Brazil Faces Severe Drought as Covid Deaths Approach 500,000

Brazilians are paying more for electricity, dealing with the possibility of water rationing and expecting a destructive fire season in the Amazon in the worst dry spell in at least 90 years.

#amazon-jungle, #brazil, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #drought, #environment, #forests-and-forestry, #weather

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National Park Nature Walks, Episode 7: Into the Wilderness by Canoe

Here is our next installment of a new pop-up podcast miniseries that takes your ears into the deep sound of nature. Host Jacob Job, an ecologist and audiophile, brings you inches away from a…

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#environment, #sustainability

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Deb Haaland Wants to Restore National Monuments Slashed by Trump

Deb Haaland has advised the president to reinstate former boundaries at Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah, and also in a marine area off New England.

#bears-ears-national-monument-utah, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #cox-spencer-j-1975, #environment, #global-warming, #grand-staircase-escalante-national-monument-utah, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #haaland-deb, #interior-department, #monuments-and-memorials-structures, #national-parks-monuments-and-seashores, #native-americans, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government, #utah

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Biden Administration to Restore Clean-Water Protections Ended by Trump

The Environmental Protection Agency announced it would repeal a Trump-era rule that weakened pollution controls for wetlands and streams.

#agriculture-and-farming, #clean-water-act, #democratic-party, #environment, #environmental-protection-agency, #hazardous-and-toxic-substances, #united-states-politics-and-government, #water-pollution, #wetlands

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Collapse of Infrastructure Talks Puts Climate Action at Risk

The chances of pushing climate legislation through Congress, a long shot from the beginning, now appear even more uncertain.

#american-jobs-plan-2021, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #browner-carol-m, #democratic-party, #energy-efficiency, #environment, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #infrastructure-public-works, #law-and-legislation, #manchin-joe-iii, #markey-edward-j, #politics-and-government, #senate, #united-states-politics-and-government

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Protected Habitat, for a Population of One

Fifty years ago, Marty Bluewater fought to keep his home among the nesting birds of Protection Island. Now he’s fighting for the birds.

#bald-eagles, #birds, #environment, #marty-bluewater, #protection-island, #washington-state, #wildlife-sanctuaries-and-nature-reserves

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For Wildlife, It’s Nursery Season. Please Don’t Steal Their Babies.

We were a team, this baby bird and me, and if I didn’t know how foolish it would be to keep it, I totally would have kept it.

#animal-behavior, #birds, #environment

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Coastal Arctic Sea Ice Is Thinning Faster Than Previously Thought

Old maps of snow depth on the ice had led researchers to underestimate melting

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#climate, #environment, #sustainability

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National Park Nature Walks, Episode 6: Yellowstone Bison and Marsh Birds

Here is our next installment of a new pop-up podcast miniseries that takes your ears into the deep sound of nature. Host Jacob Job, an ecologist and audiophile, brings you inches away from a…

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#environment, #sustainability

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Biden Aims to End Arctic Drilling. A Trump-Era Law Could Foil His Plans.

The administration suspended leases that were auctioned in the waning days of the Trump White House. But a 2017 law requires another sale.

#alaska, #arctic-national-wildlife-refuge, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #drilling-and-boring, #environment, #federal-lands, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government, #wildlife-sanctuaries-and-nature-reserves

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A 20-Foot Sea Wall? Miami Faces the Hard Choices of Climate Change.

A proposal to construct barriers for storm surge protection has forced South Floridians to reckon with the many environmental challenges they face.

#army-corps-of-engineers, #biscayne-bay-fla, #environment, #floods, #florida, #global-warming, #hurricanes-and-tropical-storms, #miami-fla, #water

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Here Are America’s Top Methane Emitters. Some Will Surprise You.

Oil and gas giants are selling off their most-polluting operations to small private companies. Most manage to escape public scrutiny.

#carbon-dioxide, #conocophillips, #environment, #environmental-protection-agency, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #hydraulic-fracturing, #methane, #natural-gas, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #private-equity

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Pesticides Are Killing the World’s Soils

They cause significant harm to earthworms, beetles, ground-nesting bees and thousands of other vital subterranean species

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#environment, #sustainability

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Big Setbacks Propel Oil Giants Toward a ‘Tipping Point’

A surprising mix of environmentalists, pension fund managers and big money investors have scored startling victories against oil and coal, opening new battle fronts in the climate fight.

#australia, #energy-and-power, #engine-no-1-gp-llc, #environment, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #milieudefensie-nonprofit, #netherlands, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #royal-dutch-shell-plc, #shareholder-rights-and-activism, #suits-and-litigation-civil, #united-states

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Struggling Seabirds Are Red Flag for Ocean Health

These sentinels of marine ecosystems point to the damage climate change, overfishing and other human pressures are causing

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#environment, #sustainability

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Biden’s Fossil Fuel Moves Clash With Pledges on Climate Change

Over the past month the Biden administration has defended three significant oil and gas projects, raising concerns among environmentalists that climate policy is being undermined

#alaska, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #conocophillips, #drilling-and-boring, #environment, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #haaland-deb, #interior-department, #national-petroleum-reserve-alaska, #native-americans, #natural-gas, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #pipelines, #suits-and-litigation-civil, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government

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Court Orders Shell to Slash Emissions in Historic Ruling

The Dutch verdict is the first to compel a private company, rather than a government, to curb greenhouse gases

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#environment, #sustainability

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Brazil’s Bid to Outsource Amazon Conservation Finds Few Takers

Brazil is seeking to share the cost and burden of protecting the rain forest with the private sector. But it has found few firms willing to help.

#amazon-jungle, #bolsonaro-jair-1955, #brazil, #carrefour-sa, #conservation-of-resources, #environment, #forests-and-forestry, #politics-and-government, #public-private-sector-cooperation

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Greenland Glaciers May Be Leaking Mercury

The toxin’s presence in meltwater raises concerns for fishing, a primary food source for Indigenous communities

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#environment, #sustainability

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Yellowstone is Warming at Its Fastest Rate in 1,250 Years

The summer of 2016 was the hottest in the nation’s first and oldest national park since 770

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#climate, #environment, #sustainability

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From trash to jet fuel in 60 minutes—and 220º C

Image of a jet being refueled.

Enlarge (credit: Tobias Titz / Getty Images)

The world has a lot of plastic—8.3 billion tonnes of the stuff has been produced since 1950. It has so much plastic that humans have started trying to figure out ways to use the vast quantities of plastic waste we’re accumulating. For some, that means recycling; for others, that means making art. For a team of researchers based out of Washington State University, it means making jet fuel.

Turning waste plastic into fuel isn’t a new idea. Many researchers have achieved it through a process called pyrolysis, which involves heating plastic to between 300º C and 900º C in an oxygen-free environment. This breaks the substance down into fuel, along with some additional chemicals. Hongfei Lin, associate professor with The Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering at WSU, thinks that he and his team have discovered a way to make the process more efficient and environmentally friendly.

The team has a track record of making fuels from biomass sources. A year and a half ago, however, they decided to look into chemically deconstructing polyethylene, one of the most common forms of plastic in the world. The team began trying out pretreating the plastic with different combinations of solvents and catalysts prior to heating.

Read 14 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#environment, #jet-fuel, #plastic-waste, #pyrolysis, #recycling, #science

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A Serene Shore Resort, Except for the SpaceX ‘Ball of Fire’

For years, those in a rural Texas village cherished living among nature and wildlife. Elon Musk’s SpaceX has brought new fears and the promise of an economic boost to one of America’s poorest corners.

#boca-chica-village-tex, #brownsville-tex, #environment, #explosions-accidental, #labor-and-jobs, #musk-elon, #private-spaceflight, #rio-grande-valley-tex, #rocket-science-and-propulsion, #space-exploration-technologies-corp

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It’s Crunch Time and Biden’s Climate Gambit Faces Steep Hurdles

He wants to require power companies to replace fossil fuels with clean energy. It’s a broadly popular idea but its path in Congress is perilous.

#alternative-and-renewable-energy, #barrasso-john, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #carbon-capture-and-sequestration, #carbon-dioxide, #environment, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #house-of-representatives, #senate, #united-states-politics-and-government

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Indonesian Lawsuit Seeks Court’s Help in Pollution Battle

A district court in Indonesia’s capital is expected to rule soon in a suit accusing the president and top officials of failing to curb pollution.

#air-pollution, #environment, #hazardous-and-toxic-substances, #human-rights-and-human-rights-violations, #indonesia, #jakarta-indonesia, #joko-widodo, #politics-and-government, #respiratory-diseases, #roads-and-traffic, #suits-and-litigation-civil

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The Case of Long Island’s Disappearing Brood X Cicadas

The insect cohort known as Brood X may not emerge on Long Island, a sign of humanity’s effects on even nature’s most reliable periodic events.

#cicadas-insects, #environment, #long-island-ny, #research, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

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France’s Proposed Climate Law Is Stirring Divisions

Emmanuel Macron’s credentials as a leader on climate issues are being tested as business and environmental groups spar over changes to the French way of life.

#basf-se, #demonstrations-protests-and-riots, #economic-conditions-and-trends, #environment, #france, #global-warming, #law-and-legislation, #lobbying-and-lobbyists, #macron-emmanuel-1977, #medef-mouvement-des-entreprises-de-france, #yellow-vests-movement

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What to Save? Climate Change Forces Brutal Choices at National Parks.

For decades, the core mission of the Park Service was absolute conservation. Now ecologists are being forced to do triage, deciding what to safeguard — and what to let slip away.

#acadia-national-park-me, #endangered-and-extinct-species, #environment, #forests-and-forestry, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #invasive-species, #national-park-service, #national-parks-monuments-and-seashores, #wildfires

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‘Tree Farts’ Increase Carbon Emissions in Ghost Forests

Trees killed off by encroaching seawater because of sea-level rise are a previously unappreciated source of greenhouse gases

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#environment, #sustainability

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Exxon Mobil’s Messaging Shifted Blame for Warming to Consumers

An analysis of the fossil fuel company’s documents also found it tried to downplay the dangers of climate change

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#climate, #environment, #sustainability

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First Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Released in U.S. Are Hatching Now

As Aedes aegypti mosquitoes increase their range because of warming climate, genetic manipulation of the disease-carrying species could gain wider appeal

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#biology, #climate, #environment, #the-sciences

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Republican Infrastructure Counterproposal Mostly Eliminates Climate Spending

Climate has emerged as a key sticking point in talks between President Biden and Republican leaders

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#climate, #environment, #policyethics, #sustainability

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Military and Environmentalists Align to Protect Key Coastal Salt Marsh

Development and sea-level rise threaten this crucial habitat and natural line of defense against storm surge

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#conservation, #environment, #sustainability

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For Clean Energy, Buy American or Buy It Quick and Cheap?

President Biden says slowing climate change will create jobs. Tension between unions and environmentalists shows it’s not so simple.

#albany-ny, #alternative-and-renewable-energy, #environment, #factories-and-manufacturing, #international-trade-and-world-market, #labor-and-jobs, #law-and-legislation, #new-york-state, #organized-labor, #protectionism-trade, #united-states-politics-and-government, #windmills

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Wind Project Shows Democratic Tensions Over Energy

President Biden says slowing climate change will create jobs. Tension between unions and environmentalists shows it’s not so simple.

#albany-ny, #alternative-and-renewable-energy, #environment, #factories-and-manufacturing, #international-trade-and-world-market, #labor-and-jobs, #law-and-legislation, #new-york-state, #organized-labor, #protectionism-trade, #united-states-politics-and-government, #windmills

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E-Commerce Mega-Warehouses, a Smog Source, Face New Pollution Rule

A plan aimed at the nation’s largest cluster of warehouses is designed to spur electrification of pollution-spewing diesel trucks and could set a template for restrictions elsewhere.

#air-pollution, #amazon-com-inc, #california, #e-commerce, #electric-and-hybrid-vehicles, #environment, #freight-cargo, #fuel-efficiency, #fuel-emissions-transportation, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #long-beach-calif, #regulation-and-deregulation-of-industry

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Carbon Capture Technologies Are Improving Nicely

U.S. lab is looking to establish a nationwide industry

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#environment, #sustainability, #tech

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China’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Exceed Those of All Other Developed Countries Combined

An ongoing buildout of coal-fired power plants is one big reason

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#environment, #sustainability

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See Fewer People. Take Fewer Showers.

Some people said they started bathing less during the pandemic. As long as no one complains, they say they plan to keep the new habit.

#bathing-and-showering, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #environment, #hamblin-james, #smells-and-odors

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People May Have Used Fire to Clear Forests More Than 80,000 Years Ago

Bushland around northern Lake Malawi in Africa might be the legacy of people burning forests tens of thousands of years earlier

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#environment, #sustainability

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‘Climate Change Is Not a Subjective Thing.’ How Does the U.S. Approach to the Environment Look From Abroad?

From recycling to carbon emissions, we asked 10 people from around the world what they thought of America’s approach to the environment. It didn’t go well.

#environment, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #lobbying-and-lobbyists, #recycling-of-waste-materials, #united-states

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E.P.A. to Announce Sharp Limits on Powerful Greenhouse Gases

The Biden administration is moving quickly to limit hydrofluorocarbons, the Earth-warming chemicals used in air-conditioning and refrigeration.

#air-conditioning, #air-pollution, #environment, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #regulation-and-deregulation-of-industry, #united-states-politics-and-government

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Millions of Groundwater Wells Could Run Dry

Overpumping, drought and climate change are lowering water tables worldwide

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#earth, #environment, #sustainability

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Unsnarling Traffic Jams Is the Newest Way to Lower Emissions

Results of a novel study would also save drivers time and fuel

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#environment, #sustainability

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U.S. Commits to Greater CO2 Reductions, China and India Do Not

At climate summit, Japan, Canada and the E.U. also announce ambitious targets, while Russia and Australia resist

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#climate, #environment, #policyethics, #sustainability

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Bolsonaro Seeks International Funding for Amazon Protection

The Biden era has prompted Brazil to take steps to repair its record as an environmental scoundrel — for which it’s seeking billions of dollars from the international community.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #bolsonaro-jair-1955, #environment, #global-warming, #united-states-international-relations

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National Park Nature Walks: A New Pop-Up Podcast Series

Take an acoustic journey into some of the most unique places in the country

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#environment, #sustainability

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When Climate Breakdown Hits Home: ‘Our Small Town Now Has a Rush Hour’

Readers share how environmental issues are changing their lives.

#disasters-and-emergencies, #environment, #floods, #global-warming, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #wildfires

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The Deepest Dive to Find the Secrets of the Whales

On Earth Day, Scientific American sits down with National Geographic underwater photographer Brian Skerry to talk about free diving with whales and filming the giant mammals within five meters or…

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#conservation, #environment, #sustainability

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Wildfire Recovery Aided with Planting Model

A new tool can help land managers focus their efforts to restore forests

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#advances, #environment, #sustainability

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Earth Day 2021: TV Shows and Documentaries to Watch

This year’s specials include a Greta Thunberg documentary, a David Attenborough extravaganza, James Cameron on whales and Cher rescuing an elephant.

#animals, #attenborough-david, #cameron-james, #cher-1946, #cher-and-the-loneliest-elephant-tv-program, #documentary-films-and-programs, #earth-day, #environment, #global-warming, #greta-thunberg-a-year-to-change-the-world-tv-program, #life-in-color-with-david-attenborough-tv-program, #secrets-of-the-whales-tv-program, #television, #thunberg-greta, #weaver-sigourney

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