Firms are better off revealing their environmental practices
Thu, 18 Apr 2019 13:12:46 EDT
Firms that value and practice environmental transparency in their reporting to stakeholders are in general better economic performers than those whose practices are more opaque.
Why researchers are mapping the world's manure
Wed, 17 Apr 2019 17:10:45 EDT
Farmers rely on phosphorus fertilizers to enrich the soil and ensure bountiful harvests, but the world's recoverable reserves of phosphate rocks, from which such fertilizers are produced, are finite and unevenly distributed.
'Induced' driving miles could overwhelm potential energy-saving benefits of self-driving
Wed, 17 Apr 2019 15:38:00 EDT
The benefits of self-driving cars will likely induce vehicle owners to drive more, and those extra miles could partially or completely offset the potential energy-saving benefits that automation may provide, according to a new study.
Amazonian soils mapped using indicator species
Wed, 17 Apr 2019 11:14:46 EDT
Understanding the ecology and distributions of species in Amazonia is hampered by lack of information about environmental conditions, such as soils. Plant occurrence data are typically more abundant than soil samples in poorly known areas, and researchers have now developed a method that uses both plant and soil data to produce a map of soil properties.
New evidence suggests volcanoes caused biggest mass extinction ever
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 12:22:49 EDT
Researchers say mercury buried in ancient rock provides the strongest evidence yet that volcanoes caused the biggest mass extinction in the history of the Earth. The extinction 252 million years ago was so dramatic and widespread that scientists call it 'the Great Dying.' The catastrophe killed off more than 95 percent of life on Earth over the course of hundreds of thousands of years.
Characterization of 'hidden' dioxins from informal e-waste processing
Sun, 14 Apr 2019 11:15:03 EDT
The composition of mixed brominated/chlorinated dibenzofurans (PXDFs) and diphenyl ethers in soils from an e-waste site in Ghana suggests a formation of PXDFs through condensation of the flame retardant PBDEs and subsequent bromine-to-chlorine exchange. PXDFs were substantial contributors of toxic equivalents among dioxins from e-waste burning.
We now know how insects and bacteria control ice
Fri, 12 Apr 2019 15:06:35 EDT
Scientists show how key proteins produced in bacteria and insects can either promote or inhibit the formation of ice, based on their length and their ability to team up to form large ice-binding surfaces. The results have wide application, particularly in understanding precipitation in clouds.
Unique oil-eating bacteria found in world's deepest ocean trench, Mariana Trench
Fri, 12 Apr 2019 08:52:26 EDT
Research that reveals what lies at the bottom of the deepest part of the ocean -- the Mariana Trench. Until now, scientists knew more about Mars than the deepest part of the ocean. But an expedition to collect samples of the microbial population at the deepest part of the Mariana Trench (some 11,000 meters down) has revealed a new 'oil-eating' bacteria.
Conservationists discover hidden diversity in ancient frog family
Thu, 11 Apr 2019 11:52:48 EDT
Research scientists have uncovered hidden diversity within a type of frog found only in the Seychelles, showing that those on each island have their own distinct lineage. The family tree of sooglossid frogs dates back at least 63 million years. They are living ancestors of those frogs that survived the meteor strike on earth approximately 66 million years ago, making them a highly evolutionarily distinct group.
Ice Ages occur when tropical islands and continents collide
Thu, 11 Apr 2019 11:52:21 EDT
Earth's steady state is warm and balmy, but half a dozen times over the past billion years, the planet developed ice caps and glaciers. Researchers have now amassed evidence that these cold snaps occurred when tectonic activity propelled continents headlong into volcanic island arcs in the tropics, uplifting ophiolites that rapidly absorbed carbon dioxide, cooling Earth. Once collisions stopped, CO2 again built up from volcanic eruptions and a runaway greenhouse effect warmed the planet.
Warm winds in autumn could strain Antarctica's Larsen C ice shelf
Thu, 11 Apr 2019 10:18:10 EDT
New research shows that the Larsen C ice shelf -- the fourth largest ice shelf in Antarctica -- experienced an unusual spike in late summer and early autumn surface melting in the years 2015 to 2017. The study, spanning 35 years from 1982 to 2017, quantifies how much of this additional melting is due to warm, dry air currents called foehn winds that originate high in the peninsula's central mountain range.
Rapid urbanization increasing pressure on rural water supplies globally
Thu, 11 Apr 2019 08:38:16 EDT
An international team of researchers has carried out the first systematic global review of water reallocation from rural to urban regions -- the practice of transferring water from rural areas to cities to meet demand from growing urban populations. They found that 69 cities with a population of 383 million people receive approximately 16 billion cubic meters of reallocated water per year -- almost the annual flow of the Colorado River.
Millions of children worldwide develop asthma annually due to traffic-related pollution
Wed, 10 Apr 2019 21:00:03 EDT
About 4 million children worldwide develop asthma each year because of inhaling nitrogen dioxide air pollution, according to a new study. The study, based on data from 2010 to 2015, estimates that 64 percent of these new cases of asthma occur in urban areas.
Falling levels of air pollution drove decline in California's tule fog
Wed, 10 Apr 2019 09:59:34 EDT
The Central Valley's heavy wintertime tule fog -- known for snarling traffic and closing schools -- has been on the decline over the past 30 years, and falling levels of air pollution are the cause, says a new study. The findings help explain the puzzling decades-long rise and fall in the number of 'fog days' affecting the region over the past century.
Green roofs could reduce indoor air pollution
Wed, 10 Apr 2019 09:03:31 EDT
Green roofs -- roofs that are planted with vegetation -- may improve the indoor air quality of commercial buildings by cutting the amount of ozone coming into the buildings from the outside, according to new research.