Earth

Converting livestock manure into a domestic renewable fuel source could generate enough electricity to meet up to three per cent of North America's entire consumption needs and lead to a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), according to US research published today, Thursday, 24 July, in the Institute of Physics' Environmental Research Letters.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Wealthy nations willing to collectively spend about $1 billion annually could prevent the emission of roughly half a billion metric tons of carbon dioxide per year for the next 25 years, new research suggests.

It would take about that much money to put an end to a tenth of the tropical deforestation in the world, one of the top contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, researchers estimate.

If adopted, this type of program could have potential to reduce global carbon emissions by between 2 and 10 percent.

Nutrients washed out of the Amazon River are powering huge amounts of previously unexpected plant life far out to sea, thus trapping atmospheric carbon dioxide, according to a new study. Until now, the areas around the Amazon and other great rivers had been thought to be emitting CO2, so the study may affect climate scientists' calculations of how the greenhouse gas acts. The study appears in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. http://www.pnas.org/

People living near vulnerable creeks and rivers along Colorado's Front Range may soon get advance notice of potentially deadly floods, thanks to a new forecasting system being tested this summer by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo.

Known as the NCAR Front Range Flash Flood Prediction System, it combines detailed atmospheric conditions with information about stream flows to predict floods along specific streams and catchments.

The adage that your enemies know your weaknesses best is especially true in the case of plants and predators that have co-evolved: As the predators evolve new strategies for attack, plants counter with their own unique defenses.

AUSTIN, Texas—A chemical engineering professor at The University of Texas at Austin is part of a team that has developed a chlorine-tolerant membrane that should simplify the water desalination process, increasing access to fresh water and possibly reducing greenhouse gases.

"If we make the desalination process more efficient with better membranes, it will be less expensive to desalinate a gallon of water, which will expand the availability of clean water around the world," Professor Benny Freeman says.

Nutrients from the Amazon River's outflow spread well beyond the continental shelf and drive carbon cycling in the tropical ocean, say scientists who conducted a multi-year study. They will publish their results this week online in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Nutrients from the Amazon River spread well beyond the continental shelf and drive carbon capture in the deep ocean, according to the authors of a multi-year study.

The finding does not change estimates of the oceans' total carbon uptake, but it reveals the surprisingly large role of tropical oceans and major rivers.

The tropical North Atlantic had been considered a net emitter of carbon from the respiration of ocean life. A 2007 study estimated that ocean's contribution to the atmosphere at 30 million tons of carbon annually.

The ecological value of coastal mangrove forests in Mexico has been apparent to marine scientists for years. Now, for the first time, researchers have used a wide-ranging compilation of fisheries landings, the official record of fish catches, to place an economic price tag on that value.

If you are living in the eastern United States, the environment around you is being harmed by air pollution. From Adirondack forests and Shenandoah streams to Appalachian wetlands and the Chesapeake Bay, a new report by the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and The Nature Conservancy has found that air pollution is degrading every major ecosystem type in the northeastern and mid-Atlantic United States.