The United States marked an energy milestone this week as construction began on a pilot offshore wind program that will be used to test the economic feasibility of offshore wind energy. According to the Bureau of Energy, some four million megawatts of power lie in wait off the coasts and the shores of regions like the Great Lakes, where wind blusters far stronger than it does on land — and even a few miles an hour makes a big difference with turbines.
Fort Knox, a U.S. military installation located near Louisville, Kentucky, and famous for storing the nation’s gold bullion, has two of the largest known maternity colonies of federally endangered Indiana bats within the range of the species and the largest in Kentucky. On the same night, officials documented 451 and 478 Indiana bats emerging from two separate trees, both are records for this species. The first maternity colony of Indiana bats on Fort Knox (approximately 150 individuals) was discovered in 1999. The total number of Indiana bats in existence has declined due to white-nose syndrome, a devastating wildlife disease; a reduction and contamination of their insect food supply due to pesticide usage and disturbances by humans during the bats’ winter hibernation in caves and mines. During hibernation, bats cluster in groups of up to 500 per square foot, which means a single event can destroy a large number of bats.
Estimates of how much nitrous oxide, a significant greenhouse gas and stratospheric ozone-depleting substance, is being emitted in the central United States have been too low by as much as 40 percent, a new study led by University of Minnesota scientists shows.
Australia has one of the highest rates of animal species that face extinction, decline or negative impacts from human behavior in the world. However, over the last decade, there have been rare occurrences of animals that are rebounding and thriving. One example is the conservation success story of the recovery of the humpback whales that breed in both East and West Australian waters. This new study, published in Marine Policy and led by Dr. Michelle Bejder, reviews data collected in past studies and proposes a revision of the conservation status for the humpback whales found in Australian waters.In Australia, the east and west coast humpback whale populations are listed as a threatened species with a 'vulnerable' status as defined by the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). However, according to Professor Lars Bejder at Murdoch University Australia, School of Veterinary and Life Sciences and his international co-authors, data reveals that these whale populations are increasing at remarkable rates (9% for West Coast and 10% for East Coast; as of 2012), the highest documented worldwide.
Though LEED is not the world’s only green building rating system, it is the most widely used and recognized. Thus it is no small thing that, for the second year in a row, Canada is #2 for LEED building in the World.
Ten thousand years ago, a golden grain got naked, brought people together and grew to become one of the top agricultural commodities on the planet.Now, University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers have found that just a single letter change in the genetic script of corn's ancestor, teosinte, helped make it all possible.Publishing in the journal Genetics this month, UW-Madison genetics Professor John Doebley and a team of researchers describe how, during the domestication of corn, a single nucleotide change in the teosinte glume architectural gene (tga1) stripped away the hard, inedible casing of this wild grass, ultimately exposing the edible golden kernel.
Water scarcity is driving California farmers to plant different crops. Growers are switching to more profitable, less-thirsty fruits, vegetables and nuts.
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