The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
By Dan Nosowitz
Scientists from North Carolina State University stumbled into a weird paradox while analyzing certain high-altitude bees in the Rocky Mountains.
The team studied three species of bees in the subalpine regions of the Mountain West along with 43 years of local flower bloom data in order to understand how climate change might affect the pollinators.
The first part of their findings is very predictable: over the past four decades, warmer temperatures and less snowfall has led to longer growing seasons, with flowers blooming earlier and lasting later into the year.
This sounds good for bees, right? Wrong. The research also found that these exact circumstances (hotter days, longer seasons, less precipitation) correlate with the exact opposite: the bees, though reliant on flowers, do much worse. What gives?
It turns out that a longer flowering season does not necessarily mean a better flowering season. Why? It's not that plants are producing more flowers, or longer-lasting flowers—they're producing the same amount of flowers over a longer period. And that means there are chunks of time when there are fewer flowers than before. It's as if you took your normal lunch and extended it to six hours, instead of one. Your lunch break might be longer, but you still have the same amount of food.
The study doesn't really provide any solutions, but it does add to the growing body of information regarding how plants and animals—including especially important pollinators—are reacting to climate change.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Modern Farmer.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Oil rigs around the world keep pulling crude oil out of the ground, but the global pandemic has sent shockwaves into the market. The supply is up, but demand has plummeted now that industry has ground to a halt, highways are empty, and airplanes are parked in hangars.
Under an agreement negotiated by community groups — represented by NRDC and the Pennsylvania Utility Law Project — the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) will remove thousands of lead water pipes by 2026 in order to address the chronically high lead levels in the city's drinking water and protect residents' health.
By Dave Cooke
So, they finally went and did it — the Trump administration just finalized a rule to undo requirements on manufacturers to improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new passenger cars and trucks. Even with the economy at the brink of a recession, they went forward with a policy they know is bad for consumers — their own analysis shows that American drivers are going to spend hundreds of dollars more in fuel as a result of this stupid policy — but they went ahead and did it anyway.
By Richard Connor
A blood test that screens for more than 50 types of cancer could help doctors treat patients at an earlier stage than previously possible, a new study shows. The method was used to screen for more than 50 types of cancer — including particularly deadly variants such as pancreatic, ovarian, bowel and brain.