Michael D. Lemonick 360

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Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting, and debate on global environmental issues.
Updated: 2 hours 13 min ago

Federal Resiliency Efforts Pay Off Six Times Their Investment, New Report Finds

Mon, 2018-01-22 12:37

For every $1 that the U.S. government spends on resiliency projects, such as elevating buildings in flood zones and improving water management systems, society saves $6 on the future costs of natural disasters, according to a new report by the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS).

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On the Chesapeake, A Precarious Future of Rising Seas and High Tides

Mon, 2018-01-22 05:00

Maryland’s Dorchester County is ground zero for climate change on Chesapeake Bay, as rising seas claim more and more land. An e360 video explores the quiet beauty of this liquid landscape and how high tides and erosion are putting the bay’s rural communities at risk.

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Scientists Unlock Key Information About the World’s Soil Microbes

Fri, 2018-01-19 14:40

Scientists at the University of Colorado, Boulder have created the first worldwide atlas of soil microbes, mapping 500 of the most common kinds of bacteria found in soil across the globe, from deserts to grasslands to wetlands.

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Brazil Seizes Hundreds of Shipping Containers Filled With Illegal Timber

Thu, 2018-01-18 14:28

In an effort to crack down on illegal logging in the Amazon, Brazilian authorities have seized 444 shipping containers at the busy port city of Manaus, according to Reuters. After searching just 20 percent of the containers, inspectors have so far found logs that would stretch 930 miles if placed end-to-end, much of which they believe was harvested illegally. Roughly half of the timber was en route to the United States and Europe.

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How One Lawmaker Is Breaking the Bipartisan Barrier on Climate Change

Thu, 2018-01-18 08:56

Republican Congressman Carlos Curbelo of South Florida represents one of the U.S. regions most vulnerable to sea level rise. Now, he’s breaking with GOP orthodoxy to help build a growing bipartisan coalition in the House to influence climate legislation.

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With China’s Ban on Waste Imports, Europe Announces New Recycling Initiatives

Tue, 2018-01-16 12:35

In the wake of China’s ban on the import of foreign garbage, which took effect earlier this month, countries across the globe are scrambling to figure out what to do with the thousands of tons of trash piling up at their ports. Now, Europe has announced it is launching an aggressive new recycling initiative to reduce plastic waste and garbage exports.

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Warming Signs: How Diminished Snow Cover Puts Species in Peril

Tue, 2018-01-16 05:00

As the world warms, snow cover has been diminishing from the Alps to the Rockies. The dwindling snowpack is having a profound effect on ecosystems, disrupting the adaptive advantages of such northern species as lynx, wolverines, and snowshoe hares. 

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California’s Illegal Pot Farms Are Exposing Owls to Rat Poison, Finds New Study

Fri, 2018-01-12 14:02

Wildlife species in remote areas of California, such as barred owls and threatened northern spotted owls, are being exposed to high levels of rat poison. Scientists say the toxin is most likely coming from thousands of illegal marijuana farms deep within the state’s northwestern forests that use the poison to keep rodents away from irrigation systems and crops.

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Pacific Northwest Salmon Species Has Lost Two-Thirds of Its Genetic Diversity

Thu, 2018-01-11 13:13

Chinook salmon, an iconic species in the Pacific Northwest that supports a major fishery industry and indigenous traditions, have lost up to two-thirds of their genetic diversity over the past 7,000 years, according to a new study. Scientists warn the loss could make it difficult for the species to cope with warming global temperatures and ocean acidification — environmental changes that are already impacting the fish today.

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After an Uncertain Start, U.S. Offshore Wind Is Powering Up

Thu, 2018-01-11 05:00

After years of delays, the U.S. offshore wind industry is finally gaining momentum, with new projects being planned along the Atlantic coast. So far, the Trump administration seems to be regarding offshore wind as one form of renewable energy it can support. 

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U.S. Waterways Are Getting Saltier, With Possible Effects on Drinking Water

Tue, 2018-01-09 15:06

Streams and rivers across much of the U.S. are getting saltier and more alkaline due to an uptick in the use of road deicers and fertilizers in recent decades, according to a  50-year-long analysis of 232 monitoring sites by the U.S. Geological Survey.

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