Clean water from seeds and sand

Carnegie Mellon University’s Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering Professors Bob Tilton and Todd Przybycien recently co-authored a paper with Ph.D. students Brittany Nordmark and Toni Bechtel, and alumnus John Riley, further refining a process that could soon help provide clean water to many in water-scarce regions. The process, created by Tilton’s former student and co-author…

Climate change becoming the major threat to biodiversity

The pace of change is set to outstrip loss to vertebrate communities caused by land use for agriculture and settlements, which is estimated to have already caused losses of over ten per cent of biodiversity from ecological communities. Previous studies have suggested that ecosystem function is substantially impaired where more than 20 per cent of…

Limiting Asia’s growing water shortages

To examine the risk of water shortages on the continent, the researchers conducted detailed simulations of many plausible economic and climate pathways for Asia in the future, evaluating the relative effects of both pathways on water supply and demand. By studying cases in which economic change (or growth) continues but the climate remains unchanged —…

Start Treating Climate Change as a Real Emergency

For the Climate Mobilization Project, the climate crisis demands not incremental changes or gradual reductions in emissions, but an emergency response led by government that is on the scale of the response to World War II after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The group just picked up a grant from the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of…

Climate change has fish moving faster than regulations can keep up

The world’s system for allocating fish stocks is being outpaced by the movement of fish species in response to climate change, according to a study undertaken by an international team of marine ecologists, fisheries and social scientists, and lawyers. “Fish fleeing warming waters will cross national boundaries and add new ‘shareholders’ to existing fisheries,” said…

Antarctic ice loss has increased

Mass losses of the Antarctic Ice Sheet have increased global sea level by 7.6 mm since 1992, with 40% of this rise (3.0 mm) coming in the last five years alone. In West Antarctica, mass losses today amount to about 160 billion tons per year. The findings are from a major climate assessment known as…

Underestimating the economic risks of climate change

Climate hawks have long had the strong instinct that it’s the economic models, not the physical-science models, that are missing something — that the current expert consensus about climate economic damages is far too sanguine — but they often lack the vocabulary to do any more than insist. As it happens, that vocabulary exists. At…

 Ancient mass extinction triggered by volcanic activity, declining ocean oxygen

Millions of years ago, scientists discovered, powerful volcanoes pumped Earth’s atmosphere full of carbon dioxide, draining the oceans of oxygen and driving a mass extinction of marine organisms. “We want to understand how volcanism, which can be related to modern anthropogenic carbon dioxide release, manifests itself in ocean chemistry and extinction events,” said study co-author…

Environmental costs of producing meat and seafood

Which food type is more environmentally costly to produce — livestock, farmed seafood, or wild-caught fish? The answer is, it depends. But in general, industrial beef production and farmed catfish are the most taxing on the environment, while small, wild-caught fish and farmed mollusks like oysters, mussels and scallops have the lowest environmental impact, according…

Will Slower Hurricanes Lead to More Flood-Heavy Storms?

Two recent studies show that typhoons and hurricanes are getting slower, and are expected to slow even more as the planet warms. “Nothing good comes out of a slowing storm,” National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Center for Weather and Climate scientist James Kossin told National Geographic. “It can increase storm surge. It can increase…