Michael D. Lemonick 360

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Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting, and debate on global environmental issues.
Updated: 2 hours 20 min ago

On the Water-Starved Colorado River, Drought Is the New Normal

Tue, 2019-01-22 09:33

With the Southwest locked in a 19-year drought and climate change making the region increasingly drier, water managers and users along the Colorado River are facing a troubling question: Are we in a new, more arid era when there will never be enough water? Second in a series.

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California Teen Finds Thousands of Golf Balls Releasing Microplastics into Ocean

Fri, 2019-01-18 16:03

A teenager in Northern California has collected more than 50,000 golf balls — weighing some 2.5 tons — from the bottom of the ocean over the past two years. Now, working with scientists at the Stanford University, Alex Weber has co-published a new paper in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin on the dangerous microplastics and toxins being released into the ocean as the golf balls degrade.

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Elevated Nitrate Levels Found in Millions of Americans’ Drinking Water

Thu, 2019-01-17 14:53

Public water systems serving more than 5.6 million Americans contain concentrations of nitrate at levels found to cause health problems, including cancer and birth defects, according to a new study published in the journal Environmental Health. Systems serving Hispanic populations tended to have the highest levels of nitrate in drinking water.

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A Highway Megaproject Tears at the Heart of New Guinea's Rainforest

Thu, 2019-01-17 10:15

The Indonesian government is building a 2,700-mile road network on the island of New Guinea, opening up some of the world’s last great tropical rainforests to development and threatening unique indigenous cultures. Can international pressure force Indonesia to scale back this megaproject?

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To Hold Warming to 1.5 Degrees, Study Says Nations Must Stop Building New Fossil Fuel Infrastructure Immediately

Tue, 2019-01-15 12:41

If nations commit immediately not to replace fossil fuel infrastructure as it reaches the end of its expected lifetime, the world would have a 64 percent chance of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Communications.

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India Plans to Add 500 GW of Renewable Energy Capacity Within 10 Years

Mon, 2019-01-14 13:59

India will auction off 40 gigawatts (GW) of solar and wind capacity every year until 2028, part of the country’s goal to produce 40 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, Anand Kumar, head of India’s New and Renewable Energy Ministry, announced last week.

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The West’s Great River Hits Its Limits: Will the Colorado Run Dry?

Mon, 2019-01-14 08:25

As the Southwest faces booming populations and unrelenting drought, the Colorado River is in crisis, with too many demands on its diminishing flow. Now those who depend on the river must confront the hard reality that their supply of Colorado water may be cut off. First in a series.

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Interior Department Continues to Process Drilling Applications During Shutdown

Thu, 2019-01-10 13:54

While thousands of federal workers in the United States have been furloughed due to the partial government shutdown, the Interior Department is still processing oil and gas drilling applications, according to reporting by The Washington Post.

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As Disease Ravages Coral Reefs, Scientists Scramble for Solutions

Thu, 2019-01-10 08:56

As oceans warm, coral reefs are suffering not only from bleaching but from deadly outbreaks of disease. Researchers are developing remedies, but the key question is whether these solutions can work on a large-enough scale to save vast reef systems from Florida to Australia.

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Western U.S. Monarch Butterfly Population Declined Sharply in 2018

Wed, 2019-01-09 14:06

California’s population of monarch butterflies declined 86 percent in 2018 compared to the previous year, according to the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, a nonprofit group that conducts an annual survey of the species in the western United States. Overall, the state’s monarch population has declined 97 percent since the 1980s.

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