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Antarctic Ice Shelves Melting Faster, Raising Sea Levels

May 22, 2015 11:47 am | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | News | Comments

The melting of inland ice in Antarctica has sped over five years– adding massive amounts of water to the rise of sea levels, according to new research. The Southern Antarctic Peninsula’s glaciers became destabilized in 2009– and the melting of ice shelves has accelerated ever since.

Texas Hunter Kills Endangered Rhino in Name of Conservation

May 22, 2015 9:13 am | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | News | Comments

A man bid $350,000 on a permit to kill an endangered black rhino in the African nation of...

How do Natural Gas Trucks Impact the Environment?

May 22, 2015 7:00 am | by ACS | News | Comments

Some major trucking companies are turning to natural gas to fuel their fleets— and to earn "...

Crews Clean Californian Coast After Yesterday's Oil Spill

May 20, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Christopher Weber | News | Comments

Cleanup crews fanned out today along a stretch of scenic California coastline stained by...

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Crews Clean Californian Coast After Yesterday's Oil Spill

May 20, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Christopher Weber | News | Comments

Cleanup crews fanned out today along a stretch of scenic California coastline stained by thousands of gallons of crude oil that spilled from broken pipe and flowed into the Pacific Ocean. The broken onshore pipeline spewed oil down a storm drain and into the ocean for several hours yesterday before it was shut off, creating a slick some four miles long about 20 miles west of Santa Barbara.

Obama Warns Climate Change Presents National Security Dangers

May 20, 2015 10:37 am | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | News | Comments

President Barack Obama has called for action on climate change as a matter of health and environmental necessity for months. Now, he’s casting it as a matter of national security.

White House Plan Hopes to Save Bees

May 19, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Seth Borenstein | News | Comments

The federal government hopes to reverse America's declining honeybee and monarch butterfly populations by making more federal land bee-friendly, spending more money on research and considering the use of less pesticides.  


European Leaders Commit to Climate Protection

May 19, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Kirsten Grieshaber | News | Comments

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande confirmed their commitment to fighting global warning Tuesday, gathering with others in Berlin to prepare for this year's UN Climate Change Conference.

Climate, Migration Mean We’ll Be Sweating the Future

May 19, 2015 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Seth Borenstein | News | Comments

The combination of global warming and shifting population means that by mid-century, there will be a huge increase in the number of Americans sweating through days that are extremely hot. People are migrating into areas— especially in the South— where the heat is likely to increase more, according to a study that highlighted the places where the double whammy looks to be the biggest.

Image of the Week: Shape of Mountains May Be Key to Saving Species

May 19, 2015 7:00 am | by Princeton Univ. | News | Comments

We perceive most mountain ranges as pyramid-shaped masses that steadily narrow as they slope upward. Scientists have found, however, that is not the case. Besides reshaping the mountains in our mind's eye, the findings could lead scientists to reconsider conservation strategies for mountain animal species threatened by climate change.

New Catalysts Are Cheaper, Greener

May 19, 2015 7:00 am | by Yale Univ. | News | Comments

Chemists have helped develop a family of new chemical catalysts that are expected to lower the cost and boost the sustainability of the production of chemical compounds used by a number of industries.

How Microbes Gain Power While Making Methane

May 19, 2015 7:00 am | by Stanford Univ. | News | Comments

Scientists have solved a long-standing mystery about methanogens, unique microorganisms that transform electricity and carbon dioxide into methane. They have demonstrated how methanogens obtain electrons from solid surfaces. The discovery could help scientists design electrodes for microbial "factories" that produce methane gas and other compounds sustainably.


Oxygen on Mars? NASA Plans to Start Bacteria and Algae Gardens

May 18, 2015 3:33 pm | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | News | Comments

In an Indiana lab, a chamber that mimics the temperature fluctuations, solar radiation and atmospheric pressure of Mars is providing a sample environment of what pioneer organisms might help create a hospitable ecosystem– and human habitation– on the Red Planet.  

Grounded Iceberg Reveals Impact of Sea-ice Changes

May 18, 2015 3:00 pm | by Univ. of New South Wales | News | Comments

The grounding of a giant iceberg in Antarctica has provided a unique real-life experiment that has revealed the vulnerability of marine ecosystems to sudden changes in sea-ice cover. Within just three years of the iceberg becoming stuck in Commonwealth Bay— an event which dramatically increased sea-ice cover in the bay— almost all of the seaweed on the sea floor had decomposed, or become discolored or bleached because of lack of light.

Hong Kong to Use DNA Technology to Publicly Shame Litterbugs

May 18, 2015 11:37 am | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | News | Comments

DNA phenotyping is just starting to be used to track down criminals, generate new leads on cold case homicides, and put faces to unidentified and missing people. Now, in Hong Kong, it’s being used to threaten litterbugs with public shame, according to organizers of a new anti-polluting campaign.

Cigarette Butts May Be Energy Solution

May 18, 2015 8:37 am | by ResearchSEA | News | Comments

Scientists in South Korea have developed a new way to store energy that also offers a solution to a growing environmental problem. The research team successfully converted used cigarette butts into a high performing material that could be integrated into computers, handheld devices, electric vehicles and wind turbines to store energy.

Decade-old Oil Leak May Continue for a Century

May 18, 2015 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Eric Tucker, Michael Kunzelman | News | Comments

For more than a decade, oil has been leaking into the Gulf of Mexico where a hurricane toppled a drilling company's platform off the coast of Louisiana. Now, the federal government is warning that the leak could last another century or more if left unchecked.  


Ohio Incinerator Released Toxins into Air for Years

May 15, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

A hazardous-waste incinerator in Ohio released dangerous toxins into the air over the past four years, exposing those nearby to chemicals that can cause cancer, miscarriages and early death. The EPA released a 20-page report and found that the Heritage Thermal Services Incinerator in East Liverpool in Columbiana County emitted gases that contained high levels of toxic chemicals 195 times.

Colombia to Stop Spraying Coca Due to Believed Herbicide Dangers

May 15, 2015 10:05 am | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | News | Comments

Colombia, which has battled against its cocaine economy by aerial spraying of an herbicide over decades, announced it would stop using the chemical compound. The announcement comes after multiple agencies and officials called for a stop to the usage of glyphosate, now labeled a probable carcinogen by the World Health Organization.

Scientists Find Elusive Tropospheric Hot Spot

May 15, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of New South Wales | News | Comments

Researchers have confirmed strong warming in the upper levels of the lowest layer of the earth's atmosphere, the troposphere, which has been long predicted as part of global warming theory and in global climate models.

Bill Nye, Neil deGrasse Tyson Launch Kickstarter for Sun-powered Spacecraft

May 14, 2015 3:51 pm | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | News | Comments

The Planetary Society is reaching out to the public through a new Kickstarter campaign to launch its two LightSail projects – sending spacecraft out the farthest reaches of the galaxy on the power of sunbeams. Leading the charge are the Society’s CEO, Bill Nye, known as the Science Guy, and celebrity scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Gov't Produces First Label for GMO-free Products

May 14, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Mary Jalonick | News | Comments

The Agriculture Department has developed the first government certification and labeling for foods that are free of genetically modified ingredients. USDA's move comes as some consumer groups push for mandatory labeling of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.  

Creating a Dinosaur Snout in Bird Embryos, Science Forces Step Back in Evolution

May 13, 2015 3:34 pm | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | News | Comments

By replicating the fossil record, a group of researchers has successfully turned back the clock on evolution. An Ivy League team recreated a dinosaur’s snout on bird embryos, reversing millions of years of natural selection.  

Power Company to Provide Water to Owners of Tainted Wells

May 13, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Mitch Weiss, Michael Biesecker | News | Comments

Duke Energy says it will begin delivering bottled water to homeowners living near the company's coal ash pits in North Carolina who have been advised by state health officials not to drink or cook with their well water. More than 150 residential wells tested near Duke's dumps have failed to meet state groundwater standards. That represents more than 93 percent of the 163 tested thus far.  

Pope Francis: God Will Judge Those Who Don’t Preserve the Environment

May 13, 2015 11:57 am | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | News | Comments

Pope Francis, who has made headlines for his comments on Christian commitments to the poor and environmental stewardship, again made waves this week with yet another proclamation. This time, it was a warning that God’s judgment would meet those who disregard their environmental responsibilities.

Innovations Stop Rainwater from Going Down the Drain

May 13, 2015 7:00 am | by The Conversation, Jennifer Drake of the Univ. of Toronto | News | Comments

City streets, rooftops and parking lots make for hard surfaces that convert huge amounts of rainwater directly into runoff. In a typical city block, stormwater is collected by drains and catchbasins that then convey it underground through sewers. Recent innovations in how to deal with urban stormwater are working to prevent runoff near its source and to provide pollution prevention and quantity control.

Scientific Response Inadequate in Chemical Disasters

May 12, 2015 4:00 pm | by Purdue Univ. | News | Comments

Three new studies suggest that, when communities are hit with disasters that contaminate drinking water, the official decision-making and response often lack scientific basis. The result has been an inability to fully anticipate public health risks and effectively rid plumbing systems of contaminants.

EPA Water Rules Worry Farmers

May 12, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Mary Jalonick | News | Comments

Government rules to clarify which streams, tributaries and wetlands should be protected from development and pollution are fueling political anger in the country's heartland. The rules have become a top issue of concern for many farmers and landowners who say there are already too many government regulations that affect their businesses.

Beef Barons Help Save the Amazon Rainforest

May 12, 2015 10:00 am | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | News | Comments

The world’s largest herd of commercial beef cattle, in Brazil, was encroaching hundreds of miles into the Amazon rainforest, year after year, in the name of corporate profits. Now, market-driven “zero deforestation agreements,” prompted by pressure from environmentalists, have slowed that creeping of the herd into the sensitive ecological areas.

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