The Science of Sustainability: How Resources are Preserved in the Modern World

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Science of Sustainability: How Resources are Preserved in the Modern World


The practice of sustainability is a challenging task for science and engineering. Here are some practical examples of this environmentally aware practice.

Sustainability, the long-term health of ecosystems and societies, is a matter of huge interest to scientists, engineers, and activists. This article offers some examples of the science of sustainability being put to practical use.

Preserving Wildlife

Scientists and environmentalists try to preserve the diversity of ecosystems around the world. On land and on the sea, scientists and engineers are helping communities preserve a variety of plants and animals. Scientists contribute to our knowledge of how to manage fisheries off the coast of North America, as Pacific halibut and Atlantic cod fishing kills huge numbers of other species,collectively called by-catch.

Protecting and Restoring the Soil

Crops suffer when the topsoil is too thin or lacks nutrients. That lack of nutrients has become a major subject of scientific study. Environmentalists have taken that research and used it in nonprofits like Remineralize the Earth. They teach farmers how to restore the mineral content of their soil and educate the public. For consumers, restoring the soil is important because foods grown in nutrient-poor soil end up being lower in nutrients and have a smaller yield.

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Access to clean water is one of the world's top global concerns. Scientists, engineers, and politicians focus on protecting clean water sources, recycling water, and conserving water. In the Middle East, the main issue is getting enough freshwater to support people and agriculture. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency compiles information on how utilities can save water and cut costs, as part of a broader program to conserve the nation's water resources.

Cleaning the Air

Everyone knows about greenhouse gases, horrible air quality in Chinese cities and similar high-profile topics. The science of sustainability looks for ways to reduce emissions that create smog and contribute to global warming. The United States government gave away $14 billion in wind power subsidies in 2014, in part to prevent smog and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Environmental Planning and Management

Engineering contributes to sustainability, the applied science part of sustainability. Those with a master in civil engineering, for example, learn to manage groundwater flows, contain wasters, and contribute to environmental and water resource management. Preserving access to water is as important as managing stormwater, so engineers in cities like London and Los Angeles work hard to manage rainfall, in Los Angeles, and flooding from the Thames in London.

The science of sustainability produces the information that activists, engineers, and policy makers use to carry out projects that relate to ecological sustainability. Protecting fisheries, using resources wisely, and protecting the air and water all begin with detailed knowledge of how ecosystems work.

By Anica OaksEmbed

Author Bio - A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she's used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.


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