Month: August 2012

  • World Wide Air Pollution in the Future

    What is the world wide trend in air pollution? On the surface North America and Europe have been gradually improving. However, that is due to often moving industry to other countries such as China or India where air pollution is a bit more of a problem. Most of the world’s population will be subject to degraded air quality by 2050 if human-made emissions continue as usual. In this business-as-usual scenario, the average world citizen 40 years from now will experience similar air pollution to that of today’s average East Asian citizen. These conclusions are those of a study published August 1 in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, an Open Access journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU). Air pollution is a major health risk that may worsen with increasing industrial activity. At present, urban outdoor air pollution causes 1.3 million estimated deaths per year worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.

  • 12 Innovations to Combat Drought, Improve Food Security, and Stabilize Food Prices

    Soaring temperatures and low precipitation could not occur at a worse time for many farmers in the United States. Intensifying drought conditions are affecting corn and soybean crops throughout the Midwest, raising grain prices as well as concerns about future food prices. The U.S. Drought Monitor reports that 88 percent of this year’s corn crop and 77 percent of the soybean crop are now affected by the most severe drought since 1988. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is providing drought assistance to 1,584 counties across 32 states and warns of increased food prices in 2013 as a result of corn and soybean yield losses.

  • Antarctica’s tropical past is revealed

    Antarctica was once home to a diverse range of tropical plants including ferns, palms and rainforest trees, say scientists. They have uncovered the first direct evidence of a much warmer, greener continent in the Southern Ocean. They publish their findings today in Nature.