Science

Silent Spring Was Published Back In 1962 β€” Flying-Insect & Bird Populations Have Still Fallen Precipitously Since Then

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,

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Enzyme Chews Through Plastic Waste

Sometimes, new products get invented by accident. Potato chips, for example. The microwave, the ink jet printer, and the implantable pacemaker are on the list. My personal favorite involves scientists searching for a powerful new adhesive that could be used to glue airplanes together. They failed miserably and created one of the weakest adhesives ever

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Ocean Dead Zones Multiplying Rapidly, Threatening Food Source For Hundreds Of Millions

An ocean dead zone is an area where there is not enough oxygen dissolved in the water to allow aquatic creatures to breath. To put it in perspective, imagine a person locked in a sealed chamber in which the level of oxygen is slowly but steadily decreased until they lie gasping for breath until they

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What Do You Do If Your Country Is Facing Water Shortages Exacerbated By Climate Change? Pray, Apparently β€” Israel’s Agriculture Minister Leads Prayers For Water

Much of the Middle East is now slated to essentially turn to desert over the coming decades and centuries owing to climate change, and exacerbated by poor human judgment and short-sighted activities. It bears remembering that much of what is now the Middle East and the Mediterranean was before the human population expansion of the

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Iran’s Air Pollution Problems Are Growing Fast, As Evidenced By Recent Events

The air pollution problems facing Iran, in particular those facing the country’s populous capital Tehran, seem to be growing rapidly based on recent events. As the result of dangerous levels of air pollution, schools in Tehran and in many other large cities throughout the country as well, were closed last week state media reported at

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Vanadium Emissions Surged Last 2 Decades β€” Increasing Use Of Heavy Oils, Tar Sands, Bitumen, Etc.

The growing use of heavy oils, tar sands, bitumen, petroleum coke, etc., by industry since 2000 or so has resulted in rapidly surging levels of vanadium emissions, according to a new study from Duke University. To be more specific, human-related emissions of vanadium now surpass those of natural sources by a factor of 1.7 —

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Mapping The Global Efforts To Restore The World’s Forests!

It is estimated that since the advent of the agricultural revolution Earth lost approximately half of its trees, and according to a recent survey as reported by Nature (the magazine), earth currently has only about three trillion trees. Image by UNclimatechangeΒ (some rights reserved) There are several organizations that are hard at work to plant back

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Report From US Government Scientists Says Modern Climate Change Is Driven By Human Activity

A new report released by a groups of over 50 US government scientists asserts that the rapid pace at which modern climate change is occurring is almost definitely driven by human activity — making for a blunt contradiction of the stance taken by many members of the current administration of President Donald Trump. In particular,

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US EPA To Bar Certain Scientists From Serving On Independent Advisory Boards

The US Environmental Protection Agency will begin barring select scientists from serving on independent advisory boards — a move possibly intended to clear the path towards the installation of industry-friendly advisors on the panel in question, according to critics. The new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ban-list is focused on scientists who have won agency-awarded grants

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Atmospheric Methane Levels Rose Rapidly In 2016, Scientists Claim To Not Understand Why

Atmospheric methane levels rose fairly rapidly in 2016, as did atmospheric carbon dioxide levels (which saw the yearly average rise up to 403.3 parts per million), according to a new report from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Image: methane leaks in Boston, via Duke University The scientists involved in the report claim to not know

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+50Β° Celsius Heatwaves Coming For Australia?

Australia’s largest cities could begin experiencing extreme heatwaves with +50Β° Celsius temperatures within the relatively near term (within the next ~20 years), even if international climate change and greenhouse gas emissions reductions goals are met, according to a recent study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. To be more specific, the recent study dealt

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Drought In Europe β€” Another Effect of Climate Change

Two major drought indices in Europe are deviating from each other in a way that’s consistent with many climate change simulations β€” further gaining ground in the march towards the attribution of major events like droughts to climate change β€” according to a new study published in the journal Scientific Reports. Image via NOAA/Earth System

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Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Levels Grew At Record Pace In 2016, UN Says

Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels grew at a record pace in 2016, to 403.3 parts per million (ppm), up from 400.0 in 2015, the UN World Meteorological Organization just revealed as part of its annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin. The growth rate in atmospheric carbon dioxide in 2016 was thus around 50% faster than the average of

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Untreatable Super Malaria Spreading Rapidly In Asia β€” How Will Convergence Of Climate Change Induced Mosquito Expansion & Drug Resistance Play Out?

The modern world has a problem of overspecialization. The limits of extrapolating generalized truths from what can be observed in limited contexts and over limited periods of times have become more and more apparent in recent years as the blowback of the industrialized way of life, and its associated ways of thinking and interacting with

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US EPA Approves Monsanto’s “RNA Interference” Insecticide β€” GMO Maize/Corn Intended To Actively Interfere With The Healthy Functioning Of Pest Genomes

When you think of insecticides you probably think of dangerous chemical compounds that allow modern industrial agriculture (and its high yields) to occur, but that also have some negative effects on the environment and also on human/animal health. The effects of a certain class of insecticides on honeybees, for instance, may well be what comes

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Beans For Beef: The Climate Change Initiative That Anyone Can Do

Our #FakePresident has removed the United States for the Paris climate accords, leading some Americans to experience ecoanxiety. That’s a relatively new term that American Psychological Association used to describe the feelings of dread and helplessness the follow from β€œwatching the slow and seemingly irrevocable impacts of climate change unfold, and worrying about the future

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Honeybees Exposed To Real-World Levels Of Neonicotinoids Die Early, Damaging Colony Health, Research Finds

Honeybees that are exposed to field-realistic (real-world, in other words) levels of neonicotinoid pesticides die earlier than those that are not — thereby reducing overall colony health — according to a new study led by York University. “A worker honeybee has been fitted with a RFID on its back so researchers can record when it

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Study: Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Protects Memory & Capacity To Learn, Protects Against Alzheimer’s Disease

Extra-virgin olive oil consumption protects against the loss of memory and lean ring capacity, and also against the formation of amyloid-beta plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain (markers for Alzheimer’s disease), according to new research from the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University (LKSOM). The new findings are detailed in a paper

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Republicans Want To Rob America … To Cut Taxes On The Rich

Republican politicians are an interesting breed of liars…. Politicians are supposed to explain to the voting public why their complicated, detailed policies are worth supporting and good for the country as a whole, or at least their constituents. But Republican politicians push one kind of policy obsessively, the kind that gives more money to the

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Many Insects Resistant To Genetic Manipulation Via CRISPR Editing Tool, Research Finds

Arguments for and against the use of genetic modification techniques in the agricultural and healthcare/disease-prevention sectors typically focus on potential impacts to human health, and/or to wider ecosystems and natural services (a much more important area to watch, in my opinion than human health). My issue with genetic modification and the use of genetically modified

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Ocean Acidification To Bring Collapsing Food Web

Ocean acidification created by continuing anthropogenic climate change will result in a collapsing food web, according to new research from the University of Adelaide. The new findings are the result of analysis focused around determining the effects of climate change on the world’s fisheries, and on overall marine biodiversity. Image via NOAA β€œHumans rely heavily

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Forest Elephant Populations Have Seen An ~80% Decline In Central Africa’s Most Important Preserve Because Of Poaching

Forest elephant populations in Central Africa’s most important nature preserve, Gabon’s MinkΓ©bΓ© National Park, have declined by between 78^ and 81% over recent times as a result of poaching, new research from Duke University has found. So, even in Central Africa’s largest nature preserve, poaching is still enough of a problem that forest elephants are

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Giraffe Numbers Have Fallen By ~40% Over The Last 30 Years, IUCN Reports

In conjunction with the decline of practically every other megafauna animal still in the world, giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) numbers have fallen by around 40% over just the last 30 years, according to new data from the IUCN. To put that quantitatively — there were between 151,702-163,452 giraffes in 1985; and around 97,562 giraffes in 2015.

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Ring-Tailed Lemurs Declining Rapidly, Now Fewer Than 2,500 Left, Research Finds

The iconic ring-tailed lemur of Madagascar (the only place that the primates known as “true lemurs” have ever existed) is rapidly headed towards extinction, according to new research from the University of Victoria in British Columbia and CU Boulder. The research found that as a result of growing levels of: habitat destruction, deforestation, open-pit mining,

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Deforestation By “Subsistence” Farmers In Congo Driven By Money-Making Not Self-Sufficiency, Only Very Small Portion Of Population Responsible For Most Deforestation, Research Finds

Despite some common presumptions on the matter, it seems that most deforestation occurring in the Congo Basin is the result of only a small share of locals, and those that are taking part aren’t doing so for self-sufficiency but rather to “increase their quality of life,” according to a new study from the University of

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Ocean Acidification May Cause Cascading Loss Of Biodiversity In Some Marine Habitats, Research Finds

The ocean acidification that’s now occurring, as a result of increasing anthropogenic levels of carbon dioxide emissions, will led to cascading losses of biodiversity in many marine habitats and ecosystems, according to new research from the University of British Columbia and its partners. The new work is some of the first to investigate the likely

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Corals Grow To Be Much, Much Older Than Previously Assumed, Research Finds — Implications Relating To Ocean Acidification & Coral Bleaching Events

Specific coral genotypes (“individuals”) can live for more than 5,000 years (at the least) according to new research from the National Marine Fisheries Service, Penn State, and Dial Cordy & Associates. The findings — based on research focused on elkhorn corals (Acropora palmata) living around Florida and in the Caribbean — mean that corals are

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US Passenger Vehicle Emissions Comparable To 1980 Mt. St Helens Eruption Occurring Every 3 Days

The USGS estimates that 10 million tons of CO2 was released over the 9 hour eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980. That’s a pretty huge number, but passenger vehicles in the USA alone emit as much CO2 as a Mt St. Helens eruption happening somewhere in America every 3 days.

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Coconut Crabs Possess Strongest Pinching Force Of All Crustaceans (Greater Than Biting Force Of All Terrestrial Animals Excepts Alligators), Research Finds

The coconut crab has the strongest pinching force of all crustaceans — with the force applied during pinching actually being greater than the biting force of all living terrestrial animals except for alligators — according to new research detailed in a paper published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE. Notably, the research found that that

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Ant Species (Philidris Nagasau) On Fiji Has Been Symbiotically Farming With Epiphytes For Around 3 Million Years, Research Finds

While farming has long been a known phenomenon amongst various ant species, there’s much that remains unknown. With that in mind, new research has revealed some interesting things about the symbiotic partnership and farming that goes on between the ant species Philidris nagasau and at least 6 types of plant within the genus Squamellaria on

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Compounds That Give Plants Their Vibrant Colors Improve Brain-Functioning In Older Adults, Research Finds

Many people find the bright, vibrant colors of various fruits and vegetables to be culinarily appealing, and an apparent appetite stimulant. Interestingly, new research has suggested that these same compounds, that give plants their visual appeal (to the eyes of humans, and various other animals), help to improve brain-functioning in older adults. The new research,

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Deforestation & Tree Deaths Can Have Significant Effects On Global Climate Patterns, Research Finds

Deforestation events and mass tree deaths — whether through drought, heat, and insect infestations — can have significant effects on global climate patterns, according to new research from the University of Washington. To put that another way, while deforestation and mass-deaths of trees can cause the complete upheaval of the local environment, effects also include

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