The popularity of ski mountaineering as a winter sport is increasing – and with it, impacts on mountain wildlife. In the European Alps, researchers used data from the exercisetracking app Stravato assess these impacts on vulnerable bird species. Understanding how skiers affect their surroundings can help prevent harm to wildlife and maintain a healthy relationship between outdoor recreation and mountain ecosystems.
The global climate system is changing and, until now, the drivers of these shifts have been hotly debated: is it caused by humans or is it normal climate variability? New research confirms that humans are the main cause of climate shifts – which will have important implications in support of swift climate action by managers and political figure.
While meat alternatives are gaining popularity, not all offer the same sustainability gains. In fact, the general perception of their environmental benefits may be skewed by the technological sophistication of their production. Awareness of these factors can positively influence the public to make more sustainable food choices.
Andrew Ofstehage, postdoctoral associate at Cornell University, used his background in agronomy and anthropology to investigate the soy boom in Brazil. In his upcoming book “Welcome to Soylandia!”, Ofstehage shows how transnational North American farmers are managing both soils and investors while creating narratives around their presence in Brazil.
The United States, as with governments around the world, will spend vast amounts of money to recover from COVID-induced economic recessions. Choosing to invest in a green recovery, including financing renewable energy, clean physical infrastructure, and reforestation, would be most advantageous not only for the planet and human health, but also for employment and the economy.
Researchers are trying to unravel the mystery behind salmon size declines in Alaska and estimate their implications for humans and ecosystems. Quantifying these declines and understanding their impacts will be critical for future fishery management.
The increasing incidence of drought in the United States calls for creative ways to distribute limited water resources. Water markets are one response to this challenge, but do they work? A recent study uses data from the Rio Grande Valley to quantify their impact.
IPCC estimates an investment of 2.4 trillion dollars in energy systems for a low-carbon economy. It requires financial innovations and an understanding of its emergence and diffusion. Green bonds, a recent financial innovation, have been gaining attention – the roles of various stakeholders, self-reinforcing processes, and widespread acceptance have been vital factors for its growth and distribution. Assessing these parameters helps to better understand obstacles and factors that influence successful dispersion of other financial innovations.
Green spaces are essential features of livable and sustainable cities. In order to ensure that everyone benefits from them, researchers, community leaders and city planners need to understand how and when green spaces may contribute to the displacement of low-income communities. Predicting displacement, however, is only the first step to creating better access to parks.
New research maps the global extent of glacial lakes and shows that climate change is causing an increase in the size of these lakes across the planet. As glacial lakes grow, the likelihood of glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) in high altitude areas is increasing. This study highlights the urgent need for adaptation planning in high risk mountainous communities that may be exposed to GLOFs as the planet warms.
Engagement at the nexus of environmental and feminist communication studies, until recently, has been cursory. A new field, Intersectional ecofeminist communication studies, aims to address this engagement and offers guiding principles for approaching environmental communication challenges.
Policy interventions such as effective incentive and reward-based “pull measures”, rather than restrictive penalty-based “push measures”, can be instrumental in shaping the public’s perception of clean transportation adoption. Policy makers can leverage this knowledge to design policies that influence public behavior positively and enable the public to make more environmentally conscious choices.
The largest Arctic research expedition ever has recently returned from a year drifting in an ice floe. Dr. Janin Schaffer, an oceanographer and Team Lead on the MOSAiC(Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate)expedition, explains the significance of this research for understanding global climate change uncertainties.
Often economic valuations and ecological models operate in silos when it comes tomanagement of ecosystem services. A study in Hawaii uses Systems Thinking to create a model combining the two, thereby creating a dynamic pricing mechanism for the conservation of a watershed.
In Andean countries, cities and farms are facing a variety of challenges in the water sector due to climate change: growing demand, shrinking supplies, and irregular flooding. Now, water managers are looking to harness natural ecosystems in tandem with Indigenous water management systems to mitigate these stressors.
Snakes are vital players in maintaining ecosystem balance, but with more humans encroaching their habitat, encounters can be fatal. A recent study estimates that 1.2 million deaths took place in India since 2000.
High Nature Value farmlands are not only rich in biodiversity, but they also provide valuable ecosystem services to society. A recent study illustrates different scenarios for their future and shows a hopeful path forward to avert the threat of agricultural intensification or abandonment through social and economic transformations.
A flurry of excitement around the power of agricultural practices to capture carbon in soils and curb global climate change is generating investment across the public and private sectors. Recent studies reveal the uncertainties and limitations of these practices’ long-term carbon storage potential, while highlighting their other benefits for the environment and food system. Soil scientists call on decision makers to reframe their approaches to soil management to better capture holistic benefits.
Many bird species need human structures like old barns and houses to build their nests. Their populations are declining as villages modernize, but this modernization improves rural quality of life and energy efficiency. Avoiding the unnecessary choice between rural development and wildlife conservation will require innovative approaches.
New research suggests that rising temperatures cause more premature births, especially among Black mothers. To address the impacts of rising heat, policy makers must address the inequalities that put certain groups at higher risk of heat exposure.
Agricultural research tends to ignore the experiences of young Black farmers. Shedding ample light on their narratives can help reform policies and programs to encourage diversity and elevate Black Americans’ contributions to agricultural innovation.
Tropical dry forests are among the most threatened biomes in the world, but are often overlooked while creating conservation plans and protected areas. Conserving these forests can protect thousands of species that are only found in these regions and support the livelihoods of millions of people.
To meet the targets of the Paris Climate agreement, over two-thirds of its signatories will employ land use management and conservation strategies. Yet new research suggests that many tropical nations have the potential to store and preserve far more carbon in natural ecosystems than will be needed to meet their current pledges.
Many coffee-growing regions of the world may become unsuitable as temperatures rise. Cocoa is a viable alternative, but only if farmers improve the resilience of agroforestry systems that support its production.
Fighting extreme poverty will need to happen in tandem with protecting the environment. Research shows that while achieving social goals might be, to a limited extent, at odds with achieving environmental goals, the actions of the rich will have the greatest impact.
Justin Farrell, associate professor of sociology at the Yale School of the Environment, spent 5 years studying the increasing wealth, economic disparity, and environmental change in Teton County, Wyoming. In his book Billionaire Wilderness, released March 2020, Farrell shows how the ultra-wealthy use the natural environment to their advantage in this elite corner of his home state.
Despite the growing partisan divide over solar power adoption in the United States Congress, public adoption of solar power is occurring across the political spectrum. In addition, solar households are active voters. These findings are encouraging for policymakers who are promoting renewable energy.
Land conservation relies heavily on data to determine where protection should occur. But sharing data is not a common practice among land conservation groups. A new study investigates the reasons why some groups choose to share data with others and how this could change our perception of where land conservation occurs in the United States.