environment

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Growth is not enough

This op-ed was originally published in Project Syndicate.

Following the steep economic downturns brought about by COVID-19, policymakers should be asking or rethinking fundamental questions. None is more fundamental than whether rapid economic growth is the best way to drive development and help struggling communities escape poverty.

For good reason, economic growth has long been

The Importance of Environmental Practices in Poverty Alleviation

Alleviating poverty is a worthy endeavor pursued by many organizations. However, studies show that in some cases there are unintended negative impacts upon the environment. The goal to alleviate poverty without environmental damage can be challenging.

For example, an organization might teach improved farming techniques and assume that if followed the effects will be positive. However,

2020-09-17T08:47:00-05:00Tags: |

Potentially fatal combinations of humidity and heat

Most everyone knows that humid heat is harder to handle than the “dry” kind. And recently, some scientists have projected that later in the century, in parts of the tropics and subtropics, warming climate could cause combined heat and humidity to reach levels rarely if ever experienced before by humans. Such conditions would ravage economies,

2020-05-15T17:08:31-05:00Tags: |

What the biggest collapse in air pollution levels actually looks like

As countries begin to emerge from lockdowns, the full impact of coronavirus containment measures on the environment is becoming clear – including 11,000 fewer deaths from air pollution in Europe alone.

With more than half of the world’s population under lockdown in late April, emissions from road and air traffic plummeted. Reduced energy demand more generally

2020-05-14T14:53:27-05:00Tags: |

COVID-19 lockdowns significantly impacting global air quality

Levels of two major air pollutants have been drastically reduced since lockdowns began in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but a secondary pollutant — ground-level ozone — has increased in China, according to new research.

Two new studies in AGU’s journal Geophysical Research Letters find nitrogen dioxide pollution over northern China, Western Europe and the U.S.

2020-05-12T09:22:19-05:00Tags: |

Human-driven pollution alters the environment even underground

The Monte Conca cave system on the island of Sicily is a vast system of springs and pools, sitting below a nature preserve. It might be presumed to be one of the few places untouched by human-driven pollution.

But new research published by a USF microbiology and geoscience team has found that even below ground, the

2020-05-11T09:16:00-05:00Tags: |

Winter warm spells see an increase in UK temperature records

Warm winter spells have increased in frequency and duration two- to three times over since 1878, according to scientists led by the University of Warwick.

In a new analysis of historical daily temperature data published in the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, scientists from the Department of Physics at the University of Warwick, the British

2020-05-07T09:09:50-05:00Tags: |

Wetter climate is likely to intensify global warming

A study in the May 6th issue of Nature indicates the increase in rainfall forecast by global climate models is likely to hasten the release of carbon dioxide from tropical soils, further intensifying global warming by adding to human emissions of this greenhouse gas into Earth’s atmosphere.

Based on analysis of sediments cored from the submarine

2020-05-07T09:04:52-05:00Tags: |

Climate change has been influencing where tropical cyclones rage

While the global average number of tropical cyclones each year has not budged from 86 over the last four decades, climate change has been influencing the locations of where these deadly storms occur, according to new NOAA-led research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

New research indicates that the number of tropical cyclones

2020-05-05T11:04:20-05:00Tags: |

Intensive farming increases risk of epidemics

Overuse of antibiotics, high animal numbers and low genetic diversity caused by intensive farming techniques increase the likelihood of pathogens becoming a major public health risk, according to new research led by UK scientists.

An international team of researchers led by the Universities of Bath and Sheffield, investigated the evolution of Campylobacter jejuni, a bacterium carried

2020-05-05T10:59:46-05:00Tags: |

Scientists find highest ever level of microplastics on seafloor

Over 10 million tons of plastic waste enters the oceans each year. Floating plastic waste at sea has caught the public’s interest thanks to the ‘Blue Planet Effect’ seeing moves to discourage the use of plastic drinking straws and carrier bags. Yet such accumulations account for less than 1% of the plastic that enters the

2020-05-05T10:48:59-05:00Tags: |

Clean air in Europe during lockdown ‘leads to 11,000 fewer deaths’

The measures to combat the coronavirus have led to an approximately 40% reduction in average level of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution and 10% reduction in average level of particulate matter pollution over the past 30 days, resulting in 11,000 avoided deaths from air pollution (95% confidence interval: 7,000 – 21,000). This effect comes as power

2020-04-30T16:16:16-05:00Tags: |

NASA Probes Environment, COVID-19 Impacts, Possible Links

Scientists are using information from NASA’s Earth-observing satellites, on-the-ground sensors and computer-based datasets to study the environmental, economic and societal impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the agency’s Earth Science Division recently sponsored new projects to examine how the shutdowns in response to the pandemic are changing the environment, especially the atmosphere, and determine

2020-04-30T16:09:10-05:00Tags: |

Spotting air pollution with satellites, better than ever before

Researchers from Duke University have devised a method for estimating the air quality over a small patch of land using nothing but satellite imagery and weather conditions. Such information could help researchers identify hidden hotspots of dangerous pollution, greatly improve studies of pollution on human health, or potentially tease out the effects of

2020-04-28T09:08:21-05:00Tags: |

Land dwelling insects decline 24% over 30 years

A worldwide compilation of long-term insect abundance studies shows that the number of land-dwelling insects is in decline. On average, there is a global decrease of 0.92% per year, which translates to approximately 24% over 30 years. At the same time, the number of insects living in freshwater, such as midges and mayflies, has increased

2020-04-25T16:22:09-05:00Tags: |

Researchers to explore perennial grains with $1.77M grant

A Cornell researcher is part of a multi-institution team helping upstate New York organic farmers grow and increase profitability of perennial grain crops, which can be planted once and will yield grain for multiple years.

The crops’ environmental benefits have led to commercial interest in using these grains in breads, cereals, beer and even whiskey.

Perennial grains

2020-04-23T12:39:47-05:00Tags: |