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Vulnerabilities to Global Warming

Wed, 21 May 2014 14:40:41 +00002014-05-21T14:40:41Z


The IPCC working group responsible for evaluating society's vulnerability to climate change has released its section of the Fifth Assessment Report. The first article in this series examines the working group's findings about food security. The second one reviews what the IPCC identified as urban vulnerabilities to climate change. Finally, a look at the 9 cities most at risk from flooding associated with climate change (and the most resilient, too). (Photo: DTL/morgueFile)

Landscapes, Slow Turtles, and Roads

Fri, 16 May 2014 11:35:33 +00002014-05-16T11:35:33Z


I suggested earlier than one of the top environmental issues is the way in which we use land. One resulting pattern is widespread landscape fragmentation. I explain what fragmentation is in a new article here. Another very visible element of modern landscapes is our sprawling road network. In two new articles you can read about road ecology, and about roadkill. (Photo: A road cuts through boreal forest. Credit: dyet/

Science: Participate!

Thu, 15 May 2014 14:14:50 +00002014-05-15T14:14:50Z


Nowadays, opportunities for amateurs to contribute to science abound. Learn more about citizen science.

(Photo: Black-throated Blue Warbler. USFWS)

Invasive Species Are Here to Eat Your Lunch

Mon, 28 Apr 2014 21:00:03 +00002014-04-28T21:00:03Z


Invasive species are viewed by some conservation scientists as a more immediate and severe threat to our environment than even global warming. The variety of ecosystems they infiltrate and the range of problems they cause is so vast that they are extremely complicated to manage. Learn more about what invasive species are, where they come from, what consequences they have, and how we can control them. It's an interesting problem that integrates ecology, global trade, and economics. (Photo: USDA)

New Clearinghouse for Federal Climate Change Data

Fri, 21 Mar 2014 20:28:19 +00002014-03-21T20:28:19Z

On March 19, 2014 the White House announced the creation of a climate change data center. Driven by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA, the new site will bring together data that had been scattered across several federal agencies. It should allow easier access to data for researchers, communities, and other stakeholders with an interest in adapting to climate change.


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Fukushima Disaster: Radioactive Tuna?

Thu, 20 Feb 2014 12:57:09 +00002014-02-20T12:57:09Z

On March 11, 2011 a magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck Japan, generating a large tsunami which hit the eastern shore of the country. This tsunami led to massive loss of life and infrastructure destruction. But perhaps most lasting will be the damage it inflicted on the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, releasing large amounts of radioactive material in the air and into the Pacific Ocean. Over the following months, concerns arose across the Pacific about large quantities of floating debris reaching the coasts of Canada and the United States. There are fears that a plume of radioactive particles is to follow. Worries ratcheted up when it was first reported that migratory tuna were being caught in southern California waters bearing radioactivity picked up off the coasts of Asia. Bluefin tunas caught through sport fishing (not for commercial resale) were tested and shown to contain radioactive cesium originating from the Fukushima disaster. A study published in 2013 evaluated the risks these radioisotopes pose to humans who consume migratory Bluefin tuna containing cesium. The results are reassuring. The amount of radiation one would be exposed to is less than (or close to) the dose obtained from radioisotopes found naturally in food or from routine medical treatments and air travel. This gives consumer a green light of sorts, but it doesn't relieve them from the responsibility of making sustainable seafood choices. Source Fisher, N.S. et al. 2013. Evaluation of Radiation Doses and Associated Risk from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident to Marine Biota and Human Consumers of Seafood. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1221834110.[...]

Clean Energy at the Heart of Obama Economic Strategy

Sat, 11 Feb 2012 23:58:41 +00002012-02-11T23:58:41Z

In terms of the economy, President Barack Obama was dealt a tough hand even before he took the oath of office--and he's been trying to figure out the best way to play those cards ever since.


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Have Environmental Concerns Changed Your Eating Habits?

Mon, 30 Jan 2012 05:08:58 +00002012-01-30T05:08:58Z

If you're concerned about specific environmental issues, you're probably trying to do something about them. Some of those actions may extend to what you put on your dinner plate.

See how other readers of this website are changing their diets and eating habits to address their environmental concerns and reflect their environmental commitment--and join the discussion.

Who Created the EPA Seal?

Sat, 28 Jan 2012 05:04:52 +00002012-01-28T05:04:52Z

You've seen it a hundred times and probably never given it a second thought -- the offical seal of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Follow the link to see the seal again and to find out how it came to be.

How Much Radiation is Safe?

Fri, 27 Jan 2012 04:55:19 +00002012-01-27T04:55:19Z

Every time we are exposed to radiation, whether from a medical X-ray or a nuclear accident, government officials quickly reassure us that the amount of radiation we are likely to receive is perfectly safe.


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