Reducing evaporation from LA reservoirs

On Monday afternoon, the 20,000 black plastic balls tumbled down the slopes of Los Angeles Reservoir, joining 95,980,000 of their brethren already covering the surface of the water.The final deployment of these shade balls was the last step in a $34.5 million water quality protection project aimed at preventing evaporation and algae growth in the reservoir.

Melting glaciers feed Antarctic food chain

Nutrient-rich water from melting Antarctic glaciers nourishes the ocean food chain, creating feeding “hot spots” in large gaps in the sea ice, according to a new study. New research finds that iron stored in the region’s glaciers is being shuttled by melting water to open areas of the ocean, called polynyas, where it stimulates growth of phytoplankton, ocean algae that form the base of the marine food chain. 

Range of non-native marine species is explained by time introduced

The time since the introduction of a non-native marine species best explains its global range, according to new research by an international team of scientists led by University of Georgia ecologist James E. Byers. The study, published in the open access journal Nature Scientific Reports, also contains a warning: The vast majority of marine invaders have not yet finished spreading.

Power plant CO2 emissions at 27 year low

Most of the environmental news we hear today is disheartening information about the consequences we’ll soon be facing thanks to climate change. Let’s take a momentary break from that sadness to focus on some good news: U.S. power plants are currently releasing the lowest amount of carbon emissions in 27 years. It seems like we might be making some progress!The low mark occurred in April of this year, when U.S. power plants generated just 141 million tons of carbon dioxide, a figure we haven’t seen since April of 1988. Because power plants produce roughly one-third of the country’s emissions, this measurement is one of the biggest indicators we have to see how we’re doing at tackling global warming.

Stem Cell Research Identifies Effects of Pollution on Human Health

A recent study published in the Journal of Environmental Sciences (JES) shows that embryonic stem cells could serve as a model to evaluate the physiological effects of environmental pollutants efficiently and cost-effectively.

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How the loss of Indonesian mangrove forests is linked to climate change

The loss of Indonesia's coastal mangrove forests for shrimp farming is a huge source of carbon emissions, writes Prodita Sabarini. But equally, a policy flip to preserve and recreate mangroves offers a major climate win.Mangroves are important because of their high rates of tree and plant growth, coupled with anaerobic, water-logged soils that slow decomposition, resulting in large, long-term carbon storage. Mangroves store three to five times more carbon than rainforestPreventing the loss of Indonesian mangroves would help in the global fight against climate change, new research shows.

Sunspot variation not causing climate change

The Maunder Minimum, between 1645 and 1715, when sunspots were scarce and the winters harsh, strongly suggests a link between solar activity and climate change. Until now there was a general consensus that solar activity has been trending upwards over the past 300 years (since the end of the Maunder Minimum), peaking in the late 20th century -- called the Modern Grand Maximum by some [1].This trend has led some to conclude that the Sun has played a significant role in modern climate change. However, a discrepancy between two parallel series of sunspot number counts has been a contentious issue among scientists for some time.

Fish go deep to beat the heat

A James Cook University study shows fish retreat to deeper water to escape the heat, a finding that throws light on what to expect if predictions of ocean warming come to pass.