Earth911 Quiz #84: Earth Day Goals for 2030

September 23, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco

Quick, what are the key goals for reducing human impacts on the planet’s environment? Earth… The post Earth911 Quiz #84: Earth Day Goals for 2030 appeared first on Earth911.

See the original post:
Earth911 Quiz #84: Earth Day Goals for 2030

Coral reef capacity has declined by 50% since the 1950s

September 21, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

A recent study published by  One Earth  has revealed the troubled state of coral reefs globally and their impact on the ecosystem. The researchers established that the coral reefs’ capacity to offer ecological services relied upon by humans has declined by 50% since the 1950s. The study, conducted by the University of British Columbia, found that coral reefs offer key ecological services such as food provision and protection from storms and floods. It was determined that human activities such as overfishing, climate change and habitat destruction were responsible for the declining state of the corals. The study offers the first comprehensive look at how these human activities affect coral reefs’ ability to provide essential benefits and services to humans. Related: NOAA report shows climate change is killing Florida’s coral reefs Lead author Dr. Tyler Eddy, a research associate at the UBC Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries (IOF), said that coral reefs must be protected. “It’s a call to action – we’ve been hearing this time and time again from fisheries and biodiversity research,” Eddy said. “We know coral reefs are biodiversity hotspots. And preserving biodiversity not only protects nature, but supports the humans that use these species for cultural, subsistence and livelihood means.” Researchers analyzed decades of coral reefs trends using data from various surveys and studies. According to senior author Dr. William Cheung, professor and director of IOF, “This study speaks to the importance of how we manage coral reefs not only at regional scales, but also at the global scale, and the livelihoods of communities that rely on them.” Researchers also noted significant drops in fish catches. The study found that fish catches peaked in 2002 and steadily declined over the years. The catch per unit effort is now 60% lower than in 1950. Via Newswise Lead image via Pexels

See the original post:
Coral reef capacity has declined by 50% since the 1950s

What causes zombie plants?

September 21, 2021 by  
Filed under Green

Parasitic bacteria can teach us a lot, according to scientists who have just discovered a manipulation mechanism used by the bacteria to slow down plant aging. Their insights might lead to new ways to protect food crops from  disease . Some  plants  fall so far under the sway of parasites that they’re termed “zombies.” Instead of reproducing and living normal plant lives, they are reduced to being a host and habitat for parasitic pathogens. Researchers published their findings in Cell ,  detailing a manipulation molecule that phytoplasma bacteria produces. This protein molecule can hijack plant development, breaking down key growth regulators and triggering bizarre deviations in growth. For example, if you’ve ever seen the tight configuration of excess branches in trees called “witches’ brooms,” that’s an example of phytoplasma bacteria reprogramming its host plant. Related: The best plants for pollinators “Phytoplasmas are a spectacular example of how the reach of genes can extend beyond the organisms to impact surrounding environments,” said Saskia Hogenhout, one of the study’s authors, as reported by Newswise. “Our findings cast new light on a molecular mechanism behind this extended phenotype in a way that could help solve a major problem for  food  production. We highlight a promising strategy for engineering plants to achieve a level of durable resistance of crops to phytoplasmas.” The study found that SAP05, a bacterial  protein , disrupts a plant’s natural mechanism of breaking down proteins inside plant cells. With these proteins out of the picture, SAP05 can zombify the plant, forcing it to favor the bacteria over its healthy self. It triggers the growth of vegetative tissues and shoots and pauses the plant’s aging process. The researchers identified two amino acids in the plant which interact with SAP05. If they switch these amino acids with two found in insect protein instead, they can halt the abnormal growth. The study’s finding suggests that if  scientists  fiddle with these two amino acids in food crops, perhaps by using gene-editing techniques, they could overcome the zombifying effects of some parasitic bacteria. Via Newswise Lead image via Pixabay

Read the original post:
What causes zombie plants?

Failing to curb emissions puts Earth on "catastrophic pathway"

September 20, 2021 by  
Filed under Green

According to a new United Nations report, the world will face catastrophic weather events unless governments cut greenhouse gas emissions. The report reviewed all the commitments submitted by the Paris accord signatories and found that they would result in a 16% rise in greenhouse gasses by 2030 compared to 2010 levels. Scientists have warned that the world will be uninhabitable if governments do not curb greenhouse gas emissions and keep global warming under a 1.5 degrees Celsius increase. Extreme events such as flooding, disease outbreaks and droughts would lead to massive losses of life if this were to happen. Related: It’s code red for Earth, says new UN study “The world is on a catastrophic pathway to 2.7 degrees (Celsius) of heating,” U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said. “We need a 45% cut in emissions by 2030 to reach carbon neutrality by mid-century.” In 2015, 200 countries made environmental pledges as part of the Paris Agreement . However, most countries have been slow to show serious commitment. In the latest review, the U.N. found that 113 countries had updated their commitments, with the latest submissions made by 30 July. Emission targets, commonly known as nationally determined contributions or NDCs, are vital in determining cumulative emissions. For the countries that submitted targets, the U.N. report found that there would be a 12% drop in emissions by the end of the decade. “That’s the positive side of the picture,” U.N. climate chief Patricia Espinosa said. “The other one is more sobering.” The other side of the picture is that many major emitters did not submit commitments. This includes countries such as China , Saudi Arabia and India. Espinosa has now called for leaders from these countries and more to submit stronger commitments at the U.N. gathering in New York this week. “Leaders must engage in a frank discussion driven not just by the very legitimate desire to protect national interest, but also by the equally commanding goal of contributing to the welfare of humanity,” Espinosa said. “We simply have no more time to spare, and people throughout the world expect nothing less.” Via PBS and The New York Times Lead image via Pixabay

Read more from the original source: 
Failing to curb emissions puts Earth on "catastrophic pathway"

This design alliance is paving the way for a better future

September 3, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on This design alliance is paving the way for a better future

The environmental problems facing the world certainly weren’t created by one person, one company or even by one country. You know what they say: it takes a village to destroy the planet. Well, that’s close enough anyway. And it will take a collaborative effort to fix the environmental problems facing the world. That’s exactly what the Good Future of Design Alliance (GFDA) is all about. The GFDA is working toward helping design professionals cut down on waste by 50% over five years. For many years now, the design and building industry has cultivated a culture of waste . The GFDA wants to change that. The alliance just launched in 2020 and already includes nearly 200 firms committed to reducing their waste. With locations in San Francisco and Colorado and new ones launching in Minneapolis, Seattle and Nashville, the GFDA hopes to become a nationwide movement. With firms all over the country, the GFDA aims to make it easier than ever for Earth-conscious homeowners to find eco-friendly designers . Related: Passive design keeps House Under Shadows cool and near net-zero Remodeling projects create a ton of waste. Often, all that old stuff gets ripped away, including tiles, building materials and furnishings, then ends up in landfills . Meanwhile, many new materials and furnishings arriving at the property are covered in heavy packaging materials, typically both toxic and non-recyclable. As a result, the design and building industry generates about 500 million tons of debris in the U.S. alone every single year. Additionally, 12.2 million tons of furniture and furnishings end up in landfills each year. The GFDA takes a local approach to waste reduction and sustainability. Its members partner with local groups to achieve waste reduction goals. GFDA members also receive a toolkit full of sustainability information, including industry-specific guidelines for low waste, curated lists of waste reduction services and contact information for redistribution companies, such as salvage and consignment businesses. With a commitment to transparency, the GFDA will also publish yearly industry data and use the results to see what should be changed to continue to improve upon the goal of waste reduction. + GFDA Images via GFDA

The rest is here:
This design alliance is paving the way for a better future

Trees face extinction, too. What can we do about it?

September 3, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Trees face extinction, too. What can we do about it?

What provides habitat for half the world’s known plants and animals, is a vital component of  biodiversity  and an important economic crop? If you guessed trees, you have an inkling of their importance in the world — and will be horrified that a new study says many tree species are at risk of extinction. Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) released its  State of the World’s Trees report  on Wednesday. And like much news these days, it’s grim reading. The U.K.-based conservation group deduced that 17,500 types of trees face possible  extinction . That’s about 30% of Earth’s tree species. Already, 440 species don’t even have 50 individuals left growing wild. And 142 or more are now extinct in their natural habitats. Related: LA’s Barnsdall Art Park revives historic olive grove “This report is a wake-up call to everyone around the world that  trees  need help,” BGCI secretary general Paul Smith said in a  statement . “Every tree species matters—to the millions of other species that depend on trees, and to people all over the world,” he said. “For the first time… we can pinpoint exactly which tree species need our help, so policymakers and conservation experts can deploy the resources and expertise needed to prevent future extinctions.” Logging, invasive pests, disease, forest clearance and other types of habitat loss all threaten tree species. Nor is climate change helping. The most tree diversity is found in hotter places, as is the most danger to those trees. Central and South America lead in number of tree species, followed by tropical parts of Southeast Asia and Africa.  Madagascar  — with 1,842 threatened tree species — is the single country with the most endangered trees. Brazil and Indonesia follow, with 1,788 and 1,306 threatened species respectively. More temperate areas of Europe, North America and Asia have both less tree diversity and fewer species threatened by extinction. The report recommends actions to help trees, including forming a new global coalition to radically scale up tree  conservation , better dissemination of research on the conservation of tree species, better monitoring and making sure that threatened species are saved in seed banks. Tree conservation also needs more funding and better data collection, according to the report. Via Common Dreams Lead image via Pexels

Continued here: 
Trees face extinction, too. What can we do about it?

A new rammed earth spiritual center arrives in Arizona desert

August 31, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on A new rammed earth spiritual center arrives in Arizona desert

The new TSG Foundation site is located on an 11-acre parcel of land in the Sonoran Desert in Scottsdale, Arizona . Some of the sustainable features include rammed earth construction, zinc tile exterior cladding, solar power, desert landscaping with native and drought-tolerant  plants , and energy-efficient LED lighting. “Like the beauty of a physical building that is designed by principles to nurture health, respect for its environment, longevity, and a source of peace and joy, building the inner life of a human being is designed to produce similar outcomes – if it is built utilizing similar principles,” said Gita Saraydarian, Founder and President of TSG Foundation. Built to embody the principles of the  Living Building Challenge  — a green building standard similar to LEED that focuses more on human health — the center has aligned its construction values with those of the challenge (Health and Happiness, Equity, Energy, Water , Materials, Place and Beauty). Related: Morocco Pavilion is a rammed earth wonder for Dubai Expo As visitors enter the center, a  desert  pavement driveway leads to parking areas landscaped to screen them from street view with asphalt made using decomposed granite, or gravelcrete, to minimize thermal gain. There’s a pedestrian bridge linking the parking area to the main building with additional landscaping and bicycle racks to connect the visitors to the outdoors as they enter. The designers at  180 Degrees Design + Build , responsible for the architecture, chose to axially rotate the site to allow more southern natural sunlight during the wintertime, as well as northern views looking out over the Carefree Mountains. Additionally, the building offers opportunities for nighttime star gazing. The architects also included principles of  Feng Shui  — Fire, Water, Earth and Metal — in the design throughout both the building itself and the building site. The 3,000-square-foot sanctuary space has passive and active energy strategies to assist the Foundation in its goal to become a Net Zero Energy and Net Zero Water Certified Building through the Living Building Challenge. + 180 Degrees Design + Build Images courtesy of 180 Degrees Inc.

The rest is here: 
A new rammed earth spiritual center arrives in Arizona desert

We Earthlings: We’re in — We Reuse to Preserve the Earth

August 31, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco

Comments Off on We Earthlings: We’re in — We Reuse to Preserve the Earth

Our throwaway culture has resulted in unsightly waste littering our landscapes, clogging our waterways, and… The post We Earthlings: We’re in — We Reuse to Preserve the Earth appeared first on Earth911.

Excerpt from:
We Earthlings: We’re in — We Reuse to Preserve the Earth

Sustainability in Space: The Next Frontier

August 26, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on Sustainability in Space: The Next Frontier

Date/Time: September 16, 2021 (3-4PM PT / 6-7PM ET) According to a recent NASA study, there are approximately 8,000 metric tons of debris orbiting the earth. These waste materials vary in size from large to microscopic, but all move at such a high speed that they represent potentially mission-ending risk by penetrating everything from spacesuits to fuel tanks, and even the hulls of space shuttles. They are also a threat to scientific and commercial satellites that we increasingly rely on for education, communication, navigation, among many day-to-day necessities. Space sustainability ensures that all humanity can continue to use outer space for exploration and commerce. Rubicon is the leading software platform for waste, recycling, and sustainability solutions. Rubicon’s mission is to end waste, and they have recently turned their efforts to the growing challenge of tackling space debris with a mind for space sustainability. On Sept. 16, join Rubicon for a webcast with industry and thought leaders to learn more about space sustainability and the critical threat of space debris. They will share: What is space sustainability Why do we have the critical problem of space debris How big is the problem and how can industry help mitigate Moderator: John Davies, Senior Vice President & Analyst, GreenBiz Group Speakers: Chris Blackerby, Group COO, Astroscale Ian Christensen, Director, Private Sector Programs, Secure World Foundation If you can’t tune in live, please register and we will email you a link to access the archived webcast footage and resources, available to you on-demand after the webcast.

See more here:
Sustainability in Space: The Next Frontier

How many trees are needed to offset a city’s carbon emissions?

August 26, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on How many trees are needed to offset a city’s carbon emissions?

Trees are nature’s lungs. While we enjoy their beauty, shade and fruits of their existence, they are silently working to clean the air. The natural process of all plants taking in carbon and releasing oxygen not only gives us clean air to breathe but also stores carbon that otherwise contributes to global warming . Countries around the world are in a race to find solutions for these types of greenhouse gases, which are a result of human activities like driving cars and manufacturing goods. While the push for electric vehicles and renewable energy through  solar panels , wind power and hydroelectricity takes the spotlight, another part of the solution equation is growing all around us in the form of trees. Related: Three Americans’ lifetime emissions enough to kill one person The simple fact is, planting trees is an exceptional tool in the fight against climate change. With this in mind,  Compare The Market  has presented its most recent research on the number of trees capital cities around the world would need to plant annually to offset the carbon emissions they contribute to the atmosphere. The study is based on information available through the Global Carbon Atlas Global City Emissions dataset, which measures emissions levels. While major cities work to reverse, slow down and stop the creation of these carbon emissions, what is the estimated number of trees it would take to counterbalance them? Which countries are the highest contributors and which have the lowest  environmental  impact? According to the data, Asia has some work to do. Five of the ten top carbon-emitting capital cities are in Asia. Note that for comparative purposes, the dataset measures transport, industrial,  waste  and local power plants emissions within city boundaries. The report combined data to show the total amount of carbon produced alongside the number of trees it would take to offset it. For example, the five cities in Asia, which include Beijing, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul, release a combined 219,506,539 tCO2 annually. The cities would have to plant 43,901,308 trees each year to offset those emissions. Individually, Beijing would need to plant 15,020,976 trees, followed by Singapore with 9,366,336 and Hong Kong with 8,975,292. Tokyo needs a 5,522,200-plant offset and Seoul 5,016,504. Other cities in the top 10 were Istanbul, Lagos, Santiago, London and Mexico City.  An energy spokesperson at Compare The Market comments, “Becoming carbon neutral is an essential goal for countries around the world, and as pledges roll in to reach this target by 2050 and beyond, immediate action is needed. One way we have studied is to offset emissions by planting trees which is great for absorbing CO2, with added benefits of supporting the ecosystem and  wildlife .” The tree offset calculation is based on information sourced from Carbonify.com’s carbon dioxide emissions calculator. The estimates are based on the assumption that five  trees  planted can clean up each ton of carbon dioxide produced.  The study stated, “A tree planted in the humid tropics absorbs on average 50 pounds (22 kg) of carbon dioxide annually over 40 years – each tree will absorb 1 ton of CO2 over its lifetime; but as trees grow, they compete for resources and some may die or be destroyed – not all will achieve their full carbon sequestration potential.” On the other end of the data spectrum are the countries performing better in the battle of low carbon emissions. For these results, a few substitutions were made in the face of missing data. Toronto, Milan and Basel were substituted to include Canada, Italy and Switzerland in the study. Reykjavik, Iceland was the least carbon-emitting capital in the study with total emissions of 346,630 tCO2 per year. The city would still have some work to do, planting 69,326 trees annually to offset its footprint. Of all the cities in the study, Reykjavik was the only one to come in below the 500,000 tCO2-produced mark. Even though nearly 70,000 is still a lot of trees, it was also the only city to have an estimate below 100,000 trees per year to offset carbon emissions. New Zealand took second place for carbon control with annual emissions of 621,179 tCO2. For Wellington to neutralize this, it will have to plant 124,236 trees a year. Basel, Switzerland, had the third-lowest number to plant at 156,786 trees to offset its 783,932 tCO2 footprint. Every other city in the study came in at over 200,000 trees a year. The study provides one tool in an array of options to reduce carbon release. Planting trees alone isn’t a sustainable solution, but neither is focusing solely on renewable energy or  recycling . To achieve goals set by world leaders, it will take a combination of actions across a range of environmental fields.  “The number of trees required may seem very high in cities like Beijing which would need to plant over 15 million trees, but this is if we only used plant power alone. There are many other initiatives and technologies in place, like the government incentives, which present lots of opportunities to offset carbon emissions on a small and large scale,” the spokesman said. + Compare The Market Images via Pixabay

Read the original post: 
How many trees are needed to offset a city’s carbon emissions?

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 8546 access attempts in the last 7 days.