Vegetables use about 11,300 gallons per ton of blue water; starchy roots, about 4,200 gallons per ton; and fruit, about 38,800 gallons per ton. By comparison, pork consumes 121,000 gallons of blue water per ton of meat produced; beef, about 145,000 gallons per ton; and butter, some 122,800 gallons per ton. There’s a reason other than the drought that Folsom Lake has dropped as precipitously as it has. Don’t look at kale as the culprit. (Although some nuts, namely almonds, consume considerable blue water, even more than beef.) That said, a single plant is leading California’s water consumption. Unfortunately, it’s a plant that’s not generally cultivated for humans: alfalfa. Grown on over a million acres in California, alfalfa sucks up more water than any other crop in the state. And it has one primary destination: cattle. Increasingly popular grass-fed beef operations typically rely on alfalfa as a supplement to pasture grass. Alfalfa hay is also an integral feed source for factory-farmed cows, especially those involved in dairy production.
April 14, 2015 - Cat Island was once one of the four largest bird-nesting grounds in Louisiana. But the Deepwater Horizon oil spill killed the mangroves growing there, destroying the root system that held the island's sediment in place. Since 2010, the 5.5 acre island has been washing away into the Gulf of Mexico, and migratory birds find their home disappearing before their eyes.Click here to read more:"Scientists tracking Gulf sparrows, insects, and seabirds try to unravel the mysteries of a landscape changed by oil."
For a second consecutive week, thousands of California farms have been ordered to stop pumping river water to irrigate their crops as the state grapples with its fourth year of drought, officials said Friday.
Not much can survive in a "dead zone." These aquatic areas have such a low concentrations of oxygen that marine life either dies or leaves.
Many of these lifeless areas crop up near coastlines, where people live and hazardous chemicals make their way into the water. Now, a group of German and Canadian researchers have discovered dead zones in the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean, which they say is a first. They observed the area for seven years and published their findings Thursday in the journal Biogeosciences.
Bee 'colony collapse disorder' cannot be ended by easy technofixes, writes Allan Stromfeldt Christensen. The real problem is the systematic abuse of bees in vast industrial monocultures, as they trucked or flown thousands of miles from one farm to the next, treated with insecticides and antibiotics, and fed on 'junk food'.
A new study by Heather Mattila, a leading honey bee ecologist and Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences at Wellesley College, published this April in PLOS ONE, reveals that inadequate access to pollen during larval development has lifelong consequences for honey bees, leading not only to smaller workers and shorter lifespans, but also to impaired performance and productivity later in life. For the first time, this study demonstrates a crucial link between poor nutrition at a young age, and foraging and waggle dancing, the two most important activities that honey bees perform as providers for their colonies and as pollinators of human crops. The study was co-authored by Hailey Scofield, Wellesley Class of 2013, a former undergraduate research assistant who will begin a Ph. D program (in Neurobiology and Behavior) at Cornell University in Fall 2015.
Much of the fish eaten in both developed and developing nations will increasingly come from aquaculture, or fish farming, as opposed to wild-caught fish from the world's oceans. By 2023, 49 percent of fish is projected to come from aquaculture, according to estimates from the Food and Agriculture Organization at the United Nations, and the amount of fish produced worldwide is expected to rise by 17 percent as the technology used in fish farming becomes cleaner and safer for the environment.
The UK's highest court has ruled that the government must take immediate action to cut air pollution. The ruling is a significant victory for campaigners, who began legal action after the UK breached EU limits for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the air. Diesel vehicles are a key source of so-called NOx emissions, and NO2 is linked to a range of respiratory illnesses. The Environment Department said work had already been started on revised plans to meet EU targets on NO2. In a unanimous ruling, a panel of five judges, headed by the court's president Lord Neuberger, ordered "that the Government must prepare and consult on new air quality plans for submission to the European Commission... no later than December 31 2015".
Over the course of this year, Pope Francis will ramp up his foray into the politically charged debate for action on climate change. It begins unofficially with Tuesday’s Vatican summit, co-hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. This summer, Francis will publish his widely anticipated encyclical, a Catholic document that will examine man’s moral relationship with nature.
Unlike the usual discussions of climate change as an economic and scientific issue, Francis conveys it as a moral cause. His past comments—that it “is man who has slapped nature in the face”—frame the issue in vivid and urgent terms. He's presented the fossil fuel industry with a challenge. Though they have a well-worn playbook for countering the economic, political, and scientific need for climate change action, industry is in relatively new territory with religion. How will they reply?
Efforts to help Valley residents without water are falling short. The state is paying for water tanks to be installed at homes where wells have gone dry, but finding water to put into those tanks is a challenge.
Solar power has been getting a lot of support because well, we love our sun just as much as it loves to send us lots and lots of energy in different forms–mainly heat and many photons of light and radiation.
That said, we’ve been finding better ways to take advantage of our sun’s love by harnessing its energy to power our world. This also means increasing the demand and research of photovoltaic cells. And that means they’re more affordable. So guess what, they’re showing up more often.
You’ll find them on lamp posts, rooftops, and…highways?
If the Pacific Northwest builds all of its proposed rail-terminal expansions and pipelines, 2,000 more tankers and barges full of tar sands crude could soon be floating around local waters, according to a new report published by a coalition of environmental groups earlier this week. The report predicts that the oil industry would move six times the amount of oil that's currently stored and exported through Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia.
Too bad Washington State legislators removed a critical provision about oil-barge safety from the oil-transportation safety bill they just approved.
University of Wisconsin-Madison Bigger bang for your buck: Restoring fish habitat by removing barriers University of Wisconsin-Madison For example, a $70 million investment to remove 299 dams and 180 road crossings — coordinated across the entire...
Download the factsheet WHILE SOME ASSERT that farming fish in cages at sea is the only sustainable way to meet the growing global demand for seafood, the reality is that the practice is far from sustainable.
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