Posted on March 26, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Study links climate change and pollution with growing allergy epidemic
FRISCO — Global warming has already been implicated in the rising tide of allergies, simply because a warmer climate extends the growing season for many plants, or causes them to produce more pollen.
But there’s more to it, according to scientists, who say that a pair of air pollutants linked to climate change could also be a major contributor to the unparalleled rise in the number of people sneezing, sniffling and wheezing during allergy season. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, climate change, Environment, global warming | Tagged: air pollution, allergies, Environment, global warming | 3 Comments »
Posted on March 26, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
New study confirms the transgenic impacts of endocrine disrupting pollutants in aquatic species.
Researchers warn of long-term impacts to aquatic ecosystems
FRISCO — Fish exposed to trace amounts of endocrine-disrupting chemicals like BPA may not show any immediate ill effects, but the adverse impacts can show up three generations later, researchers said after conducting lab tests that confirm the transgenic effects of the pollutants.
The chemicals are part of a new class of pollutants that often aren’t addressed by traditional water treatment facilities, and aquatic environments are the ultimate reservoirs for many of the contaminants, some of which mimic the functions of natural hormones. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, Environment, rivers, water, water quality | Tagged: endocrine disruptors, Environment, water quality | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 25, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Oil train routes in the U.S. Map courtesy Center for Biological Diversity.
‘It’s painfully clear something needs to be done to protect people and the environment from the mounting dangers of these oil trains’
FRISCO — A series of common-sense steps could help reduce the risk of fiery oil train crashes, a quartet of Democratic senators said this week, introducing legislation that would remove the most dangerous tank cars from service, increase track inspections, and help better prepare first responders.
The bill would also require the U.S. Department of Transportation to set a national standard for the maximum volatility of oil being transported by rail, which would help prevent the massive explosions that followed recent derailments in Canada and West Virginia.
The derailments during the past few months show the risks associated with transporting crude oil by train, a practice that has increased dramatically. Five years ago, very little crude oil was hauled by the nation’s railroads. Today, more than 1.1 million barrels per day move by rail, largely originating in the Midwest. There have been four fiery derailments involving oil trains in North America since the start of February. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment | Tagged: energy, Environment, oil train crashes, oil trains, Safe Transportation and Energy Products Fund | 1 Comment »
Posted on March 24, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Real science, from real scientists.
Expert speakers available in all 50 states
FRISCO — Debates about global warming can quickly descend into murky territory, especially if they take place in a political context. But communities looking for straightforward and nonpartisan scientific information can find from a science speakers network that includes climate experts from all 50 states.
The Climate Voices Initiative was launched last year by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and the United Nations Foundation, aiming to bring together scientists with members of local communities to discuss climate science and regional effects of climate change. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: climate adaptation, climate science, Environment, global warming | 1 Comment »
Posted on March 23, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
New questions about ice age triggers, based on research from New Zealand.
Ice sheet behavior doesn’t match up in northern, southern hemispheres
FRISCO — A close study of glaciers in New Zealand has given scientists some startling insights into the global cycle of ice ages, suggesting that the path of the Earth’s orbit around the sun may not be the main driver of glacial epochs.
Instead, the new study concluded that glacier movement in the Southern Hemisphere is influenced primarily by sea surface temperature and atmospheric carbon dioxide rather than changes in the Earth’s orbit, which are thought to drive the advance and retreat of ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere. The findings appear in the journal Geology. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, climate change, Environment | Tagged: climate change, Environment, glaciation, ice age, Milankovitch cycles | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 22, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Federal biologists proposal to revamp endangered species listing recognizes conservation progress and allows for more site-specific management
A green sea turtle swims near the seafloor of the Pacific. Photo courtesy Andy Bruckner/NOAA.
* More Summit Voice stories about sea turtles
FRISCO — Conservation and recovery efforts under the Endangered Species Act have helped green sea turtles around Florida and Mexico’s Pacific Coast recover to the point that federal biologists have proposed downlisting the species from endangered to threatened. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, Marine biology, ocean conservation | Tagged: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, green sea turtles | Leave a comment »