Trees are nature’s way of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Growing plants take up CO2 and store it in the form of their roots, stems and leaves. And in fact, a significant factor in the growing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been the extensive deforestation that has gone on over the past couple of centuries.
There are an estimated 84,000 dams in the United States which impound 600,000 miles of river, or about 17% of the rivers in the country. Within the next 15 years, more than 90% of the world’s rivers will be fragmented by at least one dam.
For most of us, a day spent in the mountains, the woods, or at the beach always seems like a good day. Communing with nature tends to make us feel better.
According to a new paper published in the journal Nature, global warming has damaged huge sections of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. The authors of the paper warn that the resilience of the reef – which is the world’s largest living structure – is waning rapidly.
When we think of global climate change, what comes to mind? Rising seas? Melting glaciers? Shrinking sea ice? How about diminishing ocean oxygen levels?
Because of its Arctic location, Alaska is warming about twice as fast as the rest of the United States. The past year has been the warmest on record. The forces of erosion and increasingly powerful storms have resulted in the imminent risk of destruction for at least 31 Alaskan towns and cities. Many are predicted to become uninhabitable over the next few decades. Residents of these places are likely to join the growing flow of climate refugees around the globe.
According to a new report from the World Wildlife Fund, the world’s animal populations have suffered widespread population declines in the last half century. And thousands of species are now scrambling to survive.
Many of us like to have houseplants. They add a bit of nature to our homes and they look nice. It turns out that they have health advantages as well.
Those of us who grew up in Los Angeles are quite familiar with the L.A. River. It’s not much of a river at all. Just a 51-mile-long concrete drainage ditch that shows up from time to time in movies like The Italian Job and Terminator 2.
We have talked about the impact of light pollution on our ability to see stars and the Milky Way. We have also discussed its impact on our circadian rhythms. Recently, scientists in Great Britain published a report on the relationship between light pollution and the timing of when trees produce their buds. The results of the study suggest that light pollution is causing plants to jump the gun on spring.
Most recent news about coral reefs around the world has been bad news. There has been unprecedented coral bleaching in places like Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. The effects of climate change – including warming temperatures and rising seas – as well as the recent El Niño event have led to damaged reefs across the globe.
At night our planet is now bathed in artificial light, ranging from streetlights and floodlights to burning gas flares in oil fields. There are few places that are truly dark at night.
From time to time, we encounter wild animals in distress. A baby robin falls out of its nest. A fawn is orphaned when its mother is hit by a car. A bald eagle staggers on the ground, unable to fly.
Complex ecosystems often create complex interrelationships between animals. One of the more surprising ones is that between waterbirds and alligators in the Florida Everglades.
As droughts have become more commonplace, researchers are looking at natural systems for effective ways to capture water from the air. A team from Harvard University has drawn inspiration from three different organisms to develop a better way to promote the condensation and transportation of water droplets.
The forest is playing a symphony. By tapping into environmental monitoring sensors at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, a tool called WaterViz captures a real-time audio visualization of the forest’s water cycle.
When most people hear the word ‘ecology’ – chances are it conjures up images of scientists working in distant, wild landscapes, such as old growth forests or remote mountain lakes. Increasingly, however, ecological studies are focused on urban and suburban areas.