Greenland Ice

Greenland Ice

by Bill Schlesinger Warming springtime temperatures bring another season of melting to the icepack on Greenland.  Containing roughly 2,850,000 km3 of ice, in some places more than 3000 m thick, Greenland harbors the second largest ice mass on Earth—the largest being ...
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Forest attributes

Forest attributes

by Bill Schlesinger When we think of tropical deforestation, we usually focus on its contributions to global climate change.  Burning is associated with deforestation, converting the carbon in the trees to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.  Deforestation, largely in the ...
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Drugs in your drinking water

Drugs in your drinking water

by Bill Schlesinger In the developed world, humans enjoy the benefits of a wide variety of pharmaceuticals that can regulate almost any aspect of our physiology—blood pressure, blood sugar, blood cholesterol, ovulation, anxiety, and headache.  Last night, I even saw ...
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No good deed goes unpunished

No good deed goes unpunished

by Bill Schlesinger About 15 years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency instituted the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for cars to reduce our nation’s emissions of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere by increasing the use of renewable liquid fuels derived from ...
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Methane: a synoptic view

Methane: a synoptic view

by Bill Schlesinger In recent months, there has been a lot of attention devoted to methane emission as a contribution to the gases in the atmosphere that cause global warming.   Methane concentrations were relatively constant in the atmosphere until the ...
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/ / Environment
Smoke, mirrors, and wood pellets

Smoke, mirrors, and wood pellets

by Bill Schlesinger Wood-pellet producer, Enviva, recently announced that it would double its harvest of forest biomass in the Southeast as a contribution to reducing the impact of climate change.  After all, when used to generate electricity, forests grow back, ...
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/ / Environment, Sections
Legacy Mercury

Legacy Mercury

by Bill Schlesinger Legacy pollution occurs when emissions of a pollutant from long ago persist in the environment and return to impact us at a later time.  About 8 months ago, I blogged about the legacy of phosphorus pollution that ...
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/ / Environment, Sections
Recycling glass and other household stuff

Recycling glass and other household stuff

by Bill Schlesinger Many folks feel good when they take waste materials to their local recycling center.  What they may not realize is that what they deliver—paper, cardboard, glass, plastic bottles, and cans—are not materials that in in short supply.  ...
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/ / Environment, Sections
Closing the Nutrient Loop

Closing the Nutrient Loop

by Bill Schlesinger In preindustrial times, human excrement was recognized as a fertilizer; it was gathered up and delivered to farm fields by the “Honey Wagon.”   That was closed-loop nutrient cycling at its best, as the nutrient content food was ...
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/ / Environment, Sections
In/Out

In/Out

by Bill Schlesinger Out                                                                        In ___________________________________________________________ Okefenokee Swamp                                    White Paint Non-stick pans                        ...
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/ / Environment, Sections
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