Rachel Carson’s influential book Silent Spring, which documented the effects of the indiscriminate widespread use of pesticides on the environment, was published back in 1962, nearly 60 years ago now. Since that time, the book has often been cited as one of the drivers behind environmental action and regulation of various kinds. Following the release,
Originally published on InspiredEconomist.com The world’s oceans are vast, floating dumps for plastic pollution. Without a serious plan for cleaning up the world’s oceans, this situation is dire and becoming worse every day. With a goal of retrieving and recycling 400,000 flip flops a year from the coast of Kenya, one small start-up in Nairobi
Remember the difference between weather and climate? We know what happens when the weather changes—it’s obvious. Climate is another story. Read on. When it rains, you put on a raincoat or take your umbrella when you go out. It snows: time for high boots, a heavier coat, scarf, and warm gloves. And sunny days, well,
Or do you? It’s time to pay attention to climate change now—as if it wasn’t back in 1800, when our current problems started. We all need to acknowledge that stunning industrial achievements can carry with them enormous unforeseen risks and challenges. Americans should take particular note, because on the whole we are wa-a-a-y behind on this.
(All figures are from the 2014 National Climate Assessment draft.) Later today (Tuesday, May 6), at 8 a.m. EDT, the National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee of experts meets by conference call to approve the final version of the Third National Climate Assessment. The gist of their message, as Suzanne Goldenberg of The Guardian
[Reporting from the annual Science/AAAS meeting in Chicago, Illinois] Lacking proper fins and functional eyes, the electric knifefish (of the order Gymnotiformes; one of over a hundred freshwater species native to South America) has a remarkable ability to rapidly maneuver — and find its food — in the most cluttered and murkiest of waters. For
Planet Earth’s oceans, forests, and other assorted ecosystems are continuing to soak up approximately half the carbon dioxide we humans pump into the atmosphere every day, even as those emissions continue to increase, once again belying the very little knowledge we currently have of our planet. “Globally, these carbon dioxide ‘sinks’ have roughly kept pace
The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has unveiled its latest salvo in the fight to curtail human-caused global warming: an interactive ‘Climate Hot Map Scavenger Hunt’. The Climate Hot Map educate sand entertains as it stimulates the user’s curiosity to sift clues and scavenge for answers. What’s more, completing the scavenger hunt qualifies you for a chance to win the fabulous Grand Prize: an Earthwatch Institute trip for two to assess climate impacts in Rio Cachoeira national Reserve in Brazil!
Yasuni National Park, located 250 km inland along the Eastern most border of Ecuador, is a world record holder in biodiversity richness: The roughly 10,000 km² forest is home to 139 species of amphibians (besting Columbia’s Leticia Park with its 98 species) and an estimated 100,000 species of insects. This latter figure represents the highest
As we near 2011, I know I must try to prepare myself for 2012, and the (next) wave of apocalyptic doom-saying that, according to the ‘fin-de-cyclists’, was predicted by the ancient Mayan mathematicians over 3 thousand years ago. Of course, they never predicted an End, per se, it’s just that they only extended their 260
This Summer, Conservation International recently joined a promising initiative by some of the largest corporations operating in Brazil including Walmart, to commit themselves to biodiversity conservation in the country and the sustainable use of its natural resources.
Genetic barcoding is a technique that involves identifying segments of animal DNA (genomes) that are unique to each species. These unique genetic sequences are preserved in a database (the iBOL library) that anyone can access for free.
The last major section from the EPA’s new Climate Change Indicators in the US report is society and ecosystems. Below are key summary points. Clear changes in growing seasons, bird migration leaf growth and blooming dates have occurred and the trends suggest that they will continue. Heat-related deaths show much more variability, despite clear heating trends,
A long time ago, 50 years or so, I was invited to a party that promised some unusual and tasty snacks, along with the usual supply of beer and other alcoholic libations. Never one to pass up free food and booze, I showed up at my friends apartment , said hello to everyone, grabbed a
A pronounced lack of growth rate among some corals in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef leads scientists to believe this is the first sign of ocean acidification, something scientists world wide are beginning to fear. Carbon dioxide (CO2) dissolves in seawater, that increases acidity, making it more difficult for marine organisms to grow and maintain their
The more we learn about the Earth’s ecosystems, the more we discover how elegantly, beautifully and mind-numbingly complex are the interactions among humans, animals, plants and their environment. Life, it turns out, really does come with myriad butterfly effects. That’s what makes a project just getting under way in the South Pacific so ambitious and