environment

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Trump Nixes Obama-Era Bottled Water 'Ban' in National Parks

Critics say the bottled water industry's lobbying has won

(Newser) - Environmentalists have a new bone to pick with the Trump administration, this time over bottled water. A six-year-old policy that encouraged national parks not to sell bottled water has been overturned by Trump, reports the Guardian . Per NPR , the Obama-era policy put in place to reduce waste and pollution wasn’... More »

New Environmental Concern: Our Meat-Eating Cats and Dogs

Research finds cats, dogs produce 64M tons of CO2 by eating meat

(Newser) - A UCLA professor isn't saying anyone who cares about the environment should get rid of their beloved pet dog and/or cat. But he's not not saying that either. It's widely accepted that eating meat is bad for the environment for a number of reasons, and it turns... More »

Gulf of Mexico's Dead Zone Is Now Bigger Than Ever

Heavy rains in Midwest increased agricultural runoff this year

(Newser) - In 2014, the "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico was found to have shrunk to the size of Connecticut. To the ire of environmentalists, it has since ballooned to its largest size since mapping began in 1985, says NOAA . Covering 8,776 square miles—that's the size... More »

Rise in Sea Levels Turning Coastland Into 'Ghost Forests'

'It's dramatic and it's changing faster than it has before in human history'

(Newser) - They're called "ghost forests"—dead trees along vast swaths of coastline invaded by rising seas. The process has occurred naturally for thousands of years, but it has accelerated in recent decades as polar ice melts and raises sea levels, scientists say, pushing salt water farther inland and... More »

Is It a Forest or a City? Actually, It's Both

Experimental 'Forest City' to be complete in China in 2020

(Newser) - A new city being built along the Liujiang River in China's Guangxi Province will include houses, recreational spaces, offices, hotels, schools, and a hospital—and yet it's "unlike any before," per Inhabitat . The Liuzhou Forest City, to be connected to the much larger city of Liuzhou... More »

America's 7 Most Endangered Rivers

Lower Colorado River tops American Rivers' list

(Newser) - "If we don't protect and restore our rivers, we won't have reliable clean drinking water supplies," says a rep for American Rivers , a conservation group out with its annual list of the most endangered rivers in the US. Each river included on the list has regional... More »

Scientists Solve Sequoia Mystery

Dust from Gobi desert helps them grow: study

(Newser) - The sequoia trees of California's Sierra Nevada mountain range are obvious marvels. But according to new research , an unlikely and far-off source deserves a significant portion of the credit for allowing them to stand tall. The mineral that helps trees grow, phosphorus, is actually found in short supply in... More »

Trump's Plan to Revitalize Coal Faces Stiff Winds

Even a coal mining exec is skeptical about what can be done

(Newser) - President Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order to unwind many of the environmental rules put in place by President Obama. The big change is that he ordered a review of the Clean Power Plan, which was designed to curb emissions at coal-fired power plants. The president celebrated "the... More »

Hawking: 'I May Not Be Welcome' in US Under Trump

Acclaimed physicist notes his criticism of president's environmental policy

(Newser) - Stephen Hawking is afraid he might be persona non grata in America, reports the Guardian , due to the Trump administration's views on the environment and British cosmologist's past criticism of those views. In a conversation Monday with ITV's Good Morning Britain, Hawking said the US has swung... More »

One 2-Ton Whale Was No Match for 30 Plastic Bags

Bags, other waste found in stomach of euthanized whale in Norway

(Newser) - Norwegian zoologists have found about 30 plastic bags and other plastic waste in the stomach of a beaked whale that had beached on a southwestern Norway coast, the AP reports. The visibly sick, 2-ton goose-beaked whale was euthanized, Terje Lislevand of Bergen University said Friday. "The [whale's] stomach... More »

Obscure Act, Used Only Once, Could Undo Obama Rules

House Republicans voted to repeal 2 regulations

(Newser) - Moving to dismantle Barack Obama's legacy on the environment and other issues, House Republicans approved a measure 228-194 Wednesday that scuttles a regulation aimed at preventing coal mining debris from being dumped into nearby streams. Lawmakers also voted 235-187 to rescind a separate rule requiring companies to disclose payments... More »

Humans Taking a Toll on 100 World Heritage Sites

New study raises alarm on degradation

(Newser) - Almost half of all natural world heritage sites are slowly being degraded, and experts have a clear suspect: humans. A study based on the Human Footprint Index—which evaluates agriculture, infrastructure, population density, and other factors—identifies more than 100 of 229 sites that are suffering from human activities, reports... More »

Scientists Blame People for 3rd 'Hottest Year' in a Row

Human impact 'no longer subtle' on global warming that made 2016 hottest year ever

(Newser) - Everyone kind of knew this was coming , but many are still sweating at the news. Data for 2016 has been released, and it's official that last year was the hottest year on record, following 2014 and 2015 in holding this status, the Guardian reports. NASA and NOAA released their... More »

Army's New Push: Ammo That Grows Plants

It wants biodegradable bullets for training grounds

(Newser) - At US military training facilities, spent shell casings are scattered across proving grounds, many buried several inches below ground. What if they were biodegradable and contained seeds that would sprout into beneficial plants over time? It may sound a bit utopian, but the US Department of Defense has just released... More »

Patagonia Won't Keep a Penny of Its Black Friday Sales

Will likely be about $2M

(Newser) - Outdoors outfitter Patagonia is taking an unusual approach to Black Friday: CEO Rose Marcario says 100% of the day's sales online and in its 80 locations worldwide will go toward groups that help the environment. CNN Money estimates that will amount to $2 million. The chain also made headlines... More »

A 12-Lane WiFi-Enabled Highway Project Divides Nigeria

Environmental groups say the superhighway is a 'land grab'

(Newser) - An effort to reinvent Nigeria's overloaded transportation infrastructure is running into opposition from environmental groups, the Smithsonian reports. Conservation groups say a proposed 162-mile superhighway through Nigeria's southern Cross River State will have severe repercussions on more than half of the country's remaining rainforests, and the project... More »

'Great Pacific Garbage Patch' Worse Than Thought

Aerial view shows it to be denser than expected

(Newser) - There's an enormous, floating "island" of trash in the Pacific Ocean, and it's much bigger than previously believed, reports the Guardian . Environmentalists from Ocean Cleanup who set out to survey the so-called "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" were stunned by the density of plastic containers, fishing nets,... More »

France Is World's First Nation to Ban Plasticware

No more plastic plates, cups, utensils unless they're biodegradable

(Newser) - Visit Paris and you'll spot people picnicking near the Eiffel Tower—but don't be surprised if they're soon scarfing down their jambon croissants off of napkins or real dishware. That's because a measure passed last month has made France the first country to ban single-use plastic... More »

Obama Makes 'Epic' Environmental Move

President to designate nation's first Atlantic marine national monument

(Newser) - About 150 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, Mass., lies an ecosystem teeming with puffins, whales, underwater mountains, and fissures "deeper than the Grand Canyon," reports National Geographic . That 4,913-square-mile area—an "underwater Yellowstone," per NPR —will now be protected from commercial activity... More »

Congress Just Passed a Huge Environmental Law

Rules on chemicals get first update in 40 years

(Newser) - It may have gotten lost in all the election news, but a substantial piece of legislation has just managed to clear Congress: A massive overhaul of federal laws regulating chemicals sold in the US is headed to President Obama's desk for his signature—the first such update in 40... More »

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