Month: September 2019

Microplastics may affect how Arctic sea ice forms and melts

Read the full story in The Conversation.

Plastic pollution in the oceans has become an important societal problem, as plastics are the most common and persistent pollutants in oceans and beaches worldwide. In the common imagination, plastic waste is often associated with bottles drifting in the ocean, fishing gear washing up on beaches or plastic bags that turtles mistake for jellyfish and eat.

But those larger particles are just the tip of the iceberg. Smaller particles are also an important part of the problem. Plastic particles smaller than five millimetres are called microplastics. They may originate from deliberate design (such as cleaning agents or personal care products), breakdown of larger pieces of plastic or microfibers from textiles.

The impact of microplastics on the environment and human health is still being studied.

The new language of climate change: Trillions

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

It didn’t seem that long ago that it was all about billions — billions of dollars of climate investments, billions of tons of carbon reductions and billions in new market opportunities. Billions of assets under management being screened for climate risk. All to stem billions more in environmental damage, GDP loss, natural capital savings and ecosystems decline. And probably a billion other things.

That was so last year.

Bye-bye, billions. It’s time for trillions to seize center stage.

States Aim to Boost Safe Passage for Wildlife While Improving Motorist Safety

Read the full story from Pew.

Science and technology are providing important insights into how wildlife moves across Western landscapes, and state policymakers are beginning to act on this information in ways that will help conserve critical wildlife migrations and improve motorist safety on America’s increasingly busy roads and highways.  The federal government plays a big role in managing wildlife habitat on public lands and funds many transportation projects through the Highway Trust Fund, but states have management responsibility over wildlife and most highways.  To conserve wildlife corridors while reducing wildlife-vehicle collisions in the West, state and local governments need to take the lead on these issues and guide their agencies to effectively link science with policy.   

Fortunately, this is beginning to happen.  From Montana to New Mexico, states are identifying hot spots where collisions occur and linking those areas with the larger habitat conservation needs on either side of the road. 

Norway is paying $150 million to Gabon to protect its forests

Read the full story in Fast Company.

Instead of restoration projects, Gabon has a chance to save its largely intact rain forest. Norway is stepping in to help.

Lighting the path to renewable energy

Read the full story from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University.

Solar power offers a promising, renewable alternative to fossil fuels. But solar power production is complicated and influenced by ever-changing factors like cloud coverage, the time of day, and even dust particles in the air.

Professor Mahesh Bandi of Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) has co-developed a novel, standardized way of quantifying and comparing these variations in solar power. His new study, published in Physical Review Applied, may help guide the development and performance of solar photovoltaic farms — systems that harness the sun’s energy and convert it to electricity.

Excess Food Opportunities Map Webinar

Wednesday, October 16, 2019 2:00:00 PM CDT – 3:00:00 PM CDT
Register here.

The U.S. EPA Excess Food Opportunities Map supports nationwide diversion of excess food from landfills. The interactive map identifies and displays facility-specific information about potential generators and recipients of excess food in the industrial, commercial and institutional sectors and also provides estimates of excess food by generator type.

This webinar will provide an overview of the map and ways to use it to reduce food waste.

Investments to address climate change are good business

Read the full story from the University of East Anglia.

New research suggests that over the next few decades, acting to reduce climate change is expected to cost much less than the damage otherwise inflicted by climate change on people, infrastructure and ecosystems.

A journal club to fix science

Read the full story in Nature.

ReproducibiliTea can build up open science without top-down initiatives, says Amy Orben.

Air pollution map goes global, with more localised detail, and covering more pollutants

Read the full story at Envirotec.

Air quality expert EarthSense has announced a new release of its MappAir® high-resolution map of air pollution, with powerful new features and improved scalability from global down to 10 metres or street level.

Architects should give up concrete say experts at Architecture of Emergency climate summit

Read the full story at Dezeen.

Experts and activists at the Architecture of Emergency climate summit in London have called upon architects to fight climate change by ditching concrete.

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