environment

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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E.ON is building two 9.9MW battery storage facilities near Texas wind farms

E.ON is building two 9.9MW battery storage facilities near Texas wind farms

E.ON North America has announced that it will be building a pair of 9.9MW battery storage facilities in Texas, with one in the Pyron wind farm in Hermleigh, TX and another in the Inadale wind farm near Roscoe. These wind farms have been in place for several years now, and are in possession of 249MW and 197MWs of battery storage at the present, numbers that will both grow when these new facilities go live later on this year.

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Svalbard doomsday seed vault gets huge (and critical) seed deposit

Svalbard doomsday seed vault gets huge (and critical) seed deposit

The so-called ‘doomsday’ seed vault located in the Arctic on the small, cold nation of Svalbard has received what is described as a large and major deposit of seeds. According to The Crop Trust, which oversees the vault, the deposit was made on February 22, and is a necessary part in ‘ensuring global food security.’ Almost 50,000 seeds from countries all around the world were added.

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EPA workers use encrypted messaging to discuss Trump contingency plan

EPA workers use encrypted messaging to discuss Trump contingency plan

It’s no secret that the Trump administration has some issues with the Environmental Protection Agency, and that has raised ample concerns both among the public and within the EPA itself. We’ve already seen alterations surface on the EPA’s climate change site, and critics have expressed worry that bigger, more harmful things may follow. Now, according to a new report, at least half a dozen EPA employees have started using an encrypted messaging app to discuss amongst themselves plans for handling the administration’s possible future undermining of the agency.

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Large amounts of toxic pollution found in deepest trenches

Large amounts of toxic pollution found in deepest trenches

It’s mankind’s dirty secret that its garbage eventually find their way to the open seas. Given the vastness and almost unimaginable depths of the world’s oceans, man might assume that some parts of the ocean remain safe from human indifference. Scientists are proving, however, that it is sadly not the case. By studying amphipods leaving at the world’s deepest trenches, scientists discovered worrying levels of “persistent organic pollutants” inside the crustaceans’ bodies. This means that our toxic waste has already reached places where man itself has barely set foot. To add insult to injury, these are pollutants that have been banned for decades already.

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“Into the Wild” hands-on: AR serving a higher purpose

“Into the Wild” hands-on: AR serving a higher purpose

Tech companies are pushing virtual reality as the next wave of computing, but, as cool as it is, VR as we currenly know it has innate limitations that doesn’t make it suitable for many cases. Like being able to move around the real world with less fear of bumping into things, or being able to interact with said real world as well as a virtual one at the same time. That’s why when there was a need for an immersive and hi-tech experience, a group of organizations and companies turned to the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro and Google’s Tango augmented reality platform to create “Into the Wild”, an experience that aims to not only delight the eyes but also touch the heart.

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