Articles from 2012 (38 found)

Keeping track of storms to protect endangered turtles

Coastal managers must anticipate and follow tropical storm patterns to protect endangered sea turtle species more effectively.

End-of-life use for consumer cartons

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.

Entrepreneur and decision makers’ attitudes matter in realizing tourism opportunities near national parks

Scientists explore how entrepreneurs and decision makers can make or break how a national park benefits a community

Smarter than the average bear: bears use nightfall to avoid hunters

Brown bears are escaping hunters by increasing their nocturnal activities. Yet their adaptations may come at a cost.

Economic impact of invasives in the Great Lakes

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. 

Foreseeing and Managing the Water-Renewable Energy Nexus

The inevitable expansion in renewable energy infrastructure will require keen attention and careful management of restricted water supplies.

Prior engineering exacerbated effects of 'BP-Deepwater Horizon'

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 restore mental health, but environmental and weather conditions impact by how much

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.

The effect of price shocks and public appeals on energy consumption

Events that happened over a decade ago in California still provide insights into what could trigger consumers to cut back their energy use today.

Battling bed bugs: Over-the-counter foggers are ineffective

The do-it-yourself approach to bed bug control may be causing more harm to the indoor environment than good.

Only three countries lead 60 percent of global environmental technology innovations

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 challenge of solidifying safeguards in REDD+

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.

Invasive snakes threaten biodiversity in Florida

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. 

Think you’re saving energy? You might want to think again

Research finds that people who believe they are helping the environment may actually know less about energy conservation than the average person.

Hydraulic Fracturing "cheat sheet" for Peer-reviewed Literature

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.

Possible contamination pathways from fracking

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.

Shale-gas extraction and hydraulic fracturing accompany methane contamination of drinking water

Scientists explore how and what kind of methane makes it into natural gas wells.

Fracking and the threat of drinking water contamination

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.

Shale-gas extraction calls for water awareness in Texas

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.

The U.S. is developing sustainably: Re-measuring wealth redefines economic growth and sustainable development

Why has sustainable development been so hard to achieve? It turns out we have been measuring it incorrectly.

The true cost of water quality violations

The government is supposed to provide clean drinking water.  But, in many cases, they aren’t and consumers are paying for it.

The current rate of ocean acidification has no precedent in 300 million years of Earth history

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. 

Climate warming doesn’t guarantee that tree lines will rise

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.

The true cost of power outages

Being afraid of the dark is apparently justified. 

Responsible design of electronic textiles

Electronic textiles are on the verge of mass-commercialization. Now is the time to think about their potential impacts…and act.

Property tax changes may not motivate private landowners to conserve

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 cause marine ecosystems to leak energy

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.

Avoiding the next Katrina: preparing for sea-level rise in the U.S.

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.

Injustice in U.S. water distribution

Some populations – often those with the fewest resources and constituting a racial minority – ultimately pay more for basic water and sewer services than others.

Does Al Gore affect environmentally related behavior?

Information and advocacy campaigns can affect environmentally related behavior, but not for long.   

Confusion and communication about climate change

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.  

Improving participatory planning meetings: learning from the people involved

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.

Economic growth by stricter regulation

More stringent air pollution standards could encourage, rather than restrict, economic growth.

Biodiversity left behind in climate change scenarios

Climate change predictions are classifying species in the wrong way – putting biodiversity at risk.

Wind and solar energy can be a powerful combination in New York State

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.

Untreated wastewater kills coral

Coral reefs are one of the most critically endangered ecosystems on the planet, and untreated human waste is contributing to their decline.