North America to Reduce and Replace hydrofluorocarbons, Potent Greenhouse Gases

The US EPA announced that Canada and Mexico have joined the United States in proposing to expand the scope of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer to fight climate change. The proposal would phase down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are a significant and rapidly growing contributor to climate change. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) led the analysis in the proposal, which demonstrates environmental benefits equal to removing greenhouse gas emissions from 59 million passenger cars each year through 2020, and 420 million cars each year through 2050. Reducing HFCs would help slow climate change and curb potential public health impacts.

Environmental Cancer Risk

There is a body of evidence linking general environmental exposures to cancer. A report was released today by the President's Cancer Panel which finds that the true burden of environmentally induced cancer is underestimated. The Panel's report, "Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk: What We Can Do Now," concludes that while environmental exposure is not a new front on the war on cancer, the harm from this group of carcinogens has not been addressed adequately by the National Cancer Program.

Whatever Happened to the Hole in the Ozone Layer?

Three British scientists shocked the world when they revealed on May 16th, 1985 — 25 years ago — that aerosol chemicals, among other factors, had torn a hole in the ozone layer over the South Pole. The ozone layer, which protects life on Earth from damaging solar radiation, became an overnight sensation. And the hole in the ozone layer became the poster-child for mankind’s impact on the planet.

US Cut Its CO2 Emissions by 7 Percent Last Year

The world can be a thoroughly depressing place. It seems like bad news is all we ever get, like oil spills destroying wildlife, killer hurricanes, economic collapse, and terrorists with bombs in their underwear. However, bad news is not always so bad. It motivates us to act, to learn from our mistakes, and eventually become better for it. Good news does not teach us anything, except how much better good news feels than bad news. However, it offers a glimmer of hope, a reminder that hard work can actually show results. Yesterday, we received that good news from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), an independent federal statistics and analysis agency. They reported that the US achieved a record setting seven percent decline in CO2 emissions in 2009.

Currents Influence Fish Stocks: More Cod in the Barents Sea

The entire North Atlantic warmed up during the 1920s and 1930s. More fish appeared not only in the Barents Sea but also off Iceland and Greenland. This warm period reached its peak at the end of the thirties and lasted until roughly 1960, when the waters began turning colder again -- and fisheries resources declined once more. In recent years, the North Atlantic has shown signs of a new period of warming.

BP’s U.S. Gulf project exempted from enviro analysis

U.S. regulators exempted BP Plc from a detailed environmental review of the exploration project that ultimately resulted in the deadly Gulf of Mexico explosion and subsequent oil spill, documents show. The Minerals Management Service granted BP's project a "categorical exclusion" from full environmental analysis normally required under the National Environmental Policy Act, according to documents made available by the Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental group.

How Cold Can It Go?

Here we are in global warming but there are still places that can be outright cold. Antarctica, of course, comes to mind as well as Siberia. The lowest recorded air temperature on Earth was a measurement of −89.2C (-128.6 F) made at Vostok station, Antarctica, at 0245 UT on 21 July 1983. What could have caused it? What sort of freak weather pattern made it so frigid?

Tom’s of Maine: 40 Years of Success and Innovation

With all the talk and shtick over "green" products, it’s easy to forgot that Tom's of Maine has long been a leader in natural consumer products and sustainable business practices. Started in 1970 with a $5000 loan, the company's products now take shelf space at 40,000 retail outlets, including Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. From its beginnings, with its groovy ClearLake Laundry Detergent, Tom's has still shown product innovation, most recently with its new line of toothpaste. Colgate-Palmolive bought 84% of the company in 2006, but one important stipulation of the deal allowed Tom's of Maine to continue its good-for-the-earth business practices without interference from above.

Calm U.S. Gulf weather aids spill fight

Oil spill workers raced against time in the Gulf of Mexico, hoping to seize on at least one more day of calm in their fight to contain a huge and growing slick before winds turn against them. Cleanup crews along the U.S. shore have had a few days' reprieve as the slow-moving slick, from oil spewing from a damaged deep-water well, remained parked in waters that for now are placid. "The winds are helpful to us, but on Thursday they begin to be less helpful," Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said in New Orleans.

Mount St. Helens’ Aftermath

A volcano erupts and the world seems to end. What happens afterwards? May 18 marks the 30th anniversary of the eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington state and scientists to this day use what's being learned there to challenge established thinking about how landscapes evolve and rebound.