Benjamin D. Duval

Plastics in ocean harm oysters

Ground-breaking data on a negative effect on oysters from microplastics, which enter our oceans via cosmetics, clothing, and industrial processes.

The politico-economics of King Corn

Scott Fausti talks with EarthSky’s Ben Duval about the potential future of corn agriculture and its implications for environmental sustainability.

Extreme weather lowers global crop yield

Researchers found that extreme heat and drought between 1964 and 2007 account for about a 10% decline in global cereal crop production.

More corn for biofuels means fewer grasslands and wetlands

Using data on crop cover from USDA, researchers demonstrate that the rate of land use change to corn and soy is comparable to deforestation rates in Brazil and Indonesia in the 1980s.

Why so many (or so few) species?

Scientists assumed that, the longer time a group of organisms has to evolve, the more species there will be in that group. New research suggests this isn’t necessarily so.

Emily Bernhardt on mountaintop removal mining

Bernhardt spoke of the growing body of science related to the environmental and human health consequences of this mining practice.

John J. Wiens explains why so few fish species in the sea

Here’s the paradox. Fish evolved in the oceans. But freshwaters have more fish species. Why?

Spending water to produce meat

Raising animals for meat requires much more water than growing plants of equal nutrition. Meat-eating has a larger “water footprint,” scientists say.

Phytoplankton

UV from sunlight excites nanoparticles to kill phytoplankton in lab setting

An experiment shows that normal levels of ultraviolet light (UV) from sunshine cause titanium dioxide nanoparticles suspended in seawater to kill phytoplankton.

Deepwater Horizon oil spill made a city’s worth of air pollution

The scientists utilized a NOAA research airplane to measure trace gases and aerosols two months following the well failure in 2010.