Nature’s year ahead: 3 must-read environmental books for 2018

Here are three books about the environment that you should add to your reading list.

Can Road Salt and Other Pollutants Disrupt Our Circadian Rhythms?

By Jennifer Marie Hurley Every winter, local governments across the U.S. apply millions of tons of road salt to keep streets navigable during snow and ice storms. Runoff from melting snow carries road salt into streams and lakes, and causes many bodies of water to have extraordinarily high salinity . At Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, my colleague Rick Relyea and his lab are working to quantify how increases in salinity affect ecosystems. Not surprisingly, they have found that high salinity has negative impacts on many species . They have also discovered that some species have the ability to cope with these increases in

Oil Giants Invest $180B in Plastics, Propelling Oceans Toward ‘Near-Permanent’ Pollution

By Julia Conley Scientists and environmental protection advocates are warning that a coming plastics boom could lead to a permanent state of pollution on the planet—and denouncing the fossil fuel industry for driving an increase in plastics production amid all that’s known about the material polluting the world’s oceans . “We could be locking in decades of expanded plastics production at precisely the time the world is realizing we should use far less of it,” Carroll Muffett, president of the Center for International Environmental Law

How a Girl Scout inspired a health care giant to ditch plastic straws

It started with a single email to Dignity Health.

Preserving this national marine sanctuary guards natural resources

Why protect 600,000 square miles that most people will never see?

CNN Shows Right Way to Report on Hurricanes and Climate Change

From the Dec. 2 edition of CNN Newsroom : Clarissa Ward: Michael Mann is one of the country’s top climate scientists. He has testified before Congress about the threat posed by climate change . [Begin Clip] Ward: Is there a direct connection between the intensity of the hurricanes that we’re seeing and climate change? Michael Mann: There is a direct connection. And too often we hear the problem framed as “Did climate change cause this storm? Did it cause this hurricane?” That’s not the right way to think about it. The question is, “Is climate change amplifying

Lobster With Pepsi Can ‘Tattoo’ Embodies Fears About Ocean Waste: Here Are 5 More Examples

By Joe McCarthy It’s safe to say that lobsters aren’t a budding new demographic for soda companies. So why did a lobster recently caught in the waters off Grand Manan, New Brunswick, have part of a Pepsi logo tattooed on its claw? That’s a question that baffled Karissa Lindstrand, the fisherman who spotted the uncanny image during a lobster haul, according to the Guardian . Lindstrand happens to drink up to a dozen Pepsi sodas a day, but she was struck by the image’s unusual dimensions. It was pixelated, she told the Guardian, and far too big to be seen on a soda can—theoretically debunking claims that the lobster grew up in a can. She’s

Congress: Biggest Attack on Marine Mammals in Decades

By Michael Jasny On Thursday, the House Natural Resources Committee passed a bill, called the “SECURE American Energy Act” ( H.R. 4239 ), that can only be described as an oil industry wish-list. The bill’s purpose is to mow down environmental concerns that stand in the way of the complete exploitation of fossil fuels in this country. For the oceans, this would mean an end to national monument designation and to some of those pesky safety regulations that were

Unilever, PepsiCo wash hands of ‘biodegradable’ plastic

Emerging evidence suggests oxo-degradable packaging could be more harmful than previously realized.

Field notes, Halloween edition: 6 of our scariest moments

To celebrate Halloween, Human Nature asked CI staff to describe their most spine-tingling experiences in nature.

New York City Could Face Damaging Floods ‘Every Five Years’ in a Warmer Climate

By Daisy Dunne New York City could be struck by severe flooding up to every five years by 2030 to 2045 if no efforts are made to curb human-driven climate change , new research finds. Floods that reach more than 2.25 meters (approximately 7.4 feet) in height—enough to inundate the first story of a building—could dramatically increase in frequency as a result of future sea level rise and bigger storm surges, the study suggests. Such severe floods would be expected only around once in every 25 years from 1970 to 2005. The findings make

5 global trends spawning seafood innovation

On the cusp of thoroughly reimagining products, supply chains and technologies, the sector is no longer swimming upstream against sustainable practices.

To conserve the ocean, tech helps — but it’s only a start

A tidal wave of technology, from satellite imagery to machine learning, is revolutionizing ocean conservation.

Seabed mining can decide the fate of the deep ocean

Calls grow for the disclosure about the environmental consequences of extracting valuable minerals from the ocean floor.

Plastic Debris Found on One of World’s Most Inaccessible Sites

It’s becoming clear that plastic pollution is everywhere , even at the northernmost tip of the planet. Scientists have recently found chunks of polystyrene on ice floes in the Central Arctic Ocean, about 1,000 miles from the north pole—an area that could not be accessed before due to sea ice, the Guardian reports. But the international team of researchers—onboard explorer Pen Hadow’s acclaimed Arctic Mission —were able to venture so far north due to the area’s melting sea-ice cover. “Vessels can now access and exploit a new, unexplored and vulnerable ocean region on the planet,” an expedition blog post

Episode 91: Cargill appetizes employees, DanoneWave goes for the big B

In this week’s episode, cities aspire to 100-percent renewables, how future factories will save energy — and that infamous grid review.

Climate Change Is Making Fish Smaller

By Marlene Cimons Seafood lovers be warned. That delectable slab of seared tuna on your plate soon could become a lot smaller—and more scarce—thanks to climate change . As ocean temperatures climb, many species of fish—tuna among them—likely will shrink, decreasing in size by as much as 30 percent, according to a new study published in the journal

New York’s challenge to design a truly ‘blue’ dune

Storm resilience projects can leave a footprint as big as construction. A team of scientists, engineers and designers are protecting both coasts and the environment.

5 myths about farmed seafood

Three billion people rely on seafood as their chief source of protein. To feed a growing population without further depleting our oceans, farmed seafood will be crucial.

Fighting for a Plastic-Free Ocean

By Pete Stauffer Plastic pollution is suffocating the ocean and the animals that call it home. Researchers estimate there are now more than 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean and the number grows every day. This pollution is ravaging our marine ecosystems, entangling and choking wildlife such as seabirds, dolphins, fish and turtles. Plastic never biodegrades, it only spreads and it’s now polluting every part of the ocean—from beaches, reefs and deep ocean trenches to the frigid

Five simple solutions to Michael Gove’s plastic problem

The scale of plastic pollution plaguing our oceans is alarming. Eight million tonnes of the stuff is being lost to the sea each year. At least 136 species of marine life are affected by plastic entanglement, and many more still – at least 250 species – ingest plastic pieces that can be a million times more toxic than the water

A high-tech solution to end illegal fishing

New science can track transhipping, the high-seas transfer of seafood catches between ships, but it may take consumer demand to truly halt it.

Tuna giant Thai Union pledges to fish more sustainably

The company behind brands like Chicken of the Sea has agreed to curb major environmental and human rights abuses in its supply chain, a move that will likely drive similar reforms across the industry.