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.

  • Scientists identify most pressing issues posed by chemicals in the environment
    on July 20, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    Chemicals released into the environment by human activity are resulting in biodiversity loss; increased natural hazards; threats to food, water and energy security; negative impacts on human health and degradation of environmental quality. Now, an international study published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry involving scientists from the University of York has identified the 22 most important research questions that need to be answered to fill the most pressing knowledge gaps over the next decade. […]

  • New solar sailing technology for NASA
    on July 19, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    Researchers is taking solar sailing to the next level with advanced photonic materials. This new class of materials could be used to steer reflected or transmitted photons and enable near-Earth, interplanetary and interstellar space travel. […]

  • New battery could store wind and solar electricity affordably and at room temperature
    on July 19, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    A new type of flow battery that involves a liquid metal more than doubled the maximum voltage of conventional flow batteries and could lead to affordable storage of renewable power. […]

  • Rapid cloud clearing phenomenon could provide another piece of climate puzzle
    on July 19, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    Researchers have described rapid and dramatic clearing of low cloud cover off the southwest coast of Africa. This newly observed phenomenon could help climatologists understand how clouds affect Earth's heating and cooling. […]

  • Deep-diving scientists say shallow reefs can't rely on twilight zone systems for recovery
    on July 19, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    A team of highly trained scientific divers explored Pacific and western Atlantic reefs to test a widely held hypothesis that climate-stressed life from shallow reefs can take refuge at mesophotic depths (100-500 feet beneath the ocean's surface). The results are clear: deep and shallow reefs are different systems with their own species, and deep reefs are just as threatened by climate impacts, storms, and pollution. […]

  • Learning from 'little monsters'
    on July 19, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    By studying deep and shallow water zones of streams and their resident invertebrates, researcher reveals mysteries of fresh water life. […]

  • From cradle to grave: Factors that shaped evolution
    on July 19, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    This study brings us closer to knowing the complex interactions between topography and climate change, and how these factors influence the evolutionary histories and biodiversity of species in natural ecosystems. […]

  • Scientists use satellites to measure vital underground water resources
    on July 19, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    With the hope of providing water resource managers with better tools to help keep aquifers healthy, a team of scientists are using the latest space technology to look underneath Earth's surface to measure this precious natural resource. […]

  • Determining the bioaccumulation of 9 metals in aquatic invertebrates in mining areas
    on July 19, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    A new study has proposed an ecological threshold concentration of 9 metals for 10 taxa of aquatic macroinvertebrates from clean sites in the Nalón river basin (Asturias). This is the first step towards incorporating into river management plans quality criteria relating to the bioaccumulation of hazardous substances, as required by the EU. […]

  • Sudden cold weather may increase stroke mortality
    on July 19, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    Study conducted in Southern Hemisphere's subtropical zone detects correlation between drop in temperature and rise in deaths from stroke, especially among women and older people. […]

  • Monkeys benefit from the nut-cracking abilities of chimpanzees and hogs
    on July 19, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    Researchers describe for the first time the scavenging behavior of mangabey monkeys, guinea fowls, and squirrels on energy-rich nut remnants cracked by chimpanzees and red river hogs. The team used data collected by camera traps in the rain forest of Tai National Park in Ivory Coast. The results reveal new unknown interactions between different species and increase our understanding of the complex community of animals foraging around tropical nut trees. […]

  • Colombia peace deal brings new threat to country's rainforest
    on July 19, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    The historic peace treaty in Colombia which brought an end to half a century of violence has led to mass deforestation. Once FARC soldiers were disarmed, it led to a vacuum of power which is being exploited by large landowners who are now deforesting the area at an alarming rate to make way for farms and for the illegal growth of coca crops. An ecologically significant region of Colombia, is now at risk of disappearing. […]

  • Money talks when trying to influence climate change legislation
    on July 19, 2018 at 2:31 am

    Climate lobbying is big business. A new analysis shows that between 2000 and 2016, lobbyists spent more than two billion dollars on influencing relevant legislation in the US Congress. Unsurprisingly, sectors that could be negatively affected by bills limiting carbon emissions, such as the electrical utilities sector, fossil fuel companies and transportation corporations had the deepest pockets. […]

  • Cities as study proxies for climate change
    on July 18, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    Cities can serve as useful proxies to study and predict the effects of climate change, according to a research review that tracks urbanization's effects on plant and insect species. […]

  • Researchers to present new results on hurricanes and other extreme events
    on July 18, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    In the past year, extreme events -- including hurricanes, droughts and wildfires -- have plagued the U.S., affecting natural habitats and human communities. Scientists are presenting the latest research findings on these events at the 2018 Ecological Society of America (ESA) meeting. […]

  • More category 5 hurricanes forecasted by scientists
    on July 18, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    Researchers have learned from studying 2012's Hurricane Sandy, that we are more likely to see larger, more powerful hurricanes in the future. […]

  • Ozone pollution in US national parks close to that of largest US cities
    on July 18, 2018 at 6:31 pm

    The research matched pollution data to monthly park visitation statistics at 33 heavily visited national parks and found that visitation responds most to ozone during months with poor air quality. […]

  • Great Barrier Reef not bouncing back as before, but there is hope
    on July 18, 2018 at 6:31 pm

    The Great Barrier Reef is losing its ability to recover from disturbances, but effective local management could revive its capacity to bounce back. […]

  • For one tropical tree, effective seed dispersal relies especially on elephants
    on July 18, 2018 at 6:31 pm

    Deer, bears, gibbons, but especially elephants, play an important role in seed dispersal for a large-fruited tree in the forests of Thailand, according to a new study. The data illustrate the complexity of forest ecology and hint that, at least for this one species, changes have occurred that have diminished its overall reproductive success. […]

  • Billion-year-old lake deposit yields clues to Earth's ancient biosphere
    on July 18, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    A sample of ancient oxygen, teased out of a 1.4-billion-year-old evaporative lake deposit in Ontario, provides fresh evidence of what the Earth's atmosphere and biosphere were like during the interval leading up to the emergence of animal life. […]

  • Atlantic circulation is not collapsing -- but as it shifts gears, warming will reaccelerate
    on July 18, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    Data suggest that the recent, rapid slowdown of the Atlantic Ocean circulation is not a sign of imminent collapse, but a shift back toward a more sluggish phase. The slowdown implies that global air temperatures will increase more quickly in the coming decades. […]

  • Feeding plants to this algae could fuel your car
    on July 18, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    The research shows that a freshwater production strain of microalgae, Auxenochlorella protothecoides, is capable of directly degrading and utilizing non-food plant substrates, such as switchgrass, for improved cell growth and lipid productivity, useful for boosting the algae's potential value as a biofuel. […]

  • Allergies: Mugwort pollen as main source of airborne endotoxins
    on July 18, 2018 at 2:47 pm

    Different airborne substances can cause respiratory problems for asthma sufferers. These include bacteria and their components, which can trigger inflammations. How they become airborne has not been fully explained up to now. A team has now shown that pollen from the mugwort plant is the main vector for bacteria and that this combination renders the pollen more aggressive. This is not the case in certain Alpine regions. […]

  • 'Nowcasting' beach water quality
    on July 18, 2018 at 2:47 pm

    Arriving at your favorite beach only to discover it's closed because of bacterial contamination can be a bummer. But even worse would be unknowingly swimming in waters polluted with fecal material -- a very real possibility, given that current detection methods can require up to 24 hours to obtain results. Now, researchers have identified computer models that provide accurate short-term forecasts, or 'nowcasts,' of beach water quality. […]

  • Effort to preserve lory population shows success
    on July 18, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    A long-term plan to preserve the Rimatara lorikeet by restoring an extirpated population of the species on a neighboring island that is free of predatory ship rats is demonstrating the importance of this kind of protective program for the sustainability of endangered bird species.&nbs […]

  • Traditional Tibetan medicine exposes people and environment to high mercury levels
    on July 18, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    Many people view the Tibetan Plateau, or 'Roof of the World,' as a pristine alpine environment, largely untouched by pollution. But researchers have now shown that traditional Tibetan medicine exposes people and the environment to high levels of mercury and methylmercury. […]

  • AI technology could help protect water supplies
    on July 18, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    Progress on new artificial intelligence (AI) technology could make monitoring at water treatment plants cheaper and easier and help safeguard public health. […]

  • 5,000 percent increase in native trees on rat-free palmyra atoll
    on July 17, 2018 at 6:25 pm

    New research demonstrates dramatic positive benefits for native trees following rat removal at Palmyra Atoll, a magnificent National Wildlife Refuge and natural research laboratory located about 1000 miles south of Hawaii. For five native tree species, including Pisonia grandis, fewer than 150 seedlings were counted in the presence of rats, and more than 7700 seedlings were counted five years after rats were removed. […]

  • Solutions to water challenges reside at the interface
    on July 17, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    Researchers describe the most advanced research innovations that could address global clean water accessibility. A new comprehensive article focuses on understanding and controlling the interfaces between materials and water. […]

  • Nitric oxide tells roundworms to avoid bad bacteria
    on July 17, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    Nitric oxide gas produced by a type of harmful bacteria lets roundworms know to stay away from it, says a new study. […]