When going ‘green’ makes people sick

When communities like San Francisco and Seattle began banning plastic bags, said Ramesh Ponnuru, it seemed like a public-spirited thing to do. But’ benign-seeming laws often have unintended consequences— and the plastic-bag ban is now producing a sickening result. The reusable shopping bags that people now use to bring groceries home turn out to be breeding grounds for bacteria carried […]

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Antarctic Ice Sheet Mass gains greater than losses

Antarctic Ice Sheet

A new NASA study on the Antarctic Ice Sheet says that an increase in Antarctic snow accumulation that began 10,000 years ago is currently adding enough ice to the continent to outweigh the increased losses from its thinning glaciers. The research challenges the conclusions of other studies, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2013 report, which says that […]

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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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Destroying Antarctica While Attempting To Save It

Destroying Antarctica

Are the scientists working to save Antarctica’s fragile ecosystem inadvertently contributing to its destruction? Could they possibly be Destroying Antarctica? A new study has linked a chemical used in flame-retardants—called polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)—that is contaminating the Antarctic environment to Australia’s Casey research station. Researchers found that dust and treated wastewater at the station contained PBDEs and another chemical that […]

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More certainty on global warming

An influential panel of climate scientists has expressed higher confidence than ever that human activity is the main cause of the rise in global temperatures since the 1950s, Reuters.com reports. A leaked draft of an upcoming report of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, based on a broad analysis of published scientific studies, concludes with 95 percent certainty […]

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Tropical groundwater resources resilient to climate change

Tropical groundwater may prove to be a climate-resilient source of freshwater in the tropics as intense rainfall favours the replenishment of these resources, according to a new study published in Environmental Research Letters. As climate observations show that global warming leads to fewer but more intense rainfalls, a clearer understanding of how these sources are replenished is crucial for developing […]

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How Native American depopulation impacted ecology

Native American depopulation

There is little dispute that in the wake of European colonists’ arrival in the New World, Native American populations were decimated by disease and conflict. But when it comes to the timing, magnitude, and effects of this Native American depopulation — it depends on who you ask. Many scholars claim that disease struck the native population shortly after their first […]

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Drastic climate change

An analysis of isotopes in marine fossils from around the world yielded the most complete record of Earth’s temperatures yet—and showed that the planet is heating up at a rate unprecedented in the past 11,300 years. Scientists say that if it weren’t for greenhouse gas emissions, a cooling trend that began 5,000 years ago after a shift in the planet’s […]

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