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The Lead

'Dressed' Laser May Induce Rain, Lightning

April 18, 2014 1:03 pm | by Univ. of Central Florida | News | Comments

Researchers are developing a new technique to aim a high-energy laser beam into clouds to make it rain or trigger lightning.

Asian Pollution Affects World’s Weather

April 18, 2014 12:02 pm | by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory | News | Comments

The first study that combines different scales into one model to simulate the effects of Asian...

System Disruption May Release Huge Amounts of Methane

April 18, 2014 7:00 am | by European Association of Geochemistry | News | Comments

Researchers have shown that humic substances act as fully regenerable electron acceptors which...

Book Aims to Guide Decisions on Shale Gas

April 18, 2014 7:00 am | by Cornell Univ. | News | Comments

A new book attempts to offer a reader-friendly, unbiased, scientific guide needed to make well-...

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How the Calif. Drought Will Hit Your Wallet

April 17, 2014 1:06 pm | by Arizona State Univ. | News | Comments

With California experiencing one of its worst droughts on record, grocery shoppers across the country can expect to see a short supply of certain fruits and vegetables in stores, and to pay higher prices for those items. A professor has recently completed research on which crops will likely be most affected and what the price boosts might be.

‘Global Soundscapes Day’ to Record Sounds of Earth

April 17, 2014 12:24 pm | by Purdue Univ. | News | Comments

Researchers are collaborating around the globe for a special Earth Day experience on Tuesday, April 22, designed to capture up to 1 million natural sound recordings and upload them for preservation.

Research Yields Better, Greener Polyester from Cork

April 17, 2014 7:00 am | by ACS | News | Comments

On the scale of earth-friendly materials, you’d be hard pressed to find two that are farther apart than polyester and cork. In an unexpected twist, however, scientists are figuring out how to extract a natural, waterproof, antibacterial version of the former from the latter.

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Coffee is Getting Less Green

April 16, 2014 1:13 pm | by The Univ. of Texas at Austin | News | Comments

The proportion of land used to cultivate shade grown coffee, relative to the total land area of coffee cultivation, has fallen by nearly 20 percent globally since 1996. Researchers say the global shift toward a more intensive style of coffee farming is probably having a negative effect on the environment, communities and individual farmers.

Arctic Ozone Hole is Comparatively Tame

April 15, 2014 7:00 am | by MIT, Audrey Resutek | News | Comments

A study has found some cause for optimism: ozone levels in the Arctic haven’t yet sunk to the extreme lows seen in Antarctica, in part because international efforts to limit ozone-depleting chemicals have been successful.

Nutrient-rich Forests Store More Carbon

April 15, 2014 7:00 am | by International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis | News | Comments

Forests growing in fertile soils, with ample nutrients, are able to sequester about 30 percent of the carbon they take up during photosynthesis. In contrast, forests growing in nutrient-poor soils may retain only 6 percent of that carbon.

A Few 'Problem Wells' Source of Greenhouse Gas

April 15, 2014 7:00 am | by Purdue Univ. | News | Comments

High levels of the greenhouse gas methane were found above shale gas wells at a production point not thought to be an important emissions source, according to a study. The findings could have implications for the evaluation of the environmental impacts from natural gas production.

Statistics Rule out Natural Warming Hypothesis

April 14, 2014 7:00 am | by McGill Univ. | News | Comments

An analysis of temperature data since 1500 all but rules out the possibility that global warming in the industrial era is just a natural fluctuation in the Earth’s climate.

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Court Calls EPA's Decision Reasonable

April 14, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

A federal appeals court says the Environmental Protection Agency acted reasonably in deciding not to change the primary air quality standard for carbon monoxide.

Greenland's Ice Shows U.S. Clean Air Act’s Success

April 11, 2014 12:00 pm | by Univ. of Washington | News | Comments

By analyzing samples from the Greenland ice sheet, atmospheric scientists found clear evidence of the U.S. Clean Air Act. They also discovered a link between air acidity and how nitrogen is preserved in layers of snow.

Ancestral Grass May Save Modern Wheat

April 11, 2014 7:00 am | by Agricultural Research Service | News | Comments

Scientists have pinpointed the location of a gene in a little-known ancient grass that could help save one of the world's most important cereal crops from an unrelenting fungus.

U.N. to Consider Geoengineering

April 11, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Karl Ritter | News | Comments

The U.N.'s expert panel on climate change is under pressure this week as it considers whether geoengineering, a controversial idea, should be part of the tool kit that governments use to keep global warming in check.

Method Creates Ethanol Sans Corn, Plants

April 9, 2014 1:00 pm | by Stanford Univ. | News | Comments

Scientists have created a copper-based catalyst that produces large quantities of ethanol from carbon monoxide gas at room temperature.

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Saharan Dust Feeds Ocean, Locks Carbon

April 9, 2014 12:00 pm | by The Conversation, Richard Lampitt | News | Comments

The Saharan dust that clogged air and dirtied cars in the UK recently may seem like a nuisance, but in fact contains some essential nutrients– if you’re phytoplankton.

Process Turns Cellulose into Energy Storage Devices

April 8, 2014 7:00 am | by Oregon State Univ. | News | Comments

Chemists have found that cellulose– the most abundant organic polymer on Earth and a key component of trees– can be heated in a furnace in the presence of ammonia, and turned into the building blocks for supercapacitors.

Method Uses Sun to Create Solar Energy Materials

April 4, 2014 7:00 am | by Oregon State Univ. | News | Comments

In a recent advance in solar energy, researchers have discovered a way to tap the sun not only as a source of power, but also to directly produce the solar energy materials that make this possible.

Researchers 'Design' Greener Trees

April 4, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of British Columbia. | News | Comments

Researchers have genetically engineered trees that will break down to produce paper and biofuel more easily. This breakthrough will mean using fewer chemicals, less energy and creating fewer environmental pollutants.

Observatory Gives Researchers a Peek Under Great Lakes' Ice

April 3, 2014 12:00 pm | by Michigan Technological Univ. | News | Comments

Observatories under the Great Lakes will help us better understand the processes that are going on deep under the ice. We know a lot about the biology, chemistry and physics of the lakes in summer and fall, but when the ice breaks up in spring, things have changed dramatically.

Sandy Soil Deforestation is Greater Climate Threat

April 2, 2014 7:00 am | by Yale Univ. | News | Comments

Deforestation may have far greater consequences for climate change in some soils than in others, according to new research. This find could provide critical insights into which ecosystems must be managed with extra care because they are vulnerable to biodiversity loss and which ecosystems are more resilient.

Legume Research Sheds Light On Nitrogen Uptake

April 2, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Adelaide | News | Comments

Increased nitrogen-use efficiency of plants and an associated reduced need for nitrogen-based fertilizers may be a step closer following research on legumes.

U.N. Panel Says Global Warming Dials Up Risks

March 31, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Seth Borenstein | News | Comments

If the world doesn't cut pollution of heat-trapping gases, the already noticeable harms of global warming could spiral "out of control," the head of a United Nations scientific panel warns.

Study Compares Toxicity of Biofuels, Conventional Energies

March 27, 2014 7:00 am | by Society of Toxicology | News | Comments

With biofuels being used globally on a wider scale than ever before, scientists are discussing the implications of their use on human and environmental health.

Data Explores Air Pollution, Diabetes, Obesity Connection

March 26, 2014 7:00 am | by Society of Toxicology | News | Comments

While researchers have connected high-calorie, high-fat diets and sedentary lifestyles to the increase in metabolic syndrome in developed countries, others are looking into whether or not air pollution is also contributing to the epidemic.

Salamanders Shrinking in Response to Climate

March 26, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Maryland | News | Comments

Wild salamanders living in some of North America’s best salamander habitats are getting smaller as their surroundings get warmer and drier, forcing them to burn more energy in a changing climate.

WHO Says Pollution Kills Seven M Per Year

March 25, 2014 12:00 pm | by Associated Press, Maria Cheng | News | Comments

Air pollution kills about seven million people worldwide every year, with more than half of the fatalities caused by fumes from indoor stoves, according to a new report.

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