Newswise Environment Wire 23-Jun-2011PIO edition  
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This Newswise Theme Wire includes research and feature news releases on the Environment and Climate Change. More information on these topics, please view the Newswise Channels: Climate Change and Environemnt.

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Caribou in Alberta’s Oil Sands Stressed by Human Activity, Not Wolves
New research suggests that, in the Athabasca Oil Sands in northern Alberta, human activity related to oil production and the timber industry could be more important than wolves in the decline of the caribou population. (Embargo expired on 22-Jun-2011 at 10:00 ET)
Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, June 2011
—University of Washington

Scientists Call for Safety Testing of Chemicals to Include Prenatal Exposures
A review published online June 22 ahead of print in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) reports the conclusions of an international workshop on ways to improve chemicals safety testing for effects on the breast. The studies reviewed by workshop scientists indicate that chemical exposures during critical periods of development may influence breast growth, ability to breastfeed, and cancer risk. The scientists recommend that future chemical testing evaluate effects on the breast after prenatal and early-life exposure. (Embargo expired on 22-Jun-2011 at 00:00 ET)
Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP)
—Environmental Health Perspectives (NIEHS)

Worldwide Increase in Forest Density Under Way
A new study challenges measurements of carbon storage based on forest area alone. Several national increases of density and/or area signal the Great Reversal is under way in forests globally after centuries of loss and decline. • Image(s) embedded • 
—Rockefeller University

Scientists Call North American Wildlife Conservation Model Flawed
Often touted as the greatest envirnmental achievement of the 20th century, the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation is anything but, say wildlife ecologists and environmental ethicists from Michigan Technological University and Michigan State University. • Image(s) embedded • 
The Wildlife Professional , Summer, 2011
—Michigan Technological University

Societies Establish Climate Change Position
The 10,000-plus members of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America develop a position statement on climate change.
—American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), Soil Science Society of America

Scientists Seek to Adapt Crops to Climate Change
Crop Science Society of America releases a position statement that calls for research programs to understand crops’ adaptation to drought, heat, and biological stresses from climate change
—Crop Science Society of America (CSSA)

Asbestos Exposure Linked to Genetic Mutation
Mice exposed to a high concentration of asbestos-contaminated dust, have a higher level of genetic somatic mutations, compared with other regions where asbestos pollution levels are lower. This has been shown in a new study.
—University of Haifa

Study Finds Golden Algae Responsible for Killing Millions of Fish Less Toxic in Sunlight
A new Baylor University study has found that sunlight decreases the toxicity of golden algae, which kills millions of fish in the southern United States every year.
Journal of Plankton Research
—Baylor University

Pesticide Impact: Comparing Lab, Field-Scale Results
Researchers analyze data collection methods for examining the environmental impacts of pesticide use.
Journal of Environmental Quality, 3, May 2011
—American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), Soil Science Society of America

Conservation on the Menu: Study Can Help Decrease Water Usage in Restaurants
Recent research by Matthew VanSchenkhof, a Kansas State University doctoral student, can help restaurants decrease water usage without dampening dinner.
—Kansas State University

Baylor University Researcher Available to Speak about Wildfires and Climate Change
A Baylor University expert is available to journalists for interviews about how climate change in the desert southwest will decrease the likelihood of widespread and intense wildfires, such as the one in Arizona, over the next 50 years.
Expert(s) available
—Baylor University

Global Temperature Report: May 2011
Pacific cooling fades, temperatures rise • Image(s) embedded • 
—University of Alabama Huntsville

Paved Surfaces Can Foster Build-Up of Polluted Air
New research focusing on the Houston area suggests that widespread urban development alters wind patterns in a way that can make it easier for pollutants to build up during warm summer weather instead of being blown out to sea. • Image(s) embedded • 
Journal of Geophysical Research--Atmospheres
—National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)

Study Finds Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategy May Be Safe for Soil Animals
A new study has found that an emerging tool for combating climate change may cause less harm to some soil animals than initial studies suggested.
Soil Biology and Biochemistry
—Baylor University

Determining Changes to Animals' Diet as a Result of Changes in Ecosystems
Dr. Sara Iverson from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia is able to determine what predators at the top of the food chain are eating, and by extension, how their diet has changed due to changes in ecosystems. • Image(s) embedded • 
—Dalhousie University

Wild Winds: Changes in Weather Patterns Creating More Severe Storms
A Kansas State University climate expert attributes the increase in the number and severity of tornadoes and severe storms in 2011 to a change in weather patterns.
Expert(s) available
—Kansas State University

Human Impacts of Rising Oceans Will Extend Well Beyond Coasts
Estimates that are based on current, static population data can greatly misrepresent the true extent – and the pronounced variability – of the human toll of climate change, say University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers.
Population and Environment
—University of Wisconsin-Madison

Using Mine Waste to Grow an Industry
Stamp sand, a barren and unsightly leftover of Upper Michigan's industrial past, may someday end up on your roof. • Image(s) embedded • 
—Michigan Technological University

Water Conservation Can Save Energy and Reduce Pollution
Consumers may not be aware of the connection between water and energy consumption--or the greenhouse gases emitted as a byproduct. A new report offers steps industry and state leaders and consumers can take to reduce water consumption and save energy.
—University of California, Berkeley, School of Law

Like that Wetland Near You? New Study Predicts Risk of Wetland Habitat Loss in Southern United States
Baylor University, in collaboration with the U.S Forest Service (USFS) Rocky Mountain Research Station, has developed a model that predicts the risk of wetland habitat loss based on local wetland features and characteristics of the landscape surrounding the wetland. The new model was used to predict the fate of wetland habitats over a 13-state area in the southern United States.
Ecological Applications
—Baylor University

Greenhouse Ocean Study Offers Warning for Future
The mass extinction of marine life in our oceans during prehistoric times is a warning that the Earth will see such an extinction again because of high levels of greenhouse gases, according to new research by geologists.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
—University of Adelaide

Real Nature Beats Technological Stand-Ins for Human Well-Being
As our environment degrades and technology improves, can technological versions of nature become suitable replacements? In a new book, a University of Washington psychologist argues that to flourish, humans need exposure to the natural world.
Technological Nature: Adaptation and the Future of Human Life
—University of Washington

Sewage-Derived Nitrogen Increasingly Polluting Caribbean Ecosystems
A study published in Global Change Biology finds that while fertilizer has been the dominant source of nitrogen pollution in Caribbean coastal ecosystems for the past 50 years, such pollution is on the decline. Now, sewage-derived nitrogen is increasingly becoming the top source of such pollution in those areas. • Image(s) embedded • 
Global Change Biology
—American University

Researchers Identify Extensive Methane Leaks Under Streets of Boston
Earlier this year, Boston University researchers and collaborators conducted a mobile greenhouse gas audit in Boston and found hundreds of natural gas leaks under the streets and sidewalks of Greater Boston. Nathan Phillips, associate professor of geography and environment and director of BU’s Center for Environmental and Energy Studies (CEES), and his research partners will present these and related findings at NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) Global Monitoring Annual Conference, May 17-18 in Boulder, Colorado.
Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) Global Monitoring Annual Conference
—Boston University College of Arts & Sciences

April Temperatures Rebound After March's La Nina Lows
Global temperatures rebounded during April folllowing La Nina lows in March. April's composite temperature was 0.22 degrees F above 30-year average for April. Driven by the La Nina Pacific Ocean cooling event, global average temperatures in March 2011 were the coolest March since 1999.  • Image(s) embedded • 
—University of Alabama Huntsville

Review Assesses Gulf of Mexico Seafood Safety Testing After Deepwater Horizon
The safety of seafood from the Gulf of Mexico became a central concern following the Deepwater Horizon blowout a year ago. Even after previously closed Gulf waters began reopening in summer 2010, consumer confidence in the safety of Gulf seafood remained shaky. A new review published online May 12 ahead of print in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) affirms that levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) found thus far in Gulf seafood samples in fact have been well below levels that would be of concern for human health. (Embargo expired on 12-May-2011 at 00:00 ET)
Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP)
—Environmental Health Perspectives (NIEHS)

New Strategy Aims to Reduce Agricultural Ammonia Emissions
In the May-June 2011 issue of the Journal of Environmental Quality, scientists report how natural plant compounds known as tannins cut both the amount of nitrogen cows excrete in urine, and the action of a microbial enzyme in manure that converts nitrogen into ammonia on the barn floor. In their study, ammonia emissions dropped by up to 30%.
Journal of Environmental Quality
—American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), Soil Science Society of America

BP Oil Spill Threatens More Species Than Legally Protected
Marine species facing threats from the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico far exceed those under legal protection in the United States, a new paper finds. Researchers found 39 additional marine species beyond the 14 protected by federal law, ranging from whale sharks to seagrass, that are at an elevated risk of extinction.
BioScience, May 2011
—University of New Hampshire

NASA Project Eyes Climate Change in Greenland -- with a Third Eye on Mars
Indiana University Bloomington scientists will use knowledge about methane production by cold-weather microbes on Earth to help NASA zero in on evidence for similar, carbon-based microbes that could have evolved on Mars, the Jovian moon Europa, or Saturn's Enceladus. • Image(s) embedded • 
—Indiana University

APS Releases New Technical Assessment: Direct Air Capture of CO2 with Chemicals
The American Physical Society has released a new assessment — Direct Air Capture of CO2 with Chemicals — to better inform the scientific community on the technical aspects of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
—American Institute of Physics (AIP)

A Renewable Twist on Fossil Fuels
Pulling valuable fuels out of thin air? It sounds like magic, but Joel Rosenthal, a chemist at the University of Delaware, is working to transform carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, into gas for your car and clean-energy future fuels. Rosenthal is a winner of the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award from Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU).  • Image(s) embedded • 
—University of Delaware

Evolutionary Lessons for Wind Farm Efficiency
Evolution is providing the inspiration for University of Adelaide computer science research to find the best placement of turbines to increase wind farm productivity.
—University of Adelaide

Climate Change Analysis Predicts Increased Fatalities from Heat Waves
Global climate change is anticipated to bring more extreme weather phenomena such as heat waves that could impact human health in the coming decades. An analysis led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health calculated that the city of Chicago could experience between 166 and 2,217 excess deaths per year attributable to heat waves using three different climate change scenarios for the final decades of the 21st century.
Environmental Health Perspectives, May, 2011
—Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Global Warming Won't Harm Wind Energy Production, Climate Models Predict
The production of wind energy in the U.S. over the next 30-50 years will be largely unaffected by upward changes in global temperature, say a pair of Indiana University Bloomington scientists who analyzed output from several regional climate models to assess future wind patterns in America's lower 48 states. • Image(s) embedded •  (Embargo expired on 02-May-2011 at 15:00 ET)
PNAS, Early Edition
—Indiana University

After a Three-Decade Hiatus, Sea-Level Rise May Return to the West Coast
The West Coast of North America has caught a break that has left sea level in the eastern North Pacific Ocean steady during the last few decades, but there is evidence that a change in wind patterns may be occurring that could cause coastal sea-level rise to accelerate beginning this decade. • Image(s) embedded • 
Geophysical Research--Oceans
—University of California, San Diego

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