Climate change from a population perspective

Mekong Delta in Vietnam, an urban low elevation coastal zone Numerous policy discussions have emerged regarding the impact of climate change on humans; however, this interaction is a two-way street, said scientists in a Washington, DC briefing last Friday. That is, how will climate change impact human health and how will population growth affect factors like carbon emissions? The short answer is that they are closely connected; the...

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Looking to the Jersey Shore for CO2 sequestration

Riding on the heels of Copenhagen, a study published yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences outlined one way the United States might address enormous CO2 emission levels. Not surprisingly, the researchers propose carbon sequestration; it is the location, however, that makes this study unique.  Beach at Sandy Hook, New Jersey Photo Credit: National Park Service The scientists have pinpointed volcanic rock,...

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Biofuel’s indirect environmental effects

Biofuels hold promise for reducing the world’s consumption of unsustainable fossil fuels.  But like any new technology, they come with their own host of issues and problems.  One such problem is the so-called “indirect” effect of biofuels on the landscape and the atmosphere. For example, when farmlands are converted to biofuel crops, the food formerly grown on those lands needs to be grown somewhere else.  This could...

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Blaze fierce in CA despite resistant vegetation

As fires cloak the San Gabriel Mountains in southern California, workers are attempting to carry out controlled burns along the perimeter of the fire. Firefighters battle part of the blaze in Glendale, CA. Photo courtesy Gina Ferazzi for the Los Angeles Times. These burns will reduce the amount of fuel around the current fire so that if the fire reaches this radius, it will have a higher chance of burning itself out. The concept of...

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