What’s the future? Addressing the Global Plastic Pollution Problem through Blockchain Technology

You may have first heard about blockchain technology over this past year as the price of different cryptocurrencies swung wildly and made news. OpenLitterMap aims to tackle the global plastic pollution problem through their reward system utilizing blockchain technology called Littercoin. Littercoin rewards people for contributing open data about litter they come across in their cities, reporting information such as litter location, type, and even brand information. Global plastic pollution is a massive problem that requires large scale solutions to solve. And through its efforts to tackle plastic pollution OpenLitterMap aims to to prevent plastics from entering landfills and the oceans.

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Left on REDD: International conservation policies fail to respond to local context

What happens when a groundbreaking international conservation program causes national inequity? As one participant states,
“we all have a common interest in keeping trees. The question is how? And for that we need to recognize the rights of local communities and indigenous peoples.”

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Mismatches between biodiversity research and policy needs – how can anyone compete with climate change?

If you would conduct a quick poll among the next twenty people you meet and ask them what they think the most important cause of global biodiversity loss is, there’s a good chance you would get a lot of the same two-word answer: climate change. In the English-speaking world today, there are few anthropogenic threats that appear in the news as often as often as climate change. While climate change is undeniably an important driver of biodiversity changes worldwide, there’s a risk that other equally important drivers have ended up too far from the scientific spotlight.

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Cropland nitrogen allocation – A deeper dive into the stressors impacting the oceans

Around the globe, 40-50% of the nitrogen applied to cropland in fertilizers remains in the environment. Excess nitrogen is an important environmental stressor that degrades water, air and soil quality and enhances coastal eutrophication. Efficiently allocating nitrogen across space both maximizes crop yields and minimizes excess nitrogen losses to the environment.

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Ocean acidification in the face of many environmental stressors

Greenhouse gas emissions are acidifying the ocean. The progressive decrease in ocean pH, or ocean acidification, is impacting ecosystems across the globe. Despite our understanding of the severity of ocean acidification’s impacts on individual species, the story is more complicated. We must also consider more broadly how ocean acidification affects ecosystems that are also exposed to a variety of other stressors such as changes in temperature and oxygen, coastal nutrient input, fishing, and ocean commercial transportation. It is critical that future adaptation and mitigation strategies consider how these co-occurring stressors interact with one another.

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Will Climate Policies Give Us Cleaner Air?

Clean air is very important to keep people healthy. While most people in the US are fortunate to have reasonably clean air, many people still get sick and die every year from dirty air. Around the world people are worried about the impacts of climate change. There may be a way to reduce the impacts from both air pollution and climate change at once.

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Accounting for Greenhouse Gases: Methane in India

How do we know how much heat-trapping greenhouse gas there is in the atmosphere? What about where these greenhouse gases are coming from? Scientists work hard to answer these questions on global, national, and regional levels. Recently, a group of scientists from India, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the United States collaborated to evaluate India’s emissions of the greenhouse gas methane. This blog post explains how greenhouse gas accounting is similar to tracking your bank account. The post then discusses in more detail how the India study was conducted, and why its findings are important.

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How much does pollution increase as cities grow?

People worldwide are increasingly living in cities. Urban life has many benefits including economic growth, but large concentrations of people and their activities can lead to increased pollution. A recent study evaluated the trade-offs between pollution and urbanization to see if the economic benefits outweigh the negative health impacts.

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