Can bonds help Asia achieve renewable energy goals?
A recent study examines the causes behind the financing gap in Asia’s renewable energy sector and proposes bonds as a potential solution.
The world has long attributed Tibetan wisdom to the Buddhist monks and their teachings, but largely ignored the wisdom of the nomads. Recently, scientists have proven that traditional grazing practiced by these nomads are crucial for Tibetan rangelands, promoting plant diversity and nectar production.
Nigerian communities can welcome economic prosperity with simple fixes. A study assessed the role of local community members in improving ecotourism in three historic and popular destinations.
In a recent study, a team of scientists was able to show how places like Norfolk, Va. will experience more flooding and coastal erosion than ever before — not only during hurricanes like Sandy and Isabel, but more frequently during typical rain and wind events.
Researchers have had initial success using waste wool and recycled polyester fibers (RPET) as an environmentally-friendly alternative for building insulation, a recent study finds.
A team of scientists from the U.S. and Canada has expanded the conversation about climate change and its effects on the world’s ecosystems. In a study they look at a critical consequence of climate change — the potential for entire ecological systems to transition into new systems — and begin a discussion of management strategies, including whether or not we should intervene.
While lion populations in West, Central, and East Africa have all been declining at alarming rates, one study finds that lion populations in fenced reserves, specifically in South Africa, have actually been on the rise.
Household air pollution and contaminated drinking water are the two leading causes of death among children under the age of five in Rwanda. A recent study investigated the effectiveness of using cookstoves and water filters to improve children’s health.
Can the alliance between trees and fungi reduce climate change effects? A recent study looks at the role of fungi in increasing the ability of trees to take up the potent greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide.
Researchers in California noticed alarming changes to ecosystems. Starvation of Brown Pelicans, disappearance of seabirds, and sea lions deaths all happening in succession begged the question: what was happening in their habitat? A recent study suggests an unlikely answer: the anchovy.
Shale gas and oil production have been associated with earthquakes in several parts of the world. New research shows that in the United Kingdom, human activities have caused earthquakes in the past and more fracking will likely increase the frequency of earthquakes.
Anyone with a smartphone can add to the collective understanding of science, including data that can help us understand changes in animal behavior. But how good is the data they collect and is it usable?
A recent study outlines the steps we need to take to fundamentally transform our power system and rely primarily on renewable energy sources. Reaching that goal will be challenging but not impossible.
Can social media reduce disaster impacts? If so, how much? A recent study successfully explored the influence of social media in reducing financial damages during the 2011 Bangkok flood and quantified the impact.
A recent study shows that whites and non-whites prioritize environmental concerns differently depending on how the issues are framed. It also shows that, over generations, Mexican-origin immigrants become less concerned about the environment as they assimilate into U.S. society.
A recent study found correlations between state welfare programs and enforcement of environmental regulations. The author contends that the generousness of welfare programs is a signifier for whether African Americans are viewed as “deserving” of government assistance and benefits, attitudes that translate to better or worse monitoring of polluting facilities and enforcement of environmental regulations.
Climate change presents an unequal threat to the most marginalized groups of society, which current urban adaptation plans have not adequately addressed. Researchers have proposed a research roadmap toward an adaptation planning framework that is more equitable and sustainable.
Environmental migrants are often categorized or “framed” as victims, a security threat, adaptive agents, or political subjects. How these framings evolved and are used in a variety of contexts by multiple actors can have a significant impact on policy action.
In Delhi, scientists, municipal workers, and people living in unauthorized settlements have vastly different understandings of the city’s wastewater challenges. Using an urban political ecology lens, a new case study links problems of wastewater with the way legitimacy is awarded to competing systems of knowledge in the city.
A recent study shows that many parents in Shanghai would be willing to make financial contribution to increase air quality for their children’s health.
A new study makes the first attempt to explore the relationship between land use and birthweight in the eastern United States. It finds that living near more green spaces may reduce the risk of adverse birth outcomes
Why is it so hard to reduce the amounts of food produced and wasted in the United States and around the world? A recent paper examimed the issues at the intersection of public health and food loss and waste.
Drought is a common and widespread occurrence in the United States. A new study explores the complex relationship between drought and mental health by creating a causal process diagram that can be used to guide further prevention efforts, public health programming, and vulnerability, and risk assessment.
A team of medical professionals and scientists says that experts from different disciplines need to work together in order to prevent, diminish, or adjust to the negative consequences of climate change.
Biomimicry is the science of studying nature’s models and taking inspiration from it to solve human problem. A recent study examines this concept and its philosophical origins — and whether it can help humankind tackle the challenges of sustainability.
Acknowledging the variety of reasons for purchasing environmentally friendly products, researchers conduct a study across the EU to find out the main determinants for buying green.
A team of engineers in Italy examined the two leading energy-efficient roof technologies: green roofs and cool roofs. Finding gaps in both technologies, they devised a way to combine them for even better efficiency, reducing the amount of energy needed to cool buildings.
A recent study in Germany shows that large housing companies refurbish apartment buildings at a much higher level of energy efficiency than private landlords do
Despite their relative obscurity, green infrastructure that incorporates natural processes offers significant economic advantages over conventional gray infrastructure, as demonstrated by a recent study of flood adaptation options in Fiji.
Through new technologies, a recent study finds, humankind could begin a whole new era of food production – one where meat can be produced in laboratories and may even reduce the environmental costs of the livestock industry.
Energy efficiency and renewable energy installation produce both public health and climate benefits. These benefits also have significant dollar values that can be estimated using an integrated model assessment, a recent study says.
A new technique to improve conservation programs, known as participatory monitoring, involves collaboration between citizens, government, NGOs, and researchers to assess environmental issues. Since researchers alone might not have enough time or funding to collect adequate long term data, educating and training local people may prove to have more long term potential for conservation goals.
Illegal fishing is one of the main causes of fish stocks depletion. Provocative new research draws on environmental criminology to understand what is driving illegal fishing globally.
Climate change is making oceans more acidic. Will coral reefs survive in those conditions? A new publication investigates the effects of ocean acidification on corals, and the results are terrifying.
In a recent report scientists in Nigeria took a close look at the impacts of climate change on rural communities, and how these communities are trying to adapt. They explain the tangible effects that people are experiencing as a result of environmental change — and evaluate the best adaptation strategies.
When planning for climate change at the local level, it may seem irrelevant to consider events that occur far away. Two researches give examples and provide a framework that explain why we must think globally to plan locally.
Climate skeptics have argued that additional action towards mitigating climate change should not be taken until we know what drives it. A recent paper, however, suggests that skeptics have reason to take action towards emission reduction precisely to understand the drivers of climate change.
A leading climate economist recently analyzed the projected outcomes of creating an international climate change club. To join the club, countries must agree to put a price on carbon domestically, and to tax imported goods from non-member countries — creating a strong incentive to join the club.
A recent study quantified climate change trends across the U.S.’s National Ecological Observatory Network regions, informing future efforts to research and mitigate climate change.
A new study on greenhouse gas emissions trends in Latin American shows that current policy efforts to reduce or prevent those emissions are not enough. The region should prepare for the coming challenges of a new climate agenda.
The diversity of bees and other pollinator populations has declined, leading to a potential global pollination crisis. Many factors influence this crisis, researchers say, making it necessary to find a variety of solutions.
A recent study investigates the relationship among the adoption of precision agriculture, the economic welfare of the farm, the environmental impacts from the farm operations and the effectiveness of agro-environmental policy.
Insecticides are used widely with the objective of protecting crops from insects and increasing agricultural yields. A new study suggests that with some insecticides the opposite may be happening.
Zero-acreage farming, or ZFarming, is a new branch of agriculture involving production in or on urban structures. In scale, it’s a small and new global trend but a potentially important one through which innovators are attempting to address some of the many issues we experience in urbanization.
Despite decades of tension, a new case study reveals that Muslim Bedouin herders and Jewish farmers cooperated during the severe drought of 1957 to 1963, offering new insights into how societies deal with environmental changes.
Managing protected areas is a challenge. While creating new areas for protection is the first step, the pace of biodiversity conservation will be determined by specific management actions. A new study reveals which ones.
Population growth in the areas near a national park in western Uganda has transformed the landscape surrounding the park. A recent study explores the consequences of this population growth, and the need for appropriate policies to manage how humans interact with the park.
How can natural areas managers foster ecotourism while protecting the health of natural systems? A recent study shows how emphasizing different features of trails can help spread out visitor impacts over space and time.
Emerging research provides an integrated and empirical approach to measuring disaster resilience in communities across the U.S. The metric is designed for widespread use and is deployable as an analysis tool for local-scale planning and policy development.
Prompting people to think about their legacy and how they can positively impact the lives of future generations results in increased donations to support environmental protection, a new study finds.
Researchers show that shale gas extraction in Denton, Texas bombards local residents with health issues, contaminated water, and nuisance problems while profits, jobs, and other benefits leave with non-local corporations.
The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change has increasingly emphasized the 2 degree C global warming target as a benchmark for future policies and strategies. Through modeling of future scenarios, researchers justify the physical need for negative emissions if this temperature target goal is to be remotely achievable.
It has been widely thought that money wields power, and that corporate funding fuels climate change deniers. A recent study finds who these corporate funders are and just how much power they have.
Financial institutions like banks historically have played a critical role in the face of global challenges, from restructuring industry after World War II to the financing of the industrial revolutions. A new study argues that banks can play a similar role in helping society transition to a low-carbon footprint model.
As city planners seek to foster green economies, environmental justice advocates worry that its gentrifying effects and disproportionate benefits to the consumer class. Through case studies in Chicago and Seattle, a recent study explores how community efforts have the potential to incorporate social equity into the vision of the green economy.
Tropical forests are being lost due to timber harvest and cultivation, and ecosystems are being threatened by the spread of exotic and invasive species that outcompetes native ones. A recent study shows how an exotic plant species can be beneficial in connecting forest fragments, which promotes healthy wildlife populations.
As species shift out of their historic habitats in response to climate change, the role of protected areas is in question. Can the current global system of stationary bubbles of biodiversity protection help fauna on the move?
Agriculture and preserving habitat are constantly at odds. A new study assesses how farming can benefit farmers and small mammal species, and help preserve habitat.
Is it possible to delay clothing disposal through better design? A recent study uses user-centered design methods and quantitative consumer research to suggest four strategies to delay clothing disposal.
Different messaging techniques on the reuse of towels in hotels are found to have a significant impact on guest behavior — and can save significant amounts of energy and water. This low-cost method may be of interest to businesses, who can save money on utility costs while furthering their environmental reputation as well.
New research reveals the political potential of neighborhood greening in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, shedding light on the long-term benefits of community-led urban agriculture.
A great fire that devastated San Francisco following the 1906 earthquake had both short-term and long-term impacts on urban land use in the city, a recent study finds. Specifically, the disaster helped remove various barriers to redevelopment, leading to higher density of residential buildings in razed areas relative to unburned areas in prominent neighborhoods.
Every year, 25 million tons of electronic waste are produced around the world and China is receiving most of it. Chinese scientists are exploring the burdens of electronic waste treatment, an increasingly pressing national issue.
From 2007 to 2013 more than 130 environmental courts were established in China. A recent paper examines the political context underlying the establishment of the courts — and exposes their limited role in addressing environmental issues.
The American diet was under debate last fall as part of the run-up to the 2015 release of the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Historically, the American diet is harmful to the environment and the people who consume it. With a shift toward a more sustainable food system, this was a promising strategy to heal the planet and ourselves.
Epidemiologists have proposed using environmental policy as a model for combatting the obesity epidemic. Based on the carbon offset aspect of many cap and trade programs, the authors explain how similar offsets could be used to create change in the food and beverage industry.
The consequences of a rise in extreme weather events worldwide due to climate change can be particularly catastrophic in politically unstable countries. A recent study analyzes the role that index-based insurance can play in the highly volatile Syrian market and its potential to increase the adaptive confidence of farmers in a changing climate.
Although much research shows there are significant differences in public opinion on climate change beliefs, national scale statistics conceal this heterogeneity. Using an approach known as multilevel regression and poststratification, a team of researchers finds significant variability in opinion on important climate-related issues and behaviors at all levels of comparison.
One way to mitigate the effect of overheating in cities is to construct reflective or green roofs. A recent study reveals the potential and limits of reflective and green roof technologies.
New research shows that approaches to building resilience are often over-simplified when put to practice. Trade offs are inherent to decision-making, yet the implications to the long-term resilience of urban areas are often overlooked.
A transnational network in the Colorado River Delta successfully shifted governance toward environmental restoration. Through information sharing, capacity building, and rule setting, this network paved the way for science-based solutions and public participation.
Environmental science guides the design of environmental policies and regulations. But what happens when science does not align with law and policy? A recent study shows that a mismatch between the science of ecological “restoration” and the policy mechanism of environmental interventions has unintended consequences.
Greenhouse gas removal technologies provide a valuable option to decrease emissions beyond mitigation. While climate policy to this point has not included these important technologies, researchers in the United Kingdom have developed four pillars upon which to reframe the policy approach.
Shocks from climate change are felt by all, but it’s the poorer communities that are more sensitive to these disturbances. A recent study looks critically at the lens through which we view climate adaptation and asks: Are we building a resilience that accounts for the livelihoods of all, including the most vulnerable populations?
Environmental management is an interdisciplinary art. One important topic is the relationship between science and policy. A recent article identifies the barriers of integrating ecology and law in environmental management, and proposes “resilience-based adaptive governance” as a way to facilitate integration.
Through an in-depth economic analysis of coal mining in Cesar, Colombia, a researcher concludes that the environmental and social costs of coal mining outweighs the coal’s market price — even when the global cost of carbon is not taken into account.
It is widely accepted that environmental change can influence human migration, but often these effects are most understood at the local scale, leaving the global picture obscure. A recent study uses spatial tools and global data to draw a clearer picture of what environmental conditions motivate human migration at the global scale.
Weather can change the day-to-day life of agricultural pests, like the corn earworm moth. But how do weather systems affect large groups of migrating moths and the migrating bats that prey on them? And how might shifts to those systems caused by climate change impact agriculture?
Following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, concerns about potential seafood contamination prompted closures of commercial fisheries as federal regulators screened the safety of the fishery. Their population assumptions, while likely protective of the vast majority of Americans, excluded vulnerable Vietnamese Americans in the coastal region.
Climate change poses a significant threat to both the environment and public health providing the opportunity to maximize co-benefits through mitigation and adaptation planning.
Management of multiple ecosystem services involves balancing multiple stakeholders and their respective value systems. This involves making trade offs, but not all trade offs are equal. A recent article analyzes how these decisions affect management decisions in a small-scale tropical fishery.
Many view agriculture as a major threat to the environment. But by integrating conservation techniques with agriculture and ranching, farmers movements can promote the protection of the environment while securing their food production.
Increasing intensity of human land-use makes ecological communities progressively more similar to one another, leading to an overall loss of diversity. Ecological metrics used to quantify diversity loss could provide helpful conservation benchmarks.
A recent study finds a striking imbalance in the global trade of arable land use. The imbalance is not only one between countries, but also one between the underdogs and top dogs of the global supply chain.
Glaciers are melting at high rates worldwide due to changes in global temperature. New research shows that in Canada most glaciers present in inland areas will disappear by 2100, creating water supply challenges throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Sustainable water management requires collaborative partnerships between diverse stakeholders. A research team describes the range of partnerships possible.
What can a snapshot of virtual water flows tell us about the agricultural sector? Where is it vulnerable? How does it compare to global virtual water trade?
While disappearing beaches and coastal flooding are the most commonly considered impacts of sea level rise, a recent study shows that the impacts will extend to inland springs.
Public sector enterprises dealing with mining, energy and power sectors of India are weak in reporting environmental elements than economic and development reporting.
Analysis of global forest cover reveals that over 70 percent of remaining forests are within 1 kilometer of non-forest edge. Synthesis of long-term studies show that this will result in pervasive loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
In a recent paper, scientists refined the proposed concept of Earth Systems global thresholds, revising the nine defined Planetary Boundaries
There is a distinct lack of innovation in energy technologies despite the need to curb emissions. Worse yet is the bigger void of innovation geared towards expanding energy access to the world’s poor. A team of experts analyzed the reasons for this gap and outlined potential solutions.
New research suggests there are significant differences in the pollution offset by an additional unit of wind power versus solar power. The evidence suggests environmental policy subsidizing renewable energy instead of addressing emissions directly is inefficient and unnecessarily costly.
Economic research certainly back up the notion that climate change is reducing agricultural production in parts of the world. But what if we take into account farmers’ adaptation strategies?
Without a shift to a more sustainable world, food security may be impossible to achieve. Hunger, a worldwide epidemic is only going to get worse without organized intervention. Can we turn this ship around?
While the scientific community is in overwhelming agreement about climate change, public and political action on climate change face powerful ideological obstacles. A recent study shows that identifying the co-benefits of addressing climate change impacts can motivate pro-environmental behavior.
A new study offers encouraging news about prospective climate policy impacts on employment and GDP. Comparing two scenarios to a “business as usual” model, a team of economists present two scenarios that could achieve the European Union’s emissions reduction target by 2030 and also generate higher GDP and employment rates.
A review of land use impact assessment methods, widely used to measure life cycle environmental impacts, shows both the importance of considering land use and the disparity of results.
Public-private partnership approaches to natural resource management are on the rise. Members of the Dolores River Restoration Partnership share how they collectively work toward large-scale river restoration.
While previous studies have shown that social approaches to reduce water use are effective in the short-term, recent findings indicate that the effects are persistent in the long-term as well.
Differences in land use history may significantly alter the speed and ability of tropical forests to regenerate, which may have substantial implications for carbon budgets.
Injecting “the farmer’s voice” can be a powerful tool when weighing in on a contentious agricultural issue. However, the ways in which researchers collect the beliefs of farmers are often subject to bias which can limit the meaningfulness and accuracy of a study’s claims about the farmer experience.
Every year an average of 114,000 people migrate from their homes world-wide due to large, catastrophic floods. A recent study proves that such flood-induced migration can ignite existing civil conflicts and pose a security threat in weak and fragile countries.
Social or psychological “nudges” — such as showing people how their water use compares to their neighbors or asking people to voluntarily reduce their electricity consumption — have become a popular tool for policymakers trying to encourage pro-environmental behavior. Little is known, however, about the possible competing effects of compensatory green beliefs.
A recent study shows that soil microorganisms can improve the production of major crops like corn and wheat, while also reducing the environmental impact of excess fertilizers.
National industrial waste input-output accounts are a great asset to uncover waste exchange opportunities, reduce industrial wastes and promote industrial symbiosis at a national scale.
Different planning pathways with innovative and collaborative stakeholder involvement approaches are required to effectively pursue adaptation planning of urban sectors, a recent study found.
Every water management decision is a tradeoff: Scientists argue that the cost of ecosystem services lost when free-flowing rivers are modified should make its way into decision-making tools and assessment protocols.
A recent study links the use of open-air burn-pits, banned by the U.S. Congress in 2010, with neurodevelopmental disorders and birth defects in Iraqi children.
Accounting for nitrogen and phosphorous limitations on forest growth significantly alters projections of future climate change scenarios.
The typical American child spends more time indoors than outside. Indoor environments, however, are rarely subject to mandatory health-based standards. New research shows that students can achieve better test scores when schools improve their indoor air quality.
A new study finds that formal ownership of land fails to produce an efficient rental market, highlighting the limitations of this land reform strategy to increase land access in order to reduce farmland expansion into more vulnerable areas.
Existing systems for allocating water could leave some rivers high and dry. A recent study explored how a marketplace for water might better protect critical water resources.
Logging concessions and plantations for fiber species were the biggest contributors to forest loss in Indonesia from 2000-2010, but also comprise the country’s largest existing carbon stocks.
While China is the world’s largest waste oil producer there are interesting win-win situations for developing both renewable energy and reducing illegal use of gutter oil in cooking.
Desertification is one of the most pressing issues facing the world’s drylands. However, the term “desertification” is only vaguely defined, leading to complications in monitoring and management at all scales.
Successful land conservation efforts require transparency and collaboration between all individuals involved, a recent analysis found. The first step is for stakeholders to engage in conversation.
In water scarce regions, the concept of “virtual water” may help communities make tough decisions regarding competing water uses.
Consumers are increasingly willing to pay for pricier hybrid cars, expecting social recognition and prestige in exchange for their environmentally friendly consumption habits, a study finds. Society and the environment stand to benefit.
Different types of financing instruments are required to address the impacts and frequency of climate extremes in vulnerable developing countries, a recent analysis finds.
Innovative examples from corporations around the globe show that the tools of industrial ecology can be used to recognize and develop the multiple benefits associated with reducing environmental impact and enhancing competitive advantage.
Cumulative pressures on the global water cycle threaten social stability. An integrated approach to water management that crosses traditional boundaries between business, political, and ecological systems is required to ensure harmonious social and economic development.
While British Sugar’s primary business is producing sugar, the company in recent years has expanded its operations to include the production of animal feed, electricity, tomatoes, and bioethanol. A recent study illustrates how the company is a case study of a fundamental principle of industrial ecology — industrial symbiosis.
What happens to land under years of war and conflict? Satellite data and integrated modelling are helping to predict land degradation in war-torn regions of northern Lebanon.
New research on land tenure in China’s agrarian provinces highlights the importance of evaluating property rights in context, dismissing the typical attributes used to compare insecure or communal versus secure or private systems. The study suggests that understanding the social credibility of land ownership structures is central to appreciating how well specific structures function in a given location.
A recent study explored how businesses might value the critical ecosystem services provided by water — and how valuations could drive decision-making.
A new study shows that large trees capture carbon more efficiently than smaller trees, suggesting that they have a disproportionate effect on how forests influence global climate change.
When the demand for electricity threatens to exceed supply, electric utilities often issue public requests for households to dial down their energy usage during peak hours. A recent study suggests that those appeals may inadvertently have the opposite effect.
Water scarcity intensifies freshwater ecosystem degradation. A new study evaluates the compounding effects of several stressors on water-scarce ecosystems in order to construct better management strategies.
Ultimately, the factors that dictate the carbon footprints of producing biofuels versus reforesting degraded land are highly nuanced and vary from case to case
Voluntary environmental programs (VEPs) offer the potential to encourage sustainable production and consumption. However, the authors outline four key considerations that are essential for a VEP’s success.
Groundwater contamination from agricultural sources threatens drinking water quality in California’s San Joaquin Valley. Application of a geospatial tool may help farmers, researchers, and regulators identify farmland contributing to the problem.
Transaction costs related to climate finance can be addressed not only by technological innovations but also by institutional innovations, researchers say. In a recent study, they found that considering all possible costs while undertaking economic assessments could lead to better policy and provide decision-makers with realistic cost to address climate change impacts.
Adherence to three green building code and certifications systems demonstrates on average a 14-percent reduction in the environmental impact of a typical office building, with LEED results displaying worrisomely high variability in performance.
Road dust suspected to be the largest contributor to hospital admissions for heart and lung diseases from particulate matter pollutants in Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Species are going extinct 1,000 times faster than at any point in Earth’s history, and even with protected areas, biodiversity preservation remains sub-optimal due to knowledge gaps and low representation of ecological habitats.
Rain-fed agriculture and international trade may help buffer the impacts of increasing world-wide water scarcity on food availability and economic welfare.
The drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, requires the injection of specific mixtures of water, sand, and chemicals into the ground, a key concern around shale extraction. A recent study examined the movement of these fracturing fluids in groundwater.
Conservation easements aimed at protecting privately owned land from development are self-limiting in the face of climate change. The time has come for land conservation organizations to reframe strategies that not only stand the test of time, but also a changing climate.
Across the world, animals are consistently imperiled by human land-use, but the magnitude of impact varies between species based on their innate features.
A recent evaluation of sustainability performance of energy technology systems in rural India reveals that biomass has the highest relative performance followed by hydropower. The sustainability of new and emerging technologies like solar, wind, and their hybrids has improved since 2005.
Integrating traditional practices with modern mechanized agriculture is one way of improving yields and reducing the environmental impact associated with agriculture in developed nations, but policy incentives will likely be required to encourage a meaningful shift in the industry.
A comprehensive review of passenger vehicle life cycle assessments shows converging opinion that electric vehicles are better for the environment than previously believed.
A recent paper explores how demographics, cognition and emotions characterize post-disaster opinions of nuclear energy in Japan.
Although exhibited in different ways, similar forces drive water management decisions in Israel and in Arizona. Understanding these motivating factors is crucial when developing successful and effective water management approaches.
In a recent study, researchers developed an approach to help companies make more informed water decisions based on which suppliers use more or less water throughout the supply chain.
Regional differences in the impacts of the urban heat island effect across the US are largely explained by variations in efficiency of heat convection to lower atmosphere and strongly influenced by humidity patterns rather than evapotranspiration.
During natural disasters, urban centers with large numbers of flexible coping mechanisms may ultimately fare better than those with fewer, but currently effective, mechanisms.
Environmental impact assessment of economic policies can help export-oriented countries manage environmental pressures and make smarter trade decisions.
Recent climate projections for India, based on the regional climate models, identify that India would face more days of extreme rains and more consecutive dry days – which would lead to more floods and more droughts, towards the end of the 21st century.
Miniscule fungi and diminutive insects that eat up seeds and seedlings of trees may hold the key to understanding the mindboggling diversity of tropical rainforests.
As carbon emissions climb, the US housing sector must embrace both energy retrofits and widespread adoption of green building in new construction to reduce their impacts.
Multiplied by hundreds of wells, total shale gas use in the Wattenberg Shale in northeastern Colorado is in the vicinity of a billion gallons or more — and in a basin that is actively seeking new water sources to meet existing demand.
New research shows a staggering groundwater loss in the Colorado River Basin that threatens water supplies and future water security for seven Western states and Mexico.
A new model suggests it may be possible to feed the world’s growing population with minimal environmental impact, but doing so will require targeted policies to reduce food waste and incentives towards healthier diets in industrialized nations.
Spatial analysis can be utilized as a decision-support tool to make sure energy development occurs in the least ecologically sensitive areas.
Communities with more tree cover benefit from increased shade, better water filtration, and a host of other positive externalities, but not all communities experience equal benefits.
Animals likely play a more instrumental role in carbon cycling and storage than previously understood, making wildlife management a potential avenue for mitigating carbon emissions.
A national carbon policy may exasperate water shortages in the western United States. Yet, the high cost of water reduction in the electricity sector makes it an unlikely candidate for mitigating water consumption in light of climate change and carbon policies.
Integrating sea level rise projections with cost-benefit analysis can provide guidance in assessing the trade-offs between coastal development and conservation objectives.
Human prosperity relies on functioning ecosystem processes. Large carnivores play an integral role in their human and natural surrounding; integrative conservation strategies are warranted to ensure their persistence.
Attaching the cameras to aerial drones allows conservation researchers to observe everything from illegal logging activity to elephant migrations.
Since nuclear fission was discovered in 1938, the world has built many bombs, dropped a few, provided low emission energy, and facilitated the creation of long-lived nuclear waste that currently has nowhere to go
In Changzhou, China 10% of the city’s energy footprint is related to water usage. Through strategic water conservation efforts, policy-makers can simultaneously conserve water and energy, save taxpayer money, and reduce climate change impacts.
Aquifer storage and recovery may represent an efficient, effective, and safe water storage option for maintaining drinking water and environmental supplies in Florida.
Scientists find that the Big Five personality traits are related to environmental values and behavior at the individual and national level. Policymakers can use this information to tailor programs and policies to yield changes in environmental behavior.
Forest property tax incentives are effective tools for ensuring landscape connectivity, yet what type of program forest owners participate in differs by type of forest and owners. Policymakers can use this information to tailor programs and policies to increase forest conservation programs.
Scientists examine how riparian restoration projects influence amphibian and reptile species and suggest several methods that natural resource managers can use to improve river rehabilitation projects.
Building models, frameworks, and skills to more effectively solve environmental problems.
“Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.”
A closer look at the industrial exchanges taking place at an industrial park in Hawai’i reveals greenhouse gas savings equal to 25% of the State’s reduction goals.
Scientists and policy makers operate under very different time frames and professional priorities. Environmental research organizations should consider hiring knowledge brokers to ensure timely translation of scientific discoveries into regulations.
Environmental indices such as Yale’s Environmental Performance Index can help monitor progress towards achieving global sustainable development goals despite persistent challenges.
Whether you like your potatoes hashed, mashed, baked, broiled, crinkle cut or barbecued you are going to need to use energy to cook those spuds, but just how you accomplish this task has a lot to say about the energy footprint of your home-cooking.
As the ecological challenges continue to arise, environmental innovations may be the key to a firm’s market-share expansion and flexibility against economic downturn.
As ocean surface temperatures heat up and urban coastal populations continue to grow, climate models predict an increase in the number of intense storms and corresponding economic damage.
Social strategy games can help urban planners and developers learn the complex trade-offs between climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies in cities.
In countries like South Africa where food takes up as much as one-fifth of household spending, reducing waste from ‘farm to table’ is much more than a moral obligation - it is an economical way to maximize resources.
Increasing carbon storage in soils through biochar and producing bioenergy from perennial plants can be a powerful means to mitigate climate change. Understanding soil microbial processes is crucial to achieve improved soil fertility, biodiversity, and carbon sequestration.
With sea-ice hitting an all-time low in September 2012, scientists are examining how the melt will affect the transfer of greenhouse gases in arctic plant communities.
The most widespread techniques for increasing water supplies under climate uncertainty are also those with the greatest potential to spread disease. How can communities best adapt?
Environmentally sustainable alternatives to meat have a greater chance of gaining a permanent place on the dinner plate if consumers increase familiarity of product.
Diving tourism can help conserve marine wildlife and coastal ecosystems. To live up to its potential to conserve nature as well as to sustain popularity diving management including environmental education is key.
The unprecedented growth of cities in African countries has the potential to convert urban farming, a historical means of survival, into a viable livelihood for urban dwellers.
Offering property licenses to “squatter communities” may not make property rights more secure as investment and property markets fail to take newly registered property licenses seriously
Understanding how and why people fail to recognize the importance of future environmental problems can be used to tailor responses to environmental information problems
Utility companies’ demand-side programs produced a 0.9 percent savings in electricity consumption over the period between 1992 and 2006 and a 1.8 percent savings overall. They also achieved their maximum impact a few years after launching and had a long-lasting effect. Policy-makers should incorporate consideration of lasting and lagged effects of DSM programs into consideration.
Local waste sources, accumulation points, and marine pathways around Hawai’i Island were determined to address the origin of the debris accumulating in Kamilo Point through the deployment of debris-catching booms and wooden drifter blocks.
When choosing fuel efficient vehicles, US consumers undervalue future fuel costs by valuing one dollar’s worth of future savings at 76 cents for the present price, a value gap of 32 percent.
Individuals of all economic backgrounds in developing countries demand public green spaces and are willing to give time and money for their maintenance.
Radioactive material from the Fukushima disaster was detected in food webs in the Pacific. However, it isn’t substantial enough to be dangerous to humans or animals.
Little is known about whether regional shark management plans are robust enough to sustainably manage shark stocks. However, implementing national action plans that adhere to international guidelines and that build on experiences from other fisheries can help save endangered shark species from extinction.
Sustainable forest management that aims at Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) includes payments to landowners and can provide economic benefits over alternative land uses such as oil palm plantations. If certain key factors are resolved, REDD+ can simultaneously achieve economic and social success while bringing ecological benefits and contributing to climate change mitigation.
Scientists examine how zoning and land use policy can protect environmentally sensitive areas at the fringe of the cities from damage by shantytowns. Political and social factors can often cause these policies to fail.
Spring is coming earlier for wild bees in the Northeast. This could have serious ecological consequences if bee seasons go out of sync with plant seasons.
Butterflies and moths with specialized diets are utilizing human-altered environments to expand their ranges with climate change.
The Malaysian state of Sarawak started its implementation of a gigantic hydropower project with the goal to leapfrog into modernity. This causes a range of unfavorable consequences that should be carefully assessed by other countries in the region that plan to install similar projects.
In Kansas, researchers are finding easy ways to minimize the negative impacts of wind energy while greatly surpassing the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2030 goals.
Life-cycle assessments and carbon footprinting of viable recycling and reuse options for food cartons provides a quantitative look that can aid in decision-making processes.
Scientists explore how entrepreneurs and decision makers can make or break how a national park benefits a community
The Great Lakes – our largest global reserve of freshwater – are under attack from invasive species, and a new study provides an estimate of what this will cost us.
Recent studies at one of the BP-Deepwater Horizon oil spill sites has revealed that, preceding engineering activities diminished the resilience of the salt water marshes.
Coastal parks provide places for restoring psychological health, but climate change—which is predicted to change factors that impact perceived restorative value of beaches such as temperature, tide levels, and air and water quality—may affect society’s mental health. Leading scientists recommend that climate change adaptation plans include inland open space and shaded parks to provide places of mental restoration as beaches lose their restorative value.
Events that happened over a decade ago in California still provide insights into what could trigger consumers to cut back their energy use today.
Despite capital investment and regulatory initiatives worldwide, international environmental technology transfer between developed and developing country occurs rarely while 60 percent of related innovation is concentrated in 3 countries.
The policies and measures aiming at reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) have proliferated, resulting in varying interpretations of “safeguards”. Now that REDD+ is maturing, direct trade-offs between monetized emissions reductions and social and biodiversity values call for more explicit regulations in this approach to climate change mitigation.
The invasive Burmese python has been linked to mammal declines Florida’s Everglades National park. Researchers fear that some of the endangered species of the region may be in danger.
Research finds that people who believe they are helping the environment may actually know less about energy conservation than the average person.
Though shale gas extraction with the use of hydraulic fracturing has been underway in the U.S. for about a decade, peer-reviewed literature looking at its impacts has only begun to be published. Some of the articles that were among the first published on the environmental impacts, and remain among the most talked about, are described here.
Previous research on hydraulic fracturing has indicated possible contamination of water wells by methane. A new research article attempts to model potential contamination pathways to aquifers from Marcellus shale gas beds.
Drinking water wells are only 60 to 90 meters below the surface, while the Marcellus Shale is at depths of 1,200 to 2,500 meters. Still, new research suggests that, because of the hydrology of northeastern Pennsylvania, hydraulic fracturing poses a risk to these shallow drinking water resources.
A new study calculates the total water usage for shale-gas production in Texas. While the total water usage doesn’t overwhelm state resources currently, the variability in local conditions over time will call for more careful consideration of water resources in the future.
Why has sustainable development been so hard to achieve? It turns out we have been measuring it incorrectly.
Peering into the past can help us to discern the future. But, when it comes to ocean acidification, past events may offer little indication of what is in store.
People appreciate farmland for more than what it can grow, but values vary.
It is often assumed that global warming will make mountain trees climb uphill. A new long-view study shows that this is not always the case, meaning that managers must take heed when planning the future of their forests.
Many conservationists and land planners look to property tax policy to encourage private landowners to keep their land undeveloped. While property tax can hold back the conversion of rural land to some extent, its impact is limited.
Jellyfish blooms are an increasingly frequent problem in many parts of the world. While it has long been understood that these blooms deprive fish and other species of food, new research sheds light on how they disrupt the ecosystem in ways that reduce the productivity of the oceans.
Local leaders must prepare for sea-level rise and coastal disaster management. Besides property damage, issues of social justice will arise because minorities, the poor, and the most vulnerable people are at greater risk than others.
Common terms have different meanings to scientists and the general public. Recognizing this simple fact will help bridge the gap in the climate science debate.
In the summer of 1993, over 12,000 people flocked to the otherwise remote Clayoquot Sound to protest the logging of old growth forest on Meares Island, British Columbia. This precipitated changes in the public participation process that are still evolving twenty years later.
Almost 30% of New York State’s electricity demand can be met by wind and solar energy, and having both forms of renewable energy operating at the same time can significantly reduce the problem of intermittency.