Day: August 22, 2019

Which city is most polluted? No one knows

Read the full story from Washington University St. Louis.

On any given day, a news story might list a city in India as “most polluted.” In another story, a city in China may have held the distinction. Then again, maybe Iran hosts the most polluted city in the world, as a recent news report indicated.

The truth, however, is that no one knows what city has the highest level of pollution…

In a paper recently published in Atmospheric Environment: X, Martin outlines the extent of the gap between what researchers know and don’t know about on-the-ground levels of fine particulate matter, also known as PM2.5.

Are shared e-scooters good for the planet? Only if they replace car trips

Read the full story at the Conversation.

Shared dockless electric scooters, or e-scooters, transport riders over short distances in cities. Ride share companies promote them as an environmentally friendly choice that reduces dependence on cars.

To properly assess these claims, it’s important to consider all relevant environmental factors, including the materials and energy required to manufacture scooters, the impacts of collecting them daily for charging and redistributing, and the electricity that charges their batteries.

I study methods for assessing environmental impacts of products and materials. In a newly published study, I show that e-scooter programs may have larger total environmental impacts than the transportation modes they displace. But if cities update their policies and mobility companies tweak some of their practices, there are opportunities to make e-scooters a greener option.

Unethical work must be filtered out or flagged

Read the full story in Nature.

Researchers need guidance on how to handle published work whose ethics have been questioned, argue Graeme D. Ruxton and Tom Mulder.

Great Lakes Water Life database documents biodiversity of Great Lakes native species

Read the full story from MSU Extension.

The biological diversity of the North American Great Lakes makes this set of interconnected freshwater ecosystems unique on a global scale. To document the wide variety of flora and fauna native to the Great Lakes, NOAA-GLERL has partnered with US EPA and the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network to launch the new Great Lakes Water Life database: a comprehensive, accessible inventory of aquatic species found throughout the region.

Great Lakes Water Life (GLWL) is designed to support environmental researchers and managers by hosting a broad range of ecological information and tools: identification guides for native species, records of rare or unfamiliar taxa, lists of expected species in a specific area, summaries of broad-scale biodiversity patterns, and more. This site is also available for public use to students, citizen scientists, and other Great Lakes residents who wish to learn about native species in their area — providing new opportunities for outreach and education online.

Two-year study by SIU researchers finds PCBs make minnows into bad dads

Read the full story from Southern Illinois University.

A mother’s nurturing of her offspring is a well-known story in the natural world. But when it comes to fish, it’s dad who is often tasked with the care of young ones.

One legacy of a once popular industrial chemical, however, appears to include a negative effect on this instinct in a certain fish species, according to a meticulous and time-consuming study by researchers at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Their findings, recently published in the American Chemical Society’s Environmental Science & Technology journal, found that lifelong exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) led to decreased nurturing behavior by male fathead minnows and lower survival rates of their offspring.

Meet The Company Turning Old Milk Into Sustainable Clothing

Read the full story in Forbes.

Reducing waste, recycling resources and promoting conservation are three of the major pillars of any sustainable business model. In recent years, environmentally-conscious companies have found innovative ways of recycling waste and creating new products. Mi Terro, a startup based in Los Angeles, aims to draw attention to the amount of waste produced in the dairy industry by creating sustainable fabrics from unused milk. The company sources excess milk from a dairy farm in China before processing it and turning milk into fibers capable of being used in durable, lightweight clothing .

Massachusetts looks to follow California with solar mandate for new homes

Read the full story from the Energy News Network.

A pair of bills would require solar panels on new buildings but include exemptions for shaded or nonviable properties.

As brand purpose becomes mainstream, some brands choose to go the other away

Read the full story in Modern Retail.

There’s a lot of noise right now around social and corporate responsibility. To differentiate themselves, some mission-led brands are choosing an innovative tactic: Being quiet.

Amazon fires could accelerate global warming and cause lasting harm to a cradle of biodiversity

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

Huge tracts of the Amazon, which serves as the lungs of the planet by taking in carbon dioxide, storing it in soils and producing oxygen, are ablaze. Smoke from the widespread fires have turned day into night in Sao Paulo, and intensified a controversy over the Brazilian government’s land use policies.

Long-Term Macroeconomic Effects of Climate Change: A Cross-Country Analysis

Download the document.

We study the long-term impact of climate change on economic activity across countries, using a stochastic growth model where labour productivity is affected by country-specific climate variables—defined as deviations of temperature and precipitation from their historical norms. Using a panel data set of 174 countries over the years 1960 to 2014, we find that per-capita real output growth is adversely affected by persistent changes in the temperature above or below its historical norm, but we do not obtain any statistically significant effects for changes in precipitation. Our counterfactual analysis suggests that a persistent increase in average global temperature by 0.04°C per year, in the absence of mitigation policies, reduces world real GDP per capita by 7.22 percent by 2100. On the other hand, abiding by the Paris Agreement, thereby limiting the temperature increase to 0.01°C per annum, reduces the loss substantially to 1.07 percent. These effects vary significantly across countries. We also provide supplementary evidence using data on a sample of 48 U.S. states between 1963 and 2016, and show that climate change has a long-lasting adverse impact on real output in various states and economic sectors, and on labor productivity and employment.

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