Like the fictional parents in the edgy comedy show South Park who blame Canada for all of their woes, environmentalists often coalesce around

I’ve always been interested in how changes in agricultural production practices impact the environment. In particular, I’ve followed the adoption of genetically modified (GM) crops since I was an undergraduate, and try to stay up to date on research relating to the environmental impact associated with these crops.

Though pesticides are getting all of the attention from environmental groups when it comes to concern about bees, the science community instead knows it is mites and climate - were it as simple as pesticides, places like Australia and the United States, where the neonicotinoids often blamed by activists are common, would show losses, but instead they were limited to one section of Europe. 

One of the questions raised by the prospect of climate change is whether it could cause more species of animals to interbreed. Two species of flying squirrel have already produced mixed offspring and those have somehow been blamed on climate change, along with a hybrid polar bear and grizzly bear cub (known as a grolar bear, or a pizzly). 

A paper in Nature Climate Change tallies the potential number of such pairings and across North and South America it estimates that only about 6 percent of closely related species whose ranges do not currently overlap are likely to come into contact by the end of this century. 

Researchers at the University of Georgia have a message for Southern tree farmers worried about unexplainable pine tree deaths: Don't panic.

Salmon are severely impacted by the loss of floodplain habitats near Oregon's Tillamook Bay, where nearly 90 percent of estuaries' tidal wetlands have been lost to development -- threatening the survival of coho salmon and the safety of the local community. Now, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, NOAA Fisheries, and others have come together to reduce flood risk, increase resiliency of the ecosystem, and restore salmon habitat in Tillamook Bay under the auspices of The Southern Flow Corridor project, as the proposed collaborative effort is known. It will reconnect over 500 acres of floodplain habitat to two of the Bay's most productive salmon-bearing streams -- the Wilson and Trask Rivers.

By Katharine, Gammon, Inside Science -- In California’s current historic drought, there’s one particularly easy target when it comes to pointing fingers: green golf courses. Courses around the U.S. suck up around approximately 2.08 billion gallons of water per day for irrigation. That’s about 130,000 gallons per day per course, according to the golf industry. 

In California, Governor Jerry Brown has announced a statewide mandate to reduce water consumption by 25 percent – but that number actually varies depending on the water district, signifying a reduction of anywhere between 4 and 36 percent.

With infectious diseases increasing worldwide, the need to understand how and why disease outbreaks occur is becoming increasingly important. Looking for answers, a team of biologists found broad evidence that supports the controversial 'dilution effect hypothesis,' which suggests that biodiversity limits outbreaks of disease among humans and wildlife. 

"The dilution effect hypothesis is important because it warns that human-mediated biodiversity losses can exacerbate disease outbreaks, yet it has been contentiously debated," said study lead author Dr. David Civitello, postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Integrative Biology at University of South Florida. 

A comprehensive study of a major California estuary has documented the links between nutrient runoff from coastal land use, the health of the estuary as a nursery for young fish, and the abundance of fish in an offshore commercial fishery. The study focused on Elkhorn Slough and Monterey Bay on California's central coast. 

The worldwide demand for legumes, one of the world's most important agricultural food crops, is growing; at the same time, their production has been adversely affected by drought. In an Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis research paper published today in the journal PLOS ONE, researchers provide information that could help agricultural planning and management to minimize drought-induced yield losses.