SETAC MultiBrief
May. 7, 2015

7 jaw-dropping spots that prove Utah is the real American Beauty
Intrepid Travel
If someone gave you paper and pencil and asked you to list the 50 U.S. states, we're guessing Utah wouldn't leap to mind first. Sandwiched between big players like Arizona, Colorado and Nevada, it's almost the quiet achiever of the south-west. But it shouldn't be. In 2012 a Gallup poll named it the best U.S. state to live in, based on a variety of lifestyle factors (we suspect sheer natural beauty was a big one); plus U.S. national forests, trustlands, monuments and parks cover an incredible 70 percent of the land.More

Who looks like a scientist?
By Ben Lillie
There's a project that gets passed around science circles a lot. Researchers at Fermilab asked a bunch of elementary school kids to draw a scientist. They were almost all old white guys in lab coats. Then they had real scientists visit and give a talk, and after that asked them to draw a scientist. More

Fjords soak up a surprising amount of carbon
Fjords are known for their otherworldly beauty. But these high-latitude inlets also have an outsized role in the carbon cycle, a study finds. Although fjords account for about 0.3 percent of Earth's surface area, they sequester 18 million tonnes of carbon per year — 11 percent of the total absorbed by marine sediment, researchers report in Nature Geoscience.More

Fracking chemicals detected in Pennsylvania drinking water
The New York Times
An analysis of drinking water sampled from three homes in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, revealed traces of a compound commonly found in Marcellus Shale drilling fluids, according to a study. The paper, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, addresses a longstanding question about potential risks to underground drinking water from the drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The authors suggested a chain of events by which the drilling chemical ended up in a homeowner's water supply. More

Turning to bacteria to fight the effects of climate change
Scientific American
Recently, the United Nations warned that the world could suffer a 40 percent shortfall in water by 2030 unless countries dramatically cut consumption. Since 70 percent of the world's fresh water goes to agriculture, this means changing the way people farm. The need is ubiquitous. In California's Central Valley, farmers drilling for water are now tapping stores 30,000 years old. In Kenya, which is facing the worst drought since 2000, farmers are hand-digging wells to reach the receding water table, even as one-in-ten Kenyans are hungry. More

Scientists warn of chemicals in pizza boxes, carpet care
USA Today
A group of environmental scientists issued a warning about commonly used chemicals known as PFASs. The chemicals, which go by the longer names of polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl, are found in everything from pizza boxes to carpet treatments, reports the New York Times.More

NOAA study finds marshes, reefs, beaches can enhance coastal resilience
The resilience of U.S. coastal communities to storms, flooding, erosion and other threats can be strengthened when they are protected by natural infrastructure such as marshes, reefs, and beaches, or with hybrid approaches, such as a "living shoreline" — a combination of natural habitat and built infrastructure, according to a new NOAA study. More

Ocean currents hinder methane-eating bacteria
Nature World News
Methane comes from a variety of sources, both natural and man-made. This includes methane-munching microbes that live in rocks in the deep sea, helping to control this potent greenhouse gas. But now new research shows that ocean currents may be hindering these critical methane-eating bacteria, thus contributing to global warming. More