240-year-old nautical maps show coral loss is much worse than we knew

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

Between 1773 and 1775, George Gauld, a surveyor with the British Admiralty, immortalized the coast of the Florida Keys in ink. Though his most pressing goal was to record the depth of the sea — to prevent future shipwrecks — Gauld embraced his naturalist side, too. He sprinkled his maps with miscellany that later charts would omit: where sea turtles made their nests, or the colors and consistency of sand.

Gauld also took note of the corals he saw. And in doing so he created the oldest known records of Florida reefs.

“With the early charts you can actually see the reef itself being drawn,” said Loren McClenachan, a marine ecologist at Colby College in Maine. “It matches almost exactly with the satellite data.” In a study published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, McClenachan and her colleagues compared those 240-year-old observations with present-day satellite images.

Flint water crisis led to lower fertility rates, higher fetal death rates, researchers find

Read the full story from the University of Kansas.

Flint’s lead-contaminated water crisis caused fewer babies being born there — through reduced fertility rates and higher fetal death rates — compared with other Michigan cities during that time, according to a working paper that includes a University of Kansas researcher.

“Having children in America is expensive and resource-intensive, and we want people to have the number of children they want when they want to have them. We, as Americans, are very much about individual people getting to make the choices that are the best for their families, and this is one of the most fundamental ones,” said David Slusky, assistant professor of economics.

The research by Slusky and co-author Daniel Grossman, assistant professor of economics at West Virginia University, appears in a working paper distributed as part of the KU Economics Department’s Working Papers Series in Theoretical and Applied Economics.

Free eBook: A Strategic Guide for Using Data to Drive Food Loss and Waste Reductions

Download the document.

Effective food waste reduction programs are built upon comprehensive data. Data provides insight into why food losses occur in operations; which areas provide the biggest opportunity for improvement; and how to continously make progress towards goals. This guide is intended for food manufacturers, wholesale distributors, and grocery retailers interested in using data to better manage unsold inventory and reduce the volume of food sent to landfill.

A cruise ship’s emissions are the same as 1 million cars: report

Read the full story from CBC Radio.

A luxury cruise vacation may sound like a perfect dream holiday, but a German environmental organization says that in terms of environmental impact, the industry is an absolute nightmare.

​Nabu has just released its annual report on cruise ship pollution. It looked at dozens of vessels travelling in Europe, and decided not to recommend any of them.

The State of the Birds 2017: Farm Bill Special Report

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The Farm Bill provides a crucial safety net for America’s farmers and ranchers… and America’s birds.

For birds, the Farm Bill secures important habitat for more than 100 bird species and is America’s largest source of funding for habitat conservation on private lands.

For landowners, Farm Bill conservation programs are part of the safety net for farmers, ranchers, and forest owners. It provides financial support for vital ecological services, such as clean water, and keeps working lands working.

Dots on the graph indicate start dates for key Farm Bill conservation programs, showing the change in populations of wetland, forest, and grassland birds after these programs were implemented.

Study: Food scrap recycling can work in cities of any size, though PAYT helps

Read the full story at Waste Dive.

The financial and logistical challenges of starting a food scrap diversion program can seem daunting for smaller cities. A newly published study from MIT shows that no one characteristic is a prerequisite for taking the leap.

The study, published in the October 2017 edition of the journal Resources, Conservation and Recycling, was written by a team of three researchers from MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning and Department of Materials Science and Engineering. They set out to understand where food scrap diversion programs were happening in mid-size and large cities. Their results were based on 115 responses from cities with between 100,000 and 1 million people — about 28% of the U.S. population.

Climate Change a Buzzkill for Coffee Lovers

Read the full story from the University of Vermont.

Global warming could reduce coffee growing areas in Latin America — the world’s largest coffee-producing region — by as much as 88 percent by 2050.

That’s a key takeaway of the first major study of climate change’s projected impacts on coffee, and the bees that help coffee to grow. The findings appear in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).