environment

Global bicycle ownership rates see big downturn

Global bicycle ownership rates see big downturn

According to new research, the number of households that own a bicycle is decreasing drastically across the globe, with 148 countries showing an average decline of 50% over a few decades. This comes at a time when climate change concerns and sustainability efforts are at an all time high; cycling is one of the most sustainable forms of transportation, but one that many people far and wide are turning away from. A total of 1.25 billion households were looked at over the course of the study, and ownership was split into four groups.

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Researchers: printing eyes on items reduces littering

Researchers: printing eyes on items reduces littering

Researchers at Newcastle University have found that leaflets with eyes printed on them were discarded as litter far less frequently than a leaflet printed without eyes. The reason is likely due to human nature — we’re more conscious of our actions and more likely to behave according to social rules and norms if we know others -- and, apparently, pieces of paper -- are watching us.

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New material mimics photosynthesis, produces hydrogen

New material mimics photosynthesis, produces hydrogen

With the UN Climate Change conference happening this week at Paris, the spotlight is being focused the search for renewable sources of energy, especially ones that will fuel, no pun intended, our every growing number of gadgets and gizmos. As if by happy coincidence, researchers from Florida State University, headed by Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering Jose L. Mendoza-Cortes almost serendipitously came across a new thin material that could imitate the way a plant uses sunlight to split water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter of which can be used for fuel.

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Gates, Zuckerberg join tech founders in clean energy thrust

Gates, Zuckerberg join tech founders in clean energy thrust

Technology, perhaps more than any other industry, owes much of its existence to the use of energy. So it is only reasonable that it should also be the one spearheading the push for cleaner, greener, and more renewable sources. Of late, Apple has been picking up the pace, and the publicity, of its own green initiative, particularly in China and soon in Singapore. Now it's the turn of the other giants of the tech sector, as Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and over a dozen other big names to band together under the new Breakthrough Energy Coalition.

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Bill Gates will reveal “biggest clean energy fund in history”

Bill Gates will reveal “biggest clean energy fund in history”

The otherwise tame U.N. climate change negotiations set to take place in Paris next week will also play host to game-changer Bill Gates. One of the richest humans on our planet has been tipped to be unveiling the largest clean energy fund the world has ever seen. That means he doesn't want you to use the liquified bones of dinosaurs to run your monster truck any more. He knows how good it makes you feel to blow black smoke into the atmosphere, thereby depleting the possibilities for life on our planet in the distant future, and he doesn't like it.

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‘Critically endangered’ northern white rhino Nola dies: only three remain

‘Critically endangered’ northern white rhino Nola dies: only three remain

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park shared some sad news over the weekend: Nola, a northern white rhino, died due to complications from a bacterial infection and other health issues related to age. The rhino was one of only four known remaining northern white rhinos; her passing leaves only three on earth, a sad reality caused largely by poaching activities that have decimated rhino populations.

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Audi to “fix” cheating 3L diesel engines via software update

Audi to “fix” cheating 3L diesel engines via software update

Audi AG was already in hot water when its name got dragged into Volkswagen's "dieselgate" scandal but earlier this month it took a direct hit when it was alleged that the 3.0-liter diesel engines that it has made itself was also guilty of using the so-called "defeat devices" to deceive emissions tests. Now Volkswagen's luxury marque is submitting its solution to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) to get these affected engines in line. And apparently all it will take is a software upgrade.

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This is how much groundwater Earth has left

This is how much groundwater Earth has left

Finding water on other planets, particularly on Mars, might be an exciting discovery and might give some hope for the future of mankind. But that perhaps shouldn't distract us from the real problem at hand: our own depleting water resources. Groundwater, in particular, is the most commonly used manifestation of water on the planet. As such, it is also the most exploited and most often taken for granted. A group of scientists from different universities published on Nature Geoscience the findings of the first data-driven survey of the earth's groundwater supply. And the results are a bit worrying.

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Apple Store in Singapore: first in Southeast Asia, renewable energy

Apple Store in Singapore: first in Southeast Asia, renewable energy

Apple is confirming that it will indeed be opening its own store in Singapore. While that news in itself is already cause for jubilation among Apple fans in the country, it has also far reaching implications as well. For one, it will be the first Apple Store to break ground in a Southeast Asian country. For another, like the Apple's operations in the US and China, it will be running on renewable energy. This will make Apple the first company in Singapore to run exclusively on green energy, strengthening Cupertino's image among environment friendly companies.

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World’s first floating wind farm will be near Scotland

World’s first floating wind farm will be near Scotland

While Morocco busies itself with building the largest concentrated solar farm in the world, Scotland is focusing on a similar record of its own — the world’s first ever floating wind farm will be located off the Scottish shores, using ocean winds to generate power for those in the nation. The wind farm will be located 25 kilometer offshore, with production being slated to start in 2017.

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Texas wind farms get customers free nighttime power

Texas wind farms get customers free nighttime power

The colder, darker months are upon us, and that means higher electricity bills as lights are on more frequently and heaters are plugged in. Those in some Texas regions won't be feeling the pinch as badly, however, as wind farms have proven successful and the benefits are rolling out to customers. Some utility companies are offering residents free electricity at night, a time when wind turbines are generating the most electricity.

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Volkswagen’s emissions scandal now includes gasoline fleet

Volkswagen’s emissions scandal now includes gasoline fleet

You might have thought that the dust storm around Volkswagen's "dieselgate" has weakened, but you couldn't be more wrong. Surprisingly, the one kicking up the dust again is none other than the German car maker itself. Volkswagen revealed on Tuesday that it had understated the carbon dioxide emission levels of some of its gasoline-powered cars, which could number around 800,000. Not only does this expand the car makers woes beyond its diesel engine but also drags in one of the most dreaded of greenhouse gases.

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