From green business and new environmental legislation to how nature impacts our environment in ways never before considered, Earth Wise offers a look at our changing environment.

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Dangerous Air Near Oil And Gas Sites

Natural Gas Well 

A peer-reviewed study recently published in the journal Environmental Health looked at the air quality near natural gas wells in five states: Arkansas, Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming. In 40 percent of the air samples, laboratory tests found benzene, formaldehyde and other toxic substances at levels above what the federal government considers safe for brief or long-term exposure. In some cases, the levels were far above the safe standards.



Increasing Solar Grid Parity

solar power

Oil prices have come down dramatically. Gasoline is suddenly cheaper than it has been in a long time. Historically, every time fossil fuels get cheaper for a while, people lose interest in alternatives like solar energy.   That may be about to change.



Road Salt

Road Salt

Salt has been used to keep winter roads free of ice and snow since the 1940s. It works by lowering the freezing point of water. In the U.S. alone, some 15 million tons of salt is applied to roadways each year. While its use has real benefits, in terms of safety and navigation, there have been cumulative costs to the environment.



What Is The Carbon Limit?

peoples climate march

A central issue in dealing with climate change is determining how much carbon we can emit into the atmosphere before global temperatures increase too much. How much is too much?   Most experts think that if average temperatures increase by more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), the consequences will be severe and irreversible.



Deep Sea Carbon Dioxide Storage

deep sea

The Southern Ocean plays an important role in the exchange of carbon dioxide between the atmosphere and the ocean. One important part of this is the growth of phytoplankton, which act like a natural sponge for carbon dioxide. When these plankton die, they can sink to the bottom of the ocean and thereby store some of the carbon dioxide that they have absorbed. This process has been termed a “biological carbon pump.”


Earth Wise is a presentation of WAMC Northeast Public Radio and The Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies Follow us Facebook Twiter RSS Podcast