For baby boomers, the Volkswagen bus was the iconic vehicle of the 1960s counterculture. It was introduced in 1950, was popular among Gen Xers coming of age in the 1980s, and lasted in one form or another until 2013, when the last one was built in Brazil.
Earth Wise offers a look at our changing environment. Eco-friendly business practices, the latest environmental news, and how nature impacts our environment in ways never before considered.
The Arctic is heating up faster than any other region of the planet. As a result, once-distinct boundaries between the frigid polar ocean and the warmer, neighboring Atlantic and Pacific Oceans are blurring, opening the way for the southern waters to enter the polar regions. The volume of Pacific Ocean water flowing into the Arctic […]
The rising seas represent an existential threat to low-lying atoll islands and that threat now appears to the more imminent than previously thought.
Bacteria may have an important role to play in the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A group of researchers at the University of Alberta are genetically engineering non-hazardous bacteria that consume methane and turn it into fuel.
There is growing interest in the idea of capturing and storing carbon dioxide. Reducing the amount of it we are putting into the atmosphere is essential for limiting the effects of climate change, but even eliminating emissions entirely is not enough because the CO2 already there stays in the atmosphere for decades or more.
In recent years, alternative protein startup companies have been all the rage among investors. Last year, these companies attracted a least a quarter of a billion dollars in funding and the interest is not slowing down.
Researchers at Washington State University have developed a low-cost, portable device that works with a smartphone to detect common viral and bacterial infections nearly as well as clinical laboratories. Such a system could lead to faster and lower-cost lab results for fast-moving epidemics, especially in rural or lower-resource regions where laboratory equipment and medical personnel […]
Less than 10% of discarded plastic is recycled. This is one of the major reasons that plastic waste is such a threat to the environment. There are many challenges to recycling plastics. For one thing, there are many different types of plastic and if they are melted together, they tend to phase-separate like oil and […]
One year ago, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced that the grizzly bear population in the Yellowstone area would be delisted from the Endangered Species Act, and more recently, announced that those federal protections would not be restored.
Global sea levels are rising by about a tenth of an inch per year, but in some places, the rise is faster… much faster. From 2011 to 2015, sea levels rose up to 5 inches – an inch per year – in some locales along the Eastern Seaboard. Places like Norfolk, Virginia and Miami are […]
Diesel cars have never been very popular in the US and in the aftermath of the so-called Dieselgate scandal at Volkswagen, they are even less so. Less than a dozen diesel car models are available for purchase in the US and only one of those is from a German automaker: BMW.
One of the most harmful effects of the changing climate is what is happening to coral reefs. Warmer ocean temperatures and acidification are causing widespread bleaching of coral. Stressed corals expel the algae living in their tissue, turning the corals white and robbing them of nutrients. When bleaching events persist, the corals starve and die. […]
Since 2015, New York has had in place an energy plan aimed at building a clean, resilient and cost-effective energy system for the state. A key part of that plan is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% from 1990 levels by the year 2030. Another major goal is to have 50% of the state’s […]
Scientists refer to the time in which we now live as the Anthropocene epoch – one in which humans are exerting a tremendous influence upon the natural world. One of the ways in which we are doing that is in our cities and suburbs where creatures are evolving through fast-paced natural selection to deal with […]
In May, California became the first state in the U.S. to require solar panels on almost all new homes. Under new standards adopted by the California Energy Commission, most new homes, condos and apartment buildings built after January 1, 2020 will be required to include solar systems.
A couple of years ago, scientists in Japan discovered bacteria at a recycling plant that were breaking down a type of plastic called polyethylene terephthalate, or PET. With the world facing a growing plastic pollution problem, British and American researchers began to study the enzyme that the bacteria were using to try to understand how […]
Food waste is one of the most disheartening problems we face. Fully one-third of all food produced globally for human consumption is wasted. Fruits, vegetables and tubers are even worse off: fully half of these things are wasted. It is a loss at an economic, social and environmental level.
There is a great deal of concern about the status of pollinators like bees and butterflies. They play a crucial role for many important food crops. But it turns out that lizards, mice, bats and other vertebrates are important pollinators too.
New Jersey may host the second commercially operating offshore wind farm in the U.S. as soon as 2020. The company EDF Renewable Energy is moving forward with a plan to bring online a 24-MW farm sited off the coast of Atlantic City.
The carbon cycle is the biogeochemical process by which carbon is exchanged between the atmosphere, the terrestrial biosphere, the ocean, sediments, and the earth’s interior. Its balance is a key factor that influences the climate.