Methane emissions are a real problem. As a greenhouse gas, methane has at least 25 times the heat-trapping power of carbon dioxide. More than a third of all the methane that humans are responsible for putting into the atmosphere comes from domestic livestock: cattle, sheep, goats and buffalo. In California alone, dairy cows along with […]
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 Belize Barrier Reef is the largest barrier reef system in the Northern Hemisphere. It extends roughly 200 miles, and is made up of a series of coral reefs, cays and islands, many of which are covered with mangroves. It was designated a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1996, and added to its endangered list […]
City streams are subjected to a constant onslaught of synthetic chemicals found in pharmaceuticals and personal care products. Wastewater treatment facilities are not designed to filter out these compounds. Instead, they flow into surface waters where they impact aquatic organisms like microbes – which perform key ecosystem services like removing excess nutrients and breaking down […]
Hydrogen is widely considered to be a desirable source of clean energy. It can be used in fuel cells to power electric motors in cars or can be burned directly in internal combustion engines. If it is compressed or converted to liquid, it can be efficiently stored and transported. Most of all, when it is […]
Earlier this year we talked about the contributions of plastic straws to the global problem of plastic waste. Americans throw away an astounding 500 million straws a day. But global campaigns to reduce the use of plastic straws are starting to make real headway.
Air pollution is deadly. Studies have found that fine particulate matter, such as airborne pieces of dust, dirt, smoke, soot, and other microscopic particles can enter our lungs and bloodstream, contributing to major health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, and kidney disease.
The ascendance of natural gas over coal during the past decade has been driven primarily by fracking technology that has provided large quantities of the stuff at low prices. But beyond that, there are environmental issues as well. Natural gas emits 50 to 60% less carbon dioxide when combusted in a new, efficient natural gas […]
There has been a great deal of debate over mandating labels for genetically engineered foods. On the pro side, people argue that they have a right to know whether what they are eating contains GMO – or as they are also called GE — ingredients. On the con side, people argue that the aversion toward […]
Changes in diet have often been proposed as a way to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions. However, there has not been much research about the affordability and feasibility of such changes.
A new report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance takes a long-term look at the world’s energy production. According to the report, renewable energy, mostly in the form of solar and wind power, is set to provide close to 50% of the world’s energy by the year 2050.
The Telangana region of India has struggled with extreme weather patterns attributed to climate change. Extended periods of drought, heatwaves, and unpredictable heavy rainfalls have led to crop failures, mounting debt, and a heavy human toll. More than 3,000 farmers committed suicide in Telangana during a three-year drought.
Human activities are exposing US rivers and streams to a cocktail of salts, with consequences for infrastructure and drinking water supplies. Road salt, fertilizers, and mining waste – as well as natural weathering of concrete, rocks, and soils – all contribute to increased salt in waterways. When these different salt compounds combine, their harmful effects […]
Antarctica’s ice sheets contain enough frozen water to raise sea levels globally about 190 feet. Ice in the Antarctic is melting at a record-breaking rate and subsequent sea rises could have catastrophic consequences around the world. So, it is no surprise that scientists have been closely tracking ice loss in recent decades to understand both […]
A new study published in Nature Energy shows that the goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius could be achieved by a combination of dramatic improvements in the energy efficiency of everyday activities.
There are frequent stories in the news about the terrible air pollution problems in major Chinese and Indian cities. With pollutant levels far in excess of any recommended safety thresholds, the air in these places represents a health crisis.
In recent times, there has been a downward trend in water use in the United States. It has been driven by increasingly efficient use of critical water resources in the face of persistent droughts in various parts of the country and awareness of the importance of conserving this resource.
One way or another, the fossil fuel industry seems to be destined to shrink away. A combination of technological advances and climate policies are going to drastically reduce the global demand for fossil fuels over the course of time. New research shows that the demise of the fossil fuel industry will have profound consequences.
A new system developed by MIT engineers could provide a low-cost source of drinking water and simultaneously reduce power plant operating costs.
Biomass is often touted as a green energy source. Just recently, the US Environmental Protection Agency declared biomass energy to be carbon neutral – a policy already embraced by many European countries. However, burning forests for fuel has hard limitations and ecological consequences.
In recent years there has been a great deal of discussion about animal intelligence and the idea of animal consciousness. In the past, the notion that animals have feelings had been relegated to fringe status, but these days, a wealth of scientific findings has made it much more mainstream to entertain such ideas.