Standards on car emissions hurt industry, but help communities

The Environmental Protection Agency may loosen regulations on car emissions standards, including the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) legislation which binds automakers to a significant improvement in fuel efficiency by 2025. Cornell University experts comment on what this means for the environment, and the industry.   Max Zhang, associate professor of engineering and a fellow […]

New polymer additive could revolutionize plastics recycling

When Geoffrey Coates, a professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Cornell University, gives a talk about plastics and recycling, he usually opens with this question: What percentage of the 78 million tons of plastic used for packaging – for example, a 2-liter bottle or a take-out food container – actually gets recycled and re-used […]

Underwater seagrass beds dial back polluted seawater

Seagrass meadows – bountiful underwater gardens that nestle close to shore and are the most common coastal ecosystem on Earth – can reduce bacterial exposure for corals, other sea creatures and humans, according to new research published in Science Feb. 16.   Media note: A video of the researcher explaining the study as well as […]

Vietnam capitalizes on climate change with shrimp

Michael Hoffmann, professor of entomology and a Cornell University’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future Fellow, says Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s decision to boost shrimp exports is a smart way to help Vietnam capitalize on climate change. In January, Hoffman led a team of students to Vietnam to study climate change and its implications, not […]

Pope spurs Republicans to shift climate views

After Pope Francis framed climate change as a moral issue in his second encyclical, conservative Republicans shifted and began to see environmental dilemmas in the same way, according to a new study led by Cornell University communication researchers. “When Pope Francis issued his encyclical paper in June 2015, he emerged as a strong advocate for climate […]

New technique identifies micropollutants in New York waterways

ITHACA, N.Y. – Cornell University engineers have developed a new technique to test for a wide range of micropollutants in lakes, rivers and other potable water sources that vastly outperforms conventional methods. “Water quality monitoring is conventionally done by narrowly investigating one or a few contaminants at a time. We aimed to develop an analytical […]

Cornell awarded $7M to lead transportation research center

ITHACA, N.Y. – Cornell University will receive up to $7 million in U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) funding over five years to lead a consortium of universities in researching and developing new transportation innovations to limit adverse impacts on public health and the environment. The announcement was made Dec. 8 by U.S. Sens. Charles E. […]

Pro-fracking Pruitt ‘shocking’ choice for EPA head

Robert Howarth, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Cornell University and faculty fellow in the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, has studied global warming for 40 years, particularly the impact of methane gas emissions on the environment. He says as Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Scott Pruitt must discontinue his promotion of fossil fuel […]

Marine microalgae, a new sustainable food and fuel source

ITHACA, N.Y. – Taken from the bottom of the marine food chain, microalgae may soon become a top-tier contender to combat global warming, as well as energy and food insecurity according to a study published in the journal Oceanography (December 2016). “We may have stumbled onto the next green revolution,” said Charles H. Greene, professor of earth […]

Male frogs have sex on land to keep competitors away

ITHACA, N.Y. – When it comes to the birds and the bees, frogs are remarkably diverse: They do it in water, on land and on leaves. Researchers have assumed that natural selection drove frogs to take the evolutionary step to reproduce on land as a way for parents to avoid aquatic predators who feed on […]