environment

UAE considers building faux mountain to increase rainfall

UAE considers building faux mountain to increase rainfall

The United Arab Emirates is considering building a fake mountain to, it hopes, increase rainfall in the region. Later this summer, the US’s National Center for Atmospheric Research will provide the UAE with a report on the first stage of its evaluation of the plan — NCAR is looking into what kind of weather effects a man-made mountain would have, the kind of slopes it would need, and how tall it would have to be.

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Tesla’s Bioweapon Defense Mode gets put to the test

Tesla’s Bioweapon Defense Mode gets put to the test

The safety features on your car are there to protect you from all sorts of things. Primarily, they're designed to keep you as unharmed as possible when you face a collision. However, Tesla doesn't want to just protect you when you're involved in an accident, they want to keep the very air you breathe safe.

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Apple wants you to hug the earth by sending more iMessages

Apple wants you to hug the earth by sending more iMessages

It's Earth Day again, so naturally, companies are going out of their way to show how they care for the environment. As tech companies are also traditionally seen as the worst offenders, they also make the biggest noise come Earth Day. Apple, who has long been waging war on that image, has come up with a rather entertaining video add for this green day. Not only does it not so subtly promote its own efforts to be a green company, it is also subtly advertising iMessage to do so.

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Bioo pot uses plants to charge your phone

Bioo pot uses plants to charge your phone

A team has launched what they say is the first plant pot capable of charging your phone, and it’s called Bioo. The pot is said to produce electricity in a roundabout way from the plant’s photosynthesis, giving users a green alternative to solar chargers for powering up their gadgets. The pot features a charging port that’s disguised as a rock, presumably a battery to store the electricity being generated, and more.

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San Francisco is first big US city to require solar panels on new buildings

San Francisco is first big US city to require solar panels on new buildings

San Francisco has become the first major city in the United States that will require solar panels to be included on newly constructed buildings. The legislation comes from Supervisor Scott Wiener, and it was just recently passed without opposition by the Board of Supervisors, Wiener announced this week. Under the legislation, new buildings will need to put their roof space to good use by installing solar panels, helping ease the city’s energy burden while being better for the environment.

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Mitsubishi admits to cheating fuel consumption tests

Mitsubishi admits to cheating fuel consumption tests

In a page right of the book on Volkswagen's emissions scandal, Japanese car maker Mitsubishi has admitted to "improper conduct" in regard to the testing data on fuel economy for roughly 625,000 of its vehicles. The company issued a public statement earlier today, explaining that it was conducting an investigation into the employees who "conducted testing improperly to present better fuel consumption rates," as well as apologizing for the misrepresentation.

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March 2016 rounds out 11 straight months of record-breaking heat

March 2016 rounds out 11 straight months of record-breaking heat

It surprises no one at this point, but the announcement has to be made anyway: March 2016 broke yet another heat record, being crowned the new ‘hottest month’ on record. March was the eleventh straight month to be designated the warmest ever recorded, and so if April manages to set the same record, we’ll officially have a straight year of increasing heat. How much warmer is the Earth? According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the months comprising 2016 so far have been an average of 2.07F degrees above recorded average.

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Mt. Paeku, the DPRK’s mysterious volcano, studied for first time

Mt. Paeku, the DPRK’s mysterious volcano, studied for first time

In North Korea, it is called Mount Paektu. In China, it’s known as Changbai. Measuring about 9,000ft in height, the volcano has laid dormant for many, many years after having once exploded so violently it sent debris as far away as Japan. To gain a better understanding of the volcano and when another eruption could occur, an international team of researchers have been granted access into North Korea to study it, possibly learning more about its history and what humans can expect from its future.

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Apple recovered two thirds of e-waste collected last year

Apple recovered two thirds of e-waste collected last year

With new phones, tablets, and laptops coming out all the time, we often upgrade our devices well before we need to. Those devices will get sold, or given to other people, but at some point, they will hit their end of life. And regardless of whether the device just became too old to be useful, or it suffered a catastrophic death, it has to go somewhere. And simply throwing it in the trash isn't a good option.

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Inky the Octopus escapes from aquarium, slips down pipe to freedom

Inky the Octopus escapes from aquarium, slips down pipe to freedom

In a move that's straight of out the cephalopodic version of Shawshank Redemption comes the story of Inky, an octopus living held captive in a New Zealand aquarium. Three months ago, it has been revealed, Inky took advantage of a rare moment, slipping out of its enclosure when a maintenance worker failed to close the lid completely. It was a quick and dirty trip to the ocean from there, suction cup marks being the only sign of Inky's escape.

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Chinese researchers develop solar cell that can charge in rain

Chinese researchers develop solar cell that can charge in rain

We are always in the search alternative sources of energy, mostly from renewable resources. In practice, that usually translates to solar and wind power, mostly the former. But while the sun is almost always available, at least during the day, it can sometimes be hidden for hours under a torrent of rain. To get past at least that situation, a group of researchers from the Ocean University of China and Yunnan Normal University are developing a new time of solar cell that can generate electricity even without the sun. At least as long as there is rain.

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Radioactive boars are taking over Fukushima farmland

Radioactive boars are taking over Fukushima farmland

Since the earthquake and resulting nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011, radioactive boars have been breeding in great numbers, and now only a handful of years later they’ve become a major pest, affecting nearby farmland and posing big problems for residents in neighboring cities. Boars are enough of a problem — radioactive boars are another issue altogether, as they must be disposed of in a safe manner. The growing number of boars have caused nearly a million dollars in damage to crops, and the number will continue to rise if a solution isn’t found.

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