Antibiotics emitted from pharmaceutical plants have been known to contribute to water pollution in some regions of the world. New research reveals that biological communities downstream of plants change as a result of such exposure. This finding supports growing evidence that antibiotics can change the makeup of rivers and streams.
While it seems the number of forest fires is increasing, an international team of researchers has discovered a downward trend in global burned area over the past two decades. Capital-intensive agriculture expansion, rather than climate change, is the major factor influencing global burned area.
Electric vehicles are running the roads, claiming green fame. Could they also earn their drivers money? In a recent study, researchers mapped out the economics of vehicle-to-grid energy storage for peak electricity demand reduction and potential profits.
In the wake of large-scale hurricane-induced flooding, understanding the characteristics of waterbodies matters more now than ever. A new classification system called the Freshwater Continuum Classification can help effectively identify changes that can occur over time.
When considering the best end-of-life (i.e. disposal) options for construction and demolition wood, there are three categories to consider — recycling, burying, or burning. Life cycle analysis gives insight into the least environmentally harmful and costly end-of-life category.
New research shows that fungi in the forest floor use resources less efficiently when competing with neighboring fungi. This means forests’ may remove less greenhouse gases from the atmosphere than we thought.
As large wildfires threaten communities in many parts of the world, understanding how climate change will influence extreme fire events can help predict future fire risk. In a recent study, researchers used new models to find that human emissions increased fire risk by 1.5 to 6 times in western Canada.
A longstanding conservation scheme known as payment for ecosystem services aims to incentivize forest protection by putting a price on the services forests provide, but questions remain whether the payments generated are going to right people . A recent analysis conducted in Costa Rica indicates that indeed further work is needed to reach rural poor populations that depend on forests for their livelihoods.
To promote environmental advocacy, we need science to be a priority to people. But how scientists better communicate their findings to the wider world? Too often, recent studies suggest, science communication fails to address key factors such as audience curiosity and intelligence, political ideology and personal beliefs.
Foreign direct investment is often seen as an economic blessing for developing nations. However, new research reveals that it stimulates resource depletion, while fostering dependency on the income generated from that depletion.
With rising consumer demand for organic foods, farmers need to explore new methods for pest control. A recent literature review identifies avenues for future research into natural predator-prey relationships that could yield novel alternatives to controversial technologies currently used.
A recent study shows that pre-Columbian Amazonian societies played a key role in the structure of current tree communities. The results refute the idea of the Amazonia as an unspoiled place and highlights the contribution of ancient societies to the shaping of the current forest composition.
Rising sea levels and melting glaciers are certainly worrisome consequences of climate change — but there are more subtle changes that could also be disastrous. The geographical shift of caterpillar fungus, for example, could spell economic disaster for Tibetan people.
More access to water does not mean fairer access. A study of water access in Jakarta found that the poor lacks fair access to clean water compared to their rich neighbors and the quality of groundwater is a culprit.
Pests have damaged U.S. forests for centuries. Globalization is increasing the spread of these pests and their danger to ecosystems. Now, new research models pest spread across landscapes using past data to better prepare for future threats.
Although wind power is often hailed as one of the ultimate sustainable energy sources, siting wind farms can be tricky. A recent study examined the trade-offs between building wind farms close to population centers or in remote regions with more suitable wind conditions. The results can help policymakers locate new wind development more efficiently.
In recent years, water funds have become a crucial tool for managers worldwide to protect both water quality and sustainable livelihoods. But a new study suggests that the most successful water funds seek diverse input and locally-tailored solutions.
As the summer sea ice melts in the Arctic, polar bears struggling to hunt seals are increasingly turning to sea-birds for food. New scientific research suggests that this change in the polar bear diet could severely reduce sea ducks populations and deprive Arctic peoples of a major source of food and livelihood.
Non-timber forest products from urban areas are often overlooked as a viable source of income for impoverished communities. A new study investigates whether or not these products help households in South Africa stay out of poverty.
The advocacy campaigns #SavetheAmazon and #SavetheRainforest are known the world over, but do we have it backwards? A team of researchers and doctors suggest that, actually, the Amazon rainforest could save us.
The stories about the poaching of African elephants are deeply imbedded in the carbon isotope tracers that make up the prized tusks. A group of scientists used these tracers to uncover the realities of poaching activities threatening Africa’s elephants today.
People give meaning to urban parks and cities in different ways, an inherently political process that opens up some possibilities while foreclosing others. Once seen as refuges from the city, urban parks have been reimagined as economic drivers, a shift that fits into a larger process of neoliberalism.
Drought has become increasingly prevalent in many parts of the world, but how it will affect ecosystems is often poorly understood. In the Yellow River Delta scientists discovered that another factor, natural enemies, hinder the ability of plants to recover from drought.