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.

  • Spoiler alert: Computer simulations provide preview of upcoming eclipse
    on August 18, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    Scientists have forecast the corona of the sun during the upcoming eclipse. The findings shed light on what the eclipse of the sun might look like Aug. 21 when it will be visible across much of the US, tracing a 70-mile-wide band across 14 states. […]

  • Climate change and habitat conversion combine to homogenize nature
    on August 18, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    Climate change and habitat conversion to agriculture are working together to homogenize nature. In other words, the more things change, the more they are the same. […]

  • New gene catalog of ocean microbiome reveals surprises
    on August 17, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    Oceanographers report completing the largest single-site microbiome gene catalog constructed to date. With this new information, the team discovered nutrient limitation is a central driver in the evolution of ocean microbe genomes. […]

  • Non-toxic, lubricant-infused coatings deter mussels and prevent their attachment by disrupting...
    on August 17, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    Mussels are one of the worst perpetrators of biofouling, or the unwanted accumulation of organisms on underwater structures. A team of scientists has demonstrated that a lubricant-infused surface effectively prevents mussels from sticking by masking the solid surface with a layer of liquid. […]

  • Discovery could lead to new catalyst design to reduce nitrogen oxides in diesel exhaust
    on August 17, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    Researchers have discovered a new reaction mechanism that could be used to improve catalyst designs for pollution control systems to further reduce emissions of smog-causing nitrogen oxides in diesel exhaust. […]

  • Ray of hope for more abundant wheat crops
    on August 17, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    Using infrared gas analyzers connected to a miniature controlled environment chamber, botanists have simulated a sudden increase in sunlight following shade, and measured the time it took for the plant to regain its maximum photosynthesis efficiency and take full advantage of the extra energy from light. They found it took about 15 minutes for photosynthesis to reach maximum efficiency. […]

  • Antillean manatee count informs policy recommendations
    on August 17, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    Scientists use sonar to estimate Antillean Manatee populations in the murky waters of Panama's internationally protected San San Pond Sak wetlands. […]

  • Whales turn tail at ocean mining noise
    on August 17, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    A new international study has measured the effect of loud sounds on migrating humpback whales as concern grows as oceans become noisier. Scientists have said one of the main sources of ocean noise was oil and gas exploration, due to geologists firing off loud acoustic air guns to probe the structure of the ocean floor in search of fossil fuels. […]

  • Injecting manure instead of spreading on surface reduces estrogen loads
    on August 16, 2017 at 8:06 pm

    With water quality in the Chesapeake Bay suffering from excess nutrients and fish populations in rivers such as the Susquehanna experiencing gender skewing and other reproductive abnormalities, understanding how to minimize runoff of both nutrients and endocrine-disrupting compounds from farm fields after manure applications is a critical objective for agriculture. […]

  • Heavily-used pesticide linked to breathing problems in farmworkers' children
    on August 16, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    New study finds that elemental sulfur is linked to reduced lung function, more asthma-related symptoms and higher asthma medication use in children living about a half-mile or less from farms that use the pesticide. […]

  • Boron nitride foam soaks up carbon dioxide
    on August 16, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    Researchers have created a reusable hexagonal-boron nitride foam that soaks up more than three times its weight in carbon dioxide. […]

  • Mystery of how first animals appeared on Earth solved
    on August 16, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    Research has solved the mystery of how the first animals appeared on Earth, a pivotal moment for the planet without which humans would not exist. […]

  • A decade of monitoring shows the dynamics of a conserved Atlantic tropical forest
    on August 16, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    Characterized with high levels of biodiversity and endemism, the Atlantic Tropical Forest has been facing serious anthropogenic threats over the last several decades. Having put important ecosystem services at risk, such activities need to be closely studied as part of the forest dynamics. Thus, a Brazilian team of researchers spent a decade monitoring a semi-deciduous forest located in an ecological park in Southeast Brazil. […]

  • Lake trout adjust their behavior in the face of a changing climate, new study
    on August 16, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    Certain lake predators are altering their behavior due to climate change, revealing what the future may hold for these fish and their food, scientists have discovered. […]

  • Mosses used to evaluate atmospheric conditions in urban areas
    on August 16, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    Researchers have developed a method to evaluate atmospheric conditions using mosses (bryophytes) in urban areas, a development that could facilitate broader evaluations of atmospheric environments. […]

  • Supervolcanoes: A key to America's electric future?
    on August 16, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    Researchers show that lake sediments preserved within ancient supervolcanoes can host large lithium-rich clay deposits. A domestic source of lithium would help meet the rising demand for this valuable metal, which is critical for modern technology. […]

  • Solar panels: Nanotechnology gives green energy a green color
    on August 15, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    Solar panels have tremendous potential to provide affordable renewable energy, but many people see traditional black and blue panels as eyesores. Architects, homeowners and city planners may be more open to the technology if they could install colorful, efficient solar panels, and a new study brings us one step closer. Researchers have developed a method for imprinting existing solar panels with silicon nanopatterns that scatter green light back toward an observer. […]

  • Climate change projected to significantly increase harmful algal blooms in US freshwaters
    on August 15, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    Harmful algal blooms known to pose risks to human and environmental health in large freshwater reservoirs and lakes are projected to increase because of climate change. […]

  • Understanding alternative reasons for denying climate change could help bridge divide
    on August 15, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    Scientists have explored alternative reasons for climate change denial, specifically economic, social or cultural influences on why individuals or entire communities remain skeptical of climate change. […]

  • Air pollution linked to cardiovascular disease; air purifiers may lessen impact
    on August 14, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    Exposure to fine particulate matter via air pollution, led to increases in stress hormones and, in a study of healthy college students in China. Negative effects of pollution exposure decreased after using indoor air purifiers over a nine-day period. […]

  • Probiotics help poplar trees clean up contaminated groundwater
    on August 14, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    Researchers have conducted the first large-scale experiment on a Superfund site using poplar trees fortified with a probiotic -- or natural microbe -- to clean up groundwater contaminated with trichloroethylene, or TCE. […]

  • Tiny fraction of oceans could meet world's fish demand
    on August 14, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    Covering 70 percent of Earth's surface, the world's oceans are vast and deep. So vast, in fact, that nearly every coastal country has the potential to meet its own domestic seafood needs through aquaculture. In fact, each country could do so using a tiny fraction of its ocean territory. […]

  • Ozone treaty taking a bite out of US greenhouse gas emissions
    on August 14, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    The Montreal Protocol, the international treaty adopted to restore Earth's protective ozone layer in 1989, has significantly reduced emissions of ozone-depleting chemicals from the United States. In a twist, a new study shows the 30-year old treaty has had a major side benefit of reducing climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions from the US. […]

  • Urban floods intensifying, countryside drying up
    on August 14, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    Drier soils and reduced water flow in rural areas -- but more intense rainfall that overwhelms infrastructure and causes flooding and stormwater overflow in urban centers. That's the finding of an exhaustive study of the world's river systems, based on data collected from more than 43,000 rainfall stations and 5,300 river monitoring sites across 160 countries. […]

  • 'Inefficient' sailing fleet keeps oyster fishery alive
    on August 14, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    Oyster stocks in a Cornish fishery are sustained thanks to 'inefficient' traditional fishing methods, new research suggests. […]

  • Canary in a coal mine: Survey captures global picture of air pollution's effects on birds
    on August 11, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    Writing Aug. 11 in the journal Environmental Research Letters, University of Wisconsin-Madison Professor Tracey Holloway, an expert on air quality, and her former graduate student Olivia Sanderfoot sort through nearly 70 years of the scientific literature to assess the state of knowledge of how air pollution directly affects the health, well-being, reproductive success and diversity of birds. […]

  • Night vision for bird- and bat-friendly offshore wind power
    on August 11, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    ThermalTracker software analyzes video with night vision, the same technology that helps soldiers see in the dark, to help birds and bats near offshore wind turbines. […]

  • Day to night and back again: Earth's ionosphere during the total solar eclipse
    on August 10, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    Three NASA-funded studies will use the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse as a ready-made experiment, courtesy of nature, to improve our understanding of the ionosphere and its relationship to the Sun. […]

  • Crank the AC, cut in-car pollution
    on August 10, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    After conducting a new research approach using actual commutes, a group of engineers discovered a simple shift in driving habits can help to reduce exposure to pollutants while out on the road. […]

  • Climate change shifts timing of European floods
    on August 10, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    A linkage between climate change and floods has been identified using a river flow dataset of unparalleled scale and diversity. This is the first time this link has been demonstrated at a continental scale using observational data. […]