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We want to make cutting edge research in the environmental sciences accessible to all by highlighting recent studies and explaining how these advances shape the understanding of our world.

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Not so blue anymore: how dead mangroves burden coastal carbon sinks

Mangrove forests have been feeling the pressure of climate change. With heat waves and low rainfall, many mangroves along a 1000 km stretch of coastline in northern Australia have been wiped out. However, the dead trees are living on by contributing large methane emissions which has consequences to global mangrove carbon stores and climate change. Read on to find out how the living dead remain active methane emitters.

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The Color of Water Policy

What’s your favorite color – blue, or green? Water policy has focused traditionally on blue water (ground or surface water released into the atmosphere by evaporation), but there’s more to the water-use equation. To understand water use and availability more broadly, researchers are now considering the value and availability of green water (that which is released back to the atmosphere by plants). In this paper, green-water use and availability is investigated at a global scale, leading the authors to advocate for inclusion of green water into water policy considerations.

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Glimmer of Hope: Seagrasses Starting to Recover in Europe

Seagrasses provide vital habitat and resources for marine ecosystems. Water pollution, disease, and coastal modification have led to a decrease in 30% of seagrasses across Europe. Researchers analyzed over 1,000 studies to understand the trends of seagrasses over nearly 150 years. While overall losses have been great, the last few decades have shown seagrasses are starting to recover – likely due to strategies to decrease water pollution and protect vital habitats.

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What goes around, comes around: Accumulation of PFAS in Marine Critters

PFAS are a family of chemical pollutants of emerging concern. They are extremely useful in processing and manufacturing non-stick and stain-resistant consumer products, as well as foams used in firefighting, but they are also particularly persistent in the environment, and in humans! Efforts are being made to control the spread of these chemicals, and it’s important to understand both where they are coming from and how they move through the environment. In a recent study, researchers show how snails and crabs might be better informants about PFAS contamination sources than fish.

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100% Sustainable Electricity by 2050 is Quite Possible

The technology to produce electricity from renewable resources like sunlight and wind has been around for many years. However, the vast majority of electricity in the world is generated from fossil fuels, which is a major contributor to pollution and climate change. Recent research shows that sustained, incremental changes can lead to sustainable, renewable electricity around the globe by 2050 – mitigating environmental damage from current practices.

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Navigating the Future of Insects in an Illuminated World

Humans bring light to even the darkest of places, but how does this affect the creatures we share the night with? In our quest to illuminate our world, we are altering the fate of insects for generations to come by contributing to their decline and pressuring them to adapt to an environment that has artificial light at night.

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