Pipe: Climate and Health

Study of vehicle emissons will aid urban sustainability efforts

Mon, 2015-04-06 15:29
Researchers have created DARTE (Database of Road Transportation Emissions), a new U.S. nationwide data inventory that can help to provide this crucial information.

Workplace wellness has a long way to go

Mon, 2015-04-06 08:01
Leadership is lacking in bid to boost employee health

Washington Governor Puts Focus on Climate Goals, and Less on Debate

Sun, 2015-04-05 00:00
Working quietly, Gov. Jay Inslee is promoting an unusual plan to levy fees on carbon emissions and use the money for education and transportation.

New evidence shows carbon's importance to ocean life's survival 252 million years ago

Fri, 2015-04-03 23:37
A new study shows for the first time how carbon offered a mode of survival for some ocean life after one of the greatest mass extinctions in the history of Earth.

[Perspective] Defining the epoch we live in

Thu, 2015-04-02 20:00
Human alterations of Earth's environments are pervasive. Visible changes include the built environment, conversion of forests and grasslands to agriculture, algal blooms, smog, and the siltation of dams and estuaries. Less obvious transformations include increases in ozone, carbon dioxide (CO2), and methane (CH4) in the atmosphere, and ocean acidification. Motivated by the pervasiveness of these alterations, Crutzen and Stoermer argued in 2000 that we live in the “Anthropocene,” a time in which humans have replaced nature as the dominant environmental force on Earth (1). Many of these wide-ranging changes first emerged during the past 200 years and accelerated rapidly in the 20th century (2). Yet, a focus on the most recent changes risks overlooking pervasive human transformations of Earth's surface for thousands of years, with profound effects on the atmosphere, climate, and biodiversity. Authors: William F. Ruddiman, Erle C. Ellis, Jed O. Kaplan, Dorian Q. Fuller

California Drought Is Worsened by Global Warming, Scientists Say

Thu, 2015-04-02 00:00
Scientists say that the warming trend makes it highly likely that California and other parts of the Western United States will see more severe droughts in the future.

Global climate talks: A stumbling first step

Wed, 2015-04-01 12:25
UK Only Article:&nbsp; standard article Fly Title:&nbsp; Global climate talks Rubric:&nbsp; As countries prepare for critical negotiations later this year, early proposals disappoint Main image:&nbsp; 20150404_blp906.jpg THE first few days of April were supposed to be a period of reflection, when you could to look at countries' environmental promises and assess what progress—if any—had been made towards signing a global climate treaty in Paris in December. That agreement is to be based on INDCs, or “intended nationally determined contributions”—ie, aims and policies that countries promise to abide by after 2020. Countries were asked to announce these contributions by March 31st, making it easier to draft and debate a treaty by the end of the year. Needless to say, most haven’t. Only 34 of the 196 countries that are taking part in the Paris talks actually unveiled their plans by the deadline. They account for just under a third of all greenhouse-gas emissions but include two of the biggest and most important polluters: the United States, which promised to cut emissions 26-28% by 2025 ...<div class="og_rss_groups"></div>

Obama’s Strategy on Climate Change, Part of Global Deal, Is Revealed

Wed, 2015-04-01 00:00
The president’s plan, likely to draw opposition from Republicans, would cut greenhouse gas emissions in the United States 26 to 28 percent by 2025.

Soil organic matter susceptible to climate change

Tue, 2015-03-31 14:52
Soil organic matter, long thought to be a semi-permanent storehouse for ancient carbon, may be much more vulnerable to climate change than previously thought. Scientists have found that the common root secretion, oxalic acid, can promote soil carbon loss by an unconventional mechanism -- freeing organic compounds from protective associations with minerals.

Bacteria play an important role in long term storage of carbon in the ocean

Tue, 2015-03-31 12:16
The ocean is a large reservoir of dissolved organic molecules, and many of these molecules are stable against microbial utilization for hundreds to thousands of years. They contain a similar amount of carbon as compared to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Researchers found answers to questions about the origin of these persistent molecules in a recent study.

Climate Change Threatens to Kill Off More Aspen Forests by 2050s, Scientists Say

Tue, 2015-03-31 00:00
Scientists warned that the aspen forests could be doomed if emissions of greenhouse gases continue at a high level, adding to other studies that suggest the global effect of climate change.

Phytoplankton Is on Decline in Southern Ocean

Tue, 2015-03-31 00:00
Climate change may be a possible cause, researchers reported in Geophysical Research Letters.

Good luck and the Chinese reverse global forest loss

Mon, 2015-03-30 12:23
Analysis of 20 years of satellite data has revealed the total amount of vegetation globally has increased by almost 4 billion tons of carbon since 2003. This is despite ongoing large-scale deforestation in the tropics.

Diverse sources of methane in shallow Arctic lakes discovered

Mon, 2015-03-30 09:53
New research into the changing ecology of thousands of shallow lakes on the North Slope of Alaska suggests that in scenarios of increasing global temperatures, methane-generating microbes, found in thawing lake sediments, may ramp up production of the potent greenhouse gas -- which has a global warming potential 25 times greater than carbon dioxide.

An &#8216;Ask Me Anything&#8217; Chat on Climate Science and Coverage

Sun, 2015-03-29 11:12
A veteran climate scientist and a longtime climate journalist interview each other about three decades of work making sense of global warming.

How Idealism, Expressed in Concrete Steps, Can Fight Climate Change

Sun, 2015-03-29 00:00
Where global warming conferences and protocols have largely failed, economics and motivation might solve a seemingly intractable problem.

Environmental law: Coal states v Uncle Sam

Thu, 2015-03-26 11:47
UK Only Article:&nbsp; standard article Issue:&nbsp; The world is going to university Fly Title:&nbsp; Environmental law Rubric:&nbsp; Who rules the air? Location:&nbsp; NEW YORK CONGRESS passed the Clean Air Act to reduce harmful air pollution. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issues regulations to enforce that law. But 21 states are asking the Supreme Court to rule that the EPA has overstepped its authority. The case of Michigan v EPA, which was argued on March 25th, concerns the agency’s plan to regulate mercury, arsenic and other toxins emitted by power plants. Both sides agree that the new rule would cost about $9.6 billion a year to implement. The EPA estimates that reduced mercury emissions would bring health benefits of up to $6m a year—a tiny sum it reached only after assuming that lots of pregnant “women in subsistence fishing populations” will eat vast amounts of mercury-tainted fish and thereby reduce their children’s IQs by an undetectable 0.002 points each. If that were all, the rule would clearly be a ...<div class="og_rss_groups"></div>

Desalination with nanoporous graphene membrane

Wed, 2015-03-25 21:03
Desalination is an energy-intensive process, which concerns those wanting to expand its application. Now, a team of experimentalists has demonstrated an energy-efficient desalination technology that uses a porous membrane made of strong, slim graphene—a carbon honeycomb one atom thick.

Under the influence

Wed, 2015-03-25 16:18

IT MIGHT sound strange to suggest that flu is, in any sense, a hereditary illness. Classic inherited diseases, such as sickle-cell anaemia and cystic fibrosis, are caused by broken genes that come from a sufferer’s parents. Flu is caused by a virus.

A paper published in this week’s Science by Jean-Laurent Casanova of the Necker Hospital for Sick Children, in Paris, shows, though, how categories can get blurred—and emphasises the point that, however much people might like to classify things biological into the neat bins of “genes” and “environment”, nature is not so obliging. In all but the rarest of circumstances, both are involved.

The case Dr Casanova reports is of a then-two-year-old girl admitted to the Necker in 2011 with severe flu. He was one of the girl’s doctors, and her symptoms were so extreme (technically, they constituted what is known as acute respiratory distress syndrome, or ARDS), that he suspected there might be something unusual about her. He therefore sequenced her genome and, in so doing, discovered she had two broken copies (one from each parent) of the gene encoding a protein called interferon regulatory factor 7.

This protein, as its name suggests, stimulates production of interferon, an antiviral molecule. Absence of interferon made the cells lining the girl’s respiratory tract more vulnerable to...

Shell-shocked: Ocean acidification likely hampers tiny shell builders in Southern Ocean

Wed, 2015-03-25 13:51
A ubiquitous type of phytoplankton -- tiny organisms that are the base of the marine food web -- appears to be suffering from the effects of ocean acidification caused by climate change. According to authors of a new study, the single-celled organism under study is a type of "calcifying" plankton called a coccolithophore, which makes energy from sunlight and builds microscopic calcium carbonate shells, or plates, to produce a chalky suit of armor.