up about worries that sea life could be harmed by it.

Fattest Coral Can Survive Climate Change

July 9, 2014 12:00 pm | by The Ohio State Univ. | News | Comments

The future health of the world’s coral reefs and the animals that depend on them relies in part on the ability of one tiny symbiotic sea creature to get fat— and to be flexible about the type of algae with which it cooperates.

Governments Make Huge Electric Vehicle Buy

July 9, 2014 12:00 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

A group of San Francisco Bay Area cities, counties and water agencies has joined forces for what is being billed as one of the largest single government purchases of all-electric vehicles in the country.

New Soot Particle Seen in Wildfire Emissions

July 8, 2014 7:00 am | by Desert Research Institute | News | Comments

Researchers are reporting the observation of a previously unrecognized form of soot particle, identified as "superaggregates," from wildfire emissions. These newly identified particles were detected in smoke plumes from wildfires in Northern California, New Mexico, Mexico City and India.

Strong Links Found Between Antarctic Climate, Food Web

July 8, 2014 7:00 am | by Virginia Institute of Marine Science | News | Comments

A long-term study of the links between climate and marine life along the rapidly warming West Antarctic Peninsula reveals how changes in physical factors such as wind speed and sea-ice cover send ripples up the food chain, with impacts on everything from single-celled algae to penguins.

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