• 2010 Russian heat wave caused by both manmade, natural causes

    The heat wave that struck western Russia in summer 2010 killed 55,000 people and caused $15 billion in damage; a new study concludes that soaring temperatures were within the natural range for a Russian summer, but that due to human-induced climate change, the chance of such an extreme heat wave has tripled over the past several decades

  • Proposed EPA budget cuts funding from clean air and water grants

    President Obama’s latest proposed budget for fiscal year 2013 cuts $105 million from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) budget, primarily from funds aimed at treating wastewater and drinking water

  • Local officials oppose “unacceptable” levee ratings

    In recent years as part of an effort to bolster the nation’s flood protection infrastructure, the Army Corps of Engineers has analyzed and declared more than 200 levee systems across the country as “unacceptable,” resulting in a firestorm of criticism from local officials

  • Compressed natural gas as transportation fuel

    A number of different fuel sources — ethanol, biodiesel, electricity, and hydrogen — have each shown their promise as an alternative to petroleum; scientists at Argonne Lab want to add one more contender to the list of possible energy sources for light-duty cars and trucks: compressed natural gas (CNG)

  • Invaders wreak havoc on U.S. ecosystems

    In the decade since the 9/11 attacks, DHS’ focus on combatting terrorism has left some of its core agencies ill-equipped to perform its other missions, namely the Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) ability to prevent invasive plants and insects from entering the United States and wreaking havoc on crops

  • Pepco buys solar competition prize-winning building for display

    WaterShed, a prize-winning, energy-saving house designed by a team from the University of Maryland, has been bought by Pepco; the utility will maintain the building and open ot for public display

  • Europe crops damaged by pollution crossing oceans, continents

    Pollution originating from North America is responsible for a 1.2 million ton annual loss of wheat in Europe; this is the biggest intercontinental ozone pollution-related impact on any food crop

  • Preparing for the end of the world as we know it

    In a growing trend, more and more Americans across the United States are preparing themselves for a catastrophic apocalypse; for reasons ranging from terrorists to natural disasters or an economic meltdown, these individuals have begun stockpiling food, taking survival courses, or constructing safe rooms

  • Wetlands capture more carbon than earlier thought

    New study shows that wetlands in temperate regions are more valuable as carbon sinks than current policies imply; the study found that the stagnant wetland had an average carbon storage rate per year that is almost twice as high as the carbon storage rate of the flow-through wetland

  • Mysterious flotsam in Gulf came from Deepwater Horizon rig

    Scientists track debris from damaged oil rigs, helping forecast coastal impacts in the future

  • Slowing down sea-level rise vs. reducing surface temperature change rate

    Scientists say that reducing the amount of solar radiation hitting Earth (for example, by satellites that block the sun, making the Earth’s surface more reflective, or emulating the effects of volcanoes by placing aerosol particles in the upper atmosphere) would be a cheaper way to halt or reverse climate change than reducing carbon dioxide emissions

  • La Nina weather pattern may lead to flu pandemics?

    Pandemics of influenza around the world caused widespread death and illness in 1918, 1957, 1968, and 2009; a new study examining weather patterns around the time of these pandemics found that each of them was preceded by La Niña conditions in the equatorial Pacific

  • Scientists study how nature cleans uranium from aquifer

    A small town in Colorado was the site of uranium ore processing in the 1940s and 1950s, producing yellowcake; when the mills shut down, the mill tailings — a crushed rock byproduct of ore processing — were left behind on the north bank of the river; the tailings were hauled away in the 1990s, but a large amount of uranium that seeped out of the tailings remains as a contaminant in the aquifer and is slowly being released into the Colorado River

  • Depleted gas reservoirs used for carbon storage

    One way to keep CO2 from accumulating in the atmosphere is to bury (or “sequester”) it under ground; a demonstration project in Australia verified that depleted natural gas reservoirs can be used for geologic carbon sequestration; the carbon sequestration approach involves pumping CO2 deep underground for permanent storages

  • U.S. faces new wave of invasive species

    New study warns that the earlier onset of spring, warmer winters, economic globalization, and increased trade with emerging economies in Asia and Africa will see the United States face a significant new wave of invasive plant introductions; at least forty-two emerging U.S. trade partners – among them Thailand, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Ecuador, Argentina, and several in equatorial Africa — are poised to export new nursery plant varieties to the United States