Environmental Science News

NASA Shows Arctic Sea Ice Is Losing Its Bulwark Against Warming Summers

October 31, 2016

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How Arctic Sea Ice Is Losing Its Bulwark Against Warming Summers

New research shows that the Arctic sea ice has been hit with a double whammy over the past decades: as its extent shrunk, the oldest and thickest ice has either thinned or melted away, leaving the sea ice cap more vulnerable to the warming ocean and atmosphere. “What we’ve seen over the years is that […]

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MIT Researchers Help Reduce Runoff Pollution by Making Spray Droplets Less Bouncy

September 2, 2016

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MIT Scientists Help Reduce Runoff Pollution

Researchers from MIT have found a way to make pesticides stick to leaves instead of bouncing off, helping to reduce runoff pollution. When farmers spray their fields with pesticides or other treatments, only 2 percent of the spray sticks to the plants. A significant portion of it typically bounces right off the plants, lands on […]

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NASA Study Reveals That Historical Records Miss a Fifth of Global Warming

July 22, 2016

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New NASA Study Shows Historical Records Miss a Fifth of Global Warming

New research led by NASA scientists reveals that almost one-fifth of the global warming that has occurred in the past 150 years has been missed by historical records due to quirks in how global temperatures were recorded. The study explains why projections of future climate based solely on historical records estimate lower rates of warming […]

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A New Design Strategy for Better Lithium Oxygen Batteries

July 12, 2016

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Yale Engineers Charging Toward Better Lithium Oxygen Batteries

Yale researchers have devised a method that brings marketable Li-O2 batteries closer to reality, improving both the batteries’ performance and the ability to study them. In recent years, lithium-oxygen batteries have intrigued researchers with their potential. They can store at least two to three times the energy as lithium-ion batteries can, which are the current standard […]

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Yale Engineers Turn Wasted Heat Into Power

July 1, 2016

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Researchers Turn Wasted Heat Into Power

Yale University engineers have developed a new technology that makes energy from the low-temperature wasted heat produced by industrial sources and power plants. It is estimated that recoverable waste heat in the U.S. alone could power tens of millions of homes. Although existing technologies can reuse high-temperature heat or convert it to electricity, it is […]

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Bones and Shells May Lead to a New Formula for Concrete

June 2, 2016

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MIT Engineers Search for a New Formula for Concrete

Engineers from MIT are seeking to redesign concrete by using bones and shells as blueprints for a stronger, more durable concrete. In a paper published online in the journal Construction and Building Materials, the team contrasts cement paste — concrete’s binding ingredient — with the structure and properties of natural materials such as bones, shells, […]

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Sustainable Power Sources Based on High Efficiency Thermopower Wave Devices

March 14, 2016

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MIT Develops Nontoxic Way of Generating Portable Power

Engineers from MIT have developed an alternative system for generating electricity, which harnesses heat and uses no metals or toxic materials. The batteries that power the ubiquitous devices of modern life, from smartphones and computers to electric cars, are mostly made of toxic materials such as lithium that can be difficult to dispose of and […]

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New Research Shows Long-Term Global Warming Needs External Drivers

February 9, 2016

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New Study Shows Long-Term Global Warming Needs External Drivers

New research from NASA and Duke University provides new evidence that natural cycles alone aren’t sufficient to explain the global atmospheric warming observed over the last century. A study by scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, shows, in detail, the reason why global temperatures remain […]

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Yale Study Reveals Toxins in Fracking Fluids and Wastewater

January 6, 2016

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Study Reveals Toxins in Fracking Fluids and Wastewater

New research from the Yale School of Public Health analyzed more than 1,000 chemicals in fluids used in and created by hydraulic fracturing (fracking), finding that many of the substances have been linked to reproductive and developmental health problems. Further exposure and epidemiological studies are urgently needed to evaluate potential threats to human health from […]

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El Niño Continues to Grow, Set to Bear Down on U.S.

December 30, 2015

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A Still-Growing El Niño Set to Bear Down on USA

The latest satellite image from the U.S./European Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM)/Jason-2 mission shows that the current strong El Niño brewing in the Pacific Ocean shows no signs of waning. El Niño 2015 has already created weather chaos around the world. Over the next few months, forecasters expect the United States to feel its impacts […]

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Scientists Should Focus on Changes in Species to Recognize and Avoid a Mass Extinction

December 17, 2015

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Reserachers Examine Rarity in Mass Extinctions and the Future of Ecosystems

New research from Yale University urges scientists to move their focus from species extinction to species rarity in order to recognize, and avoid, a mass extinction in the modern world. Writing in the journal Nature the week of December 16, Yale’s Pincelli Hull and colleagues from the Smithsonian Institution argue that modern extinction rates may […]

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UCLA Nanoscientists Develop a Better Way to Remove Pollutants from Water

November 30, 2015

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Nanoscientists Develop a Better Way to Remove Pollutants

By using nanoparticles filled with enzymes, researchers from UCLA have developed a safer and faster way to remove pollutants from water. A team of researchers from the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA has found a new way to use enzymes to remove pollutants from water that is cost- and energy-efficient, able to remove multiple pollutants […]

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New Research Shows Greenland Ice Sheet Movement is Decreasing Despite Warming

October 29, 2015

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Study Shows Greenland Ice Sheet Movement Decreasing Despite Warming

A newly published study from the University of Edinburgh shows that the movement of the southwest portion of the Greenland Ice Sheet that terminates on land has been slowing down despite decades of increasing temperatures and surface melting. The study is published in the journal Nature. Researchers derived their results by tracking ice sheet movement […]

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New NASA Study Shows That Hydrofluorocarbons Contribute to Ozone Depletion

October 22, 2015

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New Research Shows That Common Coolants Contribute to Ozone Depletion

According to new research from NASA, chemical coolants known as hydrofluorocarbons that are found in refrigerators and in home and automobile air conditioners, contribute to ozone depletion by a small but measurable amount. The paper, published October 22 in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, is based on the results of […]

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2015 El Niño Appears Likely to Equal the Event of 1997-98

October 20, 2015

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NASA Studying Never Before Seen El Niño Event

NASA scientists continue to monitor and study this year’s El Niño, which appears likely to equal the event of 1997-98 – the strongest El Niño on record. Every two to seven years, an unusually warm pool of water — sometimes two to three degrees Celsius higher than normal – develops across the eastern tropical Pacific […]

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Drinking Water Contamination Likely from Hydraulic Fracturing Surface Releases, Not Migration from Gas Wells or Deep Shale Layers

October 13, 2015

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Elevated Organic Compounds Found in Pennsylvania Drinking Water from Hydraulic Fracturing

Engineers at Yale University reveal that the presence of organic compounds in groundwater aquifers in Pennsylvania is likely the result of surface releases from hydraulic fracturing operations and not migration from gas wells or deep shale layers. In the largest study of its kind, a Yale-led investigation found no evidence that trace contamination of organic […]

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New Research Reveals Earth’s Inner Core Was Formed 1 – 1.5 Billion Years Ago

October 12, 2015

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New Study Reveals Earth’s Inner Core was Formed 1 – 1.5 Billion Years Ago

New data from the University of Liverpool reveals that the Earth’s inner core was formed 1 – 1.5 billion years ago as it “froze” from the surrounding molten iron outer core. The inner core is Earth’s deepest layer. It is a ball of solid iron just larger than Pluto which is surrounded by a liquid […]

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Scientists Reveal Chemical Code for Nitrogen Fixation

September 24, 2015

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Scientists Explain Nitrogen Fixation

A team of scientists from Yale University reveal part of the chemical code that allows nature to transform nitrogen from the air into usable nitrogen compounds. The process is called nitrogen fixation, and it occurs in microorganisms on the roots of plants. This is how nature makes its own fertilizers to feed plants, which feed […]

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