PolyConundrum

Graywater Recycling Is An Excellent Strategy For Drought

Garden irrigated with graywater and rainwater, Los Angeles. Jeremy Levine/Flickr, CC BYMany regions of the United States are struggling with water shortages. Large areas of the West are contending with moderate to severe drought, while California is now in the fifth year of one of the most extreme droughts in its history. Even non-arid regions, such as the Southeast, are not exempt from water shortages.

What The Ebola Virus Can Teach Us About Saving Crops

Working with local farmers to protect their crops. Author providedWhen the deadly Ebola virus struck West Africa last year, one thing that became clear was that the region lacked access to quick diagnostic tools that could help identify those infected and help contain the virus’s spread.

What California Can Learn From Australia’s 15-year Drought

What California Can Learn From Australia’s 15-year DroughtCalifornia has experienced, over the past few years, its most severe drought on record. In response to worsening conditions, Governor Jerry Brown announced the first ever statewide mandatory reduction in urban water use in April 2015. This calls on Californians

The World's Biggest Source Of Freshwater Is Beneath Your Feet

The World's Biggest Source Of Freshwater Is Beneath Your FeetYou might not give it more than a passing thought, but groundwater is a vital freshwater resource. In Australia alone, the reserves of groundwater help to earn the the nation a steady A$34 billion a year from mining, food production and manufacturing.

Why Coral Island Hotspots Exist In An Oceanic Desert

Productivity hotspots in an otherwise nutrient-poor ocean. High abundances of plankton-eating fish on an Indo-Pacific coral reef. Zafer Kizilkaya, CC BY-SAIt was Charles Darwin, almost 200 years ago, who first asked how it could be that coral reefs could flourish in relatively barren parts of the Pacific Ocean. This conundrum subsequently became known as Darwin’s Paradox.

Better Water Use Can Cut The Global Food Gap

An irrigation system on a pumpkin patch in a semi-arid area of New Mexico in southwestern US. Image: Daniel Schwen via Wikimedia CommonsScientists say that forecasts of a world food shortage need not prove as disastrous as previously thought if humans learn to use water more effectively.

Why Some Animals And Plants Will Thrive Under Climate Change

 Stick to grasslands, ground squirrel. Vince Smith, CC BYIt’s mid-February and along Britain’s south coast gilt-head bream are drifting from the open sea into the estuaries. Meanwhile, thousands of little egrets are preparing to fly to continental Europe for breeding season, though a few hundred

Five Edible Insects You Really Should Try

Five Edible Insects You Really Should TryEdible insects are great alternatives to conventional sources of meat as they’re cheap, plentiful and excellent sources of protein and fat, as well as vitamins and minerals.

Save the Planet By Unleashing Our Dreams

Save the Planet By Unleashing Our DreamsWe need green visions for less carbon and poverty---but also for more fun and joy. At a time when ecological destruction is more dire than ever, the work of  protecting the planet depends on dreamers just as much as of scientists, activists, public officials and business leaders.

Some Left Behind As Rich Countries Adapt To Climate

Some Left Behind As Rich Countries Adapt To Climate

The climate is changing, but how can we best prepare for some of the changes ahead? For example, should coastal cities change their building codes to accommodate rising sea levels? Should we allocate more resources to tree-planting to reduce urban heat islands?

We Are Entering A New Era Of Migration And Not Just For People

We Are Entering A New Era Of Migration And Not Just For PeopleThe world is watching as refugees flood into a Europe unprepared for the new arrivals. Conflict and social unrest due in part to climate stress – including induced food shortages and social conflict – have prompted migrants to search for new homes and new opportunities. To ecologists, however, this comes as no surprise.

Heat-Tolerant Beans Could Help Keep Millions Fed

Heat-Tolerant Beans Could Help Keep Millions FedScientists believe they may have found how to safeguard a staple tropical crop, on which hundreds of millions of people depend, from the depredations of climate change. They have discovered − through conventional breeding rather than genetic modification − 30 new “lines” (varieties) of beans that will thrive in the higher temperatures expected later this century.

Can The Florida Coastal Economy Adapt To The Rising Seas?

Can The Florida Coastal Economy Adapt To The Rising Seas?Florida is a coastal state. Nearly 80% of its 20 million residents live near the coast on land just a few feet above sea level, and over a hundred million tourists visit the beaches and stay in beach-front hotels every year.

Can Women Over 65 Prevent the Next Dust Bowl?

Can Women Over 65 Prevent the Next Dust Bowl?So many older women are inheriting farms that some experts believe training them in land conservation may be society's best bet in protecting the food supply. In Iowa alone, women own about 14 million acres of farmland, which is significant because the health of the nation’s soil is crucial to the productivity of its farms and in feeding a growing population.