Day: May 27, 2014

FDA data shows arsenic in rice, juice and beer

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

Data from the Food and Drug Administration has found arsenic levels in rice and rice products comparable to those found by Consumer Reports in its own investigation. And the FDA found another surprising source of arsenic: beer, which sometimes uses rice as an ingredient.

Google Doodle Honors Conservationist Rachel Louise Carson

Read the full story in Time.

The blue scene portrayed in Tuesday’s Google Doodle honors a very green woman.

To celebrate what would have been nature author and conservationist Rachel Louise Carson’s 107th birthday, Google put her in her natural habitat—surrounded by birds and sea creatures. Carson was born in 1907 and began her career as a marine biologist. She became a writer in the 50′s and her 1951 work, The Sea Around Us, won a National Book Award.

Rachel Carson Google Doodle

As Dairy Farms Grow Bigger, New Concerns About Pollution

Read the full story at Yale Environment 360.

Dairy operations in the U.S. are consolidating, with ever-larger numbers of cows concentrated on single farms. In states like Wisconsin, opposition to some large operations is growing after manure spills and improper handling of waste have contaminated waterways and aquifers.

 

Americans care deeply about ‘global warming’ – but not ‘climate change’

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Yale researchers have found that the two terms, often used interchangeably, generate very different responses.

The full report, What’s In A Name? Global Warming vs Climate Change, is available here.

More by this team

Roser-Renouf, Connie and Stenhouse, Neil and Rolfe-Redding, Justin and Maibach, Edward W. and Leiserowitz, Anthony, “Engaging Diverse Audiences with Climate Change: Message Strategies for Global Warming’s Six Americas” (March 17, 2014). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2410650 orhttp://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2410650.

Abstract: Global climate change – a threat of potentially unprecedented magnitude – is viewed from a variety of perspectives by Americans, with some dismissing the danger, some entirely unaware of its significance, and still others highly concerned and motivated to take action. Understanding the sources of these diverse perspectives is key to effective audience engagement: Messages that ignore the cultural and political underpinnings of people’s views on climate change are less likely to succeed.

In this chapter, we describe Global Warming’s Six Americas – six unique audience segments that view and respond to the issue in distinct ways. We describe the beliefs and characteristics of each group and discuss methods of effectively communicating with them in light of: (1) the pro- or counter-attitudinal nature of messages on the issue for each group; (2) their willingness to exert the cognitive effort necessary to process information on the issue; (3) their propensity for counter-arguing, motivated reasoning and message distortion; and (4) the communication content they say they most desire and, hence, would be most likely to process and accept.

In California, a real-world proving ground for energy-efficient buildings

Read the full story at Smart Planet.

FLEXlab, a new testing facility at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, uses science to ferret out the actual energy savings that energy-efficient building systems and designs are likely to return.

Scientists Found Microplastics in Arctic Sea Ice

Read the full post in NOAA’s Marine Debris Blog.

Arctic sea ice regularly makes the news because, well, it’s declining to record lows, but this month scientists discovered another alarming observation. According to a new study, microplastics were found frozen in the ice, and there are a lot of them.

Rachel Obbard, an engineering professor at Dartmouth, and her colleagues wrote in the journal Earth’s Future that, “Arctic sea ice from remote locations contains concentrations of microplastics at least two orders of magnitude greater than those that have been previously reported in highly contaminated surface waters, such as those of the Pacific Gyre.”