Study Finds New Toxic Contaminants In Oil And Gas Wastewater

Scientists have discovered high levels of two potentially hazardous contaminants, ammonium and iodide, in wastewater being discharged or spilled into streams and rivers from oil and gas operations.Levels of contamination were just as high in wastewater coming from conventional oil and gas wells as from hydraulically fractured shale gas wells.

Why we need to reduce our “hidden water” usage

The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) is urging coordinated action to reduce the amount of hidden water used in food and drink production – estimated at up to 1.8 million litres per person every year equivalent to an Olympic size swimming pool. Each person consumes between 2,000-5,000 litres of water embedded in their food, every day – or between 730,000-1,825,000 million litres annually. Currently, around 90 per cent of all freshwater is used by agriculture (70 per cent) and industry (20 per cent), leaving just 10 per cent for domestic use.

Going green has benefits beyond being good for you and the planet!

You know that going green helps the environment and often your bank account, but it can also play a key role in reducing accidents. Green lifestyles are generally healthier ones, so don’t forget about that bonus perk when you go eco-friendly. Whether it’s reducing the amount of chemicals in your home, reducing the pesticides in your food, or avoiding the need for a DWI attorney because you never drive (especially not under the influence), here are a few ways eco-friendliness equates to fewer accidents: 1. No chance of a car crashStatistically, taking public transportation such as a bus or train, or walking or cycling, is much less dangerous than taking a car. Distracted driving is on the rise; just take a look at the official government (UK) Distraction.gov site for statistics on accidents caused from phones, radios, food and sleepiness. A greener approach to getting around is simply less prone to accidents than taking a car. 

Education is a key to climate change adaption

Given that some climate change is already unavoidable investing in empowerment through universal education should be an essential element in climate change adaptation efforts, which so far focus mostly in engineering projects, according to a new study from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).The article draws upon extensive analysis of natural disaster data for 167 countries over the past four decades as well as a number of studies carried out in individual countries and regions, published last year in a special issue of the journal Ecology and Society. 

How the environment can trigger disease

Using a new imaging technique, National Institutes of Health researchers have found that the biological machinery that builds DNA can insert molecules into the DNA strand that are damaged as a result of environmental exposures. These damaged molecules trigger cell death that produces some human diseases, according to the researchers. The work provides a possible explanation for how one type of DNA damage may lead to cancer, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular and lung disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Farms as sites for renewable energy

UK farms could be a major player in a shift towards a resilient, low-carbon energy system, according to a landmark report launched today by the Farm Power coalition. The coalition, which is made up of a growing number of farming bodies, businesses and NGOs, are now calling on policymakers and other key stakeholders, including supermarkets, to support the renewable energy vision.The research carried out by sustainability non-profit Forum for the Future, which leads the coalition, and Nottingham Trent University, found there was at least 10GW of untapped resource across UK farms – equivalent to more than three times the installed capacity of the proposed new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point C.

UK unveils first waste-fueled bus

The UK's first ever bus powered on human and food waste has taken to the road today which engineers believe could provide a sustainable way of fuelling public transport - cutting emissions in polluted towns and cities. The 40-seater Bio-Bus, which runs on gas generated through the treatment of sewage and food waste that's unfit for human consumption, helps to improve urban air quality as it produces fewer emissions than traditional diesel engines. Running on waste products that are both renewable and sustainable, the bus can travel up to 300km on a full tank of gas.

How Sustainable is the Modern Diet?

The world is gaining weight and becoming less healthy, and global dietary choices are harming the environment, according to a new research report. Those are among the findings of a paper co-authored by David Tilman, a professor in the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, and Michael Clark, a graduate student at the University of Minnesota, where Tilman is a professor. In “Global Diets Link Environmental Sustainability and Human Health,” published today in the journal Nature, the researchers find that rising incomes and urbanization around the world are driving a global dietary transition that is, in turn, diminishing the health of both people and the planet.

30-year study reveals startling decline in European birds

Bird populations across Europe have experienced sharp declines over the past 30 years, with the majority of losses from the most common species, according to the findings of a new study. However, the research conducted by the University of Exeter, the RSPB and the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme (PECBMS), found numbers of some less common birds have risen.

What could be better than LED lighting?

Even as the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics has enshrined light emitting diodes (LEDs) as the single most significant and disruptive energy-efficient lighting solution of today, scientists around the world continue unabated to search for the even-better-bulbs of tomorrow.Electronics based on carbon, especially carbon nanotubes (CNTs), are emerging as successors to silicon for making semiconductor materials. And they may enable a new generation of brighter, low-power, low-cost lighting devices that could challenge the dominance of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in the future and help meet society's ever-escalating demand for greener bulbs.