California’s San Joaquin Valley is one of the United States’ most productive agricultural regions. It’s also home to one of the highest concentrations of threatened and endangered species in the country. What will the state’s new groundwater regulations that require retiring large swaths of agricultural land mean for biodiversity in the region?
The United Nations has set a Sustainable Development Goal to end world hunger by 2030. Increasing crop yields is necessary to achieve this goal. However, intensive irrigation practices can also increase the uptake of ozone by plants, damaging sensitive leaf tissues. Lack of ozone pollution mitigation efforts may prevent future progress towards global food security.
The Endangered Species Act – which has long been known as the strongest environmental law in United States history – has been undermined by recent rule changes under the Trump administration. Weaker protections for species in peril heighten the probability that species will go extinct, placing biodiversity and related ecosystem services further at risk.
Many recent studies have reported that shifting to a more sustainable diet can help reduce the impacts of climate change, but it remains unclear what can actually drive widespread diet changes. A new study investigates the behavioral drivers that motivate dietary changes and finds that peer pressure is a significant factor.
On a quest to find examples of food-secure islands, Sara Santiago interviewed Dr. Natalie Kurashima, who studies traditional agriculture practices in Hawaiʻi. With kindness, humility, and dedication, Natalie shares her experience of tying her research to her indigenous roots in Hawaiian land and agriculture.
In contrast to their oil-rich neighbors, Israel and Jordan are currently dependent on imported fossil fuels to meet their energy needs. Expanding renewable energy production provides a promising pathway to achieving greater energy independence and security for these nations.
Globally, the conversion of forest land for agriculture and livestock rearing is among the key threats to tropical forests. Harvesting non-timber forest products can be a sustainable alternative source of livelihood for forest-dependent communities. A recent study from Brazil considers the potential of the açaí palm in enabling forest conservation and ending poverty.
Fish hold value across many areas of life. They are metaphysically representative of Christianity, critical for healthy aquatic ecosystems, and provide a staple in the nutrition of billions of people around the world. One study suggests looking at religion as one approach to hold fishers to the regulations designed to protect fish for the future.
Hydropower has been widely considered a “green” energy source. However, a new study from India examines the wide ranging and severe impacts that small hydropower projects can have on the environment – and the consequences of not evaluating these impacts before a project starts.
Kampungs in Jakarta, Indonesia, also known as “informal housing,” are historically understood to be contaminated and unhygienic, which has often been used as an excuse for their destruction. New research shows that women in these communities resist the state’s justification for removing people from kampungs, especially when it has profound alterations to their social and economic way of life.
Cities have long recognized the ecological benefits of natural features such as forests and rain gardens. However, a new study from Vancouver, Canada emphasizes how accessible greenspace can improve community belonging – benefiting not only the city, but its residents as well.
The world’s growing population will place ever-greater demands on agricultural lands. A recent study suggests that a diversified approach to farming can promote conservation without sacrificing production.
Island peoples are at the frontlines of climate change. They are also often isolated and dependent on imports, especially for food. New research in Hawai’i investigates how indigenous agricultural systems may support food security, indigenous sovereignty, and climate change adaptation.
Sofia Caycedo, Emeritus Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Environment Review, recently sat down for a chat with Yale Professor and 2018 Nobel Prize winner Dr. William Nordhaus to discuss climate change, economic growth, and his beloved carbon price.
Climate change has started to impact agriculture, and therefore our ability to maintain food production for the future. Food security is a complex issue that should be tackled from various fronts. As a recent article points out, developing and widening the production of crops that can resist environmental stressors can be an essential part of the solution.
Darwin’s finches are the poster child for evolution. As the focal subject of numerous studies since the 19th century, we thought we knew everything about these birds—until now. A new study shows that the birds may be major players in a newly discovered form of seed dispersal via nests.
Hard infrastructure, like sea walls and levees, prevent damage from smaller hazards but increase vulnerability to larger ones. The next generation of disaster prevention should focus on soft strategies like community preparedness.
Past generations predicted that the 21st century would be filled with exciting technologies. Self-driving cars, door locks managed by smartphones, and automated household appliances fulfill their futuristic vision. With these changes, however, come new standards of convenience and cleanliness. Considered through the lens of energy consumption, automated vacuums reveal how standards of cleanliness in the era of Smart Homes don’t always correspond to environmental sustainability.
Indigenous peoples are great contributors to sustainable resource management. A new study highlights how natural resource managers can improve their conservation mechanisms, by taking into account the needs and perspectives of indigenous people.
To protect endangered frogs from disease, scientists sometimes capture and breed them in zoos to keep the species alive while it goes extinct in the wild. But new research has shown that captive-bred frogs have significantly fewer and less diverse skin bacteria than their wild counterparts, casting doubt on the possibility of using captive-bred frogs in re-introduction conservation programs.
The thought of a warm spring rain might sound nice—but not when it’s in Alaska. Scientists have discovered that a wetter climate caused by a warming planet is increasing methane emissions from thawing permafrost in northern locations. Those extra emissions could escalate the pace of climate change, making runaway global warming even harder to stop.
Protected areas function as important survival refuges for many species facing the threats of climate change. However, new research shows that isolated protected areas are not enough to combat these threats. Hence, we need to connect and expand isolated protected areas to ensure the survival of important species.
The island of Borneo is changing rapidly. Infrastructure development and palm oil production are hastening deforestation on the island, which is occurring at alarming rates. Widespread deforestation has many consequences for biodiversity, including habitat loss and decreased habitat connectivity. Even more ominously, changes in land use and tree cover are shifting precipitation levels across the island.
The way leaves reflect and absorb light can drive the climate of the entire planet. Darker leaves absorb more light, trapping heat and subsequently warming surrounding ecosystems. A recent study shows that climate change may be changing leaf properties, making them darker.
Although some say that nuclear power is a low cost, low-carbon energy source, nuclear waste may harm future generations. New research has shown that the true costs of nuclear power are far greater than many previous studies have indicated.
Protecting livelihoods while simultaneously protecting forests can be a difficult task. However, recent research suggests that investing in innovating social programs is an effective way to improve livelihoods of forest-dependent communities, without putting pressure on the environment.
Civil war in Syria. The Central American caravan. Legal restrictions on refugees in Europe and the U.S. Countries around the world are being confronted by questions of immigration and refugees—and new research says that in some cases, climate change might be to blame.