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News and Opinion

Coverage of environmental sciences since November 17, 2023.

Overall health of Chesapeake Bay gets C-plus grade in annual report by scientists

"...Last year, Pennsylvania planted about 340 miles (550 kilometers) of riparian buffers, which are strips of vegetation planted next to streams and waterways to help protect habitat, Dennison noted. The state also has focused on increasing the use of cover crops in agriculture to reduce erosion, improve soil conditions and protect waterways from runoff pollution..."

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Melting of Alaska's Juneau icefield accelerates, losing snow nearly 5 times faster than in the 1980s

"...The melting of Alaska's Juneau icefield, home to more than 1,000 glaciers, is accelerating. The snow covered area is now shrinking 4. 6 times faster than it was in the 1980s, according to a new study..."

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Where ideas meet impact: Startup aims to revolutionize water testing with a digital device

"...There was no simple, cheap, accurate way to test for those analytes. We wanted to make it easier to test, easier to understand the information from the test results, and easier to act on those results, explains Mizzi, who holds a degree in environmental science from Acadia University. More importantly than just detecting is that we can detect them below drinking water guideline safety levels, which is truly special..."

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Recycling Plastic Is a Dangerous Waste of Time

"...By now, you probably know that plastic recycling is a scam. If not, this white paper lays out the case in devastating detail. To summarise, amid calls to reduce plastic garbage in the 1970s and 80s, the petrochemical industry put forth recycling as a red herring to create the appearance of a solution while it continued to make as much plastic as it pleased..."

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High school students, frustrated by lack of climate education, press for change

"...In places that teach to standards formulated by the National Science Teachers Association, state governments and other organizations, many kids learn about air quality, ecosystems, biodiversity and land and water in Earth and environmental science classes..."

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New study explores visitor experiences in Alberta dark sky preserves

"...The health and environmental benefits of protecting a region from light pollution are already well established, and one only has to look at the stream of visitors to the Jasper Dark Sky Festival or the Alberta's newest dark sky preserve in Lakeland Provincial Park to get a sense of how "astrotourism" can boost rural economies..."

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In megaproject-weary Newfoundland, a massive hydrogen operation has some on edge

"...Nick Mercer, an assistant environmental science professor at the University of Prince Edward Island, says the plans for more than 300 wind turbines and a hydrogen and ammonia production plant in western Newfoundland don't offer locals enough benefits or control..."

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How old coal mines could become new sources of clean energy

"...Springhill was once home to Canada's most commercially important coalfields and closed coal production after a series of disasters. Photo submittedWhile Wach says Canada should expand geothermal energy, creating new wells is costly and doesn’t come without risks. He notes there have been instances of drilling for geothermal causing seismic activity and having to be shut down, such as at a project in Switzerland in 2009..."

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We need to better understand hydrogen pros and pitfalls

"...“Depending on the use case, it can make the difference between hydrogen being a reasonable partial decarbonization strategy and … actually making things way worse,” Martin told Canada’s National Observer in a phone interview. Environmental Defense Fund’s research examined existing life-cycle studies from a variety of hydrogen systems to see how high or low releases of methane and hydrogen affect the technology’s efficacy at fighting climate change, along with other factors. What people are reading Why Steven Guilbeault’s roadway remarks sparked a car-crazy culture war By Matteo Cimellaro | Analysis | February 20th 2024 Hydrogen is often referred to as green, blue or grey to indicate its impact on climate change..."

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Guest post: Heavy use of CO2 removal would trigger high sustainability risks

"...Yet the large-scale deployment of land-based CDR could come with major challenges. These include significant ecological and societal risks particularly to biodiversity loss, food security, freshwater use and human rights, among others which have not been comprehensively assessed..."

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Study shows how a hurricane acted as a highway for transporting microplastics to a remote part of Newfoundland

"...Through back-trajectory modelling and the analysis of the plastics collected, the Dalhousie researchers believe they were sourced from the Atlantic garbage patch as the hurricane passed over. Ocean currents transport marine microplastics around the world and often concentrate in ocean gyres where the current patterns become circular, creating massive oceanic garbage patches. ..."

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Water quality researcher comes to U of G as new Canada Excellence Research Chair Globalnews.ca

"...The University of Guelph have added a renowned water quality researcher to their stable of experts..."

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Recommended Reading

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Jobs in environmental sciences

Recent employment opportunities from across Canada.

Supervisor, Wastewater Treatment - Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (Fort McMurray, AB)

"...Ensures that the team is managed fairly and consistently and that work processes are followed and coordinated to guarantee service levels..."

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Program Manager, Air Quality Regulation and Enforcement - Metro Vancouver (Burnaby, BC)

"...Ability to build and maintain effective working relationships with internal and external contacts.   Excellent conflict resolution and negotiation skills; skilled in dealing openly, tactfully and sensitively in a variety of situations..."

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Climate Change Specialist - Municipality of North Cowichan (Duncan, BC)

"...Ability to use tact, discretion, persuasion, diplomacy, respect and courtesy to gain the cooperation and commitment of others; facilitate groups; and to establish and maintain effective working relationships and rapport with departments, officials, the media, representatives of other groups, agencies, entities or businesses, and diverse members of the public.  ..."

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Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator - Okanagan and Similkameen Invasive Species Society (Summerland, BC)

"...Do you love being outdoors and working around water? Are you excited about engaging the public on important environmental issues? Do you have experience with fieldwork and supervision? Then this position is for you! We are seeking an enthusiastic, motivated individual to join our team..."

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Podcasts

Recent episodes that mention environmental sciences.

79: Jon Duncan - Shared value

Duration: 1:18:00

"...Earlier this year I had the privilege of chatting to Jon Duncan, head of Responsible Investment at Old Mutual..."

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What can soundscapes tell us about animals and their home landscapes?

Duration: 45:00

"...Anne Axel of Marshall University is making the case for a new field of bioacoustics research: soundscape phenology, the study of cyclical life events of plants and animals via sound recordings..."

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Informative Video

Discussions, Documentaries, and Investigative Reports about environmental sciences.

Mr. Bruce Knight: Catalyzing a National Ecosystem Services Market

"...Knight explains the history of the Ecosystem Services Market Consortium (ESMC) and details how ecosystem service markets can add incentives to motivate farmers and ranchers to improve soil health..."

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Panel discussion | Transitioning to a healthy Anthropocene is possible | Frontiers Forum Live 2023

"...She is actively involved in monitoring water pollution, food security, forestry and climate change, and policy implementation in South Africa..."

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Ms. Pipa Elias: Non-Operator Landowners – Opportunities for Engagement on Soil Health (updated)

"...Elias joined The Nature Conservancy in 2014 as a Senior Policy Advisor for land use and climate change and has published more than a dozen reports on sustainable forestry and agriculture related to climate mitigation..."

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Academic Research

Recent peer-reviewed papers about environmental sciences relevant to the latest news.

A critical review on phytoremediation of environmental contaminants in aquatic ecosystem

"...This review, thus focuses on the various contaminants found in aquatic ecosystems, their treatment by various phytoremediation processes, some successful phytoremediation studies conducted so far for remediation purposes, and myriad types of constructed wetlands utilized for attenuating pollution levels in various types of wastewaters to bring them down to permissible levels..."

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To what extent are pollutant emission intensified by international tourist arrivals? Starling evidence from G7 Countries

"...A large volume of environmental science and pollution research has focused on the contributions of various forms of energy consumption to emissions..."

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Geoheritage Education as a Gateway to Developing a Conservation Ethic in High School Students from China and the USA

"...A recent summary of geoheritage and protected area management as reported by Gordon (International Journal of Geoheritage and Parks 7:199?210, 2019) notes that a broader discipline has been emerging in geoheritage that recognizes the links to landscape and biodiversity conservation, economic development, climate change adaptation, sustainable management of land and water, historical and cultural heritage, and geotourism..."

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ESPR chronicles: unveiling environmental and pollution science trends across time

"...This study explores current research trends in environmental studies, emphasizing the importance of addressing climate change through effective strategies and highlighting the crucial role of circular economy principles and resource management in achieving sustainability goals..."

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The Emirates at 2050: Balancing Development and Environmental Stewardship

"...To chart a more sustainable course for the Emirates by 2050, the paper proposes policy recommendations such as adopting a national strategy for sustainable development, strengthening environmental policies, investing in urban planning and design, promoting sustainable water management, encouraging use of nature-based solutions, addressing climate change, fostering environmental education, supporting research in environmental sciences, encouraging national and regional cooperation, promoting sustainable business practices in the private sector, and monitoring the progress of environmental policies..."

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Stakeholders Perceptions of Non-indigenous Freshwater Fish Species: A Case Study from a Mediterranean Biodiversity Hotspot

"...Even though the ecological impacts of invasive alien species (IAS) have been well studied, social aspects of IAS in freshwater ecosystems are still poorly explored..."

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Green supply chain management/green finance: a bibliometric analysis of the last twenty years by using the Scopus database

"...Hence, the green investment in water, biodiversity protection, waste treatment, resources, and climate change alleviation help in enhancing industrial production..."

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Plant-assisted metal remediation in mine-degraded land: a scientometric review

"...The use of vegetation cover native to the mining sites should be prioritized as they are better indicator of reclamation success due to their high biomass, fast growing, ability to acclimatize in adverse environmental condition in nature..."

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Recruiting endophytic bacteria of wetland plants to phytoremediate organic pollutants

"...Phytoremediation is a process of contaminant removal using plants, to clean up surface waters, groundwaters, sediments and soils..."

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Formulation of variables of environmental taxation: a bibliometric analysis of Scopus database (2001?2022)

"...The 590 literature is retrieved from the Scopus database (2001?2022 March) with the keywords Environmental* Tax* OR Carbon Tax*, after limiting the subject area to economics, business, finance, and social science..."

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Do animal husbandry operations contaminate groundwater sources with antimicrobial resistance: systematic review

"...Most studies collected samples from monitoring wells; only 5 studies investigated private drinking water wells..."

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