- New findings in the journal Environmental Science & Technology reveal melting sea ice may be related to mercury build up in local ringed seal populations. Warmer temperatures melt the ice, which extends the growth period for cod, enabling seals to gorge themselves. Cod fish is heavily contaminated with mercury, causing higher than usual mercury levels in seals; ENN reports.
- Ocean researchers have discovered a New Jersey-sized dead zone and no, it’s not New Jersey. Each year, animal poop and agricultural fertilizers trickle down the Mississippi River and end up in the Gulf of Mexico, creating a dead zone. All this poop and fertilizer robs the water of oxygen and floods it with nutrients, i.e. carbon, resulting in huge algae blooms and loss of aquatic life; via GreenBiz.
- But this works both ways. All the excess carbon we’re pumping into the air is causing increased plant growth in rainforests flora and sugar beet crops in the United Kingdom. Plants thrive on carbon dioxide and release oxygen. So some scientists believe this environmental irony may give humans extra time to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; The Times Online investigates.
- Some U.S. cities are already doing their part. Portland, Oregon and San Francisco, California were named the top two greenest cities in America. Sacramento, California has the greenest economy and Los Angeles, California is the number one Energy Star City in the United States; from Fresh Greens.
- Only 14% of plastic bottles end up getting recycled and Americans add another 30 million empty bottles to landfills each day. So, could boxed water be better? The packaging is much more eco-friendly than plastic and the company selling it donates 20% of profits to water relief charities, but some people worry the process of manufacturing and shipping is still environmentally taxing; via Inhabitat.
- Baby formula might not be a wise drink choice either. Scientists from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have discovered trace amounts of a chemical used in rocket fuel in samples of powdered baby formula. The compound, perchlorate, can interfere with thyroid function and has previously turned up in the drinking water of several U.S. cities; the Associated Press reports.
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