Environment, News, Physics

Pollen may actually influence weather

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Spring – for some people it’s the most beautiful time of the year, when the snows melt, the sun shines brighter and hotter and everything turns green, while for others, it’s hell on Earth. For people with allergies, especially pollen allergies, spring is sneeze season. But as some researchers found, pollen does more than trigger a nasty allergy – it can actually influence the weather.

Climate, Geology, News

Fjords are good at fighting global warming, study finds

Fjords are effective at storing carbon, helping regulate global climate. Image via Wiki Commons.

While fjords are admired worldwide for their unique beauty, a new study has found that these natural ecosystems also act as carbon sinks, playing an important role in regulating our planet’s climate.

Animals, Biology, News

Tiny hairs on bats’ wings act like airflow sensors – is this why they’re such great flyers?

Birds are great flyers, but few can rival the tenacious bat which hunts the tiniest prays: insects. Image: PIXGOOD

Apart from echolocation, bats have another ace up their sleeve that makes them formidable flying animals: tiny hairs that sense airflow and transmit this information to key areas of the brain. Here the info is decoded and used to steer the bats’ flight for pinpoint accuracy. In combination with echolocation, this makes bats awesome hunters even in pitch black darkness.

Animals, Environment, News, Pollution

25,000 Mexican Fisherman Sue BP Over Environmental Disaster

Image via BNet.

Five years after the British Petroleum catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, Mexican fishermen have still not received any compensation, so they’ve decided to sue the oil giant.

Animals, News

60% of large herbivores on the verge of extinction, bleak study finds

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The 74 largest terrestrial herbivores are on the verge of extinction, a new worrying study has found. All in all, over half of all large terrestrial herbivores are on the verge of extinction – and we’re to blame.

News, Renewable Energy, Technology

Why Tesla’s Battery Might Spell a Global Energy Revolution

The battery’s modern design promises to blend into any house. Image via Inhabitat.

About a month ago, we were telling you about a new battery for houses Tesla was working on, that might revolutionize home energy and bring forth massive change in renewable energy – now, the official announcement is out. Homeowners will be able to get the Powerwall battery, in 7 or 10 kilowatt modules, which will cost $3000 and $3500 respectively.

Art, Environment

Aesthetic arrangements from garbage? Alejandro Duran’s site-specific dirty decorations

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They say that one man’s trash is another man’s gold, but artist Alejandro Duran gave a whole new meaning to that saying. Walking along the coastline in Sian Ka’an, Mexico’s largest federally-protected reserve, he collects many bits of trash that wash up on the coast from all over the world and uses them for site site-specific installations for an ongoing project titled Washed Up. The

Environment, Green Living, News

HSBC advises caution when investing in fossil fuels, according to private note to clietns

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Amid crashing oil prices and a divestment movement from fossil fuels, one of the most important banks in the world, HSBC, advised its clients to exercise caution when considering investing in fossil fuel assets. This was communicated through a private report, called ‘Stranded assets: what next?’, picked up by Newsweek. Inside, analysts warn that fossil fuel companies might become economically non-viable in the future, considering tightening emission regulations throughout the world. Considering HSBC’s portfolio, we can only take this as a sign that the fossil fuel industry is growing increasingly vulnerable, while renewables are shifting gears and growing at a fast pace driven by technological advances.

Animals, Environment, News

Coral disease threatens Hawaii reef

Image via Reef Builders.

A disease called black band coral disease is affecting nearly half of the reef sites researchers have surveyed in waters off Kauai and threatens to destroy Hawaii’s reefs, according to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Design, News, Renewable Energy

This beautiful stained glass window doubles as a solar panel

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We’ve written several times that scientists have managed to develop colored glass usable as a solar panel; of course, the glass won’t absorb as much energy as traditional, black panels, but it’s still something – and it’s pleasant to the eye as well. Dutch designer Marjan van Aubel had an interesting take on how to use the technology, developing this beautiful stained glass window which generates electrical current by absorbing sunlight.