Newswise Environment Wire
Energy, Health, and Conservation 16-Feb-2011
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Newswise Environment Wire

This Newswise theme wire focuses on the Environment and Climate Change research, features, and experts. More Environment stories are available at the Environment Channel, and the Climate Change Channel, with new articles added regularly.


Natural Resource Policy - A Field for the 21st Century
Natural resource policy is an emerging academic field that focuses on the people part of science. It straddles the social and environmental sciences. "People cause social problems; people are affected by them; people care about them; and it's people who have to fix them," says Michigan Tech Professor Kathy Halvorsen. • Image(s) embedded • 
Expert(s) available
—Michigan Technological University

Earth’s Hot Past Could be Prologue to Future Climate
The magnitude of climate change during Earth’s deep past suggests that future temperatures may eventually rise far more than projected if society continues its pace of emitting greenhouse gases, a new analysis concludes. Building on recent research, the study examines the relationship between global temperatures and high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere tens of millions of years ago. (Embargo expired on 13-Jan-2011 at 14:00 ET)
Science, January 14, 2011
—National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)

Could Oysters be Used to Clean Up Chesapeake Bay?
In a study funded by the U.S. EPA and administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, biologists at Virginia Commonwealth University measured the nutrient removal capacity of the Eastern oyster.
Journal of Environmental Quality
—American Society of Agronomy (ASA)

New Method for Reporting Solar Data
A straightforward new way to calculate, compile, and graphically present solar radiation measurements in a format that is accessible to decision makers and the general public has been developed by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin and is described in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy. (Embargo expired on 11-Jan-2011 at 09:00 ET)
Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy
—American Institute of Physics (AIP)

Being Poor Can Suppress Children’s Genetic Potentials
Growing up poor can suppress a child’s genetic potential to excel cognitively even before the age of 2. Half of the gains that wealthier children show between 10 months and 2 years of age can be attributed to their genes. But children from poorer families show almost no improvements that are driven by their genetic makeup.
Psychological Science
—University of Texas at Austin

Freshwater Methane Release Changes Greenhouse Gas Equation
An international team of scientists has released data indicating that greenhouse gas uptake by continents is less than previously thought because of methane emissions from freshwater areas.
Science
—Iowa State University

Bad Housekeeping: Dust in Earth’s Atmosphere Has Doubled Since the Start of the 20Th Century
The amount of dust in the Earth’s atmosphere doubled since the beginning of the 20th century and the dramatic increase is influencing climate and ecology around the world, according to a new study led by Natalie Mahowald, Cornell associate professor of earth and atmospheric sciences.
American Geophysical Union
—Cornell University

Natural Dissolved Organic Matter Plays Dual Role in Cycling of Mercury
Nature has a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde relationship with mercury, but researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have made a discovery that ultimately could help explain the split personality.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)
—Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Climate Disasters: New Study Explores How People Respond
New results from a Baylor University study show that different behaviors and strategies lead some families to cope better and emerge stronger after a weather-related event.
Climatic Change
Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change
—Baylor University

Living Near Busy Roadways Ups Chances of Allergic Asthma
An international team of lung experts has new evidence from a study in shantytowns near Lima, Peru, that teens living immediately next to a busy roadway have increased risk of allergies and asthma. The odds can go up by 30 percent for developing allergies to dust mites, pet hairs and mold, and can double for having actual asthma symptoms, such as wheezing and using medications to help them breathe. (Embargo expired on 18-Jan-2011 at 00:05 ET)
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
—Johns Hopkins Medicine

Empowering Private Landowners to Restore Grasslands at Risk
Encroaching woody plants such as the eastern redcedar are affecting many privately owned grasslands in the Midwestern United States. The attitudes and behaviors of private landowners to redcedar expansion are essential to preserving the remaining tallgrass prairie. Landowners must join forces to identify management strategies that will minimize this threat to grassland ecosystems. However, the owners’ attitudes toward taking steps to manage the restoration of the grasslands may affect efforts to preserve the prairie.
Rangeland Ecology & Management
—Allen Press Publishing Services

Identifying Factors in Atrazine’s Reduced Weed Control
In a collaborative study the USDA-ARS Water Management Research Unit and Colorado State University, soil samples were analyzed to determine the extent of atrzine degradation in northeastern Colorado.
Journal of Environmental Quality
—American Society of Agronomy (ASA)

2010 – Statistical Tie for Warmest Year
The year 2010 finished in a photo finish with 1998 for the warmest year in the 32-year satellite temperature record. 2010 was only 0.013 C cooler than 1998, an amount that is not statistically significant. • Image(s) embedded • 
—University of Alabama Huntsville

Eggs Show Arctic Mercury Cycling May Be Linked to Ice Cover
An international research team working with NIST scientists has suggested for the first time that mercury cycling in the flora and fauna of the Arctic may be linked to the amount of ice cover present. • Image(s) embedded • 
Nature Geoscience, Jan. 16, 2011
—National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Boston, New England Feel Record Heat in 2010
For Boston, 2010 was the hottest year since at least 1872, according to the Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University. Four other cities in New England also had their all-time hottest year. In all, 23 of the 35 cities monitored saw the average temperature for 2010 rank among the 10 hottest years on record.
—Cornell University

Polar Opposites
They share a first name and a passion for oceanography, but beginning in late January, professors Deborah Bronk and Deborah Steinberg of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science will be polar opposites—literally. Bronk is scheduled to arrive in Barrow Alaska on January 25th to lead a team studying the Arctic coastal ecosystem. Steinberg will be leading her own team into their fourth week of shipboard research in the waters off the Antarctic Peninsula.
—Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS),College of William and Mary

Celebrating 100 Years of National Parks in Canada
Canada's national parks have seen many changes in the 100 years they have been around. Our national parks and Canadians' connections to them have helped shaped Canada's national identity. • Image(s) embedded • 
—Dalhousie University

New Company to Become Leader in Algal Biofuels
A new Australian company has been established to produce commercial quantities of clean, "green" fuels from algae.
—University of Adelaide

WHOI Data Library to House and Preserve Ocean Ecosystem Archives
Alexander Graham Bell once said that when one door closes another one opens, and the open doors of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Data Library and Archives are making it possible to help preserve the voluminous archives of GLOBEC, a study of Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics, which closed at the end of 2009.
—Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

‘Hot-Bunking’ Bacterium Recycles Iron to Boost Ocean Metabolism
In the vast ocean where an essential nutrient—iron—is scarce, a marine bacterium that launches the ocean food web survives by using a remarkable biochemical trick: It recycles iron.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
—Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

 
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