environment

This Chinese solar plant looks like a giant cartoon panda

This Chinese solar plant looks like a giant cartoon panda

Vast solar plants are becoming increasingly common around the world, but most of them aren't anything you'd go out of your way to see. The big exception is a new solar plant in China that was built in the shape of a giant cartoon panda. Anyone flying above the region in Datong, China, will be greeted with the sight of a happy panda smiling up at the sky; soon enough a second solar plant in the shape of another panda will be joining it.

Continue Reading

Alphabet X spin-off Dandelion sucks energy from your yard

Alphabet X spin-off Dandelion sucks energy from your yard

This week the company known as Dandelion spun off from Alphabet's X group. For those readers not familiar with Alphabet, it's essentially Google's overarching catch-all company (which also catches Google). Dandelion was once part of Alphabet as a startup company - now they're on their own with a cool $2-million in seed round investment to "kick-off its sales and operations."

Continue Reading

Antarctica ice shelf is about to break free: here’s what the iceberg will look like

Antarctica ice shelf is about to break free: here’s what the iceberg will look like

Researchers and the public alike have been watching Antarctica's Larsen C ice shelf since its massive cracking episode back in January. In the months since the start of the year, we've seen instances where the ice shelf has experienced extensive growth of the fissure that threatens to break it off entirely. According to the latest report from the European Space Agency, the ice shelf is now being held in place by only 3 miles of ice, meaning it could break away at any moment.

Continue Reading

Deep-sea mining may cause ‘irrevocable’ biodiversity loss

Deep-sea mining may cause ‘irrevocable’ biodiversity loss

A letter from experts newly published in Nature Geoscience warns that deep-sea mining missions may cause biodiversity loss that is 'irrevocable.' The loss of biodiversity in these regions is 'unavoidable,' according to the letter, and is something that must be taken into account when such missions take place. The effects of how the environment will respond to deep-sea mining is still a 'tremendous uncertainty,' according to one expert, underscoring the need for mining practices to include protection measures.

Continue Reading

Antartica’s Larsen C ice rift grew 17 miles in a single week

Antartica’s Larsen C ice rift grew 17 miles in a single week

Remember the massive ice rift in Antarctica that grew more than 6 miles this past January? That news was shocking, but now pales in comparison to the latest update: the rift grew another 17 miles last month, with the entire change happening in a single week. According to Project MIDAS, the Larsen C Ice Shelf is now being held in place by only 8 miles of ice; the calving of this chunk of ice is expected to happen any day now.

Continue Reading

Elon Musk will quit Trump’s councils if US leaves Paris Agreement

Elon Musk will quit Trump’s councils if US leaves Paris Agreement

With reports President Trump will pull the US from the Paris climate agreement, Tesla's Elon Musk has confirmed he will withdraw from his advisory role should that happen. The Paris Agreement, otherwise known as the Paris climate accord, was finalized late last year, with more than a hundred countries committing "to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects, with enhanced support to assist developing countries to do so." That, it seems, would be a deal-breaker for Musk.

Continue Reading

US lost 33% of bee colonies last year, and that’s not a bad thing

US lost 33% of bee colonies last year, and that’s not a bad thing

The Bee Informed Partnership has released a new study conducted in collaboration with the Apiary Inspectors of America, and the results are largely favorable. According to the study, beekeepers lost a bit over one-third of their bee colonies over the past year, and while that sounds like a startling number, researchers say it is the second-best figure recorded over the past seven years.

Continue Reading

‘Doomsday’ seed vault flooded and a warmer planet is to blame

‘Doomsday’ seed vault flooded and a warmer planet is to blame

Far up in the frigid Arctic region is a rectangular structure embedded in snow and ice -- the Global Seed Vault, a place where seeds from all over the world are stored in case disaster ever strikes our planet. The idea behind the seed vault is simple -- if something takes out a particular plant, or many plants, humans can acquire seeds from the seed vault to ensure our food supply isn't affected. The plan seemed foolproof, but that's not the case: the Global Seed Vault recently suffered a failure that directly resulted from rising temperatures.

Continue Reading

Antarctica experiencing rapid plant growth due to climate change

Antarctica experiencing rapid plant growth due to climate change

Climate change is fueling a relatively rapid increase in plant growth in Antarctica, where researchers have observed 'major biological changes' over the last handful of decades. According to University of Exeter researchers, increasing temperatures have resulted in more rapid moss growth in the icy region, something facilitated by a mixture of warming temperatures as well as increased moisture and wind.

Continue Reading

NASA solves decades-long mystery of strange lights on Earth

NASA solves decades-long mystery of strange lights on Earth

Back in 1993, Carl Sagan and his colleagues spotted some glints of light in photos of Earth taken by the spacecraft Galileo. These patches of light were spotted on coastlines and in the ocean, and were assumed to be the result of sunlight reflecting off smooth patches of water. Years later, however, individuals have spotted similar spots of light in photos captured by the Deep Space Climate Observatory's camera, only with one big difference: the bright spots are on land in addition to water, paving the way for a good ole fashioned mystery.

Continue Reading

Refind and Energizer tackle battery waste with ‘reverse vending machine’

Refind and Energizer tackle battery waste with ‘reverse vending machine’

Rechargeable batteries are, thankfully, becoming increasingly common to the point that few devices still use ordinary single-use alkalines. Some common home gadgets still use these kinds of batteries, though, such as remote controls and smoke detectors, not to mention various loud kids toys. Though these disposable batteries shouldn't be thrown into the garbage, people do that anyway...and more often than not it is due to the relative difficulty of recycling the batteries.

Continue Reading

U.S. wildlife regions are getting louder and humans are to blame

U.S. wildlife regions are getting louder and humans are to blame

When you think of quiet, you probably think of somewhere far away from the city: a dense national park, a wildlife preserve, or somewhere similar. While it's true that a weekend spent in a cabin in some remote place will likely be more peaceful than a night in a big city, it's unlikely you'll experience a true lack of human noise. This is becoming an increasingly concerning reality, and one that doesn't show any signs of reversing. A newly published study has found that humans have doubled the background noise volume in 63-percent of the nation's protected wildlife regions.

Continue Reading

1 2 3 4 5 Next