What plants can teach us about oil spill clean-up, microfluidics
Tue, 20 Mar 2018 14:13:15 EDT
For years, scientists have been inspired by nature to innovate solutions to tricky problems, even oil spills -- manmade disasters with devastating environmental and economic consequences. A new study takes a cue from leaf structure to fabricate material that can separate oil and water, which could lead to safer and more efficient oil spill clean-up methods.
Excitations: First steps of photosynthesis
Tue, 20 Mar 2018 12:35:22 EDT
Photosynthesis has driven life on this planet for more than 3 billion years -- first in bacteria, then in plants -- but we don't know exactly how it works.
Study of climate change could lead to understanding future of infectious disease
Tue, 20 Mar 2018 12:34:58 EDT
Over the past 34 years, rainfall in Uganda has decreased by about 12 percent even though many of the global climate models predict an increase in rainfall for the area, according to an international team of researchers. Rainfall levels in Uganda impact agriculture, food security, wildlife habitats and regional economics as well as the prevalence of certain diseases.
Wind, sea ice patterns point to climate change in western Arctic
Tue, 20 Mar 2018 12:34:50 EDT
A major shift in western Arctic wind patterns occurred throughout the winter of 2017 and the resulting changes in sea ice movement are possible indicators of a changing climate, says a researcher.
Low-tech, affordable solutions to improve water quality
Tue, 20 Mar 2018 12:34:43 EDT
Clever, fundamental engineering could go a long way toward preventing waterborne illness and exposure to carcinogenic substances in water.
Obtaining energy from marine currents
Tue, 20 Mar 2018 10:24:02 EDT
Researchers have developed procedures and designs to obtain energy from marine currents in areas of great depths optimizing the costs.
20 percent of Americans responsible for almost half of US food-related greenhouse gas emissions
Tue, 20 Mar 2018 10:08:21 EDT
On any given day, 20 percent of Americans account for nearly half of US diet-related greenhouse gas emissions, and high levels of beef consumption are largely responsible, according to a new study.
Wildfire intensity impacts water quality and its treatment in forested watersheds
Tue, 20 Mar 2018 08:44:03 EDT
The recent Thomas Fire was the largest wildfire in in California's modern history. Now, researchers report that wildfires in forested watersheds can have a variable but predictable impact on the substances that are released from soils and flow into drinking water sources. The research provides important insights for water utilities evaluating treatment options after severe wildfires.
Researchers create new low-cost, sustainable material for reducing air and water pollution
Tue, 20 Mar 2018 08:43:42 EDT
A new class of hybrid materials shows promise as an affordable and sustainable product for reducing particulate matter in air and organic pollutants in wastewater. The material, produced inexpensively from an industrial waste by-product and naturally abundant polymers, performed more efficiently than activated carbon, the current gold standard.
Rain or snow? Humidity, location can make all the difference, new map shows
Tue, 20 Mar 2018 08:43:34 EDT
Researchers have created a map of the Northern Hemisphere showing how location and humidity can affect precipitation, illustrating wide variability in how and why different areas receive snow or rain.
Pipe-crawling robot will help decommission DOE nuclear facility
Tue, 20 Mar 2018 08:43:15 EDT
A pair of autonomous robots will soon be driving through miles of pipes at the US Department of Energy's former uranium enrichment plant in Piketon, Ohio, to identify uranium deposits on pipe walls.
So close, yet so far: Making climate impacts feel nearby may not inspire action
Mon, 19 Mar 2018 15:57:17 EDT
An expert says it is possible to make faraway climate impacts feel closer. But that doesn't automatically inspire the American public to express greater support for policies that address it.
Cutting carbon emissions sooner could save 153 million lives
Mon, 19 Mar 2018 14:52:43 EDT
As many as 153 million premature deaths linked to air pollution could be avoided worldwide this century if governments speed up their timetable for reducing fossil fuel emissions, a new study finds.
Detection, deterrent system will help eagles, wind turbines coexist better
Mon, 19 Mar 2018 14:45:55 EDT
Researchers have taken a key step toward helping wildlife coexist more safely with wind power generation by demonstrating the success of an impact detection system that uses vibration sensors mounted to turbine blades.
Geoengineering polar glaciers to slow sea-level rise
Mon, 19 Mar 2018 14:45:50 EDT
Targeted geoengineering to preserve continental ice sheets deserves serious research and investment, argues an international team of researchers. Without intervention, by 2100 most large coastal cities will face sea levels that are more than three feet higher than they are currently.
Human influence on climate change will fuel more extreme heat waves in US
Mon, 19 Mar 2018 12:43:02 EDT
Human-caused climate change will drive more extreme summer heat waves in the western US, including in California and the Southwest as early as 2020, new research shows.
Glacier mass loss: Past the point of no return
Mon, 19 Mar 2018 12:42:58 EDT
Researchers show in a recent study that the further melting of glaciers cannot be prevented in the current century -- even if all emissions were stopped now. However, due to the slow reaction of glaciers to climate change, our behavior has a massive impact beyond the 21st century: In the long run, five hundred meters by car with a mid-range vehicle will cost one kilogram of glacier ice.
Palm trees are spreading northward. How far will they go?
Mon, 19 Mar 2018 12:42:24 EDT
What does it take for palm trees, the unofficial trademark of tropical landscapes, to expand into northern parts of the world that have long been too cold for palm trees to survive? A new study attempts to answer this question. Researchers analyzed a broad dataset to determine global palm tree distribution in relation to temperature.
Amazon deforestation is close to tipping point
Mon, 19 Mar 2018 12:42:12 EDT
Scientists considered climate change and indiscriminate use of fire to calculate that deforestation rates ranging from 20 percent to 25 percent could turn Amazon's hydrological cycle unable to support its ecosystem.
Environmentally friendly cattle production (really)
Mon, 19 Mar 2018 12:01:33 EDT
When cattle congregate, they're often cast as the poster animals for overgrazing, water pollution and an unsustainable industry. While some of the criticism is warranted, cattle production -- even allowing herds to roam through grasslands and orchards -- can be beneficial to the environment as well as sustainable.