ScienceDaily: Top Environment News: Induced seismicity? Recent spike of earthquakes in the central and eastern U.S. may be linked to human activity

Induced seismicity? Recent spike of earthquakes in the central and eastern U.S. may be linked to human activity

Posted: 12 Jul 2013 06:52 AM PDT

The number of earthquakes has increased dramatically over the past few years within the central and eastern United States. More than 300 earthquakes above a magnitude 3.0 occurred in the three years from 2010-2012, compared with an average rate of 21 events per year observed from 1967-2000. This increase in earthquakes prompts two important questions: Are they natural, or human-made? And what should be done in the future as we address the causes and consequences of these events to reduce associated risks? U.S. Geological Survey scientists have been analyzing the changes in the rate of earthquakes as well as the likely causes, and they have some answers.

Air pollution responsible for more than 2 million deaths worldwide each year, experts estimate

Posted: 12 Jul 2013 05:44 AM PDT

More than two million deaths occur globally each year as a direct result of human-caused outdoor air pollution, a new study has found. In addition, while it has been suggested that a changing climate can exacerbate the effects of air pollution and increase death rates, the study shows that this has a minimal effect and only accounts for a small proportion of current deaths related to air pollution.

A coral symbiont genome decoded for first time

Posted: 12 Jul 2013 05:43 AM PDT

Scientists have decoded the genome of the algae Symbiodinium minutum. This is a major advance in understanding the complex ecology of coral reefs.