We often hear about “endangered species” but few people are aware of how a species ends up on an endangered list and even fewer understand the impacts of this designation. A group of scientists finally asked the question of how an endangered listing, particularly on the IUCN Red List, changes the prospects for species at risk – with some encouraging results.
Access to clean water remains a struggle for a large portion of the global population. Illnesses from contaminated water have been shown to harm people’s livelihoods. New research shows that in districts with poorer quality water sources, higher rates of diarrhea are associated with lower rates of school enrollment.
Plastic consumption in high-income countries is on the rise despite increasing awareness of the plastic pollution problem. Recent research has revealed that consumers are driven to use more plastic because they don’t see the waste in their local environment. Instead, it is exported to low-income countries, conveniently taken out of sight and out of mind of the people most responsible.
Large-scale, uncontrollable wildfires are expected to break out more frequently and burn with a greater intensity due to climate change. Preventing and responding to these extreme events is an unavoidable challenge that will require using natural solutions, technology, and policy.
As the urgency to develop climate change solutions continues to grow, coastal carbon offset projects present a promising new pathway for climate action. An Indian mangrove restoration project achieved both significant carbon storage and social benefits, demonstrating the potential synergy between environmental protection and economic prosperity.
How can we use the ocean to combat climate change? New research suggests that underwater forests, in the form of macroalgae, present a promising, new, and understudied opportunity to mitigate climate change.
The United States has a reputation for successful land conservation. But who are we protecting this land for? Dr. Beth Rose Middleton is researching a new way of working with the land’s first stewards, Native American tribes, to protect not only natural resources but also cultures and traditional ways of knowing.
Bananas are an important and nutritionally diverse component in diets around the world. Over the past 50 years, steady increases in global temperatures have been favorable for banana production. However, as the global temperature approaches the upper temperature ranges for banana trees, production may start to level off or decline. This study has important implications for future management of banana supplies.
Ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft may enable people to forego car ownership, but are they good for the environment? A recent study suggests ridesharing, which has been commonly viewed as an innovative urban mobility solution, is perpetuating rather than solving cities’ carbon emissions problems.
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.