Animals, Environmental Issues, News, Pollution, Science, Studies

Plastic debris in 90% of seabirds’ guts

Image via glogster

Researchers studying the plastic problem our ocean is facing predict that by 2050 nearly every single maritime bird species will have plastic pieces inside their digestive systems. The grim prediction is based on a new study showing that about 90 percent of seabirds today have plastic in their bodies.

Environment, Environmental Issues

Will Dyson’s River-Cleaning Vacuum Succeed Where Others Have Failed?

River

In 2014, Dutch teenager Boyan Slat made headlines when he came up with the so-called “Ocean Cleanup Array”—a floating barrier designed to cut down the Great Pacific Garbage Patch by 42 percent within 10 years. Since this was a revolutionary way to deal with the global marine pollution problem, Slat naturally drew a lot of praise, as well as criticism.

Biology, Environmental Issues, News, Studies

How humans turned “safari” to “safe” – what large mammals diversity worldwide would look without us

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The fact that the greatest biodiversity of large mammals we know of today is recorded in Africa is a legacy of past human activity, not climate or environmental phenomena, new study reveals. The paper theorizes at how the world today would look if Homo sapiens had never existed.
In a previous analysis, the researchers from Aarhus Univeristy, Denmark, they showed how the mass extinction of large mammals during the last Ice Age and the subsequent millennia, most notably the late-Quaternary megafauna extinction, is largely explainable by the expansion of modern humans across the world.

Climate, Environmental Issues, News

Not just ugly: grimy buildings help build smog in the sunshine

grimy building

For the first time, a group of researchers from Canada showed that the grime on buildings can emit ozone when exposed to light. Ozone is the main compound found in smog, a dangerous mixture to public health. Up until now, grimy urban buildings weren’t included in models that assess how polluted an urban area is, but the new findings suggest their contribution is significant. Dirty buildings are thus not only unpleasant to look at, but also detrimental to your health.

Environmental Issues, News, World Problems

Ecuador declares state of national emergency as Cotopaxi volcano wakes

Grazing bad.
Image via wikimedia

A state of emergency has been declared this Saturday by Ecuador’s president, Rafael Correa. The measure was taken as a precaution given the recent increase in volcanic activity of the Cotopaxi stratovolcano, allowing the government greater freedom to allocate financial resources and critical personnel in the event of an eruption.

Environment, Environmental Issues, News, Science, World Problems

We’ve gone into resource overdraft for the 45th year in a row

An overexploited Madagascar Logging camp.
Image via dailymail

This is the day that humanity’s consumption exceeds the amount of resources than our planet can supply in that year. Overshoot day comes sooner each year; we hit that day on August 19 in 2014. This year it was August 13, a full six days earlier.

Climate, Environment, Environmental Issues, News

Drought and low aquifer levels made the Guadalupe river vanish

The Guadalupe watercourse.
Image via wikipedia

Vidal Mendoza, a U.S. Geological Survey hydrologic technician, has been spending his past Tuesday scanning the upper Guadalupe River, looking for the right spot to measure the flow of the water.

Perhaps more accurately, Mendoza has been spending his past Tuesday on a hot, mostly dry riverbed searching where the river should have been.

Chemistry, Environmental Issues, News

Copper clusters could revolutionize CO2 capture and turn it into fuel to boot

The copper tetramer catalyst created by researchers at Argonne National Laboratory may help capture and convert carbon dioxide in a way that ultimately saves energy.
Credit: Image courtesy Larry Curtiss, Argonne National Laboratory

The chemical reactions used to make methanol from carbon dioxide rely on a catalyst to speed up the conversion, and scientists identified a new material that could fill this role. With its unique structure, this catalyst can capture and convert carbon dioxide in a way that ultimately saves energy.

Biology, Environmental Issues, News

Mutation in daisies near Fukushima might not be caused by radiation

via Twitter user

After a twitter user and photographer from a city 110 km from Fukushima posted photos of mutated flowers, people started to freak out all over the internet that these plants suffered mutations due to the devastating nuclear incident from 2011 in Fukushima, Japan. According to the photographer @san_kaido, the radiation level near the daisies was measured at 0.5 μSv/h at 1m

Environmental Issues, World Problems

Global Scientists Shocked by True Scale of Ocean Warming

The last Polar Bear

When talking about global warming, we often tend to think about droughts, water shortage and desertification. But we must not forget that 72%, almost three quarters of our planet is covered in oceans – and believe it or not, that’s where global warming will strike the hardest. A thorough study Oceanic global warming is causing many marine species to change