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  • News

    Just adding pollinators could boost small-farm yields

    Just sending more pollinators into action on small farms around the world could significantly boost crop yields, says a massive new study.

    Coaxing more bees, beetles and other pollinators to buzz around small fields could on average boost crop yields enough to close the gap between the worst and the best of these farms by almost a quarter, says agroecologist Lucas Alejandro Garibaldi of...

    01/21/2016 - 14:13 Agriculture, Ecology, Sustainability
  • Science Stats

    Humankind’s water use greater than thought

    Humans’ global water footprint is up to 18 percent greater than previous estimates, researchers from Sweden report in a new study.

    An analysis of water and climate data from 1901 to 2008 from 100 large water basins around the world revealed more water loss to the atmosphere and less water runoff compared with conclusions from earlier studies. The researchers link both water impacts to...

    12/03/2015 - 15:23 Earth, Sustainability, Agriculture
  • News

    Rising temperatures complicate efforts to manage cod fishery

    Warming waters in the Gulf of Maine have reduced Atlantic cod populations in that region and distorted estimates of how many fish were available to catch, a new study finds.

    Cod stocks have decreased even though fishing quotas should have maintained a sustainable cod fishery. But those quotas relied on historical data without considering higher water temperatures, leading to incorrect...

    10/29/2015 - 14:48 Oceans, Climate, Sustainability
  • Wild Things

    Shipwreck provides window into Tudor-era cod fishing

    An army marches on its stomach, the saying goes, but so too sails a navy. And when Tudor England was starting to ramp up its fleet, on its way to becoming a global naval power, its navy drew its food supply from far and wide, a new study shows. By the mid-16th century, globalization had begun.

    Commercial fishing and the growth of sea power reinforced globalization in Renaissance Europe,...

    09/13/2015 - 05:00 Animals, Sustainability
  • Reviews & Previews

    Alison Jolly’s last book chronicles efforts to save lemurs

    Thank You, MadagascarAlison JollyZed Books, $27.95

    When Alison Jolly died last year, the world lost one of its leading authorities on lemurs. Jolly began studying these primates on her first trip to Madagascar in 1962 and spent much of her career documenting the animals’ social lives. But her academic work was hardly her only legacy. Like many other researchers who study endangered...

    06/28/2015 - 10:00 Conservation, Sustainability, Animals
  • Science Visualized

    A coast-to-coast picture of America's cacophony of sounds

    An ambitious National Park Service project exploits computer algorithms to predict the loudness of a typical summer day from coast to coast. The project’s newest map (above, with yellow representing the loudest noise) includes natural sounds, but it’s the human-made features that jump out.

    The eastern half of the United States is louder than the West, according to the map, released...

    02/16/2015 - 12:12 Sustainability, Conservation
  • Science Ticker

    Funding canceled for clean coal plant

    Under a looming budget deadline, the U.S. Department of Energy has dropped its plan to give $1 billion in funding to FutureGen 2.0, a $1.65 billion clean coal project in Illinois.

    The project would have retrofitted a coal power plant with new technology that sequestered 1.1 million metric tons of carbon pollution underground each year. The funding cut most likely means the project will...

    02/06/2015 - 12:33 Pollution, Sustainability
  • News in Brief

    Funding canceled for clean coal plant

    Under a looming budget deadline, the U.S. Department of Energy has dropped its plan to give $1 billion in funding to FutureGen 2.0, a $1.65 billion clean coal project in Illinois.

    The project would have retrofitted a coal power plant with new technology to sequester 1.1 million metric tons of carbon pollution underground each year (SN: 9/6/14, p. 22). The cut most likely means the...

    02/06/2015 - 12:33 Pollution, Sustainability
  • Reviews & Previews

    Human ingenuity takes on Mother Nature in ‘The Big Ratchet’

    The Big RatchetRuth DeFriesBasic Books, $27.99

    The second half of the 20th century witnessed “the Big Ratchet.” That’s what DeFries, an environmental geographer at Columbia University, calls the massive surge in food production that accompanied the world’s skyrocketing population growth. Her book looks back much further to survey the technological innovations that transformed humans...

    10/04/2014 - 10:00 Sustainability, Ecosystems, Ecology
  • Science Ticker

    Greener water splitter for hydrogen fuel designed

    Guest post by Nsikan Akpan

    A new water splitter powered by a single AAA battery could reduce the carbon pollution created from making hydrogen fuel cells, scientists report August 22 in Nature Communications.

    Cars running on hydrogen fuel cells produce zero emissions, but currently, factories must use fossil fuels, such as natural gas, or precious metals, such as platinum, to...

    08/25/2014 - 15:45 Materials, Sustainability, Pollution