environment

Morocco will be home to world’s largest concentrated solar farm

Morocco will be home to world’s largest concentrated solar farm

Morocco will soon be home to the world’s largest solar farm, according to a new report. The city of Ouarzazate is in the pipeline to get four mega solar plants, all of them linked together into a single complex. This will operate alongside both wind and hydro energy farms, as well, the sum total of which is expected to produce half or more of the nation’s electricity needs by 2020. If all goes as planned, there might be enough electricity left over to export into Europe.

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September 2015 sets new ‘hottest month’ record

September 2015 sets new ‘hottest month’ record

The planet is getting warmer, and no amount of arguing is changing that fact. Enter 2015, a year full of record-breaking months, not the least of which is September. According to the latest NOAA report, September followed the trend set by February, March, May, June, July and August before it, and is now officially the hottest among all Septembers to have ever been recorded. That’s not the only significant part of the news; September also saw the largest rise above average for any month ever recorded over the last 100+ years.

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Giant fossilized shark teeth wash ashore in North Carolina

Giant fossilized shark teeth wash ashore in North Carolina

In the town of Surf City, North Carolina, and at Topsail Beach, visitors have been stumbling upon some surprising discoveries: massive fossilized shark teeth, which have washed ashore. Several have reportedly been found, some nearly as large as a human hand. They come from the Megalodon, an extinct species of shark from prehistoric times that was, relatively speaking, absolutely massive.

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Snow leopards face extinction as climate gets hotter

Snow leopards face extinction as climate gets hotter

The world is getting hotter, and the changing climate poses a threat to most living creatures, not the least of which are snow leopards. According to WWF, a conservation charity, 30% or more of snow leopards’ habitats could end up being uninhabitable (to them) as a result of shifting climates, with hotter temperatures being blamed. Snow leopards are notoriously elusive and are already endangered, and human-driven climate change may eradicate them altogether.

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New Galapagos Islands tortoise species discovered

New Galapagos Islands tortoise species discovered

In the Galapagos Islands, researchers have discovered a new species of giant tortoise that is distinctly different from the other tortoises on the island. This particular species, called Chelonoidis donfaustoi, is found on an arid part of Santa Cruz island; about 250 of these tortoises are said to be located there. This discovery confirms a long-held suspicion among some researchers that an inland subset of tortoises located away from the main population is, in fact, a wholly different species.

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Apple steps up its clean energy programs in China

Apple steps up its clean energy programs in China

True to the promise it made last May, Apple has launched several programs that will significantly reduce the carbon footprint of its operations in China. But rather than just keeping the benefits to itself, it is moving to apply its environmental achievements to a wider range, including its own manufacturing partners in the country. And to prove that it isn't all just words, Apple announced that it has finally completed the construction of its 40-megawatt solar project in Sichuan Province which can power all of Apple's offices and stores in China and more.

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Researcher makes polymer that absorbs mercury pollution

Researcher makes polymer that absorbs mercury pollution

Mercury is present at pollution levels all over the globe, including in lakes and oceans where it renders fish inedible. Cleaning up that mercury pollution isn’t easy, however, being too cost or time intensive to be practical in some places. A researcher may have come up with a solution to the problem, developing an inexpensive polymer that absorbs mercury out of water and more, changing colors as it does.

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Google invests in Kenya’s Lake Turkana wind farm project

Google invests in Kenya’s Lake Turkana wind farm project

Google has announced that it will invest in Northern Kenya’s Lake Turkana Wind Power Project, making it the company’s second investment of its kind in Africa. The Internet giant previously invested in Africa’s largest solar project; this latest project, a wind farm, will produce 310 megawatts of energy for powering homes in Kenya. The benefits from that are numerous, spanning beyond the environmentally-friendly aspects to include additional capacity, improved energy stability, and more.

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New bio-sensor detects contaminated water instantly

New bio-sensor detects contaminated water instantly

Former Technical University of Denmark students have developed a bio-sensor that can detect whether water is contaminated in real-time, the university has announced. Real-time water testing is an important development toward the eventual eradication of contaminated drinking water. Such tainted water can cause serious health issues and results in many deaths every year, but the testing process is notoriously slow.

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No, the world (probably) won’t end tomorrow

No, the world (probably) won’t end tomorrow

In case you missed it, there's a new doomsday prediction circling the Internet stating that tomorrow will be the end of the world and that all of humanity as we know it will perish. For many, the recent blood supermoon spurred predictions that the world would end, but it didn't (obviously). Now a revised prediction says that the world will be burned to a crisp on October 7 -- tomorrow -- via some kind of fire-based apocalypse.

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A third of cacti could end up extinct: humans to blame

A third of cacti could end up extinct: humans to blame

Cacti (cactuses, if you will) are facing mass extinction, according to a new report. Nearly 30 percent of the water-sipping spiny plants could be a thing of the past due to a combination of farms in arid regions and illegal trade. The extinction risk isn’t limited to one or two types of cacti, either — a wide variety of species could succumb to the pressure. Of the 1,478 cactus species scientists looked at, 31 percent of them were found to have some risk of extinction.

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BioCarbon Engineering wants to plant trees with drones

BioCarbon Engineering wants to plant trees with drones

Humans mow down forests far faster than they can replant them, and it has drastic effects on our planet — both present and future. Planting trees by hand is the slowest way to go about replacing the trees, but it is often the method used. One startup company named BioCarbon Engineering wants to change that by using drones to plant seedlings. The company was founded by a former NASA engineer, Lauren Fletcher, and could have the added benefit of planting trees in places that are difficult for humans to access.

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