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News about environmental issues. Latest "Green" and sustainable technologies news.

Winged microchip is smallest-ever human-made flying structure

By studying the aerodynamics of wind-dispersed seeds, researcher developed a flying microchip (or 'microflier') that catches the wind and passively flies through the air. Packed with ultra-miniaturized technology, including sensors and wireless communication capabilities, these microfliers could be used to monitor air pollution, airborne disease and more.

Functioning of terrestrial ecosystems is governed by three main factors

A large international research team has identified three key indicators that together summarize the integrative function of terrestrial ecosystems: 1. the capacity to maximize primary productivity, 2. the efficiency of using water, and 3. the efficiency of using carbon. The monitoring of these key indicators will allow a description of ecosystem function that shapes the ability to adapt, survive and thrive in response to climatic and environmental changes.

Maritime rope could be adding billions of microplastics to the ocean every year

A new study has explored the potential for rope to become a source of microplastic pollution in the marine environment.

River research reveals scale of macroplastic pollution

Plastic pollution clogs river systems for considerably longer than previously thought, new research shows.

Research guides future of plastic waste chemical recycling

New research aims to ease the process of chemical recycling -- an emerging industry that could turn waste products back into natural resources by physically breaking plastic down into the smaller molecules it was originally produced from.

Quantitative assessment for sustainable agriculture

Scientists have assembled a quantitative assessment for agriculture sustainability for countries around the world based not only on environmental impacts, but economic and social impacts, as well. The Sustainable Agriculture Matrix, or SAM, provides independent and transparent measurements of agricultural sustainability at a national level that can help governments and organizations to evaluate progress, encourage accountability, identify priorities for improvement, and inform national policies and actions towards sustainable agriculture around the globe.

Good for groundwater – bad for crops? Plastic particles release pollutants in upper soil layers

In agriculture, large quantities of nano- and microplastics end up in the soil through compost, sewage sludge and the use of mulching foils. The plastic particles always carry various pollutants with them. However, they do not transport them into the groundwater, as is often assumed. Environmental geoscientists have now determined that the plastic particles release the pollutants in the upper soil layers: they do not generally contaminate the groundwater, but have a negative effect on soil microbes and crops.

Reforestation could help save coral reefs from catastrophe

Increasing reforestation efforts in coastal regions could substantially reduce the amount of sediment run-off reaching coral reefs and improve their resilience, a new study has found.

Australian wildfires triggered massive algal blooms in Southern Ocean

Smoke and ash from the 2019-20 Australian wildfires triggered widespread algal blooms in the Southern Ocean thousands of miles downwind, a new study finds. The study is the first to conclusively link a large-scale response in marine life to fertilization by iron aerosols from wildfire emissions. It raises intriguing questions about the role wildfires may play in spurring the growth of marine phytoplankton and how that may affect oceanic carbon uptake and productivity.

Better weather forecasting through satellite isotope data assimilation

Real satellite water vapor isotope data were assimilated in a general circulation model to determine whether including these data could improve forecast accuracy at both the global and local scales. Overall, forecast accuracy was improved by several percentage points. The effect was especially notable for variables closely related to water vapor isotope fractionation, such as air temperature and specific humidity, and a local-scale pressure pattern over Japan in 2013 was modeled more clearly.

Concentration of microparticles in lakes reflect nearby human activity and land use

A new study suggests that microparticle concentrations in lakes are higher than previously reported, and that human activity and surrounding land use may be a strong predictor of microplastics and anthropogenic fiber pollution.

Rapid increase in global light pollution

Global light pollution has increased by at least 49% over 25 years, new research shows.

Balancing food security and nitrogen use

In a new study, researchers explored the possible effects that current nitrogen related mitigation options could have on reconciling regional food security and environmental targets for nitrogen.

Scientists solve mystery of icy plumes that may foretell deadly supercell storms

The most devastating tornadoes are often preceded by a cloudy plume of ice and water vapor billowing above a severe thunderstorm. New research reveals the mechanism for these plumes could be tied to 'hydraulic jumps' -- a phenomenon Leonardo Da Vinci observed more than 500 years ago.

Office air quality may affect employees’ cognition, productivity

The air quality within an office can have significant impacts on employees' cognitive function, including response times and ability to focus, and it may also affect their productivity, according to new research.

Environmental News -