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A ceramic cook stove saves fuel in Myanmar
Using a ceramic cook stove helps rural families reduce their use of wood for cooking. View image

Aerial view of the Three Gorges Dam, China
The reservoir behind the Three Gorges Dam will stretch more than 600 kilometers upstream, submerging towns, factories, mines, and archaeological sites. View image

African fish eagle
The African fish eagle is a counterpart to the American bald eagle and fills the same ecological niche in areas where it is present. View image

Air pollution on the Autobaun in Germany, 2005
In many cities, current concentrations of particulate matter exceed the limit values established by the European Union. In the first 3 months of 2005, for example, the daily limit value was exceeded on more than 30 days in several German cities. View image

Athabasca tar sands, Alberta, Canada
Producing oil from tar sands consumes massive quantities of energy and water. View image

Automeris moth
When the Automeris moth perceives a threat, it moves its forewings to reveal false eye spots on its hindwings and to frighten predators away. View image

Backpack designed to measure exposure to indoor air pollutants
This backpack monitoring system, designed for studying exposure to air pollution, includes several pollutant detectors, a sampling pump, and a handheld Global Positioning System receiver. View image

Banded iron formation from Ontario, Canada
As early photosynthesis began to raise atmospheric oxygen levels about 2.7 billion years ago, iron precipitated out of seawater, creating banded iron formations like this specimen from Ontario, Canada. View image

Berkeley Pit, Montana
Water flows continuously into the Berkeley Pit from surface runoff and groundwater seepage. To prevent the pit from contaminating surface aquifers, the cleanup plan calls for pumping and treating water from the pit to keep the water surface at a safe level. View image

Buried machinery in barn lot. Dallas, South Dakota, 1936
The Dust Bowl stimulated interest in conservation tillage methods, which leave crop residues in place to reduce soil erosion and prevent topsoil loss. View image

Catalytic converter mounted in a car's exhaust system
Thanks to mandatory emission limits, catalytic converters have become standard pollution control features on passenger cars over the past several decades. View image

Chopping and disking mustard green manure, Washington state, 2003
Farmers have practiced green manuring for centuries, but the technique has become more sophisticated with growing understanding of soil ecology, plant biochemistry, and nutrient cycling. View image

Colonization by zebra mussels, Great Lakes
Zebra mussels can survive in many aquatic environments and breed prolifically. Originally found in Russia, they have spread throughout the Great Lakes and the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, and Hudson river basins. View image

Color variation in the Oldfield mouse (Peromyscus polionotus)
The Oldfield mouse lives in dry soils in the southeastern United States. Its color varies greatly and correlates with soil and leaf litter. View image

Commercial king crab fisherman, Alaska
Commercial fishing is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States, but fishermen can make tens of thousands of dollars for one to three months' work. These rates represent a risk premium that is required to attract workers. View image

Confined hog production facility
Large hog farms may house 10,000 or more hogs indoors for their entire life spans. On many U.S. farms, breeding sows are kept for weeks at a time in individual crates too narrow for the animals to turn around. View image

Conventional and golden rice
Along with wheat, maize (corn), and potatoes, rice is one of the world's most important staple foods. These foods contain widely varying levels of many important micronutrients. Golden rice is designed to eliminate one deficiency by producing vitamin A in its grains. View image

Coral reef after bleaching event
These corals will die unless the algal symbionts quickly repopulate the coral. Most scientists believe that usually warm sea surface temperatures are at least partially responsible for regional bleaching events. View image

Coral reef in the Hawaiian islands
Coral reefs are among the most biologically diverse ecosystems on Earth. View image

Evidence of glaciation in seaside rocks, Massachusetts
Geologist Paul Hoffman points out glacial dropstones, small rounded pebbles imbedded in otherwise neat layers of sedimentary rock 500-600 million years old. View image

Farm abandonment (1850) and hardwood forest regrowth (1930) in central New England
Forest regrowth on lands that were previously farmed or logged is an important sink for atmospheric carbon. View image

Feedlot cattle
On a feedlot, young beef cattle are grown to market weight on a diet that consists primarily of grain. Cattle that are fed grain reach market size at about 14 months of age, compared to 18 to 24 months for grass-fed beef, but raising cattle on grain is much more energy-intensive. View image

Fields in central California suffering from severe salinization
High salinity stresses plants and reduces crop yields. Excess salt affects about 30 percent of U.S. irrigated lands. View image

Fire plumes over Southern California, October 26, 2003
Forest fires produce pollutants including carbon monoxide, ozone, and aerosols. View image

Flooding in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, 2005
Damage along the Gulf Coast from Hurricane Katrina in 2005 may be a preview of impacts in other low-lying regions as sea levels rise and storms become more frequent. View image

Fossils of Kimberella (thought to be a jellyfish)
Kimberella was originally thought to be a type of jellyfish, but scientists now believe that it had rigid parts (probably a hard, shell-like covering) which formed the deep depressions in these fossils. View image

Four generations from one family participating in the Framingham Heart Study and associate studies
The Framingham Heart Study was designed to identify general causes of heart disease and stroke. Researchers have published more than 1,000 scientific papers on risk factors for cardiovascular disease based on Framingham data. View image

Gathering insects for identification during IPM training, Indonesia
Field schools advance IPM programs by enabling farmers to see and compare the results of various pest control methods. View image

Guano deposits on Gardner Pinnacles, Laysan Island, Hawaii, 1969
Seabird manure, a rich source of nutrients, has been used as fertilizer for centuries. View image

Gully erosion from over cultivation, Sahel, West Africa
Rapid population growth in the Sahel, where most people depend on agriculture for a living, is stressing limited soil and water resources. View image

Habitat fragmentation and species mobility
Development in rural areas has made traffic a growing threat to bears and other species in the United States. View image

Haze pollution, Acadia National Park, Maine
Haze pollution can drastically reduce visibility, even at locations like Acadia National Park that are far downwind from aerosol pollution sources. View image

Indian girls making tea, village of Than Gaon
Indoor air pollution is a major public health burden for poor families in less-developed countries. View image

Iron smelting, Carrie furnaces, Rankin, Pennsylvania, 1952
The Carrie blast furnaces were built in the early 1900s and operated until 1983. Two remaining furnaces have been designated as national historic landmarks. View image

Irrigation in the heart of the Sahara
A small settlement just north of the border between Egypt and Sudan taps an underground aquifer to support farming in the desert. Each dark spot is an irrigated crop circle about 1 kilometer across. View image

Land conversion for grazing in the Amazon rainforest
Clearing land for agriculture reduces the Amazon region’s ability to sequester carbon from the atmosphere, thus furthering global climate change. View image

Landsat image of invasive salt cedar, 2002
Invasive salt cedar along the Forgotten River segment of the Rio Grande in Hudspeth County, Texas and Chihuahua State, Mexico. Yellow areas indicate high probability of salt cedar infestation. View image

Main tunnel shaft, Yucca mountain repository site
The main tunnel shaft descends more than five miles into Yucca Mountain. View image

Marine phytoplankton
Phytoplankton form the base of marine food webs. View image

Model of Archaeopteryx fossil
Archaeopteryx had some features not seen in today's birds, such as a long bony tail and a full set of teeth. However, it also had feathers, wings, and reduced fingers, which are characteristic of modern birds. View image

Monsoon rain clouds near Nagercoil, India, August 2006
Monsoon rains are crucial to agricultural production in India. View image

Mountaintop removal site, Kayford Mountain, West Virginia (2005)
Mountaintop removal can involve blasting and shearing away 500 or more feet from the summit of a mountain to expose buried coal seams. View image

Offshore oil drilling platform, Gulf of Mexico
Offshore drilling rigs are hundreds of feet high and weigh many thousands of tons. A single drilling platform can cost more than $1 billion. View image

Offshore wind turbines near the southwest coast of Denmark
Placing wind turbines offshore is more expensive than siting them on land, but is a promising option for densely populated regions. View image

Ozone damage to plant leaves
Ozone can stunt plant growth, produce mottled leaves and needles, suppress flower and bud formation, and make plants more vulnerable to fungal infections. View image

Polar bear hunting on Arctic sea ice
Polar bears hunt their prey from Arctic sea ice, so climate change threatens their survival. View image

Poster advertising China's one-child policy, 1980s
Coupled with a preference for sons over daughters, China's one-child policy has promoted relatively high male-female ratios. View image

Predators impose top-down control on ecosystems
Since they were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in 1995, gray wolves have reduced the number of elk and other prey species, with impact further down through the park's food web. View image

Pump offering bio-based fuels, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Many countries are developing bio-based fuels to reduce dependence on imported oil and emissions from fossil fuel combustion. View image

Rice varieties
Dwarf plants have relatively thick stems and are less likely to lodge (fall over under the weight of the grain they carry). A low-tillering plant is one with fewer stalks at the bottom. View image

Sedimentation in Chattahoochee River, Atlanta, Georgia
Excess sediments can clog river channels and damage wildlife habitat. If sediments are contaminated with pesticides or industrial chemicals, they can also reduce water quality and introduce hazardous substances into the food chain. View image

Shanty town in Manila beside Manila City Jail
Access to safe water and sanitation are two of the most fundamental indicators of public health. View image

Sigmoid dose-response curve
All substances can produce responses that are beneficial, toxic, or lethal to an organism or population, depending on the dose. View image

Smog over Los Angeles
Geography, climate, and a high concentration of pollution sources create endemic air pollution problems in the Los Angeles basin. View image

Sodium hypochlorite solution for disinfecting water
Sodium hypochlorite, also known as chlorine bleach, has been used for more than a century to kill water-borne bacteria. View image

Solar-powered housing complex, Watsonville, California
Some U.S. states and electric power companies offer rebates for installing home solar systems, which reduce peak demand for electricity and help avoid the need to build new generating facilities. View image

Stromatolites at Hamelin Pool, Shark Bay, Australia
Stromatolites are uncommon today because burrowing and grazing organisms destabilize marine sediments and consume the microbial mats produced by cyanobacteria. Exceptions occur in hyper-saline environments, like Shark Bay, where few organisms can survive. View image

Suburban development in Douglas County, Colorado
Located between Colorado’s two largest cities, Denver and Colorado Springs, Douglas County has been among the fastest-growing counties in the United States in recent years. View image

Tall tower monitoring station for atmospheric sampling
Researchers use tall towers to obtain air samples that are not affected by local sources and sinks such as vegetation or nearby traffic. View image

The Willamette Meteorite, the largest ever found in the United States (15 tons)
The Willamette Meteorite is probably a fragment from the core of an ancient planet that broke up as it orbited the sun. Its structure suggests that it sustained at least two high-energy impacts in space before it fell to Earth's surface and weathered further. View image

Tomato frog (Dyscophus antongilii). Listed on CITES Appendix 1 (threatened with extinction)
Tomato frogs, which are found only along the northern coast of Madagascar, are endangered by habitat destruction and over-collecting for sale as pets. View image

Tropical ecologist Stuart Davies in the field
Director of the Center for Tropical Forest Science at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Stuart Davies explains the symbiotic relationship between ants and a cecropia plant. View image

Types of wetlands
Specific functions vary with each site's vegetation, geology, and hydrologic patterns, but wetlands typically perform a number of purifying functions. View image

View under the hood of a fuel cell car
Some researchers believe that fuel cells could eventually replace internal combustion engines. But converting to hydrogen for transportation would require the development of a new fleet of fuel-cell vehicles, efficient methods for producing hydrogen on a large scale, and a hydrogen storage and distribution system. View image

Warning on a pack of British cigarettes
Tobacco use is a leading cause of preventable deaths worldwide. View image

Warning sign, Palos Verdes Peninsula, California
Chemical plants near the Palos Verdes Peninsula south of Los Angeles discharged contaminated sewage until the early 1970s. State agencies closed the local fishery for white croaker in 1990 due to health risks from eating fish contaminated with PCBs and pesticides. View image

Woman supervising 25 employees at the Vegetable Dehydrates Factory, Parwan Province, Afghanistan
The economic well-being of families typically rises when women have access to good wage-paying jobs. View image

Youths installing solar panels to power a rural computer center, S?o Jo?o, Brazil
Many clean energy applications are not limited to more-developed countries, but can also be used in rural and other areas that lack modern infrastructure. View image

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