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Showing posts from August 10, 2020

Agriculture replaces fossil fuels as largest human source of sulfur to the environment

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PHYS ORG A PinP photo. Historically, coal-fired power plants were the largest source of reactive sulfur, a component of acid rain, to the biosphere. A new study shows that fertilizer and pesticide applications to croplands are now the most important source of sulfur to the environment. Details here.

Is Manitoba's Brokenhead River about to become a dumping ground for an Alberta-based sand-mining company?

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by Don Sullivan Kayakers on the Brokenhead River. A Wikimedia photo. The Brokenhead River begins in the wetlands of Sandilands Provincial Forest, located in Southeastern Manitoba. It ultimately drains 200 kilometres later into Lake Winnipeg. Most of the river is navigable by canoe or kayak. This meandering river is now under threat. It might very well become a toxic dumping ground for CanWhite Sands Corp (CWS) of Alberta. Last month, CWS  filed a proposal under Manitoba's Environment Act, for approval to construct a silica sand processing facility near Vivian in Southeastern Manitoba. The closing date for commenting on this proposal is August 25th, 2020.  If you have concerns, you have between now and then to express them, here.  Once the processing facility receives government approval, CWS intends to submit a second application. This would be for both the mine, where the sand will be obtained and for the methods the company will use to extract it. The splitting of a

Popular insecticides harm birds in the United States

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Nature Sustainability The increased use of neonicotinoid pesticides in the continental United States may have impacted bird populations and reduced bird diversity, according to a paper published this week in Nature Sustainability.  Overall tree swallow populations declined by 49% between 1966 and 2014, according  to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. A  PinP  photo. Bird biodiversity is declining at a marked rate. Bird populations in the United States have decreased by 29% since 1970, which has been attributed to various factors including the increased use of pesticides in agricultural production. Nicotine-based pesticides — known as neonicotinoids — have been used increasingly in the United States over recent decades.  Previous research has shown that neonicotinoids are potentially toxic to birds and other non-target species. However, the impact of these pesticides on bird diversity in the United States is unclear.  Madhu Khanna and colleagues studied the eff