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.

  • Genes, ozone, and autism
    on June 23, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    Exposure to ozone in the environment puts individuals with high levels of genetic variation at an even higher risk for developing autism than would be expected just by adding the two risk factors together, a new analysis shows. The study is the first to look at the combined effects of genome-wide genetic change and environmental risk factors for autism. […]

  • Turtle 'go-slow zone' extensions needed
    on June 23, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    Marine scientists are calling for an extension of go-slow zones in turtle habitats to reduce boat strikes on the threatened creatures. […]

  • Catalyst mimics the z-scheme of photosynthesis
    on June 22, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    A new study demonstrates a process with great potential for developing technologies for reducing CO2 levels. […]

  • New efficient, low-temperature catalyst for hydrogen production
    on June 22, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Scientists have developed a new low-temperature catalyst for producing high-purity hydrogen gas while simultaneously using up carbon monoxide (CO). The discovery could improve the performance of fuel cells that run on hydrogen fuel but can be poisoned by CO. […]

  • Look inside your own pantry or fridge to find the top culprit of food waste
    on June 22, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    Did you know you throw out about 20 pounds of food every month? Nearly 40 percent of the food produced in the U.S. goes to waste. Experts have tips for reducing waste at home, and look at how the food service industry is working to do the same. […]

  • New research leverages big data to predict severe weather
    on June 21, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    Every year, severe weather endangers millions of people and causes billions of dollars in damage worldwide. But new research has found a way to better predict some of these threats by harnessing the power of big data. […]

  • Mystery of unexplained 'bright nights' solved
    on June 21, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    Dating back to the first century, scientists, philosophers and reporters have noted the occasional occurrence of 'bright nights,' when an unexplained glow in the night sky lets observers see distant mountains, read a newspaper or check their watch. A new study accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, uses satellite data to present a possible explanation for these puzzling historical phenomena. […]

  • Fish mercury levels after burns: Burn without concern
    on June 21, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    Forest services can continue to use controlled burns without worrying about fish health in associated watersheds, new research suggests. […]

  • Flooding risk: America's most vulnerable communities
    on June 21, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    Floods are the natural disaster that kill the most people. They are also the most common natural disaster. As the threat of flooding increases worldwide, a group of scientists have gathered valuable information on flood hazard, exposure and vulnerability in counties throughout the US. […]

  • Accelerating rate of temperature rise in the Pyrenees
    on June 21, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    The Iberian Peninsula is undergoing climate change, with temperatures on the rise, and mountain ranges are not exempt from this trend. A team of scientists has analyzed regional climate series from the Central Pyrenees for 1910 to 2013 (the most extensive climate records to date for the area), concluding that temperatures have risen at an increasing rate since 1970, particularly in spring and summer. […]

  • New catalyst paves way for carbon neutral fuel
    on June 21, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    Scientists have paved the way for carbon neutral fuel with the development of a new efficient catalyst that converts carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air into synthetic natural gas in a 'clean' process using solar energy. […]

  • The rise of giant viruses
    on June 21, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    Giant viruses acquire genes piecemeal from others, researchers have found. The discovery has implications for bioenergy production and environmental cleanup. […]

  • Ocean predicts future northwestern European and Arctic climate
    on June 21, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    There is a clear potential for practical and useful predictions of northwestern European and Arctic climate based on the state of the ocean, new research indicates. […]

  • How phytoplankton rule the oceans
    on June 20, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    Photosynthesis is a unique biological process that has permitted the colonization of land and sea by plants and phytoplankton respectively. While the mechanisms of photosynthesis in plants are well understood, scientists are only now beginning to elucidate how the process developed in phytoplankton. […]

  • Corn better used as food than biofuel, study finds
    on June 20, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Corn is grown not only for food, it is also an important renewable energy source. Renewable biofuels can come with hidden economic and environmental issues, and the question of whether corn is better utilized as food or as a biofuel has persisted since ethanol came into use. For the first time, researchers have quantified and compared these issues in terms of economics of the entire production system to determine if the benefits of biofuel corn outweigh the costs. […]

  • Making waves with the hot electrons within Earth's radiation belts
    on June 20, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    An international team of scientists recently discovered the role that hot electrons may play in the waves and fluctuations detected by satellites. The results are based on data collected by the Van Allen Probes, twin robotic spacecraft launched by NASA in 2012 to help scientists better understand these belt regions. […]

  • Solar heating could cover over 80 percent of domestic heating requirements in Nordic countries
    on June 20, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    By using suitable systems, more than 80 percent of heating energy for Finnish households could be produced using solar energy with competitive prices. This result is also valid for Sweden, Norway, Alaska, northern Canada and other locations at the same latitudes. […]

  • Future trucks fueled by hydrogen created with solar power: Exhaust? Pure water vapor
    on June 20, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    Heavy-duty trucks will soon be driving around in Trondheim, Norway, fueled by hydrogen created with solar power, and emitting only pure water vapor as “exhaust”. Not only will hydrogen technology revolutionize road transport, it will also enable ships and trains to run emission-free. […]

  • Wet and stormy weather lashed California coast... 8,200 years ago
    on June 20, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    An analysis of stalagmite records from White Moon Cave in the Santa Cruz Mountains shows that 8200 years ago the California coast underwent 150 years of exceptionally wet and stormy weather. This is the first high resolution record of how the Holocene cold snap affected the California climate. […]

  • Simple tactic results in dramatic water conservation, study shows
    on June 20, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    Rain or shine has new meaning thanks to an innovative, inexpensive and simple tactic that will really change how people think about watering their lawns. The tactic? A straightforward road sign. […]

  • Tiny bubbles provide tremendous propulsion in new microparticles research
    on June 20, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    A new technique could have significant implications in the development of micromotors and optical devices for use in solar cell optics, report researchers. […]

  • Freshwater from salt water using only solar energy
    on June 19, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    A federally funded research effort to revolutionize water treatment has yielded a direct solar desalination technology that uses energy from sunlight alone to heat salt water for membrane distillation. The technology could provide off-grid water treatment for some of the 1 billion people who lack access to clean water. […]

  • Sustainable ethanol from carbon dioxide? A possible path
    on June 19, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    A recent discovery could lead to a new, more sustainable way to make ethanol without corn or other crops. This promising technology has three basic components: water, carbon dioxide and electricity delivered through a copper catalyst. […]

  • Fighting global warming and climate change requires a broad energy portfolio
    on June 19, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    Can the continental United States make a rapid, reliable and low-cost transition to an energy system that relies almost exclusively on wind, solar and hydroelectric power? While there is growing excitement for this vision, a new study describes a more complicated reality. Researchers argue that achieving net-zero carbon emissions requires the incorporation of a much broader suite of energy sources and approaches. […]

  • Transforming last night's leftovers into green energy
    on June 19, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    In a classic tale of turning trash into treasure, two different processes soon may be the favored dynamic duo to turn food waste into green energy, according to a study. […]

  • Volcanic eruptions triggered dawn of the dinosaurs
    on June 19, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    Huge pulses of volcanic activity are likely to have played a key role in triggering the end Triassic mass extinction, which set the scene for the rise and age of the dinosaurs, new research has found. […]

  • Chemistry of sea spray particles linked for first time to formation process
    on June 19, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    For the first time, researchers have identified what drives the observed differences in the chemical make-up of sea spray particles ejected from the ocean by breaking waves. […]

  • Keeping California's natural gas system safe
    on June 19, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    The massive natural gas leak at Aliso Canyon shined a light on California’s aging natural gas infrastructure. And five years of extreme drought also exacted its toll on transmission pipelines. Now the researchers have been awarded millions by the California Energy Commission for two projects aimed at improving the safety and reliability of the state’s natural gas system. […]

  • Deadly heatwaves expected to continue to rise
    on June 19, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    Seventy-four percent of the world's population will be exposed to deadly heatwaves by 2100 if carbon gas emissions continue to rise at current rates, according to a new study. Even if emissions are aggressively reduced, the percent of the world's human population affected is expected to reach 48 percent. […]

  • Spineless creature studied in DC swamp
    on June 19, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Its name is Stygobromus hayi, the Hay's Spring amphipod. It is spineless. It lacks vision. It is an opportunistic feeder, consuming whatever resources are available -- perhaps including the remains of its own kind. That is where its similarities to some of Washington, D.C.'s more notorious megafauna end. Researchers report on a way to survey it without threatening its existence, as other studies had done. […]