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The Lead

Less Wind May Change Predator-prey Balance

September 22, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison | News | Comments

Rising temperatures and shifting precipitation patterns may get the lion's share of our climate change attention, but predators may want to give some thought to wind, according to a zoologist's study, which is among the first to demonstrate the way "global stilling" may alter predator-prey relationships.

California Teachers Invest in Clean Energy

September 19, 2014 2:09 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The California State Teachers' Retirement System says it plans to increase its investments...

Chevron Meets Voluntary Shale Drilling Rules

September 18, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Kevin Begos | News | Comments

Chevron has become the first energy company to meet a new set of voluntary shale gas drilling...

Skyscrapers Don’t Protect From Car Pollution

September 18, 2014 7:00 am | by King’s College London | News | Comments

People living in Hong Kong’s towering skyscrapers may be away from the hustle and bustle of its...

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Chin Strap Harvests the Power of Chewing

September 17, 2014 2:00 pm | by Institute of Physics | News | Comments

Researchers have developed a chin strap that can harvest energy from jaw movements. It is hoped that the device can generate electricity from eating, chewing and talking, and power a number of small-scale implantable or wearable electronic devices, such as hearing aids, cochlear implants, electronic hearing protectors and communication devices.

Molecular 'Sieves' Can Capture Carbon

September 16, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Cambridge | News | Comments

Researchers have developed advanced molecular “sieves” that could be used to filter carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. Newly developed synthetic membranes provide a greener and more energy-efficient method of separating gases, and can remove CO2 and other greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, potentially reducing the cost of capturing CO2 significantly.

Climate Change Formula Isn’t Universal

September 15, 2014 7:00 am | by ETH Zurich | News | Comments

Based on models and observations, climate scientists have devised a simplified formula to describe one of the consequences of climate change: regions already marked by droughts will continue to dry out in the future climate. Regions that already have a moist climate will experience additional rainfall. However, this formula is less universally valid than previously assumed.

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Ozone Layer is Recovering

September 11, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Seth Borenstein | News | Comments

Earth's protective ozone layer is beginning to recover, largely because of the phase-out since the 1980s of certain chemicals used in refrigerants and aerosol cans, a U.N. scientific panel reported in a rare piece of good news about the health of the planet. Scientists said the development demonstrates that when the world comes together, it can counteract a brewing ecological crisis.

Sharks May Not Smell Food in Acidic Water

September 11, 2014 7:00 am | by Georgia Institute of Technology | Videos | Comments

The increasing acidification of ocean waters caused by rising atmospheric CO2 levels could rob sharks of their ability to sense the smell of food, a new study suggests. Elevated CO2 levels impaired the odor-tracking behavior of the smooth dogfish, a shark whose range includes the Atlantic Ocean off the eastern U.S.

Mexican Plant May Make Greener Perfume Industry

September 10, 2014 2:00 pm | by ACS | News | Comments

The mere whiff of a dreamy perfume can help conjure new feelings or stir a longing for the past. But the creation of these alluring scents can also incur an environmental toll. That could change as scientists examine a more sustainable way to produce a key perfume ingredient and supply it to fragrance makers around the world.

New-found Bacteria Eats Hazardous Waste

September 10, 2014 7:00 am | by The Univ. of Manchester | News | Comments

Tiny single-cell organisms discovered living underground could help with the problem of nuclear waste disposal. Although bacteria with waste-eating properties have been discovered in relatively pristine soils before, this is the first time that microbes that can survive in the very harsh conditions expected in radioactive waste disposal sites have been found.

USDA Announces $328 M Conservation Plan

September 9, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Steve Karnowski | News | Comments

The USDA announced $328 million in funding to protect and restore farmlands, grasslands and wetlands across the country. The initiative, using money provided in the new five-year farm bill, will buy conservation easements from farmers to protect the environment, help wildlife populations and promote outdoor recreation.

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CO2 Pollution Hit Record Levels in 2013

September 9, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, John Heilprin | News | Comments

An annual report said that carbon dioxide, the heat-trapping gas blamed for the largest share of global warming, rose to global concentrations of 396 parts per million last year, the biggest year-to-year change in three decades.

Cities Prepare for Climate Change Sans Comment

September 9, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press, John Flesher | News | Comments

With climate change still a political minefield across the nation despite the strong scientific consensus that it's happening, some community leaders have hit upon a way of preparing for the potentially severe local consequences without triggering explosions of partisan warfare: just change the subject.

Sun Could Make Clean Water for Villages in India

September 9, 2014 7:00 am | by MIT, David Chandler | News | Comments

Around the world, there is more salty groundwater than fresh, drinkable groundwater. For example, 60 percent of India is underlain by salty water. Now, an analysis shows that a different desalination technology called electrodialysis, powered by solar panels, could provide enough clean, palatable drinking water to supply the needs of a typical village.

Egyptian Art Paints Picture of Ecological Collapse

September 9, 2014 7:00 am | by UC Santa Cruz | News | Comments

Depictions of animals in ancient Egyptian artifacts have helped scientists assemble a detailed record of the large mammals that lived in the Nile Valley over the past 6,000 years. A new analysis of this record shows that species extinctions, probably caused by a drying climate and growing human population in the region, have made the ecosystem progressively less stable.

Mud Disposal Plan Will Protect Barrier Reef

September 8, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The government of Australia's Queensland state approved a plan today that will prevent 3 million cubic meters of seabed mud from being dumped in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

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Diet Recommendations May Be Bad for Environment

September 5, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Michigan | News | Comments

If Americans altered their menus to conform to federal dietary recommendations, emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases tied to agricultural production could increase significantly. A new study looked at the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production of about 100 foods, as well as the potential effects of shifting Americans to a diet recommended by the USDA.

Tests Confirm Jet Biofuel Burns Cleaner

September 5, 2014 7:00 am | by NASA | News | Comments

Flying high above the California desert, researchers recently took to the skies for the second year in a row with a DC-8 and other aircraft to study the effects on emissions and contrail formation of burning alternative fuels in jet engines. This follow-up set of flight tests repeated a similar series of trials flown during 2013, while also adding a few new wrinkles to the investigations to capture more and better data.

NASA Examines Four Decades of Sea Ice Changes

September 5, 2014 7:00 am | by Goddard Space Flight Center | Videos | Comments

The sea ice cap that covers the Arctic Ocean has been changing dramatically. Its ice is thinner and more vulnerable– at summer minimum it now covers more than 1 million fewer square miles than in the late 1970s. A key part of the story of how the world was able to witness and document this change centers on meticulous work over decades by a small group of scientists at NASA.

Fisheries to Cut Endangered Tuna Catch

September 4, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Elaine Kurtenbach | News | Comments

The multi-nation fisheries body that monitors most of the Pacific Ocean has recommended a substantial cut to the catch of juvenile bluefin tuna, a move conservationists say is only an initial step toward saving the dwindling species.

Plant Gets Tesla Closer to Electric Car for Masses

September 4, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Justin Pritchard, Scott Sonner | News | Comments

To bring electric cars to the masses, Tesla Motors will use an expanse of desert where wild mustangs still roam for a factory that the company projects will crank out enough batteries to power 500,000 vehicles annually by decade's end.

Polar Vortex Linked to Melting Sea Ice

September 3, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Seth Borenstein | News | Comments

Remember the polar vortex, the huge mass of Arctic air that can plunge much of the U.S. into a deep freeze? You might have to get used to it. We should see more of these in the future because a study partially links these polar vortex-related cold outbreaks to loss of sea ice off Russia as the world gets warmer.

Garbage Patches Redefine Ocean Boundaries

September 3, 2014 7:00 am | by American Institute of Physics | News | Comments

New maps show flotillas of ocean filth, illustrating where trash flows globally and revealing how sea surfaces are connected in unexpected ways.

Technology May Save the Amazon

September 3, 2014 7:00 am | by Wake Forest Univ. | News | Comments

Researchers working to save the Amazon are developing a new and more effective version of biochar made from native Amazonian bamboos. The process creates a fine-grained, highly porous charcoal that makes it possible to grow crops and other plants in areas that have been stripped of trees or contaminated with heavy metals from mining.

New Fossil Fuel Alternative Made from Bacteria

September 3, 2014 7:00 am | by Imperial College London | News | Comments

Researchers have engineered the harmless gut bacteria E. coli to generate renewable propane. The development is a step toward commercial production of a source of fuel that could one day provide an alternative to fossil fuels.

Image of the Week: Antarctic Sea-level Rising Faster than Average

September 2, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Southampton | News | Comments

A new study of satellite data from the last 19 years reveals that fresh water from melting glaciers has caused the sea-level around the coast of Antarctica to rise by two centimeters more than the global average of six centimeters.

Less than $200 M Would Conserve Brazilian Forest

August 29, 2014 2:00 pm | by Imperial College London | News | Comments

The Atlantic Forest is one of the most important and threatened biodiversity hotspots in the world, containing the only living examples of nearly 10,000 species of plant and more bird species than all of Europe. Brazil could conserve its valuable Atlantic Forest by investing just 0.01 percent of its annual GDP.

Global Warming Won't Stop Snowstorms

August 29, 2014 7:00 am | by MIT, Jennifer Chu | News | Comments

If ever there were a silver lining to global warming, it might be the prospect of milder winters. But, a new study suggests that you shouldn’t put your shovels away just yet. While most areas in the Northern Hemisphere will likely experience less snowfall throughout a season, the study concludes that extreme snow events will still occur, even in a future with significant warming.

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