Tag Archives: Research

Study: Green infrastructure can spread disease when poorly planned

Green infrastructure designs that fail to consider the effects of the installation’s placement or the types of wildlife it may attract can increase risks of spreading serious diseases, according to research published in the journal, Ecology and Epidemiology. “There seems to be a prevailing assumption among the general public that everything that is nature – […]

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New scale helps meteorologists measure positives and negatives of atmospheric river storms

Atmospheric rivers (ARs) are a newly understood phenomenon, officially defined by the American Meteorological Society (AMS; Boston) just 2 years ago. ARs – narrow, fast-moving bands of highly concentrated atmospheric water vapor that commonly stretch hundreds of miles in length – often result in severe rain or snow storms when that vapor makes landfall. On […]

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Passing planes pull added precipitation from clouds

From releasing greenhouse gases while in the air to discharging fuels, lubricants, and other potentially toxic chemicals before takeoff, countless studies have determined that air travel has an undeniable effect on the environment. Now, a newly published study, led by University of Helsinki (Finland) researchers, finds that planes flying above clouds during precipitation events can […]

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USDA: Growing rice helps farmers curb pesticide water quality risks

More than 40,000 different varieties of rice are grown on every continent (except Antarctica), making rice one of the world’s best-loved food crops. And according to new findings from U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) researchers, rice crops also have a secondary function: They keep pesticides and other contaminants out of vulnerable waterways.   The problem […]

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Green infrastructure limits flood risk, say insurers

A new Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC; Toronto, Ontario) report urges communities to consider green infrastructure to limit flood risk. IBC is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto, and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty insurance market in Canada. The report, Combatting Canada’s Rising Flood […]

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Storms as destructive as Hurricane Harvey projected to happen more frequently

When Hurricane Harvey inundated eastern Texas late last August, the eye of the storm loitered over land for nearly a week rather than dispersing as it moved farther from the ocean, as most hurricanes do. The result was a stronger, more destructive storm, which dropped a record-breaking 127 cm (50 in.) of rain and directly […]

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Steel chips purge nearly 99% of E. coli bacteria from runoff in lab tests

In the watershed of the Big Sioux River, a 675-km-long (420-mi-long) tributary of the Mississippi, the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources reports that nearly all streams exceed regulatory limits for Escherichia coli bacteria. After a summer storm, runoff drives E. coli levels in some streams to reach as high as 2000 colony-forming […]

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Roadway runoff causes long-term sensory damage in Pacific Northwest salmon

Toxic roadway pollutants captured and conveyed by stormwater pose a serious threat to coho salmon and other fish in the Pacific Northwest’s urban watersheds. New research from Washington State University (WSU; Vancouver) shows that green infrastructure can help reduce mortality rates, but that pollutants can still potentially make fish more susceptible to predators.   Salmon’s […]

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Study: To combat toxic algal blooms, focus on phosphorus

The results of an experiment spanning nearly a half-century at the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD; Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) claim that if water stewards want to stem the growth of harmful algal blooms, they should focus on phosphorus rather than nitrogen. The discovery, made by the same research organization credited with identifying phosphorus as […]

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High school student wins U.S. EPA award for Portland flood mitigation study

After taking home the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Patrick H. Hurd Sustainability Award from the annual Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (IISEF) in May, a high school junior from Oregon will present his research at next year’s EPA National Sustainable Design Expo in Washington, D.C. Adam Nayak of Cleveland High School (Portland, Ore.) […]

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