U.S. – China Carbon Pact

November 12, 2014


The United States and China have revealed a secret deal to cut carbon emissions. As part of the deal China has agreed to cap emissions in 2030 or earlier if possible and the U.S. is committing to reducing emissions by approximately 28% by 2025. President Obama was quoted, saying “As the world’s largest economies and greatest emitters of greenhouse gases we have special responsibility to lead the global effort against climate change. I am proud we can announce a historic agreement. I commend President Xi, his team and the Chinese government for their making to slow, peak and then reverse China’s carbon emissions.” He also went on to say that the goal was “ambitious, but achievable.”

Mitch McConnell, the new Senate Republican leader, was quick to comment, stating “This unrealistic plan, that the president would dump on his successor, would ensure higher utility rates and far fewer jobs.” This push back is to be expected, however with the new Republican controlled congress, this goal is likely to be made smaller, if not gotten rid of completely. However, the deal shows a strong momentum for the environmental movement in world governments, that should be hard to stop.

Environmental issue

November 12, 2014

A report from the Environment Ohio Research and Policy Center ranks Ohio as the 10th worst state for toxic discharges into its waterways. The study is based on the federal governments 2012 Toxic Release Inventory which compiles self-reported data from discharging facilities. More Here.

Cuyahoga Fire

All About Insect Diversity

November 12, 2014

Insects can be found almost anywhere and they are incredibly diverse. Insects evolved very long ago and according to this article that 50 percent of multicellular organisms including plants is an insect. This article looks at the genetics of insects and is able to look all they back in their evolutionary history when insects first migrated onto land. This article dates insects to having started their unique evolutionary history from other arthropods about 450 million years ago. In order to compare insect evolution they sequenced the DNA from over 140 types of insects and compared results of 1478 genes. It was surprising that insects evolved to be on land roughly 500 million years ago and then were flying by 400 million years ago. Overall this article discussed the great diversity of insects and talked about their ability to evolve incredibly quickly. 6367


Algal flour

November 11, 2014


I stumbled into this while looking up bio-fuel from algae. Apparently algae bio-fuels are very promising because they don’t take away land for crops that could feed people (or livestock). The only problem is the lack of demand for it right now, so there is no profit. This is where algal four comes in as a transitional phase: companies are hoping to get a profit from algae as a food source, increase the supply of algae, and perhaps start using some of the supply for bio-fuels.

Population controls ‘will not solve environment issues’

November 10, 2014

This article was very interesting because it dealt with the world population and how we are growing faster then the earth can sustain us. It begins with bringing up that by 2100 the Earth could reach 12 Billion people and if we were to enact the 1 child policy it would not change the outcome then significantly. Another point that was brought up was a catastrophic event such as a world war or a pandemic disease. The scientists then found that the impact would still not make a significant difference when it comes to the overall population consumption and waste. A good quote stated in the article was by a professor and a scientist, “The scientists said the issue of population and its impact on global consumption was often described as the “elephant in the room” – a problem that the world ignores as it is politically and ethically difficult to tackle.

But the research shows that curbing numbers will not deal with environmental challenges in the short term.

“Our work reveals that effective family planning and reproduction education worldwide have great potential to constrain the size of the human population and alleviate pressure on resource availability over the longer term,” said Prof Barry Brook from the University of Tasmania.

“Our great-great-great-great grandchildren might ultimately benefit from such planning, but people alive today will not.”

New sea life!

November 10, 2014



“Deep-sea corals and sponges provide valuable refuge for fish and other marine life,” said Maria Brown, Farallones sanctuary superintendent. “Data on these life forms helps determine the extent and ecological importance of deep-sea communities and the threats they face. Effective management of these ecosystems requires science-based information on their condition.”

In addition to the discoveries, the research team also conducted video surveys of areas that previously were documented only through sonar imaging.

“The video surveys from this research mission verified the extent of rocky habitat estimated from sonar data collected several years ago, and the quality of rocky habitat in some areas exceeded expectations,” said Guy Cochrane, a U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist.

Submarine canyons, such as Bodega Canyon, extend from the continental shelf to the deep sea — making their exploration a difficult but worthwhile endeavor. The canyons are important because they act as a refuge for important species of fish and provide a habitat for sensitive species of deep water corals and sponges.

“Surveys of the seafloor in these waters reveal an abundance and diversity of life in new habitats,” said Danielle Lipski, Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary research coordinator and expedition leader. “This work helps inform our knowledge and understanding of the deep sea ecosystems north of Cordell Bank and Gulf of the Farallones national marine sanctuaries, areas that are extremely important to the ocean environment.”

Microbeads polluting our waters

November 10, 2014

Products that contain microbeads are a big environmental issue.  The microbeads are too small to be filtered out of the water so they end up in our lakes and oceans.  The tiny bits of plastic look like food to many fish and they ultimately end up in our food chain.  These beads also soak up toxins which further contaminate our waters.  Many states are working on banning microbeads, which is a slow process, but we should all do our and make better purchases. Be aware of your waste.

Read more here


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