NEWS ABOUT: environment

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Beef: Meat Industry's Worst Eco-Offender

Raising cattle takes up 160 times as much land as plants, study finds

(Newser) - Think drive-thru cheeseburgers are cheap? Think again. What may be light on the wallet is heavy on the planet, according to a new study on the environmental costs per calorie of beef, pork, poultry, dairy, and eggs—which, combined, make up 96% of the calories Americans get via animal sources.... More »

Odd Ditches Made Before Amazon Rainforest Grew

Study: Before it was jungle, it was savannah

(Newser) - Some 3,000 years ago, the Bolivian Amazon didn’t look like a jungle at all—it was more like an African savannah. A new study reveals how the ancient landscape took shape, and sheds new light on the mysterious ditches the early Amazonians built there for purposes unknown. The... More »

99% of Ocean Plastic Is AWOL

Bad news: It's probably entering our food chain

(Newser) - Millions of tons of plastic thought to be floating around the world’s oceans have gone missing. But that's not the good news one might think. According to a new study , marine animals could be ingesting our garbage, reports the Verge . Up to 99% of the most microscopic plastic... More »

Antarctica's New Scourge: Tourists

Number of humans is soaring in a fragile ecosystem

(Newser) - The fanny-pack set is now the bane of even Antarctica's existence: A new study published in PLoS Biology is warning that, yes, tourists are threatening the frigid environment of the globe's least populated continent. "Many people think that Antarctica is well protected from threats to its biodiversity... More »

Obama May Create Earth's Biggest Ocean Sanctuary

Would use executive authority to expand Bush-created monument

(Newser) - In 2009, President Bush created an 87,000-square-mile marine sanctuary in the Pacific. Now, his successor wants to expand the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument to 782,000 miles, a move that would double the area of protected ocean worldwide, the Washington Post reports. The marine sanctuary would be... More »

A Bioluminescent Bay Has Suddenly Gone Dark

Change threatens tourist economy of Puerto Rico's Vieques

(Newser) - Puerto Rico's Mosquito Bay has long awed visitors with its magical glow, the result of plankton called dinoflagellates that "shimmer." This year, however, what Gizmodo dubs "one of the world's most spectacular natural sights" has gone dark. In January, the bay—located about 10 miles... More »

Scientists: China's Bulldozing of Mountains Is Nuts

Chinese experts say environmental damage is already evident

(Newser) - China is bulldozing its mountains by the dozen to make way for cities—a move that could prove disastrous, Chinese scientists warn in Nature . The country is only a fraction of the way through its plan to flatten more than 700 mountains, move the debris into valleys, and build on... More »

Antarctica's Melting Speed Doubles

Compared to measurements just a few years ago

(Newser) - If we needed more disturbing news on a melting Antarctica, scientists are supplying it. Days after we learned that the melting of the West Antarctica ice sheet is apparently unstoppable , researchers find that the continent is disappearing twice as quickly as it was when last measured. Information from Europe's... More »

Galapagos Threat 'Could Unleash a Disaster'

Ecuador declares emergency over stranded freighter

(Newser) - A new threat to the Galapagos Islands "could unleash a disaster," say officials: a cargo ship. At Galapagos officials' urging, Ecuador (which owns the islands) yesterday declared an environmental emergency there after a ship ran aground last Friday. The 19,000 gallons of cargo fuel the Galapaface 1... More »

America, Tear Down Your Useless Dams

Yvon Chouinard: Removing them is much better than repairing them

(Newser) - American engineers have long loved their dams, but Yvon Chouinard writes in the New York Times that we should be tearing down these aging concrete behemoths instead of repairing them. Of the 80,000 or so dams in the nation, 26,000 pose serious safety hazards, he writes, and only... More »

Our Planet Just Can't Sustain Pets

Erik Assadourian: We need to change pet culture drastically

(Newser) - In a piece that may not sit well with some pet owners, Erik Assadourian argues that pets are detrimental to the planet—and it's time to take action. "Two German Shepherds use more resources just for their annual food needs than the average Bangladeshi uses each year in... More »

EPA's New Rule Will Make Gas Pricier, Earth-Healthier

Oil refiners will need to cut gasoline's sulfur content some 60%

(Newser) - The Environmental Protection Agency is today putting in place a new rule to drastically cut sulfur from gasoline, a measure it says will ultimately save lives, the New York Times reports. Sulfur in gasoline renders vehicle pollution control systems less effective, boosting smog-causing emissions associated with heart and lung disease,... More »

Obama Is Chucking His Green Legacy With Keystone

Rep. Raul Grijalva: Keystone approval marks a return to Bush-era policies

(Newser) - President Obama's environmental record is a "tremendous improvement" from the Bush-Cheney days, but he's on the verge of destroying it with the Keystone XL oil pipeline, writes Democratic congressman Raul Grijalva in the New York Times . The proposed pipeline is a perfect example of how such projects... More »

5 Big Lakes That Are Disappearing

Blame shifting climate, drought: Smithsonian

(Newser) - Climate change, sinkholes, human water use—the reasons are many, but the result is the same: Lakes across the world have shrunk or disappeared completely, and in the Smithsonian , Sarah Zielinski tells their stories. Among them:
  • It's called the Dead Sea, but it's technically a lake, and it'
... More »

Plan OKed to Dredge, Dump in Great Barrier Reef Park

Environmental groups warn of dangers

(Newser) - The authority in charge of Australia's Great Barrier Reef Marine Park has given the final approval to a plan to dump millions of tons of dredging spoils into the park's waters, despite howls of protest from environmental groups and scientists. The dredging is part of a plan to... More »

US Bending on Environment for Sake of Big Trade Deal

Countries' 'red lines' said to clash

(Newser) - As a dozen Pacific Rim nations continue three years of talks on a major trade deal, the US seems to be bending on environmental regulations accompanying the deal. The Trans-Pacific Partnership, central to President Obama's goals in the region, features a contentious chapter on environmental rules; a Nov. 24... More »

Why Switzerland Airlifts Its Cows

It's not just about helping the cows, it's about helping the land: Aeon

(Newser) - The sight of a cow flying through the air isn't so rare in Switzerland: When a cow is injured—or dead—a helicopter may arrive to bring it to safety, or, if dead, to incineration. The practice, Aeon reports, isn't just about caring for our bovine friends, or... More »

Newfound Greenhouse Gas 7K Times Worse Than CO2

And we've been using perfluorotributylamine for decades

(Newser) - Canadian researchers have detected another greenhouse gas—and its global warming potential is extreme. Over the course of a century, "a single molecule of PFTBA has the equivalent climate impact as 7,100 molecules of CO2," says a lead author of the study that identified perfluorotributylamine. "We... More »

New Storm Hits Reeling Philippines

Tropical depression Zoraida carries heavy rains; country pushes for climate action

(Newser) - A new storm has struck the Philippines with heavy rain. Fortunately, Tropical Depression Zoraida landed almost 300 miles from the worst of Typhoon Haiyan's devastation, the Wall Street Journal notes, and the latest storm—the 25th to hit the country this year—has been downgraded to a low-pressure area,... More »

Inside Ethanol's Quiet, Dirty Toll on Environment

Industry fumes over AP report

(Newser) - President Obama, and President Bush before him, fought hard to make ethanol a central part of American energy. But an AP investigation finds that the program as it stands may be doing far more environmental harm than good. The effort to grow corn for fuel has meant the destruction of... More »

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