Green Science

Green Science is the application of eco-friendly thinking to scientific disciplines. Learn about global warming, pollution and other impacts on nature and the planet, plus what we can do to combat them.

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If you've ever walked the New York City streets in July, you've experienced the misery of this phenomenon. Why do cities heat up like furnaces while surrounding rural areas remain cooler?

By Jane McGrath

Scientists say that as of May 2007,. more people now live in urban than in rural areas. So how do planners make cities work for all those people?

By William Harris

Why waste drinkable water on your yard when your old bathwater will suffice? That's the idea behind gray water reclamation -- getting the most out of your water through reuse.

By Robert Lamb

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You might think of solar panels as large racks of rigid panels on someone's roof, but newer solar cells are more flexible and efficient.

By William Harris

Scientists are stockpiling the world's seeds, organizing them in giant libraries of planting possibilities. Is every type of plant included? Or, are the seeds of pesky plants shunned?

By Debra Ronca

Protecting the Earth is serious business for a radical group of environmental and animal activists dubbed eco-terrorists. Who are they? Why does the FBI consider them a top priority?

By Jennifer Horton

Wind energy is great, but what happens when there's no breeze? The Iowa Stored Energy Park will store compressed air underground. Can it replace traditional energy sources?

By William Harris

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Recycling proponents tell us that everything that can be recycled should be. Some items, however, can use more energy to recycle than it would cost to make new ones. Are we better off throwing some things away?

By Jonathan Strickland

Most scientists agree that human interference in the environment has something to do with the recent trend of rising temperatures on the Earth. If we got ourselves in this pickle, what can we do about it?

By Jonathan Strickland

If ranchers and landowners invest in grass banks, will their payout be nothing but green? Or is grass banking a temporary solution, delaying Mother Nature's inevitable bankruptcy?

By Jennifer Horton

We've been warned plenty about the mercury content of fish. And most of us know our new high-efficiency CFLs also contain the shiny neurotoxin. So which source should cause us more concern?

By Julia Layton

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Is the same substance that makes your shampoo so sudsy really going to give you cancer? Here's the real dirt on whether sodium lauryl sulfate is bad for you.

By Julia Layton & Valerie Stimac

Can you walk to restaurants from your home? Or do you have to hop in the car for every outing? How do you determine your neighborhood's walkability without taking to the streets yourself?

By Maria Trimarchi

When Thomas Malthus warned that the human population would eventually outpace Earth's resources, he wasn't anticipating the green revolution. So why do rising food costs have some folks worried we're running at capacity?

By Julia Layton

They may seem like a fun water sport or a noisy nuisance, but whatever your stance on personal watercraft, there's no denying they pollute. So how bad are they?

By Julia Layton

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Green, clean energy sounds good at first: Harness the power of the wind to run our creature comforts. But could the sounds people hear (and don't hear) from wind turbines endanger their health?

By Julia Layton & Austin Henderson

We humans like to trade one problem for another. We give up drinking only to take up smoking. Will we also exchange a reliance on dwindling fossil fuels for a food shortage caused by ethanol production?

By Robert Lamb

Everyone knows air pollution isn't good for your lungs, but it turns out that it's not doing your heart any favors either. Why do the particulates in the air we breathe interfere with our heart's basic job: to keep things ticking?

By Julia Layton

The worst bad guys in the world of video games aren't virtual. Vampire power, overpackaging and energy-draining consoles make gaming unnecessarily bad for the environment. What are video game manufacturers doing to go green?

By Stephanie Watson

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Plastic bags are generally unsustainable. Even if they are biodegradable, they take roughly 1,000 years to fully break down. Minnesota company NatureWorks has come up with a green plastic bag, but how eco-friendly is it?

By Josh Clark

You’ve probably seen some plastic labeled “BPA free,” but does that make it safer?

By Jennifer Horton & Sascha Bos

We know that humans are largely responsible for fueling global warming with our carbon emissions. So what if we could seize all that carbon and squirrel it away in a safe place? Well, we can. It's just hard and really expensive.

By Debra Ronca & Mark Mancini

In this mass graveyard, workers dismantle 52,000-ton ships using simple hand tools. Why would anyone want to work at Alang? Is this place doing the world a service by recycling obsolete ships?

By Sarah Winkler

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Earth Day is the ideal time of the year to form new eco-oriented habits. Here are 10 things you can do to celebrate our planet all year long.

By Julia Layton & Sarah Gleim

There's no way around it: The world is currently gripped by a global energy crisis. As scientists scramble for answers, hydrogen energy has emerged as a great, yet flawed solution.

By Stephanie Watson