Nature of Things

By Carol Brighton | News about Natural Resources & Climate.

Yes, Oysters Can ‘Hear.’ They Probably Wish We’d Clam Up.

Like anyone with rowdy neighbors, oysters may be feeling stressed thanks to the growing problem of underwater noise pollution, and are trying to filter out the racket.<p>New research published Wednesday in PLoS One reveals that oysters will close their shells when exposed to noises along a range of …

Oysters

How Community-Led 'Rights of Nature' Initiatives Are Protecting Ecosystems

In 2008, Ecuador's leadership rewrote its constitution to include the rights of nature, effectively awarding legal rights to the environment. This …

Rights & Freedoms

A new plan to protect the water around the Seychelles

THE Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 mostly tiny islands, whose collective area, at 460 sq km, is only about a third of London’s. But the …

The World is Running Out of Sand

The little-known exploitation of this seemingly infinite resource could wreak political and environmental havoc<p>Comment on this Story

Environment

The Ocean Is So Noisy, Whales Are Starting to Talk on a New Frequency

New research suggests that blue whales are changing their communication band due to noise from human ships.<p>The ocean is a noisy place. Beyond the typical noises like crashing waves there is the increasing presence of ships to makes things even louder. Above the water, this might not seem like a big …

Oceans

Thirty Years After Montreal Pact, Solving the Ozone Problem Remains Elusive

Despite a ban on chemicals like chlorofluorocarbons, the ozone hole over Antarctica remains nearly as large as it did when the Montreal Protocol was …

Climate Change

The Biggest Battle in Five Generations

Using a hose, Adam Kravitz transplants oysters from one area to another in Mud Bay near Olympia, Washington, at one of Taylor Shellfish’s many farms …

Oceans

To save endangered whales, look to the poop

Dung holds clues about noise pollution and lack of food.<p>When Samuel Wasser and his colleagues first took to the ocean in search of whale poop, they discovered that this unusual pastime can lead to the occasional misunderstanding. One day, they were noticed by a county sheriff on the prowl for drug …

Oceans

Domino Effect: The Myriad Impacts of Warming on an East Coast Estuary

Delaware Bay provides a case study in how warming oceans, more severe storms, and sea-level rise are impacting estuaries around the world. The …

Climate Change

Understanding What Makes Plants Happy

Thomas Rainer and I have both been doing the botanical thing for decades; we know, and use, many of the same plants — and even much of the same horticultural vocabulary. But what he and I see when we look at a butterfly weed or a coneflower, or what we mean when we say familiar words like …

Gardening

Climate Change Is A Security Threat

<i>By UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa and Ambassador Melanne Verveer</i><p>Climate change is a security threat and a vulnerability multiplier. It affects human security, food security, water security, energy security—and women’s security.<p>The security threat starts in places like the Sahel. South …

Climate

Global trade causes more than 20 percent of air-pollution deaths.

A new study in the journal Nature investigated what triggers the nearly 3.5 million annual deaths worldwide stemming from airborne particulate …

Hopeful combo: World economy grows, carbon emissions stay flat

For three years running, global carbon dioxide emissions have been essentially flat, a survey finds. It hints at the potential for 'decoupling' …

WHITE HOUSE: The Clean Power Plan is gone — and there's no 'replace'

For some Democrats, the order represents a tightrope walk. It's bound to be challenged in court by liberal state attorneys general and environmental …

This man is cloning old-growth redwoods and planting them in safe places (video)

<b>David Milarch is on a quest to save California's coast redwoods, some of the world's oldest and largest living things; he may be saving the planet</b> …

Nature

Winter 2017 | Avoiding a Collision Course - Reducing Whale Ship Strikes

<i>Image: NOAA</i><p><b>Avoiding a Collision Course - Local & Global Action to Reduce Whale Ship Strikes</b><p>Posted 5 March 2017 by Carol Brighton<p>During the 2015/16 …

Oceans

Source of world's biggest pool of underwater greenhouse gas discovered by scientists

The source of the world’s biggest underwater pool of the powerful greenhouse gas methane has been discovered in the Pacific Ocean by a team of …

Climate Change

Designer forests: Scientists hope to tune up Canada's trees to thrive in changing climate

Forest geneticists aim to tune up Canada’s working forests with trees better suited to changing climate conditions and that increase timber yields by …

Ecology

Is Louisiana's coastal loss a 'national emergency'? Declaring it might speed federal money | NOLA.com

The 2017 version of Louisiana's $50 billion, 50-year master plan for coastal protection and restoration is about to be delivered to the Legislature, …

Everyone In Donald Trump's Cabinet Is Failing Americans

IDEAS<p><i>Clarke is the U.S. Representative for the 9th District of New York. Shank teaches at NYU's Center for Global Affairs.</i><p>As President Donald Trump’s …

Climate

'We are rewriting the textbooks': first dives to Amazon coral reef stun scientists

Scientists have discovered the river reef is far bigger, and more important, than first thought – a biodiversity hotspot on a par with the Great Barrier Reef. Now they face a race to protect it from big oil<p>There is a flickering, bright glimmer of sky as the two-person submarine descends beneath the …

Oceans

Hawaii wants to ban chemical sunscreens to save its coral reefs

<b>When sunscreen chemicals wash off beach-goers, they bleach coral, stunt its growth, and sometimes kill it outright.</b><p>If you’re heading to Hawaii, or …

‘Beyond the extreme’: Scientists marvel at ‘increasingly non-natural’ Arctic warmth

The Arctic is so warm and has been this warm for so long that scientists are struggling to explain it and are in disbelief. The climate of the Arctic is known to oscillate wildly, but scientists say this warmth is so extreme that humans surely have their hands in it and may well be changing how it …

Climate Change

Pollution Has Worked Its Way Down To The World's Deepest Waters

The Mariana Trench in the northern Pacific is the deepest part of the world's oceans. You might think a place that remote would be untouched by human activity.<p>But the Mariana Trench is polluted.<p>At its deepest — about 7 miles down — the water in the trench is near freezing. The pressure would crush …

Feds delay endangered bumblebee's protection

The rusty patched bumblebee was supposed to be officially added to the endangered species list on February 10th. Unfortunately, the insect's fate is now uncertain: a Federal Register notice filed on January 20th says the Trump administration has put its designation on hold until March 21st. It was …

Bees

Sound of crickets 'could become a thing of the past'

<b>The first comprehensive assessment of Europe's crickets and grasshoppers has found that more than a quarter of species are being driven to extinction.</b><p>According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the insect group is the most threatened of those assessed so far in …

Canary Islands

Apparently Dolphins in Australia Like to Get Stoned by Chewing on Toxic Blowfish

Some scientists believe that the toxin in the fish can produce a numbing or narcotic effect, putting the dolphins in a trance-like state.<p>Just as humans have figured out how to harness the hallucinogenic properties of just about anything, dolphins seem to have found a vice of their own. A group of …

Forests and Carbon

It’s well-established that healthy forests absorb the atmospheric carbon that contributes to climate change. Conventional wisdom tells us the more …

National seafood rule could prevent marine mammal deaths…if it’s not revoked

Co-authored by Erica Cirino<p>When fishers dip their nets, trawls, traps and hooks into the sea they often catch a lot more than the seafood they intended: All types of sea creatures, mostly fish but also marine mammals, are caught and killed in fishers’ gear. By some estimates, up to forty percent of …

Oceans