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: 12 min 30 sec ago

Flint Residents Experienced Decline in Fertility During Lead Water Crisis

4 hours 54 min ago

In the year after Flint, Michigan changed its water supply to the lead-tainted Flint River, there was decrease in fertility and an increase in fetal deaths among residents, according to an analysis of health statistics by a team of U.S. economists.

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Small Pests, Big Problems: The Global Spread of Bark Beetles

Thu, 2017-09-21 06:52

Warming temperatures are fueling the expansion of pine and spruce beetle outbreaks across North America, Europe, and Siberia, ravaging tens of thousands of square miles of woodlands. Scientists warn that some forest ecosystems may never recover.    

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New Study Pushes Back Deadline to Act to Limit Warming to 1.5 Degrees

Wed, 2017-09-20 12:34

A new study suggests that nations have a bit more time than previously thought if they want to cut greenhouse gas emissions and limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit). The research, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, finds that the world’s economies can emit an additional 700 billion tons of carbon dioxide before exceeding 1.5 degrees — more than twice previous estimates.

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Rebuilding from 2011 Earthquake, Japanese Towns Choose to Go Off the Grid

Tue, 2017-09-19 13:26

Many of the cities in northern Japan damaged by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami are building back their electric grids with renewable energy and micro-grids — bucking the nation’s old, centralized utility system by making communities in the region self-sufficient in generating electricity, Reuters reported.

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Satellites that Measure Ice Loss to Go Dark

Mon, 2017-09-18 14:33

The twin satellites that have been critical in measuring the world’s melting ice sheets for 15 years will soon shut down — months before their replacement is launched into orbit, NASA announced, creating a gap in the ice data record that has been instrumental in studying the impacts of global warming.

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In a Stunning Turnaround, Britain Moves to End the Burning of Coal

Mon, 2017-09-18 05:30

Britain is phasing out its coal-burning power plants, with the last one slated to be shuttered by 2025, if not sooner. It is a startling development for the nation that founded an industrial revolution powered by coal.

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Several Once-Abundant Species Listed as Endangered by IUCN

Thu, 2017-09-14 13:31

Six of the most abundant species of ash trees in North America are on the brink of extinction, decimated by an invasive beetle, the emerald ash borer, according to the latest update of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. Also added to the list are five African antelope species, dozens of Madagascan grasshoppers and millipedes, and more than 100 other plant and animal species.

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In Africa’s Oldest Park, Seeking Solutions to a Destructive Charcoal Trade

Thu, 2017-09-14 06:00

Virunga National Park, home to the world’s largest population of mountain gorillas, is plagued by deforestation linked to the production of charcoal for cooking fuel. But local and international groups are working on several fronts to find sustainable alternatives. 

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Cost of U.S. Solar Drops 75 percent in Six Years, Ahead of Federal Goal

Wed, 2017-09-13 14:56

The Trump administration has announced that a federal goal to slash the cost of utility-scale solar energy to 6 cents per kilowatt-hour by 2020 has been met early. The goal, set by the Obama administration in 2011 and known as the SunShot Initiative, represents a 75 percent reduction in the cost of U.S. solar in just six years. It makes solar energy-cost competitive with electricity generated by fossil fuels.

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Latin America Could Lose Up to 90 Percent of its Coffee-Growing Land by 2050

Tue, 2017-09-12 12:35

Studies have previously estimated that the amount of land worldwide suitable for growing coffee could shrink by an estimated 50 percent by 2050 as global temperatures rise, rain patterns change, and ecosystems shift due to climate change. But a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences predicts a far worse situation for Latin America, the world’s largest coffee supplier: The region could lose nearly 90 percent of its coffee-growing land by mid-century.

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Taking the Long View: The 'Forever Legacy' of Climate Change

Tue, 2017-09-12 06:00

The geological record shows that unless humanity begins rapidly reducing greenhouse gas emissions, we will be locking in drastic changes in the climate and sea levels that will the alter the earth not just for centuries, but for thousands of years.

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