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Carbon Capture and Sequestration: A key player in the climate fight

Written by Kasparas Spokas and Ryan Edwards The world faces an urgent need to drastically reduce climate-warming CO2 emissions. At the same time, however, reliance on the fossil fuels that produce CO2 emissions appears inevitable for the foreseeable future. One existing technology enables fossil fuel use without emissions: Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS). Instead of allowing…

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The Case for Historic Buildings: Lessons on balancing human development and sustainability

Written by Isabel Morris We need quality buildings to safely house our schools, hospitals, offices, and our homes. We also live in a world with limited resources for constructing and operating new buildings, which means we need buildings that are sustainable and resilient in addition to being safe and functional. Most cities facing this challenge…

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An Apple a Day: Easier said than done

Written by Prof. Fernanda Márquez-Padilla A few months ago, I pulled a muscle doing yoga and started going to physical therapy on a weekly basis soon after. I was supposed to do a 5-minute routine every day, and my discipline at doing so was mediocre at best. It wasn’t particularly hard, or painful, but still:…

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A Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body: Towards universal healthcare

Written By Arvind Ravikumar The third Sustainable Development Goal (SDG3), as adopted in the 2015 UN General Assembly meeting, strives to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages” by 2030. There are nine targets specified under this goal that can be broadly classified into four categories: (1) decreasing maternal and child…

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Beyond the Olympics: The role of sports in social development

Written by Julio Herrera Estrada “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to unite in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial…

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A World Without Hunger

Written by Matt Grobis Safe, nutritious, and sufficient food, all year, for all people: the United Nation’s second Sustainable Development Goal aims to transform the world’s agriculture and distribution of food by 2030. With 800 million people suffering from hunger – more than 10% of the world’s population – food and agriculture are key to…

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Empowering Communities and Building Resilience: The United Nations’ strategy to eradicate poverty

Written by Julio Herrera Estrada The beginning of 2016 marked the start of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were agreed upon by the United Nations last September. These 17 goals, broken into 169 specific targets, are set to last through 2030 and address a wide range of interrelated issues such as poverty alleviation, improved…

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How Do Scientists Know Human Activities Impact Climate? A brief look into the assessment process

Written by Levi Golston On the subject of climate change, one of the most widely cited numbers is that humans have increased the net radiation balance of the Earth’s lower atmosphere by approximately 2.3 W m-2 (Watts per square meter) since pre-industrial times, as determined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in their…

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Conservation Crossroads in Ecuador: Tiputini Biodiversity Station and the Yasuní oil fields

Written by Justine Atkins On an early morning boat, mist still rises off the water and the Amazonian air is thick with the characteristic dampness of tropical rainforests. We’re heading out in search of a nearby clay-lick where many parrot species congregate. In the partial slumber of any graduate student awake before 6 am, we…

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Losing the Climate War to Methane? The role of methane emissions in the global warming puzzle

Written by Dr. Arvind Ravikumar There is much to cheer about the recent climate agreement signed last December at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP 21) in Paris, France to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit global temperature rise to below 2° C. Whether countries will implement effective policies to achieve this agreement is a…

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Human Impacts on Droughts: How these hazards stopped being purely natural phenomena

Written by Dr. Niko Wanders We often hear about droughts around the world including those recently in the U.S. and Brazil, which has threatened the water safety for this year’s Olympic Games. Despite their natural occurrence, there is still a lot that we do not understand fully about the processes that cause them and about how they impact our society…

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Americans Are Paying Too Much for Mass Incarceration: Prison education programs provide a way out

Written by Kaia Tombak Some names in this blog post have been changed to protect the privacy of those mentioned. Jack greeted me cheerfully as he strolled into class, asking me how things are going. “I’m fine, thanks,” I replied. “How are you?” “Oh, I’m good,” he chuckled. “You know, given the circumstances!” We were…

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Rethinking Our Approach to Protected Areas for Conservation

Written by Justine Atkins Over the last fifty years, there has been progressively more widespread recognition that species’ biodiversity is rapidly declining. This is a huge problem, and not only ethically: biodiversity also has crucial economic returns such as ecotourism and promoting ecosystem resilience to climate change and invasive species. It is now well-established that…

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Energy Efficient Buildings: The forgotten children of the clean energy revolution

Written by Victor Charpentier The world’s population will increasingly become urbanized. In the 2014 revision of the World Urbanization Prospects, the United Nations (UN) estimate that the urban population will rise from 54% today to 66% of the global population by 2050. Therefore it is no surprise that cities and buildings are at the heart…

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A Precarious Puzzle of Expanding Deserts: How arid Asia has varied over time and the confusion over recent desertification

Written by Jane Baldwin Inner Mongolia (Nei MengGu in Mandarin Chinese) lies right at the border of the nation of Mongolia within mainland China (see Figure 1). Pictures of yurts, traditional pony races, Mongolian wrestlers, and most of all rolling grasslands attract many Chinese tourists to this region each year (see Figure 2). In summer…

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Highwire Earth: Princeton University’s new publication on sustainable development

Written by the Editorial Board How can we achieve a minimum standard of living for the world’s growing population, while reducing our carbon emissions to curb climate change and limiting our impact on the planet’s ecosystems to stop the current mass extinction? How can we protect and manage our natural resources such that people across nations…

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