Humans’ indelible mark on new era

Geologists are convinced that humans have left a mark upon the planet that will detectable millions of years from now. Long after human civilization has perished, there could be a stratum of fossilized rock and a geological time zone that says: “We were here.” So there is a case for calling the present epoch “the Anthropocene” − probably dating from […]

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Ice in a planetary cauldron

With temperatures in excess of 800 F, Mercury is one of the last places in the solar system you’d expect to find ice. But when NASA’s Messenger spacecraft transmitted its first optical images of the closest planets to the sun, that’s exactly what scientists discovered. Mercury sits about 36 million miles from the sun, which is roughly 57 million miles […]

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Seabin – The Automated Marina Rubbish Collector

The Seabin marine waste collector shows how often the simplest solutions are the most effective. The rubbish collector, designed to float in marinas, inland waterways, residential lakes and harbors, collects floating debris and liquids by sucking water from the surface and letting if flow out through the bottom of the structure, trapping waste in a filter bag. The inventors have […]

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The Arctic’s ozone hole

The ozone layer over the Arctic Circle developed a giant hole this winter, scientists say. Over the North Pole, 40 percent of the ozone layer has disappeared—a record seasonal loss. Ozone high in the atmosphere shields the Earth from harmful UV rays, and it fluctuates seasonally; usually about 25 percent of the Arctic’s ozone layer fades every winter. In the […]

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Humans settled, set fire to Madagascar’s forests 1,000 years ago

There’s no question that our species has had a dramatic impact on the planet’s physical environment, particularly over the last few centuries, with the rise of modern industry, transportation, and infrastructure. But as new research shows, humans have been transforming the landscape, with lasting impacts, since long before the start of the Industrial Era. Scientists from MIT and the University […]

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Climate report offers a grim forecast

What happened A United Nations panel of the world’s leading environmental scientists issued its most dire warnings on the dangers posed by climate change, saying global warming is already affecting every continent and threatens to devastate food supplies, cause mass extinctions of plants and animals, worsen droughts, and raise the risk of wars over resources. The longer society holds off […]

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Warming adds to pressure on bats

Across the world, bats are in trouble from climate change – not only through collisions with the wind turbines that are intended to mitigate its effects, but from what the increasing warmth does to their ability to find their prey. Bats often get a bad press, portrayed as disease-spreading bloodsuckers. In fact, they perform a vital role as pollinators, seed […]

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