Stories indexed under: Environment

Total: 205   RSSRSS feed

  • Tolerance of wolves in Wisconsin continues to decline May 22, 2015 Wolf. The very word can conjure an image of a venerable pack of canines passing quietly through moonlit woods. Or, it can evoke anger over livestock lost at the jaws of a hungry predator.
  • Photo: Brazilian cattle Brazilian beef industry moves to reduce its destruction of rain forests May 12, 2015 Expansion of cattle pastures has led to the destruction of huge swaths of rain forest in Brazil, home to the world's largest herd of commercial beef cattle. But a new study led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Holly Gibbs shows that market-driven "zero deforestation agreements" have dramatically influenced the behavior of ranchers and the slaughterhouses to which they sell.
  • Photo: Tom Neeson Bigger bang for your buck: Restoring fish habitat by removing barriers April 28, 2015 A few years ago, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Limnology created the first map of all the road crossings and dams blocking the tributary rivers that feed the five Great Lakes. These tributaries serve as migratory highways, providing fish like walleye and lake sturgeon access to headwater breeding grounds.
  • Softwood elements Engineered softwood could transform pulp, paper and biofuel industries April 21, 2015 Scientists have demonstrated the potential for softwoods to process more easily into pulp and paper if engineered to incorporate a key feature of hardwoods. The finding, published in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could improve the economics of the pulp, paper and biofuels industries and reduce those industries' environmental impact.
  • Photo: Suman Banerjee ‘My Earth’ energy-tracking app encourages sustainable behaviors April 20, 2015 For a generation motivated by technology and fast-moving information, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has created an energy-tracking app to make reducing day-to-day energy usage more accessible.
  • Photo: David Lynn New materials repel oil underwater, could better clean up oil spills April 15, 2015 University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers have announced a significant step forward in the development of materials that can ward off oil - a discovery that could lead to new protective coatings and better approaches to cleaning up oil spills.
  • Photo: Ankur Desai Team tracks the uncertain climate footprint of wetlands April 1, 2015 When is a wetland a sink and when is a wetland a source?
  • Photo: William Murphy Researchers aim to broaden understanding of how toxins affect the body March 25, 2015 Even in an era in which there is increased emphasis on living "green," humans are constantly exposed to a wide range of toxins in everything from our air, food and water to the goods we buy.
  • Photo: Ankur Desai For UW-Madison scientists, Northern Wisconsin serves as a lab and a classroom March 19, 2015 For the past decade, Ankur Desai has been working with collaborators from across the country to study the uptake and emission of carbon in northern Wisconsin’s forests, wetlands and lakes.
  • Photo: aerial view of the Aspen Free-Air Carbon dioxide and ozone Enrichment (Aspen FACE) experiment site Munching bugs thwart eager trees, reducing the carbon sink March 2, 2015 A new study published today [Monday, March 2, 2015] in Nature Plants shows that hungry, plant-eating insects may limit the ability of forests to take up elevated levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, reducing their capacity to slow human-driven climate change.
  • Mealworm farming project wins Climate Quest competition Feb. 26, 2015
  • Photo: Mealworms feeding on a diet of oats and a carrot Could squirmy livestock dent Africa’s protein deficit? Feb. 26, 2015 As a cheap and easy source of protein for humans, it might be hard to beat the mighty mealworm.
  • Photo: An island of forest in a sea of soy agriculture in Mato Grosso Study shows Brazil’s Soy Moratorium still needed to preserve Amazon Jan. 22, 2015 Today, fewer chicken nuggets can trace their roots to cleared Amazon rain forest.
  • Photo: Lake Mendota algae Humanity has exceeded 4 of 9 ‘planetary boundaries,’ according to researchers Jan. 15, 2015 An international team of researchers says climate change, the loss of biosphere integrity, land-system change, and altered biogeochemical cycles like phosphorus and nitrogen runoff have all passed beyond levels that put humanity in a “safe operating space.” Civilization has crossed four of nine so-called planetary boundaries as the result of human activity, according to a report published today in Science by the 18-member research team. Among them is Steve Carpenter, director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Limnology and the only U.S.-based researcher on the study.
  • Pecatonica without the ‘P’: Project cuts phosphorus levels in river Dec. 23, 2014 Conservation experts and farmers alike are rather pleased with the news out of southwestern Wisconsin. A seven-year pilot project in the 12,000-acre Pleasant Valley subwatershed of the Pecatonica River has helped to reduce the amount of phosphorus and sediment entering the river after major storms by more than a third.
  • Muddy forests, shorter winters present challenges for loggers Dec. 22, 2014 Stable, frozen ground has long been recognized a logger’s friend, capable of supporting equipment and trucks in marshy or soggy forests. Now, a comprehensive look at weather from 1948 onward shows that the logger’s friend is melting. The study, published in the current issue of the Journal of Environmental Management, finds that the period of frozen ground has declined by an average of two or three weeks since 1948.
  • Photo: Sea surface temperature data set Study models the past to understand the future of strengthening El Niño Nov. 26, 2014 El Niño is not a contemporary phenomenon; it’s long been the Earth’s dominant source of year-to-year climate fluctuation. But as the climate warms and the feedbacks that drive the cycle change, researchers want to know how El Niño will respond. A team of researchers led by the University of Wisconsin’s Zhengyu Liu will publish the latest findings in this quest Nov. 27 in Nature.
  • Grasshoppers signal slow recovery of post-agricultural woodlands, study finds Nov. 24, 2014 New research by Philip Hahn and John Orrock at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on the recovery of South Carolina longleaf pine woodlands once used for cropland shows just how long lasting the legacy of agriculture can be in the recovery of natural places. By comparing grasshoppers found at woodland sites once used for agriculture to similar sites never disturbed by farming, Hahn and Orrock show that despite decades of recovery, the numbers and types of species found in each differ.
  • Crops play a major role in the annual CO2 cycle increase Nov. 19, 2014 In a study published Wednesday, Nov. 19, in Nature, scientists at Boston University, the University of New Hampshire, the University of Michigan, the University of Minnesota, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and McGill University show that a steep rise in the productivity of crops grown for food accounts for as much as 25 percent of the increase in this carbon dioxide (CO2) seasonality.
  • Photo: Bill Provencher New master’s program in energy conservation is first of its kind Nov. 7, 2014 A new professional master's program will launch at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in fall 2015 and become the first in the world specifically designed to train analytically minded students to evaluate energy efficiency and other resource-conservation initiatives.