Recently we asked Dr. Joshua Ginsberg, president of the Cary Institute, for his thoughts about the Paris climate change accord, or the Paris Agreement, signed by 195 nations in December. Although he admits that there are flaws — it falls short of the reductions in greenhouse gasses scientists believe necessary and is a voluntary, and therefore non-binding, agreement — he believes it is “a real step forward” that establishes a framework for moving ahead.
The average American is responsible for one of the largest carbon footprints in the world. Some 37% of our carbon emissions is associated with electricity generation; 33% stems from transportation – largely personal automobiles. The remaining 30% is attributed to industry, residential use, and agriculture.
Religions are based on systems of faith, morals, and practice. Science is based on a system of theories, evidence, and hypothesis testing. Both are embedded in the structures of society where a convergence of beliefs and knowledge can often work together for a common social good.
More and more often, we hear about the arrival of a foreign plant or insect that is wreaking havoc on our native ecosystems. Take, for example, the Emerald Ash Borer, which will likely decimate all the ash trees in our forests.
I spent a lot of time outdoors as a kid in southern Michigan in the 1960s and 70s. The river in my hometown was a sour-smelling mess the color and consistency of potato soup, the miles of enticing beaches along nearby Lake Erie were never once open for swimming,
Since the bad old days of the 1970s and '80s, there has been a whole lot less acid falling on the Northeast. That’s mostly thanks to the 1990 Clean Air Act, which has made a big difference to lakes and streams.
Cary scientists David Strayer and Emma Rosi-Marshall delivered expert testimony at a May 5, 2013 congressional briefing that highlighted problems with aquatic invasive species and “natural infrastructure” solutions. The briefing took place on Capitol Hill as the U.S. Senate debated the Water Resources Development Act.
Nearly every day, we read about problems caused by invaders like the emerald ash borer killing trees across New York, West Nile virus killing people across the United State (1,499 so far), zebra mussels clogging water intakes and changing the Great Lakes and Hudson River ecosystems and Burmese pythons eating everything in the Everglades.
A new report says the effects of climate change are already being felt in bug-infested forests of the Intermountain West, in reduced flows of the Colorado River basin and in the amount of snow that falls in the Rocky Mountains.
When sharing science with diverse publics representing a broad swath of cultural, ethnic, ideological and socioeconomic interests, it certainly helps when those doing the sharing are themselves representative of a diverse cross-section of society.
Wild boars are a problem in more than twenty states. These invasive animals are prolific breeders with voracious appetites. They cause tremendous damage to crops and native plant communities and they spread diseases, such as pseudorabies, from feral hogs to domestic livestock.
Humans have carelessly moved thousands of species outside their native ranges through activities such as transfer of ballast water, release of pets and bait, movement of untreated wood, escapes from agriculture and aquaculture, and deliberate release of species that we thought to be beneficial.
We ecologists take a lot of flack for always having depressing news to report. It's not often we get to say there is good news on the environmental front, but those of us concerned with air pollution have certainly had reasons to smile this summer.
Several members of Congress and presidential hopefuls have proposed rolling back the Environmental Protection Agency's authority to regulate with the Clean Air and Clean Water acts as a solution to our woes.
Private hunting preserves in New York release wild boars for "trophy hunters" to shoot. This benefits only a tiny population of hunters and the game preserves, while presenting serious risks to the public.
The next time you find yourself reaching for your umbrella, take a moment to consider the fate of rainfall after it hits the ground. While some rain is absorbed by natural ground cover, such as fields or forested areas, a high percentage becomes stormwater delivered to our rivers, creeks, ponds and lakes
There was some good news on the environment last week. In the 20-state area that participates in a cap-and-trade program to reduce emissions of nitric oxide (NOx) from power plants, the emissions declined 32 percent from 1997 to 2005.
Thanks to the efforts of committed environmental groups, government organizations and individuals, the Hudson Valley is poised to position itself as a model for melding environmental and economic interests.
Last month's news that the invasive silver carp had crossed the electric barrier in a canal in Chicago ― and were only a short day's swim from invading Lake Michigan ― caused outcries from the outdoor community and tourist industry across the Great Lakes region.
As we commemorate the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's historic voyage up the Hudson River, it is prudent to learn what we can from the past in order to maintain and improve this irreplaceable natural resource for future generations.
In early spring, shortly after the snow melts, vernal pools dot the landscape. Isolated from larger water bodies, these small wetlands are usually only wet for a few months out of the year. If you are not paying attention, you just might miss them. And that would be a shame, because these oft-overlooked wetlands are valuable and interesting ecosystems.
Thankfully, the argument about the reality of global climate change seems finished. The majority of the public now joins the consensus of climate scientists, who have furnished compelling proof that the planet is warming and that humans are at least partly to blame.
New York state is taking an essential step to deal with invasive species, one of the most damaging and difficult environmental problems of our time, by proposing to limit the importation of ballast water into the state.
Last year, we received certificates that featured attractive artwork, Alfred Nobel's name, and the King of Norway's signature. No, we didn't win the Nobel Peace Prize. But in 2007, our scientific contributions did help Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change win theirs.
Cary Institute scientists have provided leadership in acid rain research, but acid rain is not limited to our area—it occurs widely across the eastern United States, Europe, China, and other industrialized areas around the world.
I have spent many years unraveling how invasive species and air pollution influence forest ecosystems. This research has taken me deep within New York’s Catskill Forest and New Hampshire’s White Mountains—places of amazing natural beauty. Lately, however, I’ve found myself pounding the pavement in Washington, D.C.