Home » Posts tagged with » Natural Resources (Page 2)
The potential risks of genetically modified fish escaping into the wild have been highlighted in a new study. The hybrid fish that resulted from the study out-compete both GM salmon and wild salmon. The study highlights the potential ecological consequences of genetically modified fish getting into the wild.
Food waste in America is a problem that has grown by 50 percent since the 1970s. Today, as much as 40 percent of food produced in America is thrown away. Decomposing food releases methane, a greenhouse gas that is more than 20 times as effective at trapping atmospheric heat than carbon.
A team of genetic engineers reports it has developed an inexpensive process that uses fungus to convert raw materials such as straw and sawdust into a productive biofuel. The previous process was prohibitively expensive since the molecular switch required stimulation from a pure substance worth 60 times more than gold.
The combination of a strong, rising China and economic stagnation in Europe and America is making the West increasingly uncomfortable. By buying companies, exploiting natural resources, building infrastructure and giving loans all over the world, China is pursuing a soft but unstoppable form of economic domination.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is the U.S. Department of Energy’s primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. NREL develops technologies and practices, advances science and engineering, and transfers knowledge and innovations to address the nation’s energy and environmental goals.
James Gustave “Gus” Speth joined the faculty at Vermont Law School in 2010. Throughout his career, Professor Speth has provided leadership and entrepreneurial initiatives to many task forces and committees whose roles have been to combat environmental degradation. He is the author, co-author or editor of books, including “The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability”.
Hoping to give new meaning to the term “natural light,” a small group of biotechnology hobbyists and entrepreneurs has started a project to develop plants that glow, potentially leading the way for trees that can replace electric streetlamps and potted flowers luminous enough to read by. They have attracted more than $250,000 in pledges in about two weeks on the Web site Kickstarter.
The GEF IW:Science Synthesis Report, brings together the findings and efforts of the IW System Type Working Groups (Groundwater, Lakes, Rivers, Land-based Pollution Sources and, Large Marine Ecosystems and the Open Ocean). This report provides a global perspective on the state of challenges and pressures facing transboundary water systems, both freshwater and marine.
Climate change has been a key factor in the rise and fall of societies and states from prehistory to the recent fighting in the Sudanese state of Darfur. The ways in which cultures have met the climate challenge provide object lessons for how the modern world can handle the new security threats posed by unprecedented global warming.
Scientists estimate that the average acidity of surface ocean waters worldwide is now about 30% higher than before the Industrial Revolution. The researchers forecast major changes in the marine ecosystem, but say there is huge uncertainty over what those changes will be.
Cheap shale gas is translating into cheap electricity. Economists at Citigroup and UBS predict that the shale gale will lift America’s GDP growth by half a percentage point a year for the next few years. Indeed, cheap energy is cited as one factor by those who predict a manufacturing renaissance in America.
Some carmakers try harder than others to be green. Besides making their models cleaner to run, many carmakers are also trying to reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing them. Having been depicted as environmental villains since the 1950s, cars and their makers may soon be able to move out of the spotlight.
Over decades California’s green rules have inspired other states and the federal government to follow. Older rules focused on conservation, newer ones focus on investment, new technologies and development projects.
To run his coal trains, Buffet needs to seize land from a bunch of Montana cowboys. The coal industry will ignore global warming. But a federal agency charged with weighing the environmental consequences of a coal-carrying railroad should do better. So should America’s most admired investor.
Without nitrogen, the machinery of photosynthesis cannot function. Corn, wheat, and rice, the crops on which humanity depends for survival, are among the most nitrogen hungry of all plants. Yet, runaway nitrogen is suffocating wildlife in lakes and estuaries, contaminating groundwater, and even warming the globe’s climate.
A line of Mini Coopers, each attached to the regional power grid by a thick cable plugged in where a gasoline filler pipe used to be, no longer just draws energy. The power now flows two ways between the cars and the electric grid, as the cars inject and suck power in tiny jolts, and get paid for it.
The solar era has begun: the industry is booming, prices are dropping, and solar energy at last seems poised to help topple the climate-altering dominance of fossil fuels. But bringing it to the masses won’t be as simple as just soaking up the sun. Electric companies and solar developers are watching Hawaii.
Many of the scaffolds that have already been commercialised for wound repair, bone grafts and surgical aids are comparatively simple. Moving to the next generation of scaffolds for the delivery of drugs, cells and eventually genes will require extensive safety testing and lengthy clinical trials.
The notion of bringing extinct species back to life has hovered at the boundary between reality and science fiction for more than two decades. De-extinction is now within reach. The species theoretically capable of being revived all disappeared while humanity was rapidly climbing toward world domination.
Mr Obama named the officials charged with fulfilling his climate policy: Gina McCarthy, his choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency, and Ernest Moniz, the prospective new secretary of energy. Their selection suggests that Mr Obama is indeed serious about tackling climate change, but not doctrinaire in his approach.
The World Resources Institute focuses on the intersection of the environment and socio-economic development. We go beyond research to put ideas into action, working globally with governments, business, and civil society to build transformative solutions that protect the earth and improve people’s lives.
The IISS believes climate change could have a serious effect on regional and global stability. Its Climate Change and Security Programme explores how global warming may affect disputes over territory, water and other resources, or could otherwise threaten peace and stability, and considers international mechanisms for producing the best solutions for climate security.
All kinds of renewables will be used in the DESERTEC Concept, in centralized and decentralized solutions alike, but the sun-rich deserts of the world play a central role: within six hours deserts receive more energy from the sun than humankind consumes within a year. 90 percent of the world’s population lives within 3,000 km of deserts.
Venom is nature’s most efficient killer, but top medicines for heart disease and diabetes have been derived from venom. New treatments for autoimmune diseases, cancer, and pain could be available within a decade. There could be upwards of 20 million venom toxins waiting to be screened. Venom has opened up whole new avenues of pharmacology.
The International Renewable Energy Agency is an intergovernmental organisation that supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future, and serves as the principal platform for international cooperation, and a repository of policy, technology, resource and financial knowledge on renewable energy.
TYRES are remarkable pieces of engineering. They contain rubber-like polymers, layers of steel braiding and textile reinforcements, all of which improve performance and cut fuel consumption. Now Pirelli is manufacturing fuel-saving tyres that are greener still by extracting one of their ingredients from rice husks.
If EU policies work as intended, electricity from renewables will gradually take a larger share of overall generation. But at the moment, EU energy policy is boosting usage of the most polluting fuel, increasing carbon emissions, damaging the creditworthiness of utilities and diverting investment into energy projects elsewhere.
Chicago claims to have the densest network of charging stations for electric vehicles, and to be home to more wind-farm companies than any city in America. The state is spending up to $3.2 billion on modernising the electrical grid in Illinois. It has also put aside $72.5m to invest in new smart-grid technology.
Russia has coasted on an oil legacy inherited from Soviet days. Much of the oil still in the ground will be more difficult and costly to find and produce. As expenses go up, profit margins will decline. At the same time, the oil industry will have to spend more of its remaining profits on its own renewal.
Far beneath the ground, Yasuní, Ecuador, harbors a treasure that poses an urgent challenge to the precious web of life on the surface: hundreds of millions of barrels of untapped Amazon crude. President Rafael Correa has offered to leave indefinitely untouched an estimated 850 million barrels of oil, but the international response to the initiative has been tepid.
By venting methane into the atmosphere, the lakes are amplifying the global warming that created them: Methane is a potent greenhouse gas. Carbon dioxide is the main one, because the atmosphere holds 200 times as much of it. But a given amount of methane traps at least 25 times as much heat…
For most of the past several millennia, Flevoland, a province which sits more or less at the center of the Netherlands, lay at the bottom of an inlet of the North Sea. Now, Flevoland is home to the Oostvaardersplassen, a wilderness that was also constructed, Genesis-like, from the mud.
Rewilding Europe is a conservation vision for Europe, with wild nature and natural processes as key elements, where rewilding is applicable to any type of landscape or level of protection. It is an initiative by WWF Netherlands, ARK Nature, Wild Wonders of Europe and Conservation Capital.
Industrial ecology (IE) is the study of material and energy flows through industrial systems. It is concerned with the shifting of industrial process from linear (open loop) systems, in which resource and capital investments move through the system to become waste, to a closed loop system where wastes can become inputs for new processes.
RealClimate is a commentary site on climate science by working climate scientists for the interested public and journalists. Real Climate aims to provide a quick response to developing stories and provide the context sometimes missing in mainstream commentary.
The Global Environment Facility unites 182 countries in partnership with international institutions, civil society organizations (CSOs), and the private sector to address global environmental issues while supporting national sustainable development initiatives.
TRAFFIC is a wildlife trade monitoring network that works to ensure that trade in wild plants and animals does not threaten the conservation of nature. TRAFFIC is a global research-driven and action-oriented network committed to delivering innovative and practical conservation solutions.
The Pew Charitable Trusts is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today’s most challenging problems. The environment group works to strengthen environmental policies and practices in ways that protect terrestrial and marine systems worldwide.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature focuses on conserving biodiversity. IUCN demonstrates how biodiversity is fundamental to some of the world’s greatest challenges: climate change, sustainable energy, human well-being and building a green economy.
The objective of the UNEP-led Green Economy Initiative is to provide the analysis and policy support, through components including the Green Economy Report, advisory services, and research, for investing in green sectors and in greening environmental unfriendly sectors.
The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity is an international initiative to draw attention to the economic benefits of biodiversity, the costs of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation, and to draw together expertise from science, economics and policy to enable practical actions moving forward.
Pavan Sukhdev is McCluskey Fellow at Yale University. Building on 25 years of financial markets experience, his work is focused in showing how corporations and society can and should work together to achieve common goals and build a green economy.
Sir Martin Rees is the UK’s Astronomer Royal, Master of Trinity College, and Emeritus Prof. of Cosmology and Astrophysics at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of the book: Our Final Hour: How Terror, Error, and Environmental Disaster Threaten Humankind’s Future In This Century.
Biologist Edward O. Wilson is University Research Professor Emeritus at Harvard University, and author of the books: The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth; The Future of Life; and The Diversity of Life, which describes how man is in the process of causing the “sixth extinction”.
Focusing on education, public policy, and corporate responsibility, the Biomimicry Institute promotes the study and imitation of nature’s remarkably efficient designs, bringing together scientists, engineers, architects and innovators who can use those models to create sustainable technologies.
The OECD’s environmental research covers topics such as: Biodiversity, Water, and Natural Resource Management; Climate Change; Consumption and Innovation; and Sustainable Development. OECD works on ecosystem services valuation, and creation of economic incentives and markets…
Over the last 10 years, Trucost has researched, standardised and validated the world’s most comprehensive data on corporate environmental impacts, including carbon, water, waste and pollutants. Trucost helps its clients understand the true cost of business.
Established in 1888, the National Geographic Society is one of the largest non-profit scientific and educational institutions in the world. Its interests include geography, archaeology and natural science, the promotion of environmental and historical conservation.
Established in 1892, the Sierra Club is the most influential grassroots environmental organization in the US. It has developed a set of initiatives that will help cut emissions, create clean economy, and protect our natural heritage, communities, and country from the consequences of climate change.
Since 1863, the National Academy of Sciences has provided advice on the scientific and technological issues that frequently affect policy decisions. National Research Council reports have led to some of the most significant and lasting improvements in the health, education, and welfare of all Americans.
For 50 years, WWF has been protecting the future of nature. WWF’s unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level from local to global, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature.
The Smithsonian Institution is home to nine research centers and numerous research programs. The Smithsonian Magazine runs several micro-sites through its “EcoCenter” at its Science & Nature page pertaining to Air, Energy, Greener Living, Land, and Oceans.
The Government Accountability Office provides public access to its wide-ranging research related to Natural Resources and Environment. Covered topics include Mining, Oil and Gas Production, Energy Conservation, Health Risk Assessments, and Federal Land Management.
The Government Accountability Office provides public access to its wide-ranging research related to Energy. Covered topics include nuclear regulation, energy conservation and climate change, renewable energy, oil and gas, defense infrastructure, biofuels, and energy policy.
The Congressional Budget Office analyzes proposed policies for limiting damage resulting from pollution that affects the atmosphere, land, and water resources. Of particular concern are the increasingly large quantities of greenhouse gases that are being emitted as a result of human activities.