Ecology Economy Environment

What price tag would you put on a walk in the woods?

Ecosystem services such as pollination and carbon storage are increasingly factored into land management decisions. But what about less tangible benefits? Author: Olivia McRae Top Photo: Ben Lybarger This article originally appeared at Ensia.com and is reproduced here under Creative Commons licensing (CC BY-ND 3.0) Ecosystem services such as pollination and carbon storage are increasingly […]

Agriculture Environment

Improved Pesticide Testing: A Better Way To Protect Our Environment

By Efstathia Robakis Synthetic pesticides can be a hot-button issue–they may be important in maximizing crop yields for an ever-growing global population, but they have also been implicated in the ongoing decline in biodiversity, despite their perception as being highly regulated. This disconnect, between seemingly-tight regulations and the environmental reality we are facing, might be […]

Animal Behavior Climate Change Environment

Termites actively help save soils during droughts, study finds

Author: Shreya Dasgupta Researchers studying the effects of termites in an old-growth tropical forest in Malaysian Borneo found that both termite numbers and activity increased during the El Niño drought of 2015-2016, resulting in higher leaf litter decomposition and soil moisture compared to a test plot where the termite population had been artificially suppressed. These improvements […]

Climate Change Environment

Climate change linked to specific 2017 extreme weather events

This article originally appeared at Mongabay.com and is republished here under CC BY-ND 4.0 license. According to the seventh annual special report by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS) probing the causal links between rising global temperatures and extreme weather events, issued last month, climate change made the Northern Great Plains drought of 2017 some […]

Agriculture Environment Food Production

Healthy soil is the real key to feeding the world

Top photo: Planting a diverse blend of crops and cover crops, and not tilling, helps promote soil health. Photo credit: Catherine Ulitsky, USDA/Flickr, CC BY Author: David R. Montgomery, University of Washington One of the biggest modern myths about agriculture is that organic farming is inherently sustainable. It can be, but it isn’t necessarily. After […]

Environment Indigenous Communities Journalism

Why covering the environment is one of the most dangerous beats in journalism

Top photo: Journalists who cover illegal operations like logging at this site in northern Sagaing division, Myanmar, can face threats and violence. AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe Author: Eric Freedman, Michigan State University From the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Kashoggi by Saudi agents to President Trump’s clashes with the White House press corps, attacks on reporters […]

Climate Change Environment

“A Never-Ending Commitment”: The High Cost of Preserving Vulnerable Beaches

By Lisa Song and Al Shaw, ProPublica  As lawmakers consider disaster relief in the wake of Hurricane Florence, projects to rebuild North Carolina’s shrunken shorelines are likely to get a healthy chunk of government money. To their advocates, these so-called beach nourishment initiatives are crucial steps in buffering valuable oceanfront properties from storm damage and boosting […]

Agriculture Environment Food Production Groundwater

Farmers are drawing groundwater from the giant Ogallala Aquifer faster than nature replaces it

Top photo: Water from an irrigation system sprays flowering cotton plants on the farm of Allen Entz in Hydro, Okla, Aug. 16, 2012. AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki Author: Char Miller, W. M. Keck Professor of Environmental Analysis and History, Pomona College Every summer the U.S. Central Plains go dry, leading farmers to tap into groundwater to […]

Climate Change Environment

Hope and mourning in the Anthropocene: Understanding ecological grief

Top Photo: Crossing an increasingly unfamiliar landscape in Nain, Canada. By Ashlee Cunsolo. Authors: Neville Ellis, University of Western Australia and Ashlee Cunsolo, Memorial University of Newfoundland We are living in a time of extraordinary ecological loss. Not only are human actions destabilising the very conditions that sustain life, but it is also increasingly clear […]

Climate Change Deforestation Environment Human Rights Indigenous Communities

Indigenous forests could be a key to averting climate catastrophe

By Sue Branford and Maurício Torres This article originally appeared on Mongabay.com, 6 November 2017 (Republished under under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND).   A new study finds the world’s tropical forests may no longer be carbon sinks, with a net loss of 425 million tons of carbon from 2003 to 2014. Also, 1.1 billion metric tons of carbon is […]