In the 1940s, Americans found a new way to love salt. Not simply for sprinkling on food — we'd acquired a taste for the mineral long before that — but for spreading on roads and sidewalks. Salt became a go-to method to de-ice frozen pavement.
For many of us, winter in the Northeast means cold temperatures and piles of snow, drifting through forests and across fields. It’s hard to imagine that winter here could be different, but the prospect of climate change has scientists asking just what our winters might look like in the future – and how those changes might influence forest ecology.
Rick Ostfeld and Felicia Keesing have been studying Lyme disease and ways to stop it for more than 20 years. The couple has come up with a way to predict how bad a Lyme season will be a full year in advance.
President Trump will sign an executive order Tuesday directing federal agencies to channel the wisdom of late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in reconsidering an Obama administration rule that expanded Washington’s jurisdiction over state and local waterways under the Clean Water Act.
The world is now in uncharted territory when it comes to infectious diseases. We're facing a whole new era. Over the past century, the number of new infectious diseases cropping up each year has nearly quadrupled. The number of outbreaks per year has more than tripled.
Recently, a PBS documentary about Rachel Carson's life made headlines. Her seminal work Silent Spring—which documented the detrimental effects of pesticides—still stands as a pillar of the modern environmental movement. But a new report suggests that science has been struggling to stay afloat in a rapidly growing sea of chemicals.
They may be down but they're not out: Damaging insects can emerge from fallen trees and logs for several years after a major storm, according to a U.S. Forest Service study that reinforces longstanding warnings against moving firewood from place to place.
When Scott Pruitt takes the reins of the Environmental Protection Agency, we can expect him to dismantle federal environmental protections. Among the protections that he would like to roll back is the recent rule defining the "waters of the United States" under the Clean Water Act. Repealing this rule would cut the heart out of the Clean Water Act, effectively handing our waters back to big polluters. This should be resisted.
Working independently, Likens and Scheffer have, says the jury, contributed to understanding and finding solutions for “gradual, abrupt and potentially irreversible ecosystem change” in response to pollution and other ecological threats. Together, the two scientists “have transformed our understanding of how human activities are changing the structure and function of natural ecosystems, and provided tools to inform ecosystem management.”
Protecting the environment is usually easier to the extent we can link it to human health concerns. The tough federal Clean Air Act, for example, has been driving the Chesapeake Bay cleanup, but the real impetus for the law is the Environmental Protection Agency’s estimate that it’s saving more than 160,000 human lives each year.
In a towering forest of centuries-old eastern hemlocks, it's easy to miss one of the tree's nemeses. No larger than a speck of pepper, the Hemlock woolly adelgid spends its life on the underside of needles sucking sap, eventually killing the tree.
Preserving the environment is often seen as a battle of development versus nature. But in America today, roughly three-fourths of us live in metropolitan areas. To preserve our health and the planet's health, we need to create something new: A sustainable city.
When we think of nature in cities, we often think about major green expanses, places like Central Park in New York City or Griffith Park in Los Angeles. But in these cities and others, little patches of greenery — sometimes forgotten, often overlooked — can be very important for the local environment.