environment

Google Project Sunroof expands across the pond with Germany launch

Google Project Sunroof expands across the pond with Germany launch

Back in March, Google updated its relatively new effort called Project Sunroof, an initiative that uses a bunch of data to estimate the solar potential of buildings in a region. The project is intended to help businesses and consumers make decisions about utilizing solar energy. The project has thus far released solar potential data for regions across the U.S., and now it is expanding overseas with the announcement of a new partnership in Germany. The Project Sunroof has teamed up with E.ON, the European company behind many electric service providers.

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Portland approves plan to turn city’s sewage methane into natural gas

Portland approves plan to turn city’s sewage methane into natural gas

City of Portland has announced the approval of a new clean energy plan that will turn methane from the city's sewage waste into natural gas. The news was announced on the heels of Earth Day, and comes at a time when cities -- despite certain presidential administration issues -- are working to reduce their pollution levels and increase their usage of renewable and 'green' energy. Portland officials call this a 'groundbreaking project,' one that will take the city's sewage and breathe new life into, figuratively speaking.

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Reebok ‘Cotton + Corn’ project will bring green shoes to market

Reebok ‘Cotton + Corn’ project will bring green shoes to market

We've seen numerous green efforts from adidas, and now Reebok is getting in on the action. The latter company has announced a new initiative called 'Cotton + Corn,' and it aims to launch plant-based shoes on the market under this effort. Cotton + Corn is the brainchild of Reebok's Future team according to the company, which has already produced one environmentally-friendly shoe under it: a pair of shoes that feature an organic cotton upper component and a base made from industrial corn.

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Americans are eating less beef, and the climate is benefiting from it

Americans are eating less beef, and the climate is benefiting from it

Americans are eating less beef, and the results of that are positive: the average American diet's carbon footprint has shrunk by 9-percent, reducing the amount of greenhouse gases released into the environment. Such is the conclusion of a new analysis that found a significant decrease from 2005 to 2014. Multiple dietary changes in America are cited as the cause of the emissions decrease, with reduction in beef consumption being chief among them.

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Researchers make nanofiber air filter that can be painted onto fabric

Researchers make nanofiber air filter that can be painted onto fabric

Researchers with the National University of Singapore have created a new type of air filter using nanofibers that is about two times more effective than commercial air respirators. This nanofiber air filter is see-through with better airflow than traditionally available air filters, and it also provides some level of UV protection. The air filter is described as eco-friendly and economical.

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Humpback whales are forming massive (and unusual) ‘super-groups’

Humpback whales are forming massive (and unusual) ‘super-groups’

A new report out of PLOS reveals that humpback whales are congregating in very large (relatively speaking) super-groups near South Africa, in some cases comprising pods as large as 200 whales. These large whale collectives are said to be engaging in feeding behavior, something that itself is unusual for the species, as it typically feeds on Antarctic krill in the southern polar region.

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Spiders eat twice as much as humans annually

Spiders eat twice as much as humans annually

If the title didn’t give it away, this piece is not for the squeamish or faint of heart. Sure, we won’t be talking gory details, but spiders have the unfortunate reputation of being one of the most feared or hated critters on the planet. And now scientists have just given haters even more ammo. According to research, which admittedly involves a lot of estimating, spiders eat somewhere between 400 to 800 million tons of prey a year. Which is pretty big considering there are believed to be only 25 million tons’ worth of spiders on the planet.

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Researchers warn oceans may be warmer than thought

Researchers warn oceans may be warmer than thought

Researchers have warned that the planet’s oceans may be holding more heat than previously estimated, something that would mean Earth as a whole is warming at a faster rate than current estimates. Such information comes from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, also known as NCAR, in a study it recently published. Such a conclusion was made using a combination of models, ocean temperature monitors, and existing data.

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Boaty McBoatface to raise awareness of Global Warming

Boaty McBoatface to raise awareness of Global Warming

It's become apparent this week that Boaty McBoatface, whose dreams of being a real boat have been dashed, will become an official British sea vessel anyway. It was the year 2016 when the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) asked the internet to name their newest boat. Of course, giving this campaign a public voting portal did not end how the council expected - but - BUT! There's a happy ending. Sort of.

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Scientists warn climate change will bring more severe storms

Scientists warn climate change will bring more severe storms

A new study warns that severe rainstorms are likely to become more common in coming years due to climate change, a statement that contrasts some observations made by other researchers and studies. According to this paper, which is in the pipeline for the journal Nature Climate Change, the peak temperature for intensive rainstorms is moving upward as global temperatures increase.

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This machine crushes beer bottles into sand to save beaches

This machine crushes beer bottles into sand to save beaches

Demand for sand in a variety of industries has led to the slow loss of sandy beaches around the world, a problem one company is addressing via a machine that grinds bottles down into glass sand substitute. The contraption comes from DB Export, which plans to send the beer-sourced sand to industries that would otherwise acquire it from beaches.

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Study: Western U.S. smog originates across the ocean in Asia

Study: Western U.S. smog originates across the ocean in Asia

Pollution is a global problem, and that reality is highlighted by a new study indicating smog in western U.S. states originates from Asian countries across the ocean. The movement of this pollution from Asia to the U.S. is curbing the latter country’s emission-reduction efforts. In some cases, pollution coming primarily from China and India is causing 65-percent of the ozone pollution in western U.S. states.

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