Environmental Science

Environmental Science News -- ScienceDaily Environmental science news. Learn about current research into rainforest deforestation, sustainable development, energy use, air quality monitoring, mining processes and hazardous waste disposal. Updated daily.

  • Pollution responsible for 16 percent of early deaths globally
    on October 20, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    Diseases caused by pollution were responsible in 2015 for an estimated 9 million premature deaths -- 16 percent of all deaths worldwide, according to a report. […]

  • US ocean observation critical to understanding climate change, but lacks long-term national planning
    on October 20, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    Ocean observing systems are important as they provide information essential for monitoring and forecasting changes in Earth's climate on timescales ranging from days to centuries. A new report finds that continuity of ocean observations is vital to gain an accurate understanding of the climate, and calls for a decadal, national plan that is adequately resourced and implemented to ensure critical ocean information is available to understand and predict future changes. […]

  • Global CO2 emissions stalled for the third year in a row
    on October 20, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    The annual assessment of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by the JRC and the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) confirms that CO2 emissions have stalled for the third year in a row. […]

  • Logged tropical rainforests still support biodiversity even when the heat is on
    on October 20, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    Tropical rainforests continue to buffer wildlife from extreme temperatures even after logging, a new study has revealed. […]

  • Life goes on for marine ecosystems after cataclysmic mass extinction
    on October 20, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    One of the largest global mass extinctions did not fundamentally change marine ecosystems, scientists have found. […]

  • Cool roofs have water saving benefits too
    on October 20, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    The energy and climate benefits of cool roofs have been well established: By reflecting rather than absorbing the sun's energy, light-colored roofs keep buildings, cities, and even the entire planet cooler. Now a new study has found that cool roofs can also save water by reducing how much is needed for urban irrigation. […]

  • Declining baby songbirds need forests to survive drought
    on October 19, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    A new study aimed to identify characteristics that promote healthy wood thrush populations on US Department of Defense land. […]

  • Scientists see order in complex patterns of river deltas
    on October 19, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    River deltas, with their intricate networks of waterways, coastal barrier islands, wetlands and estuaries, often appear to have been formed by random processes, but scientists see order in the apparent chaos. […]

  • Impact of Amazonian hydropower 'significantly underestimated'
    on October 19, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    The environmental impact of hydropower generation in the Amazon may be greater than predicted, according to new research. […]

  • Danger to Air Quality from Forest Fires
    on October 19, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    A report on forest fires confirms a trend towards longer and more intense fire seasons in Europe and neighboring regions, with wildfires now occurring throughout the year. The report coincides with an international study which finds that global wildfire trends could have significant health implications due to rising harmful emissions. […]

  • New underwater robotic vehicle
    on October 19, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    Ben-Gurion University Introduces Israel's First Underwater Robotic Vehicle at NextTech Conference 2017 […]

  • Rare tree species safeguard biodiversity in a changing climate
    on October 18, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    Rare species of trees in rainforests may help safeguard biodiversity levels as the environment undergoes change, research shows. […]

  • New light shed on early turquoise mining in Southwest
    on October 18, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    Researchers are blending archaeology and geochemistry to get a more complete picture of turquoise's mining and distribution in the pre-Hispanic Southwest. […]

  • Illinois sportfish recovery a result of 1972 Clean Water Act, scientists report
    on October 18, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    Populations of largemouth bass, bluegill, catfish and other sportfish are at the highest levels recorded in more than a century in the Illinois River, according to a new report. Their dramatic recovery, from populations close to zero near Chicago throughout much of the 20th century, began just after implementation of the Clean Water Act, the researchers say. […]

  • DNA tests on albatross excrement reveal secret diet of top predator
    on October 18, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    A study that used DNA tests to analyse the scats of one of the world's most numerous albatrosses has revealed surprising results about the top predator's diet. DNA analysis of 1460 scats from breeding sites around the Southern Ocean has shown that the diet of black-browed albatrosses contains a much higher proportion of jellyfish than previously thought. […]

  • Hardy corals make their moves to build new reefs from scratch
    on October 18, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    Resilient species of coral can move to inhospitable areas and lay the foundations for new reefs, a study shows. […]

  • Life in the city: Living near a forest keeps your amygdala healthier
    on October 18, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    A new study examined the relationship between the availability of nature near city dwellers' homes and their brain health. Its findings are relevant for urban planners among others. […]

  • Reducing power plants' freshwater consumption with new silica filter
    on October 18, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    Power plants draw more freshwater than any other consumer in the United States, accounting for more than 50 percent of the nation's freshwater use at about 500 billion gallons daily. To help save this water, researchers have developed a new silica filter for power plant cooling waters that decreases the amount of freshwater power plants consume by increasing the number of times cooling tower water can be reused and recycled. […]

  • The puzzle to plugging the worst natural gas release in history
    on October 18, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    By the time scientists visited the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility in December 2015, the SS-25 well blowout had been leaking natural gas into the air for more than six weeks. The notoriously strong winds at Aliso Canyon carried the natural gas and its added odorant to the nearby Porter Ranch neighborhood, leading to thousands of families evacuating their homes. […]

  • New Amazon threat? Deforestation from mining
    on October 18, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Sprawling mining operations in Brazil have caused roughly 10 percent of all Amazon rainforest deforestation between 2005 and 2015 -- much higher than previous estimates -- says the first comprehensive study of mining deforestation in the iconic tropical rainforest. Surprisingly, the majority of mining deforestation (a full 90%) occurred outside the mining leases granted by Brazil's government, the new study finds. […]

  • Nice ice, maybe: Study finds water-repelling surfaces ease ice removal
    on October 18, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    A new study has discovered that ice grows differently on water-absorbent vs. water-repellent surfaces. The research suggests that applying water-repellent coatings to windshields before winter storms -- or engineering surfaces that inherently repel water -- could enable a strong breeze to handle the burden of ice removal. […]

  • Chocolate production linked to increased deforestation in poor nations
    on October 17, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    Newly published research focuses on the link between cocoa exports and deforestation in developing nations. […]

  • Amazonian hunters deplete wildlife but don't empty forests
    on October 17, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    Conservationists can be 'cautiously optimistic' about the prospect of sustainable subsistence hunting by Amazonian communities, according to new research. The research team spent over a year working with 60 Amazonian communities and hiked for miles through trackless forests to deploy nearly 400 motion-activated camera traps -- in a bid to understand which species are depleted by hunting and where. […]

  • Fighting fires before they spark
    on October 17, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    With warm, dry summers comes a deadly caveat for the western United States: wildfires. Scientists say the hot, dry climates found west of the Mississippi, along with decades of fire suppression efforts, are creating a devastating and destructive combination -- leading to fires like the ones currently burning in California. Now, new research is giving forest and fire management teams across the country the upper hand in reducing the severity of these events. […]

  • Study reshapes understanding of climate change's impact on early societies
    on October 17, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    A new study linking paleoclimatology -- the reconstruction of past global climates -- with historical analysis shows a link between environmental stress and its impact on the economy, political stability, and war-fighting capacity of ancient Egypt. […]

  • Scientists determine source of world's largest mud eruption
    on October 17, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    More than 11 years after the Lusi mud volcano first erupted on the Indonesian island of Java, researchers may have figured out why the mudflows haven't stopped: deep underground, Lusi is connected to a nearby volcanic system. […]

  • Study shows how water could have flowed on 'cold and icy' ancient Mars
    on October 17, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    Research by planetary scientists finds that periodic melting of ice sheets on a cold early Mars would have created enough water to carve the ancient valleys and lakebeds seen on the planet today. […]

  • Tropical beetles face extinction threat
    on October 17, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    Climate change is putting many tropical high altitude beetles at risk of extinction, warn an international team of scientists. […]

  • A new way to harness wasted methane
    on October 17, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    Scientists have identified a process that could be used to harness methane that is now wasted by being burned off at wellheads. […]

  • Rivers carry plastic debris into the sea
    on October 17, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Every year, millions of tons of plastic debris ends up in the sea. The path taken by plastic to reach the sea must be elucidated before it will be possible to reduce the volume of plastic input. To date, there was only little information available on this. It has now been followed up by an interdisciplinary research team who were able to show that plastic debris is primarily carried into the sea by large rivers. […]