environment

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Tracking complex mixtures of chemicals in our changing environment

Chemicals are the basis of life, but some anthropogenic organic chemicals pose inherent dangers. Pesticides, industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and other synthetic chemicals can enter the environment and the food chain, causing unwanted effects and disease. Medical research indicates that as much as two-thirds of chronic human disease risk cannot be explained by genetics alone and

2020-01-27T03:59:12-06:00Tags: |

Sea level rise could reshape the United States

When Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Texas coast in 2017, displaced residents flocked inland, trying to rebuild their lives in the disaster's aftermath. Within decades, the same thing could happen at a much larger scale due to rising sea levels, says a new study led by USC Computer Science Assistant Professor Bistra Dilkina. The study,

2020-01-28T03:46:25-06:00Tags: |

Land-management lessons in old ways

A new study led by archaeologists, ecologists, and paleoclimatologists at Harvard and elsewhere overturns long-held beliefs about the role humans played in shaping the American landscape before and after European colonization. The findings offer insights and lessons in managing biodiverse landscapes in the Northeast. The study, published today in the journal Nature Sustainability, focuses on

2020-01-26T07:57:04-06:00Tags: |

Plastics Industry Faces Backlash Over Environmental Data

Frustrated with the sight of plastic bags and styrofoam containers piling up in its harbor, the city of Charleston, South Carolina, rang in the new year with a promise to start enforcing a ban on single-use plastic containers and utensils. It's one of hundreds of similar bans that have been launched across the U.S. and

2020-01-24T06:50:59-06:00Tags: |

Bioplastics continue to blossom—are they really better for the environment?

The English metallurgist Alexander Parkes never saw the widespread realization of his spectacular 19th-century invention, celluloid, the first plastic. While a revolutionary breakthrough, Parkesine, as it was called, was expensive and brittle. It was used in objects like buttons and combs, but ultimately quality control issues led Parkes’ company to bankruptcy in 1868 just 12

2020-01-22T10:30:24-06:00Tags: |

Recognising Forest Rights Helps Reduce Poverty

Forest dwellers’ relationship and dependence on forest resources has been a little-studied area. Historically, the British government took control of forest resources to serve its colonial projects, and the Government of India passed the Forest Rights Act (FRA) in 2006 to undo this historical injustice. However, India’s forest dwellers continue to remain one of the

2020-01-20T12:41:03-06:00Tags: |

8 environment and development stories to watch

The world was not kind to the environment over the past decade, the warmest in recorded history. Superstorm Sandy caused more than $70 billion of damages in the United States. Cities like Cape Town, South Africa nearly ran out of water. Record floods killed 1,300 people in India and Pakistan. Fires burned more than 22 million acres (9 million

2020-01-17T12:26:11-06:00Tags: |

Study: BPA exposure lasts for three generations

Some plastic food and beverage containers still contain bisphenol A (BPA), which can mimic the hormone estrogen. Although experts say that small amounts of BPA detected in foods are unlikely to cause problems, some people worry that constant low-level exposures could have health effects, especially for developing fetuses, infants and children. Now, researchers report in

2020-01-16T09:14:48-06:00Tags: |

Alliance Grameen Creative Lab Form Partnership to Address Plastic Waste

Delhi, India – Business Wire India The Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW) today announced a partnership with the Grameen Creative Lab to support development of Zero Plastic Waste Cities to reduce plastic waste leaking into the environment. Zero Plastic Waste Cities are being developed by the Grameen Creative Lab, an organization founded and led

2020-01-15T07:55:12-06:00Tags: |

Faculty Spotlight: Investment, Not Charity, Will Alleviate Poverty in Appalachia

Christine Mahoney is optimistic about making changes in the world. Armed with this optimism, she has taken 15 University of Virginia students to Southwest Virginia as part of her January term course, “Impact Investing in Action: Appalachia,” to show them what strategic investment can achieve. A professor of politics and public policy at UVA’s Frank

2020-01-14T09:15:04-06:00Tags: |

Estimates of BPA in humans off by as much as 44X

Researchers have developed a more accurate method of measuring bisphenol A (BPA) levels in humans and found that exposure to the endocrine-disrupting chemical is far higher than previously assumed. The study, published in the journal The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology on Dec. 5, provides the first evidence that the measurements relied upon by regulatory agencies,

2020-01-12T06:55:01-06:00Tags: |

Short-term exposure to air pollution linked with hospital admissions

Hospitalizations for several common diseases—including septicemia (serious bloodstream infection), fluid and electrolyte disorders, renal failure, urinary tract infections, and skin and tissue infections—have been linked for the first time with short-term exposure to fine particulate air pollution (PM2.5), according to a comprehensive new study led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. In addition, the study found that

2020-01-08T13:26:16-06:00Tags: |

Geographers find tipping point in deforestation

University of Cincinnati geography researchers have identified a tipping point for deforestation that leads to rapid forest loss. Geography professor Tomasz Stepinski used high-resolution satellite images from the European Space Agency to study landscapes in 9-kilometer-wide blocks across every inch of the planet between 1992 and 2015. He found that deforestation occurs comparatively slowly in

2020-01-08T10:34:26-06:00Tags: |

Polluted wastewater in the forecast? Try a solar umbrella

Evaporation ponds, which are commonly used in many industries to manage wastewater, can span acres, occupying a large footprint and often posing risks to birds and other wildlife. Yet they're an economical way to deal with contaminated water because they take advantage of natural evaporation under sunlight to reduce large volumes of dirty water to

2020-01-08T10:30:57-06:00Tags: |

Climate signals detected in global weather

In October this year, weather researchers in Utah measured the lowest temperature ever recorded in the month of October in the US (excluding Alaska): -37.1°C. The previous low-temperature record for October was -35°C, and people wondered what had happened to climate change. Until now, climate researchers have responded that climate is not the same thing

2020-01-07T06:26:49-06:00Tags: |