Environmental Science

  • Princeton collaborators bring layered approach to coastal resiliency in New York City

    Monday, Sep 16, 2019
    by Steven Schultz, Office of Engineering Communications

    As a microcosm of the challenges facing coastal cities around the world, New York’s Jamaica Bay pretty much has it all.

    Home to about 3 million people, one of the world's busiest airports and sensitive coastal ecosystems, Jamaica Bay is a lagoon bordered by Brooklyn and Queens at the southeastern edge of Long Island. This region is vulnerable to an evolving set of threats, including sea-level rise, increasingly intense storms and shifting rainfall patterns.

  • New ‘All for Earth’ podcast addresses environmental issues, solutions

    Thursday, Sep 12, 2019
    by Morgan Kelly, Princeton Environmental Institute

    The new Princeton University podcast “All for Earth” delves into the urgency of today’s environmental crises — as well as the effectiveness of the tools we already have to mitigate them — through in-depth interviews with the people leading the race against time to prevent the implosion of the interconnected systems that support life on Earth.

  • Solutions to urban heat differ between tropical and drier climes

    Wednesday, Sep 4, 2019
    by Molly Sharlach, Office of Engineering Communications

    In summer heat, cities may swelter more than nearby suburbs and rural areas. And while the size of this urban heat island effect varies widely among the world’s cities, heat island intensity can largely be explained by a city’s population and precipitation level, researchers reported in a paper published Sept. 4 in the journal Nature.

  • '100-year' floods will happen every one to 30 years, according to new coastal flood prediction maps

    Tuesday, Aug 27, 2019
    by Jen A. Miller for the Office of Engineering Communications

    A 100-year flood is supposed to be just that: a flood that occurs once every 100 years, or a flood that has a 1% chance of happening every year.

    But Princeton researchers have developed new maps that predict coastal flooding for every county on the Eastern and Gulf Coasts and find 100-year floods could become annual occurrences in New England; and happen every one to 30 years along the southeast Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico shorelines.

  • When will we observe significant changes in the ocean due to climate change? New study offers road map

    Monday, Aug 19, 2019
    by Catherine Zandonella, Office of the Dean for Research

    Sea temperature and ocean acidification have climbed during the last three decades to levels beyond what is expected due to natural variation alone, a new study led by Princeton researchers finds. Meanwhile other impacts from climate change, such as changes in the activity of ocean microbes that regulate the Earth’s carbon and oxygen cycles, will take several more decades to a century to appear. The report was published Aug. 19 online in the journal Nature Climate Change.

  • Offshore oil and gas rigs leak more greenhouse gas than expected

    Thursday, Aug 15, 2019
    by John Sullivan, Office of Engineering Communications

    A survey of offshore installations extracting oil and natural gas in the North Sea revealed far more leakage of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, than currently estimated by the British government, according to a research team led by scientists from Princeton University.

  • A small number of leaky natural gas wells produce large emissions of greenhouse gases

    Thursday, Aug 1, 2019
    by Molly Seltzer, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment

    Wells that extract natural gas from underground often leak large amounts of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, into the air. A team of Princeton University researchers has found that, in one of the biggest gas-producing regions, most of these emissions come from a tiny subset of the wells, a finding with major implications for how to control the problem. 

  • Fewer fish may reach breeding age as climate change skews timing of reproduction, food availability

    Wednesday, Jul 24, 2019
    by Joseph Albanese for the Princeton Environmental Institute

    Climate change may be depriving juvenile fish of their most crucial early food source by throwing off the synchronization of when microscopic plants known as phytoplankton bloom and when fish hatch, according to Princeton University researchers. The long-term effect on fish reproductivity could mean fewer fish available for human consumption. 

  • More farmers, more problems: How smallholder agriculture is threatening the Western Amazon

    Monday, Jul 15, 2019
    by B. Rose Kelly, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

    A verdant, nearly roadless place, the Western Amazon in South America may be the most biologically diverse place in the world. There, many people live in near isolation, with goods coming in either by river or air. Turning to crops for profit or sustenance, farmers operate small family plots to make a living.

    Unfortunately, these farmers and their smallholder agriculture operations pose serious threats to biodiversity in northeastern Peru, according to a team of researchers led by Princeton University.

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