As low-cost solar and wind energy become increasingly pervasive, the prospects for hydrogen-based transportation systems are improving. The reason is that cheap electricity makes it practical to produce hydrogen by breaking down water rather than getting it from reforming natural gas, which results in carbon dioxide emissions. The real goal is for hydrogen to be […]
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.
Herbicide-resistant weeds are becoming a more and more common problem for farmers growing grain and vegetable crops. As a result, the farmers are looking for alternatives to herbicides to control weeds. One promising approach is the use of cover crops, which are planted in the off season to protect the soil. Thick cover crop growth […]
The phenomenon of urban heat islands has been well known since the 19th century. The materials from which city buildings and roads are made reflect much less solar radiation and absorb more of it than the vegetation they have replaced. The absorbed energy is then radiated in the form of heat into the surrounding air […]
In 2017, the United States spent a record $306 billion on weather and climate-related disasters, making it the costliest and most damaging year on record. The wildfires out west, Hurricanes Irma, Maria, and Harvey, the Minnesota hailstorm, and the midwest drought are just some of the costly examples. Officials say that already-bloated figure will increase […]
Pollution particles emitted by diesel cars and trucks, coal-fired power plants, factories, primitive cook stoves, and the burning of forests are major contributors to the pervasive air pollution that plagues many cities and regions of the world. In India and China, such pollution leads to hundreds of thousands of deaths each year. And countries around […]
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, located nearly 400 feet beneath the earth’s surface and fully funded by the Norwegian government, offers any government access to seeds in case of natural or man-made disaster. It’s more often referred to as the Doomsday Seed Vault. And ironically, it too is threatened by climate change.
For years, China has been struggling with some of the worst air pollution in the world. According to the European Union, only 1% of the country’s half a billion city dwellers were considered safe because almost all of its major cities were covered with what was described as a toxic grey cloud.
A comprehensive study has confirmed what has been widely believed in the scientific community and in popular reports for years: spring is arriving earlier and the further north you go, the more pronounced is the effect.
Some of the world’s biggest lakes are drying up as a consequence of the warming climate, persistent drought, and overuse by people draining crucial water sources.
Biofuels are fuels produced through contemporary biological processes rather than geological processes such as those involved in the formation of fossil fuels.
The Arctic has been experiencing record warm temperatures and record low sea ice levels. During February, there were nine days in a row with temperatures averaging 27 degrees above normal and often above freezing. Over the previous 20 years, there were only two previous readings above freezing in February – once in 2011 and once […]
American Electric Power (AEP) is investing $4.5 billion to build the largest wind farm in the United States at a site in the Oklahoma panhandle. Known as the Wind Catcher Energy Connection, the 2-gigawatt wind project will include 800 2.5-megawatt wind turbines built by General Electric.
Volcanoes are complicated, and we don’t have universally applicable ways to predict when they might erupt. Measurements of seismicity, gas emissions and ground deformation are all useful in trying to figure out what volcanoes are up to. However, it is unlikely that will ever have definitive prediction techniques.
Earth system scientists say that there are four major human-caused forces that threaten to cause irreversible and abrupt environmental upheaval: climate change, deforestation, biodiversity loss, and excess nitrogen.
Cities are responsible for 70% of the world’s energy-related CO2 emissions and it appears that they are taking responsibility for reducing them. Over 7,000 mayors around the world have signed up to the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, thereby pledging to act on climate change.
There are millions of lakes on our planet. Many are quite large such as the Great Lakes in our country and Lake Victoria in Africa, but one-third of the world’s standing water is contained in lakes and ponds of 25 acres or less. Many of these lakes are found in remote, often mountainous areas with […]
Container ships, tankers, freighters, and cruise ships are a significant source of carbon dioxide emissions and other pollutants. They currently account for 3% of global emissions – which doesn’t sound like much – but most other sectors such as power plants and automobiles are gradually decarbonizing. As a result, experts believe that shipping could account […]
Water is life. It’s a fundamental need for every human being on the planet. Each person requires more than five gallons of clean and safe water a day for drinking, cooking, and keeping clean. Dirty water, on the other hand, can be deadly. An estimated 1.8 million people die every year as a result of […]
These days, the federal government has mostly turned its back on efforts to mitigate climate change or, for that matter, to even recognize its existence. However,the budget bill passed in February contained a major increase in the tax credit known as 45Q, which provides incentives to businesses to develop and utilize carbon capture, utilization and […]
According to a European food safety watchdog, most applications of neonicotinoids – the world’s most widely used insecticides – represent a risk to wild bees and honeybees. The use of these insecticides has been restricted in Europe since 2014 following earlier risk assessments.