environment

Geoengineering not so great, so says Science

Geoengineering not so great, so says Science

Two reports from the Nation Academy of Sciences (NAS) have arrived this week suggesting that so-called "geoengineering" isn't good for the planet. They suggest that the term "geoengineering" isn't a legitimate term, saying instead that the term "Climate Intervention" would be more appropriate. Why, you might ask, do they say that we shouldn't be trying to control the weather? It's simple: we don't yet know the consequences of our actions. Methods for changing our planet's makeup like albedo modification and carbon dioxide removal may still have dire consequences we don't yet understand.

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400-year old pollution found in Andean ice cap

400-year old pollution found in Andean ice cap

A group of scientists have announced that they've found some extremely old pollution this week, picked up in an ice cap in the Peruvian Andes. Traces of air pollution, they suggest, date back to over 400 year-old mining operations that happened hundreds of miles away. Researchers suggest that this is the first clear evidence of human-made air pollution in South America from any time before the Industrial Revolution. Pollution here likely originated in what's now Bolivia - in the Potosí mountaintop silver mines.

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Tricksy Bill Gates gets Jimmy Fallon to drink poo-derived water

Tricksy Bill Gates gets Jimmy Fallon to drink poo-derived water

Far too many people do not have adequate access to bottled or otherwise sanitized drinking water. This results in disease and many other problems, and though efforts to eliminate the issue have been around for a long time, effective solutions are still lacking. Enter the Omniprocessor, a somewhat large contraption that uses different processes to convert "sludge" (sewage water) into purified drinking water; at the same time, the machine burns up the waste, eliminating it from the environment and likewise any diseases it would bring about.

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Bill Gates samples drinking water extracted from poop

Bill Gates samples drinking water extracted from poop

It is fair to say some of us have become a bit jaded when it comes to hearing about Bill Gates' latest exploits. Never one to shy away good causes and oddball ways of drawing attention to them, the philanthropic billionaire has done everything from releasing mosquitoes on an unsuspecting audience to dousing himself with ice water. Still, Mr. Gates' newest demonstration of the seemingly unmentionable has managed to catch popular attention, and for good reason: he drank a glass of water extracted from poop.

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Silent, tree-shaped wind turbines to debut in Paris

Silent, tree-shaped wind turbines to debut in Paris

Wind-generated power has the potential to make a huge contribution to varying renewable energies around the globe, but the issue of where turbines are built can be a big issue for some communities, or even countries. When wind turbines can't be built off-shore, some places feel constructing them on land ruins the scenery of the landscape, takes up too much space, or generates too much noise. Enter France's NewWind, which has been developing aesthetically pleasing, tree-shaped turbines meant to run silently within cities, at ground level.

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Yellowstone’s striking springs explained

Yellowstone’s striking springs explained

Yellowstone National Park may be notorious for its brightly colored geothermal springs, but it's human meddling not Mother Nature that's responsible for the tourist attraction. Researchers at Montana University's Optical Technology Center and the Brandenburg University of Applied Sciences were able to turn back the clock - virtually, at least - to show what the natural pools would have been like decades ago, before trash, coins, and rocks tossed in by park visitors messed up the geothermal balance. Turns out, they really should be a whole lot more blue, something we can see today with a little juggling of digital cameras and temperature probing.

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Bpeer tracks your home’s air quality

Bpeer tracks your home’s air quality

Bpeer is a health tracker of a different sort, monitoring the environment around you for things like gas, pollution levels, air quality, and less health-related things like humidity and noise levels. The detector can be used both indoors and outdoors, with the design resembling an alarm clock and its app dishing up all the details. Both iOS and Android is supported, but Bpeer's integrated display also provides details for times a phone isn't convenient.

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UK gets its first human, food waste powered bus

UK gets its first human, food waste powered bus

The "poo bus". OK, cue all dirty jokes and puns you might have been inspired to make from this, but this is a rather serious endeavor, but one that will still have some people raising their eyebrows or twitching their noses at the idea. Over at Bristol in the United Kingdom, water supplier Wessex Water has unveiled a bus that uses waste, both from humans and our leftovers, to power an eco-friendly bus. Provided people would actually want to ride on a thing they know is fueled in that manner.

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Study: lightning strikes will increase with global warming

Study: lightning strikes will increase with global warming

In a picture of the dystopian future many paint for us, the world is scorched, and full of powerful storms. A new report suggests that might not be too far from the truth, should climate change continue unfettered. In a study published today in the Journal of Science, we find that the new thinking around climate change will bring increased lightning storms. According to the study, every two degrees fahrenheit we see in global warming will result in 12% more lightning in the US.

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Fizzing apples are now a thing thanks to science

Fizzing apples are now a thing thanks to science

3D printed food. Space-aged whiskey. And now, apples that fizz in your mouth straight from the tree. Such is the marvelous world we live in, where scientists dedicate their brilliance to making things once dreamed of in books. Thanks to Lubera, a Swiss fruit company, you'll soon be able to get your hands on a new variety of apple called the "Paradis Sparkling", which feels like a carbonated juice beverage when eaten. The fruit took years to get perfect, says the makers, who are now selling saplings to interested gardeners.

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