environment

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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Newly created transparent wood paves way for greener homes

Newly created transparent wood paves way for greener homes

In what seems like a bit of modern day alchemy, researchers have managed to transform real wood into still-real transparent wood, giving it a somewhat cloudy appearance like roughed up acrylic or dry craft glue. According to the study, which was published in Biomacromolecules earlier this month, the researchers were able to achieve a level of transparency as high as 85-percent, and a haze level as low as 71-percent to create what they call “optically transparent wood.”

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Arctic sea ice hits a record low, second year in a row

Arctic sea ice hits a record low, second year in a row

NASA declared January this year as the warmest month, displacing last year's record. It wasn't just living creatures, however, who were affected by the heat. Unsurprisingly, the volume of ice in our polar regions, particularly the Arctic north, were drastically affected as well. While frozen seawater normally expands during the fall and winter months, NASA has measured the Arctic sea ice area at 5.607 million square miles. While that may still sound big, it's slightly lower than that 5.612 million square miles from last year, making it the lowest recorded number since 1979.

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Yellowstone hotspot had 12 ancient ‘super-eruptions’

Yellowstone hotspot had 12 ancient ‘super-eruptions’

Some really big eruptions happened during Yellowstone’s past, but they all may pale in comparison to a bunch of so-called “super eruptions” that took place in Idaho millions of years ago. According to researchers, these exceptionally massive eruptions happened between 8 and 12 million years ago, and were much, much larger than previously believed, eclipsing a bunch of ancient eruptions that happened in the same general region.

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Australia to research whether wind farms harm human health

Australia to research whether wind farms harm human health

Wind farms probably don’t have much of an effect on human health, but that doesn’t stop the conspiracy theories and complaints. To address those concerns, the Australian government has just announced a pair of grants that will fund research in how wind farms affect human health…if they do at all. The two grants total $3.3 million, and were granted by the National Health and Medical Research Council.

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How to recycle an old iPhone with Apple Renew

How to recycle an old iPhone with Apple Renew

As you may have heard, Apple has a new robot named Liam, and he can take apart more than 1.2 million iPhones every year. Liam is working as part of Apple’s newly announced recycling program “Renew,” dismantling customers’ old iPhones to extract the useable materials inside. Any Apple customer can participate in Renew as a way to recycle their old iPhone: there are two ways to get started.

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Apple sets the bar for sustainable business

Apple sets the bar for sustainable business

A couple years ago, Apple set a big goal for itself: to run entirely on renewable energy (that is, electricity generated with wind, solar, and water). While the company hasn’t wholly fulfilled that goal yet, it has made great strides toward doing so — in fact, it is running 100% on renewable energy in the United States, as well as some other places. That’s only the start, though — with everything from a new R&D project that harvests materials from old gadgets to supporting sustainable forests, Apple has set the bar for other companies.

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Apple Renew harvests the parts from your old iPhones

Apple Renew harvests the parts from your old iPhones

Apple is zeroing in on the environment and efforts to preserve it, detailing a slew of achievements, current efforts, and future goals at its event today. Among other things, the company has introduced an R&D project called "Liam" that takes apart recycled iPhones, harvesting the individuals materials for reuse in other items like solar panels and tools. As well, the company has some goods news about its renewable energy efforts.

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Australia has mysterious ‘fairy circles’ all over the place, too

Australia has mysterious ‘fairy circles’ all over the place, too

We’ve all heard of crop circles, but ‘fairy circles’ are lesser known and, usually, less interesting to look at. These circular patches have a shape roughly -- and consistently -- like that of a six-sided honeycomb and feature a hard dirt shell resulting in a plant-free bare region within an otherwise grassy landscape. Fairy circles are commonly found in Namibia but not elsewhere — until recently, at least, when researchers stumbled across a bunch of them in the empty Australian outback.

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Researchers discover plastic-eating bacteria

Researchers discover plastic-eating bacteria

Plastic waste floats around the ocean as massive islands of garbage, it kills wildlife and destroys environments. Scientists have been scrambling for a solution to the growing problem, and now a team of Japanese researchers may have found a solution: plastic-eating bacteria. The researchers discovered a type of bacteria that feeds on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastics, one of the most commonly used varieties around the globe.

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GE creates ‘sunrotor’ system to store, generate clean energy

GE creates ‘sunrotor’ system to store, generate clean energy

GE researchers have developed a new technology that uses CO2 to generate a substantial amount of clean energy, and it doubles as an energy storage solution for solar panels. CO2, of course, is one big cause of climate change, and the irony isn’t lost on GE. By using the technology, solar storage and clean energy could be made more efficient while simultaneously reducing the amount of fossil fuels needed to power homes and dealing with harmful CO2 pollution wrecking the environment.

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Choetech 19w dual-port solar charger mini review

Choetech 19w dual-port solar charger mini review

Spring is nearly upon us, and that means shedding one's bulky winter clothes, leaving the claustrophobic confines of one's winter domicile, and heading out into nature. If you're taking your gadgets with you, you'll need a way to charge them, of course, and a portable solar charger is one of the most popular ways to do this. Enter Choetech's dual-port 19W portable solar charger -- it promises to keep your phone juiced up, but how does it fare during real-world use? Read our review to find out!

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