There are many low-lying coastal airports around the world. These airports are increasingly vulnerable to the rising sea levels and the more extreme weather brought about by climate change.
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 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has issued a new report emphasizing the importance of taking rapid action to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and examining the consequences of allowing temperatures to rise 2 degrees instead.
We have been talking about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch for several years. Two years ago, we reported on the activities of a company called Ocean Cleanup, founded five years ago by an 18-year-old Dutch entrepreneur named Boyan Slat. Two years ago, the company was conducting comprehensive surveys of the patch, which covers an area […]
The glut of plastic in the oceans is a global problem. About 9 million tons of plastic enter the oceans each year. Much of it is discarded fishing gear, plastic bags, and other macroscopic objects. But a great deal of it is in the form of microplastics or small particles. Some microplastics come from cosmetics […]
Oil and gas are typically produced together. If oil wells are located near gas pipelines, then the gas gets used. But if the wells are far offshore, or it is not economical to get the gas to market, then oil companies get rid of the gas by burning it – a process known as flaring.
Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humankind’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what our planet can regenerate in that year. The deficit for the remainder of the year means we are liquidating stocks of ecological resources and accumulating waste, primarily carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
The hunting of whales in the 19th and 20th Century nearly drove the giant mammals to extinction. By the 1960s, improved hunting methods and factory ships made it clear that whaling could not continue unchecked.
Food waste is a huge problem. About a third of all food produced globally goes to waste, and the numbers are even worse in the US. If food waste was a country, it would be the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases. Worse yet, all of this takes place in a world where 850 […]
The expanded use of injection wells and fracking has brought about a significant increase in earthquakes in places that didn’t have very many before. Wastewater injection in Oklahoma increased earthquake totals from dozens per year to over 900 in 2015 before collapsing oil prices reduced the use of the technique. Increased earthquakes in Alberta, Canada […]
One still hears reference to “the debate on global warming”. Is there really a debate? Certainly, there are people who want to think there is, especially those with a vested interest in not doing anything about it.
Storm water reclamation is an important activity for cities with limited water resources, such as those in Southern California. Many places have small-scale reclamation efforts using rain gardens and bioswales. Collecting storm water on a large scale faces a number of problems.
Ice buildup can cause all sorts of problems ranging from performance issues to catastrophic failures. For example, ice buildup can negatively impact things like airplanes, power lines, wind turbines, and the like. Preventing this ice buildup typically requires energy-intensive heating systems or environmentally-harmful chemical sprays.
The sell-by and best-by dates on milk cartons are ones we tend to pay close attention to. Many of us automatically discard milk if it is past one of those dates. However, those dates are not really scientifically established but rather are guesses based on experience.
By the year 2050, scientists predict that there will be two billion more people to feed in the world. And climate change isn’t making that task any simpler. From extreme weather events to rising global temperatures, climate change is expected to affect the types of food we grow, and to negatively affect the food production […]
At one time there were 20 to 30 million bison in North America, dominating the landscape from the Appalachians to the Rockies, and from the Gulf Coast to Alaska. A combination of habitat loss and totally unregulated hunting of the huge animals reduced the population to just over 1,000 in 1889.
California put in place a cap-and-trade program in 2013. In such a program, companies pay penalties if they exceed a cap in carbon emissions but can buy and sell allowances that permit them to emit a given amount. Trading gives companies a strong incentive to save money by cutting emissions. Since taking effect, the California […]
For decades, we have heard from public health sources that we should eat a variety of foods. Dietary diversity is touted as important for health. However, there has never really been a consensus about what so-called dietary diversity actually is, how it is measured, or how it necessarily is healthy.
Last year, China was the first country to reach the milestone of having one million electric cars. This year, China will add another million plug-in vehicles. Of course, with its huge population, China sells four times as many cars in total per year as any other country.
Researchers have for the first time calculated the capacity of North American forests to sequester carbon. The detailed analysis by UC Santa Cruz and collaborators in China and Arizona considers two key factors: the natural process of forest growth and regeneration, and effects brought about by climate change.
Brazil is the world’s second largest producer of ethanol fuel behind the United States. More than that, it has the first sustainable biofuel economy, which is based on sugarcane ethanol, not corn ethanol. It is sustainable because of Brazil’s advanced agri-industrial technology and its enormous amount of arable land. Furthermore, producing sugarcane ethanol is far […]