They're not in the mood. Toxins are turning off great egrets mating in the Everglades
MIAMI — Great egrets in the Everglades are losing their sexual motivation because they are exposed to mercury through the fish they eat, a University of Florida study using more than 20 years of data has found.Researchers observed that mercury contamination led to a 50% reduction in attempts by the birds to breed, showing that the heavy metal is affecting their reproduction process much earlier than previously thought. As most studies have focused on offspring-related metrics such as hatchling success, the recent findings indicate that the full effects of mercury exposure among wading birds ma...
Miami-Dade is one storm away from a housing catastrophe. Nearly 1 million people are at risk
MIAMI — As the tail end of one of the most active hurricane seasons in history nears, Miami-Dade County appears once again poised to emerge unscathed. The region dodged hurricanes and tropical storms that posed a potential threat to South Florida. But what will happen when that luck runs out?Housing advocates have long feared that the city is one storm away from disaster; nearly a third of all housing structures in Miami-Dade County built before 1990 are at risk of wind damage, mold contamination and even complete devastation from a hurricane.According to U.S. Census Bureau figures, nearly 1 m...
Rising waters threaten Great Lakes communities
Along a shoreline that stretches farther than the combined length of the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, waters driven by climate change have risen as much as 6 feet in less than a decade, washing away houses, destroying roads and threatening critical infrastructure such as water treatment plants in towns large and small.The ongoing disaster striking the coastal communities of the Great Lakes hasn’t captured national attention like hurricanes and wildfires in other parts of the country. But from Duluth to Chicago to Cleveland to Buffalo, leaders are reeling from untold billions in damage — and th...
Amazon tries to make it easier to identify green products with new 'Climate Pledge Friendly' label
SEATTLE — “Time is fleeting,” Amazon tells shoppers who click on its new Climate Pledge Friendly label, an hourglass with wings. It began appearing next to about 25,000 items for sale on its website Wednesday that meet at least one of 19 sustainability standards.The standards, including one related to packaging issued by Amazon itself, cover a wide range of product characteristics, some of which include explicit efforts to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with their production. Other standards that earn Amazon’s Climate Pledge Friendly label require only that a product be made of...
The Seattle Times
California may need more fire to fix its wildfire problem
WASHINGTON — California is supposed to burn.Before settlers populated the region in the 1800s, about 5 to 12% of the land that now makes up the Golden State caught fire each year — more than has burned so far in 2020, the most destructive year in modern history. Some of the historic fires were caused by lightning and others were set by Native Americans as a land-management tool, but they mostly burned with low intensity and touched much of the state with great regularity.But after more than a century of aggressive fire suppression, California’s vegetation has grown much denser than the fire-ad...
Editorial: Sidelining science: Donald Trump undermines fight against virus, wildfires and more
Look to the south and see Americans in Gulf Coast states preparing for Hurricane Sally. Look further north and see glaciers melting. Look west and see wildfires raging across multiple states, destroying property and taking lives.And tri-state residents? Just look straight up, take note of the strange overcast sky glowing yellow, residue of ash traveling eastward 3,000 miles.Yet on this building evidence of climate change wreaking havoc and on a whole host of other life-and-death matters, President Trump cannot or will not bring himself to face scientific fact. Good reason to deny him another t...
New York Daily News
Deadly deer disease expected to worsen under Michigan's controversial hunting limits
A controversial restriction on hunting in the Michigan county hardest hit by a deadly deer disease is expected to make the problem worse, a study commissioned by the state shows.The state’s Natural Resources Commission got its first glimpse of data this summer from Montcalm County under the plan it approved last year to impose antler point restrictions on hunting in Montcalm, Ionia and Mecosta counties for the first time.The commission did so in part to fight chronic wasting disease, a contagious, incurable disease that threatens to decimate the state’s white-tail deer population and hunting i...
The Detroit News
University of California system to phase out single-use plastics
SAN DIEGO — The University of California announced plans this week to phase out disposable plastic products in dining halls and other retail locations after a yearlong campaign by student activists.The policy changes are to start next year and will be rolled out over the next decade at the 10-campus system, eliminating signal-use plastic products such as bags, eating utensils, straws and water bottles.Students worked with the California Public Interest Research Group, or CALPIRG, to gather more than 12,000 signatures on UC campuses. The new policy was announced in collaboration with the UC Off...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
First, thousands of fish turned up dead in Biscayne Bay. Coral bleaching might be next
MIAMI — Fish may not be the only victims of the pollution and hot temperatures that drove oxygen to insufficient levels in Biscayne Bay and led to a mortality event that shocked Miami residents last week.Coral reefs in the bay risk bleaching if water conditions don’t improve soon, scientists said. Prolonged periods of high ocean temperatures cause coral to expel the algae that live inside them, leaving them more vulnerable to stressors like pollution and a deadly disease that’s ravaging reefs in Florida.“It’s a one-two punch for corals,” said Chris Langdon, director of the Coral Reefs and Clim...
Fast food from these chains is 'packaged in pollution,' report says. Does it matter?
Next time you order a Big Mac, Whopper or Sweetgreen salad, consider this: The wrappers and containers your food comes in have been found to contain toxic chemicals that can contaminate your drinking water, harm wildlife and make you sick.PFAS are chemicals used in apparel, carpeting, furniture and food packaging designed to keep materials grease- and water-resistant; they’re known as “forever chemicals” as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances cannot break down in the environment.A report released last week on the fast food industry revealed that nearly half of all sampled packaging contained d...
Fort Worth Star-Telegram