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air conditioning coronavirus

A New Cooling Technology Protects Against Severe Heat and Viral Spread

In the face of dangerous heat waves this summer, Americans have taken shelter in air-conditioned cooling centers. Normally, that would be a wise choice, but during a pandemic, indoor shelters present new risks. The same air conditioning systems that keep us cool recirculate air around us, potentially spreading the coronavirus. “Air conditioners look like they’re bringing in air from the outsideREAD MORE

lobster fishing climate change

The Lobstermen of the Eastern Yucatán (PHOTOS)

José “Josh” Catzim Castillo, a 25-year-old lobster fisher, circles a hollow concrete box resting on the seafloor, just off the coast of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. He slips a snare into the box and shakes it. Three spiny lobsters, or langostas, shoot out and try to flee, but Castillo is too quick. He surfaces, hoisting his catch. Its tail snapsREAD MORE

How Rain in the Midwest Devastated Oyster Farmers in the Gulf

This story was produced in collaboration with PBS News Hour. Debbie Fountain and her husband are oyster farmers in Biloxi, Mississippi. They are part of a new wave of shellfish farmers looking to feed the growing demand for seafood while also helping to preserve nature. “I feel a stewardship, you know. We’re doing something that’s renewable,”READ MORE

Apocalypse myths climate change

These Apocalyptic Myths Are Coming True Thanks to Climate Change

The last year or so has seen a spate of landmark climate change reports that lay out an apocalyptic vision of the future, a vision that is already starting to take shape as rising temperatures fuel hellish wildfires in Australia, punishing floods in the Midwest, and ferocious hurricanes along the Gulf Coast. But it’s not justREAD MORE

coral reefs technology

Scientists Use Underwater Speakers to Lure Fish to Dead Reefs

A healthy coral reef sounds like a bowl of Rice Krispies in milk. Snap. Crackle. Pop. “Thousands of invertebrates make this constant crackling, sizzling, static-like sound as … shrimp snap their claws and sea urchins scrape over rocks,” said scientist Tim Gordon. “Punctuated throughout that, you can hear the grunts, whoops, and chatter of many different fishes.”READ MORE

climate scientists grief

Environmental Scientists Want Help Coping With Their Grief

Scientist Tim Gordon studies how rising temperatures are damaging corals in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, where intense cyclones and warm waters have caused extensive damage in recent years. What he sees brings him to tears. “They used to be some of the most colorful, vibrant, bustling, noisy ecosystems in the world, but now many of themREAD MORE

gold mining amazon

Illegal Gold Mining Is Laying Waste to the Amazon

Last summer, scientist Maria Rodriguez traveled to the Peruvian region of Madre de Dios, once the home of lush rainforests, meandering rivers and thriving wildlife. But her destination was anything but picturesque. She’d come to study several sites ravaged by illegal gold mining that had left a legacy of destruction and mercury poisoning. One area, inREAD MORE

Heat waves and extreme heat is a significant health threat.

How Your Prescription Drugs Could Kill You During Heat Waves

One day during the summer of 2018, Nita Sweeney, a 58-year-old retired lawyer-turned-author from Upper Arlington, Ohio, set off for a 7-mile run — a normal distance for an avid runner. It was warm at 7 a.m. when she started, and it kept getting warmer. She was sweating heavily, a side effect of the antidepressant she takes. ByREAD MORE

Scientists Use the Dark of Night to Generate Clean Energy

Scientists Use the Dark of Night to Generate Clean Energy

Scientist Aaswath Raman long has been keen on discovering new sources of clean energy by creating novel materials that can make use of heat and light. And lately, he has focused on developing better cooling systems, perhaps inspired by childhood summer visits to his grandparents in Mumbai, where the temperature can hover at 100 degrees FREAD MORE

Obama’s EPA Chief: ‘Sometimes You Need to Listen to the Kids’

As EPA administrator under former president Barack Obama, Gina McCarthy crafted a slate of ambitious policies to curb planet-warming carbon pollution. But since Trump took office, she has seen much of her work undone. McCarthy may be discouraged, but she is not defeated. She recently spoke to Nexus Media about environmental inequality, government corruption, and howREAD MORE

How YouTube Promotes Conspiracy Theories and Climate Change Denial

Chances are, if you’re under 25, you’ve grown up using YouTube as a definitive source for everything from news to makeup tutorials to cooking how-tos. A study conducted last year shows that 85 percent of Americans ages 13 to 17 use YouTube, making it the most popular social platform for teens, and a survey published lastREAD MORE

Environmental Racism Is Bad for Your Brain (VIDEO)

There are a lot of explanations for the apparent gap in IQ test scores of white Americans and Americans of color. Some experts point to things like bias in the exam itself, or the fact that white students tend to go to better-funded schools. Others tout racist myths. Take famed biologist James Watson, who said thatREAD MORE

As the Coal Industry Falls Apart, Miners Face Losing Their Pensions

In June, the Trump administration unveiled one of its largest environmental rollbacks to date: replacing the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan rule, which regulated carbon pollution from power plants. The rule had been a favorite target of President Trump as he stumped on the campaign trail and held presidential rallies. “We’ve ended the war on beautiful,READ MORE

There’s a Fungus Among Us — And It’s Deadly.

Most of us know that those mushrooms we love on top of a pizza are a fungus. But not everyone realizes that some fungi also cause disease, unless, of course, you’ve suffered through a bout of athlete’s foot or a pesky yeast infection. For the most part, however, the fungi that cause severe illness have aREAD MORE

Microbes Help Humans - Nexus Media News

Microbes Help Humans: Our Invisible Allies

Microbes are everywhere — on land, in the sea and in the air. They are on us and inside us. All living things interact daily with bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms. We consume them in yogurt, beer and bread. Trillions of them live within our bodies, keeping the human ecosystem in balance. Among other things, they strengthen immunity,READ MORE

Steak Made From Insect-Inspired Lab-Grown Meat? Yum!

Edible insects are a great source of protein. But it’s probably folly to think that more than a few people want to swap crickets for steak on the dinner plate. Chomping on a sautéed cricket or savoring a spoonful of caterpillar stew just wouldn’t be the same. Natalie Rubio, a doctoral student and researcher at TuftsREAD MORE

snow energy nexus media news

Could Snow Be the Next Source of Clean Energy?

When the conversation turns to clean, renewable energy, the talk almost always is about sun and wind. No one ever brings up another natural power source, as yet untapped — snow. Incredible as it may sound, falling snow carries an electrical charge. Scientists have known this for decades, but until recently they couldn’t figure out how to turnREAD MORE

oil rig on fire with boats spraying water on it

Offshore Drilling Has Become a Liability for the GOP

Every year, the Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce puts out an advocacy agenda. Much of it reads like Mitch McConnell’s to-do list — cut regulations, lower taxes, rein in the minimum wage — with one notable exception. Coastal businesses are a hard “no” on offshore drilling. “The number one priority for us is protecting our natural resources, our beachREAD MORE

cars traffic air pollution

Cars Are Giving Millions of Children Asthma

Children spend a lot of time outdoors playing tag, shooting hoops or climbing trees. If they live in cities, they might run around near busy roads. Parents always teach their kids to watch out for oncoming cars and never run into the street — but no one tells them not to breathe. Just being outside near traffic canREAD MORE

teens climate change

Kids Give ‘Em Hell About High Water

Lorenzo de Simone, 13, isn’t old enough to vote, but he’s old enough to lobby Massachusetts state lawmakers, seeking their support for a carbon pricing bill that would impose fees on fossil fuel companies. The Boston 8th grader plans to show up at the state capital in Boston on Tuesday. “My house could be underwater inREAD MORE

climate change lawsuits

These Lawyers are Creating an ALEC for Climate Change

For the last forty-odd years, the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, has been a mainstay of the conservative movement and major force in shaping state laws. The organization brings together state lawmakers and corporate leaders to draft business-friendly policies that are then ferried to statehouses around the country. ALEC is a primary reason why Iowa,READ MORE

ghana fishing

Ghana’s “Queen Fishmongers” Face An Uncertain Future

Each morning, men living in fishing communities along Ghana’s coastline push off in search of the day’s catch. But when the boats come back to shore, it’s the women who take over. In Ghana’s fishing industry, women process and sell the fish caught by men. A “queen” fishmonger — known as the “Konkohemaa” — holds court as the most powerfulREAD MORE

the great lakes may become more acidic due to climate change

Like the Oceans, the Great Lakes May be Souring

Imagine diving into the shallow waters off the coast of Lake Michigan. You can see bare rocks and sand as you descend. Pinky-size spottail shiners swim by, shimmering in silver. When you reach the bottom, an indigenous yellow spotted molted sculpin is lying flat on its belly, flapping its boney fins like wings. “That was atREAD MORE

A baby sitting on grass

Environmental Stress Can Be Passed on Through Pregnancy

Climate change is a growing threat to mental health, particularly in the aftermath of severe storms, floods or wildfires, when victims can develop post-traumatic stress disorder. Now, scientists are wondering if climate-related mental health problems developed during pregnancy can be passed on from one generation to the next. The early answer appears to be yes. ItREAD MORE

UN Peacekeeping troop in formation

Study Shows Climate Change Is Fueling Conflict and Mass Migration

The United Nations’ chief climate scientist recently said that planetary warming threatens “a multitude of security impacts.” For years, U.S. military officials have called climate change a “threat multiplier,” warning that rising temperatures would fuel political instability, conflict and mass migration in the decades ahead. But, until now, experts had not established a firm link betweenREAD MORE

Meet the Gribble. She Holds the Key to Cheaper, Cleaner Biofuels.

The tiny gribble — less than an inch long — lives in coastal marine environments and feasts upon wood. It gobbles up sticks and logs that wash into the sea from river estuaries, performing an important ecological function. But it also can be a damaging nuisance, eating the wood from boats and piers, causing considerable damage. Unlike other wood-eating creatures,READ MORE

Ben Lecomte. Source: Ben Lecomte

Swim Across Pacific Thwarted by Storm

Some people like to support a good cause by hosting a bake sale or maybe a car wash. The more spritely do-gooders might run a 5K or — if they are especially vigorous— a marathon. Ben Lecomte swims across oceans. This summer, the environmental consultant set out to swim 5,500 miles across the Pacific to raise awareness ofREAD MORE

Oceans Are Losing a Football Field of Seagrass Every Half-Hour

Seagrasses are flowering marine plants that live in shallow coastal waters almost everywhere in the world. The more than 70 species of seagrass provide an important habitat for thousands of ocean animals, from tiny invertebrates, crabs and turtles to large fish and birds. Equally if not more important, seagrasses also are natural carbon sinks — even more effectiveREAD MORE

The Seafloor is Disappearing

Much of the deep sea has never been explored close-up by humans. Some submarines have plumbed its depths, but reaching the ocean bottom is a complicated and expensive journey, challenging because the seabed lies under more than three miles of water, which exerts huge amounts of pressure. “We know more about space than about the bottomREAD MORE

Students at Black Prep School Lead the Charge for Solar on Campus

At the Piney Woods School near Jackson, Mississippi, the mission for more than a century has been to prepare the “heads, hands, and hearts” of black students. Now, the school is enlisting solar power in that mission, using a planned solar array to educate students about a booming industry. The historically black prep school aims toREAD MORE

Finding A Future in the Forest

One of the largest remaining tropical rainforests in the Americas stretches across the Mexican states of Yucatan, Quintana Roo and Campeche, and reaches down into Guatemala and Belize. The forests are home to an innumerable number of species, from jaguars and mahogany trees, to plants, insects and animals still yet to be named and classified byREAD MORE

City Trees Are Disappearing

Forests are essential to combating climate change. They drink up huge amounts of planet-heating carbon from the atmosphere and provide shelter for species struggling to adapt to global warming. For that reason, experts have called for measures to protect forests. But what about trees in cites? We hear much less about them. Yet the trees thatREAD MORE