Trends in Environmental Science
Some major trends in environmental science include the Development of salt-tolerant strains of rice, Cloud seeding, Green design and sustainable city concept, Emergence of new climate change champions, and Push for high seas regulation to curb harvesting of ocean's deeper regions. Below you will find a deep dive into our findings.
- Rising sea level and irrigation in traditional rice-growing areas have increased the salinity of the land. It is leading to the development of salt-tolerant strains of rice that allows continuous production in saline regions like ocean coastlines and inland salt steppes.
- Although the development of salt-tolerant rice reassures food security, it raises concern over the integrity of the ecosystem as it might be overplanted and expanded.
- In addition, the new variant could raise the demand for freshwater, as it is needed to dilute saltwater to the appropriate concentrations.
- To increase the summer runoff, which feeds the local water supplies, many entities including state and local government agencies, utilities and ski areas are increasingly showing interest in cloud seeding. More than 50 countries around the world are taking place in the cloud seeding process.
- China is using silver iodide particles to seed cloud on the Tibetan Plateau to produce rain over 1.6 million square kilometers of land with an aim to enhance the region's water security.
- Apart from creating rain or snow, atmospheric scientists use the cloud seeding technique to disperse fog at airports, boost the regular rainfall, and reduce hail.
- As much as cloud seeding is beneficial, it can also greatly alter the area's weather. China's cloud seeding attempt at the Tibetian Plateau has the potential to cause a retrogression of the alpine cold steppe as well as the meadow ecosystems, eventually leading the loss of habitat of the local species.
- Parties involved in the planning of cities are re-defining the "sustainable city" concept and are expanding the definition from just energy efficiency and carbon footprint to include functionality and livability of these places for the people inhabiting them.
- This shift in focus to include functionality and livability will incorporate nature in the end goal to protect biodiversity, aesthetics, health, and infrastructure.
- New countries are emerging as leaders in tackling climate change. It includes Hungary and Greece that has met its climate change targets early, and China has met one of its four main goals well ahead of the plan.
- Political commitments by governments such as the Paris Climate Accord are now, therefore, presenting opportunities to invest in nature and to involve the private sector in climate change efforts.
- The commitment to long-term de-carbonation by countries as they seek to be the leaders in the efforts and meet their goals will have a positive impact on the environment in general.
- Due to the present new and advanced technologies, more countries like Norway are opting to harvest the deeper regions of the seas. This ambition adversely affects the significance of fish in the ocean's ecological zone, such as carbon capture and creating significant food webs that sustain all sea life.
- Harvesting of ocean's deeper regions could therefore adversely affect the sustainability of an array of sea life and cause irreversible damage to the ocean's ecosystem and all life outside of it.
- Currently, waters beyond the national boundaries are not regulated. However, in 2017, around 140 countries backed an unprecedented United Nations resolution to protect the high seas from deeper region harvesting.
In the pursuit of finding the information on the major trends in environmental science, we began our search by unearthing precompiled lists from notable sources including environmental organization platforms such as The Nature Conservancy, acclaimed science magazines such as Scientific American, global statistical organization such as World Economic Forum, and environmental management expert websites such as Essel and ECO Canada. Through this strategy, we were able to gather many trends in environmental science. We then filtered the list by selecting only the trends that appeared in two or more of the above sources.