E-waste is frequently exported to developing countries and are recycled manually, polluting the air, soil and water and affecting workers and vulnerable communities. The Basel Convention is an international treaty created to counter that. However, enforcement and monitoring is lacking. Researchers and the Basel Action Network took matters into their own hands.
Human development has disconnected thousands of acres of U.S. salt marsh from life-giving tidal flows. New research has found that restoring tidal flows to salt marshes can be an important intervention to slow the rate of climate change.
The North Atlantic Ocean Circulation is a double-edged sword when it comes to ocean acidification. In the past, it has kept the North Atlantic Ocean less acidic – and more hospitable – than the Pacific Ocean. Today, the same circulation has the potential toconvey fast acidification to the ocean depth as climate change alters both the atmosphere and the surface ocean.
Businesses are increasingly swayed by their customer’s preferences for environmentally friendly brands, a phenomenon known as “green loyalty.” Mounting customer pressure is pushing the growing cruise industry to seek more sustainable solutions.
The dramatic rise in Oklahoma’s earthquake activity since 2009 is due to its wastewater injection. Notoriously hard to measure, scientists created a method that modeled seismic conditions as a result of wastewater disposal. A thoughtful approach to disposal will limit environmental damage as a result of seismic activity.
Among its many natural treasures, Africa has one infinitely valuable resource: the sun. At last, large-scale solar photovoltaic systems can harness its power to provide carbon-free electricity to people who need it the most.
Engaging community members in environmental monitoring can help land managers understand how ecosystems respond to human activities. Data collected by students can accurately reflected a stream’s recovery after restoration work.
Did changes in weather patterns increase conflict-related incidents in the Philippines? A recent study analyzes the relationship between climate change, seasonal rainfall patterns, agricultural production, and civil conflict in the Philippines. The findings reveal that harvest failures caused by extreme weather can exacerbate violence among rebel groups.
Extreme weather events like hurricanes, flash floods and heatwaves are predicted to increase in intensity and frequency due to climate change. A group of researchers studied the barriers small and mediumsized businesses face in their attempt to bounce back after being hit by extreme weather, to find out which internal and external factors hamper businesses from getting back on their feet quickly.
Migratory birds rely on high quality habitat in which to rest overnight during their annual journeys. However, a recent study suggests that city lights can divert birds from their traditional flight paths. By resting in areas with fewer resources – be it less cover for protection or fewer plants and insects to eat – birds may need more time to complete their migrations and arrive at their destinations in poorer condition.
By 2050 two thirds of the world’s population will live in urban areas. This growth will cause an 80% increase in city water demand. To fulfill this growing need for water in cities, water will be taken away from rural and agricultural needs.
In the United States alone, beef production accounts for twenty percent of greenhouse gas emissions and it is the least efficient source of protein production. Americans will continue to eat beef; so designing a sustainable industry is essential to reducing emissions. In a new study, scientists explore two straightforward ways to achieve a sustainable industry – all without sacrificing your cheeseburgers.
Across the globe, rangelands are rapidly changing due to human-caused disturbances. New research shows that in Australia, livestock grazing is shifting the balance of plant diversity in favor of non-native species. This could pose serious conservation challenges for Australian rangelands in years to come.
Humans have long looked to the ocean for opportunities, sustenance, and growth. Today, advocates of “Blue Growth” aim to foster sustainable economic growth in the marine sector. Absent in the grandiose vision, however, is where our interaction with the ocean first began: fishing. Global fisheries production has stagnated: ecology is fragile, regulations are strict, and fish prices are low. So, what is the future for marine fisheries? What will be its role in Blue Growth?
Human activity is increasing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, causing the ocean to absorb more carbon dioxide as well. New research shows that increasing oceanic carbon dioxide levels are also fluctuating with the seasons. Over time, these fluctuations are becoming more dramatic. As a result, marine animals will be pushed earlier than expected towards threatening conditions.
Scientists from the Institute for Conservation Research at the San Diego Zoo and UCLA are researching animal decision making across disciplinary boundaries. In a recent study, they investigated how animal decision making can be affected by human impacts on the environment. They argue that understanding the ways animals respond to different situations can help scientists conserve species more effectively.
Forest fragmentation breaks apart ecosystems and accelerates deforestation. The causes of deforestation differ around the globe, but scientists have identified similarities in their patterns. Doing so might mitigate further deforestation.
Solar energy is hailed as the holy grail of climate change mitigation. But is it really? Like any other technological solution, solar has its issues especially regarding its impact on land use change. A recent study highlighted some promising alternatives for siting solar in areas that can spare prime agricultural land, thus reducing solar land footprint.
Does news coverage affect the length of people’s showers? A recent scientific study seeks to understand how mass media is related to water use behavior, by examining the influence of abnormally high drought related news coverage in California’s San Francisco bay area. The researchers find a strong link between heightened news coverage and a reduction in urban water use, indicating that mass media has the potential to lead to significant behavioral changes.
As the current United States Federal government moves to dismantle environmental protections, many have turned to the business community to lead the way on environment. However, a new study has found that most businesses are only working on sustainability to generate profit. The study categorizes profit-minded sustainability work as “weak,” stating that more ambitious sustainability approaches have goals beyond growing a business.
Climate change is increasing storm severity globally. During storms, polluted sediment can be transported. A study focusing on the Meadowlands demonstrates how tide gates can prevent the transportation of contaminated sediment.
Towering wind turbines have been overlooking the European seas for almost a decade. Why is the U.S. lagging in offshore wind development? A recent study examined the psychological and social factors that influence public opinion and eventually facilitate or hinder project development.
You know the skin-crawling, hair-raising feeling right before you drift off to sleep? It might not be “all in your head”.Bed bugs are on the rise, and travelers are unknowingly shuttling them across the oceans. Researchers wanted to know exactly how bed bugs were making long journeys at an unprecedented rate. They found bed bugs are attracted to dirty laundry, not just old mattresses. As international travel increases, bed bugs are jumping into suitcases and spreading across the globe.
As cities seek to provide residents with places for recreation, cleaner air, and beautiful scenery, it is crucial to know which sector can best increase the amount of green infrastructure. New research examines developers’ decision-making process for property design, and shows that developers may not be the best group to be in charge of providing green space for cities.
Agricultural land is not often thought of as an ecosystem or as habitat. However, farmers as a group collectively manage a large fraction of the land in Britain (as in every country) and their choices have a significant impact on the health of the environment and wildlife. How can farmers be encouraged to become environmental stewards?
During the 2012-2014 drought, farmers had difficulty maintaining their crops and their livelihoods. New research found that during this drought, water use and dependency actually increased in the Central Valley. This finding gives us pause and a chance to reevaluate our water management practices.
A warming climate in the American West is causing major changes to the iconic conifer forests. A team of researchers describe how we might be losing these forests to drought and more frequent wildfires.
Despite a decline in active mercury pollution, lingering environmental mercury is still a human health concern. Scientists working to track the movement of global mercury have discovered a new route – mercury moves through the stocking of lakes for recreational fishing. Because of fish stocking, the toxic heavy metal is moving from oceans to mountain lakes at an estimated global rate of one ton per year. This finding calls for fisheries managers to pay closer attention to the health of their recreational stock before releasing into lakes.