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 […]

Biological wizardry ferments carbon monoxide into biofuel

ITHACA, N.Y. – Cornell University biological engineers have deciphered the cellular strategy to make the biofuel ethanol, using an anaerobic microbe feeding on carbon monoxide – a common industrial waste gas. “Instead of having the waste go to waste, you make it into something you want,” said Ludmilla Aristilde, assistant professor in biological and environmental […]

Vineyard cover crops reduce expense, save environment

ITHACA, N.Y. – Cornell researchers have advice for vineyard managers in cool and humid climates like the Northeast: cover up. Maintaining bare soil beneath vines has long been accepted management practice used to stifle competition and preserve water and nutrients for grapevines. Exposing soil beneath trellises has been achieved by using extensive herbicide treatments, a […]

Cornell experts applaud House passing GMO labeling bill which President is expected to sign

David Just and Harry Kaiser are both professors in Cornell University’s Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, part of the College of Business. Just is a professor of behavioral economics who has testified on Capitol Hill about agricultural biotechnology and engaged with the media on the need to avoid injecting unnecessary alarm into GMO […]

Don’t bug out over latest Zika news

Vector biologist Laura Harrington and chair of the Department of Entomology at Cornell University says overreaction to the threat of Zika virus in the continental U.S. could be harmful to citizens’ psychological well-being, as well as the environment as it may lead to mass spraying of insecticides that may not be effective in controlling the mosquitos. […]

Five-cent bag ‘tax’ in NYC is likely to cut use in half

New York City shoppers will soon have to pay 5 cents for disposable bags, as city council members have approved a measure to require some retailers to collect a fee on paper or plastic bags. Tatiana Homonoff, a behavioral economist and assistant professor at Cornell University’s Department of Policy Analysis and Management, conducted a study […]

Beyond milkweed: Monarchs face habitat, nectar threats

ITHACA, N.Y. – In the face of scientific dogma that faults the population decline of monarch butterflies on a lack of milkweed, herbicides and genetically modified crops, a new Cornell University study casts wider blame: sparse autumnal nectar sources, weather and habitat fragmentation.     Media note: A video of the researcher explaining the findings is […]

‘Climate-smart soils’ may help balance the carbon budget

Here’s the scientific dirt: Soil can help reduce global warming. While farm soil grows the world’s food and fiber, scientists are examining ways to use it to sequester carbon and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. “We can substantially reduce atmospheric carbon by using soil. We have the technology now to begin employing good soil practices to […]