Environment, News, Pollution

City of Hamburg to build public green spaces atop of noisy highway and become car free in 20 years

Image via Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment

Three public parks will cover an Autobahn (highway) that passes through the city of Hamburg, in Germany. The 8,000-mile road network runs through Hamburg’s city center, dividing the city into an eastern and western half and creating a lot of disturbing noise. The problem will be solve through the addition of the green spaces. The highway causes two main problems –

Climate, News, Science

US lawmakers in charge of NASA and environmental funding don’t understand science

Springer

The people in charge of funding for NASA and environmental research, Republican senators Ted Cruz and James Inhofe, have a record of not understanding science and making pseudoscientific affirmations. While I won’t discuss the politics here (we never do), the fact that such important matters fall onto the shoulders of people known to be pretty much adversaries of science cannot be left unchecked.

Environment, Environmental Issues, Pollution

Drugs and Environmental Damage: An Often Undiscussed Truth

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When drugs are imported into the United States, the people responsible aren’t just damaging human lives; they may also be wreaking havoc on the environment. The illegal drug industry is harmful to nature in ways the average person may have never realized; let’s take a look at how this happens.

Animals, Biology, News

Drexel University to Exhibit Half-Male, Half-Female Butterfly

Image via Drexler University.

Buttereflies are pretty awesome insects – the pupal transformation into a butterfly through metamorphosis is one of the most spectacular processes in the biological world. For one month, until February 16, Drexler University will exhibit a spectacular sample: a butterfly suffering from bilateral gynandromorphism – in other words, a butterfly that is half male, half female.

Environment, News

Blue visible light can be used as insect killer, research shows

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Keeping insects at bay is more than eliminating a simple nuisance – in many some parts of the world, it’s vital. Malaria, an infectious mosquito-borne disease kilss over 500,000 people every year, and the disease could be kept under control if the mosquito population was kept under control; this is where this study steps in.

Green Living, News, Renewable Energy

First man-made biological leaf might actually be useless

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If the leaf really works as the hype would have us believe, than it’s really a fantastic display of ingenuity. However there’s no paper, no data on tests that might tell us how efficient the leaf is at photosynthesis (if such tests even exist) and no solid scientific grounds that would suggest the leaf would actually work as intended. For the moment, it seems like this artificial leaf in question is more conceptual than it is practical.

Design, Green Living, Science

Biggest indoor farm is 100 times more productive than conventional agriculture

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An inspired entrepreneur, Shigeharu Shimamura, took an old semiconductor factory that was abandoned following the 2011 Japan disaster and turned it into the largest indoor farm in the world. Using state of the art growing technology, his company manages to make some 10,000 heads of lettuce per day out of the 25,000 square feet facility. This makes it 100 times more productive per square foot than traditional agriculture, all with 40% less power, 80% less food waste and 99% less water usage than outdoor fields.

Animals, Biology, News

Just like animals, plants closer to the Equator tend to be darker

Many flowers that appear uniform in color to humans (left) have patterns in the ultraviolet spectrum (right) that are used by pollinators. Interestingly, these patterns can also protect pollen from damage caused by solar UV radiation. (Credit: U. Pittsburgh)

In 1833, biologist Constantin Wilhelm Lambert Gloger showed that animals with warm blood that live closer to the equator tend to be darker. The finding took surprised biologists at the time and now, a new study has shown that this applies for flowers too.

Environmental Issues, News, World Problems

2014 was the 18th year straight warmer than the average in US, probably warmest yet worldwide

hottest year ever 2014

Right now the US is struggling with bone numbing chill, so it might be hard to digest this latest news: 2014 was the 18th straight year to have surpassed average 20th-century US temperatures, according to a report released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Meanwhile, a preliminary report issued by the Japanese meteorological agency claims 2014 was the warmest year yet worldwide. Final and definite figures concerning this are soon expected to be released by NASA as well.