Robert Lalasz

Robert Lalasz is the director of science communications at The Nature Conservancy and blogs on Cool Green Science.

Cities

Will cities ever get smart about water use?

Cities worldwide have dangerously unsustainable water supplies, says a new study. But making a deal with farmers could solve the crisis for many.

Cities

Why nature happens on the margins in cities — and why that could be a good thing

Most U.S. urbanites live near parks -- but do they have enough "greenness" in their lives? The new website City Nature shows the disparities between rich and poor.

Pollution

Hidden risk: Mercury pollution’s costs to wildlife and people

A new report details the widespread presence of mercury in nature -- and its effects on birds and bats should make humans worried, too.

Climate Change

20 inches to disaster: U.S. coasts unprepared for higher seas

The lead author of a study on sea-level rise talks about its consequences for coastal towns. Even under conservative estimates, they're not pretty.

Climate Change

Is climate change hitting the world’s coral reef epicenter?

Joanne Wilson surveying coral reefs in Raja Ampat Cross-posted from Cool Green Science. You’ve probably heard about coral bleaching — the mass die-off of coral reefs because of warming sea temperatures, a dynamic that can be attributed at least indirectly to climate change. It’s a problem of growing concern to the hundreds of millions of people whose lives depend on reefs and the fish they shelter. But as ocean temps continue to rise, is there any hope for coral? Science to the rescue! Researchers are learning tons about which kinds of coral species are either resistant to bleaching or bleach more …

Cities

Can we make nature even better?

A new book reexamines traditional views of wilderness, asserting that human influence over nature is undeniable.

Climate Change

Can Florida's nature and people outrace sea-level rise?

Laura Geselbracht talks about what sea-level rise is doing to Florida's Gulf Coast.

Climate Change

Et tu, pistachios? How climate change will mess with trail mix

Pistachios: What shell remain? Photo: PatternedCross-posted from Cool Green Science. What won’t climate change affect? Well, cross trail mix and cherry pie off that ever-shrinking list. It turns out that crisp apples, chewy almonds, ripe plums, and a host of other nuts and stone fruits might become much more costly to grow — or not grown at all in some spots — because of rising winter temperatures, according to a new study published in the peer-reviewed journal PLoS One. The problem, say researchers: The trees that produce these goodies need a certain number of hours at cold temperatures — or …

Organic Food

Want a better organic garden? Call out the soil-critter army

The helpful Jerusalem cricket.Photo: Franco FoliniCross-posted from Cool Green Science. There are 1 billion bacteria in a single gram of soil. (Give or take a few million.) But how can you get that army — and its insect friends, like the two-inch Jerusalem cricket pictured to the right — to help you grow bigger veggies and prettier flowers? There’s nobody better to ask than Nature Conservancy soil ecologist Sophie Parker, who recently turned Grist on to the fascinating (and sometimes scary) world of soil organisms. I asked Sophie to give us some tips to make our gardens grow even better …

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