Environment

  • Princeton scientists identify genes behind tusklessness in African elephants facing poaching pressure

    Monday, Nov 1, 2021
    by Sharon Adarlo, Center for Statistics and Machine Learning

    In regions of Africa wracked by heavy poaching, people have observed an increased incidence of African elephants without their iconic white tusks, which are prized in the multibillion-dollar wildlife black market. But there has been no direct genetic evidence indicating how this was happening, or why this trait was occurring exclusively in female elephants.

  • Princeton experts identify priorities for Glasgow climate summit and global actions going forward

    Monday, Oct 25, 2021
    by Liz Fuller-Wright, Office of Communications

    Hundreds of leaders and thousands of climate scholars from around the globe will gather in Glasgow, Scotland, for COP26, the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, from Oct. 31 to Nov. 12.

    Most experts believe this year’s meeting — the biggest climate summit since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015 — has a unique urgency because it is the deadline for countries to present their plans to cut emissions and make it possible to limit our planet’s warming to only 1.5 degrees Celsius.

  • Lead Remediation Efforts Show Promise for Safe Drinking Water in New York City Public Schools

    Thursday, Oct 21, 2021
    by Riis L. Williams for the School of Public and International Affairs

    Since the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, many states have passed legislation requiring public schools to assess and treat lead in their drinking water. Two Princeton University researchers examined the efforts by New York City, the largest school district in the country, to determine the efficacy of its lead reduction strategies. 

  • New platform speeds up effort to turn crops into fuel

    Monday, Aug 30, 2021
    by Scott Lyon, School of Engineering and Applied Science

    Princeton researchers have developed a new way to make fuel from cellulose—Earth's most abundant organic compound, found in all plant cells—speeding up a notoriously slow chemical process and in some cases doubling energy yields over comparable methods.

    Their platform uses a recently developed cellulose emulsion that makes it easier to metabolize the compound into other chemicals. Combining that emulsion with engineered microbes and a light-based genetic tool, the team showed that they could more efficiently make biofuels from cellulose.

  • The Arctic Ocean’s deep past provides clues to its imminent future

    Monday, Aug 16, 2021
    by Liz Fuller-Wright, Office of Communications

    As the North Pole, the Arctic Ocean and the surrounding Arctic land warm rapidly, scientists are racing to understand the warming’s effects on Arctic ecosystems.

    With shrinking sea ice, more light reaches the surface of the Arctic Ocean. Some have predicted that this will lead to more plankton, which in turn would support fish and other animals.

    Not so fast, says a team of scientists led by Princeton University and the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry.

  • Planting forests may cool the planet more than thought

    Monday, Aug 9, 2021
    by By Liana Wait for the High Meadows Environmental Institute

    Planting trees and replenishing forests are among the simplest and most appealing natural climate solutions, but the impact of trees on atmospheric temperature is more complex than meets the eye.

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