Environmental Issues, Pollution

Coal plant receives EPA approval to inject carbon emissions underground

Photo: Ralph Orlowski/Getty Images

The  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued the first ever permit that will allow a coal plant to store some of its carbon emissions underground, as a means of mitigating global warming. The idea has been around since George W. Bush, but time and time again its been scrapped largely for economic considerations. Ten years later, FutureGen Industrial Alliance Inc. has now…

Animals, Biology, News

Blue whales in California bounce back to 1900s numbers

Image: sandiegowhalewatching.com

We often report how many species around the world are becoming extinct, but it’s heart warming to report from time to time that some conservation efforts really do work. For instance, a new report found that Blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus), the largest animals on Earth, have steadily increased in population around the Californian waters to the point it’s almost as high as…

Climate, Environment, News

Study concludes there is a 99.999% chance of global warming being caused by humans

It's time to stop gambling our planet's temperature.  Kraevski Vitaly/Shutterstock

A new study concluded that there’s about a 1 in 100,000 chance that the global warming in the past 60 years is not caused by human-released greenhouse gas emissions. It’s much more a debate between TV shows and regular Joes than it is between scientists – you could basically call it a consensus by now, with over 99.83% of all…

News, Pollution, World Problems

High level of arsenic contamination found in groundwater near fracking sites

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Researchers at University of Texas at Arlington conducted tests on more than 100 water wells in Texas and found 30% of these contained ‘alarming’ amounts of arsenic, enough to be considered carcinogenic and seriously threatening human health. These contaminated wells were found in the vicinity of known fracking sites and prior to drilling these were found to be free of arsenic…

Environment, News, Technology

Thin metasurface absorbs sound near perfectly, while producing electricity at the same time

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Researchers at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology have created a thin metamaterial surface that is capable of absorbing nearly all of the acoustic energy (sound).  Unlike conventional sound absorbing material that is sometimes only effective when meters thick, the metasurface is deeply “subwavelength” and therefore much thinner. There’s a catch though: the system has been demonstrated for near perfect sound absorption…

Animals, Mind & Brain

Chimps outplay humans in strategy game

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For most people, it would seem clear that humans are the smartest creatures on the face of the Earth, but is this really the case? We are the ones who control the world, we create art, we understand our bodies and how the universe works – but are we innately more intelligent? A group of psychologists believe the answer to…

Animals, Videos

Amazing fungus gnat larvae group together to form a ‘snake’ [VIDEO]

Fungus gnats (Bradysia species) – also known as dark-winged fungus gnats, are small, mosquito-like insects often found in homes and offices, usually in the vicinity of houseplants. The larvae that hatch are legless, with white or transparent bodies and shiny black heads. From the first glimpse you’ll notice they’re not the prettiest sight, but what they lack in looks, they make up in cleverness….

Environment, Environmental Issues, News, Pollution

Ozone-depleting chemicals still spewed in atmosphere despite international ban

The ozone hole (purple and blue) covered much of Antarctica in 2006. Image: CAROLYN GRAMLING

NASA reports significant quantities of ozone-depleting chemicals are still leaching into the atmosphere despite an international ban signed by all the world’s governments thirty years ago. …

Animals, News, World Problems

One in eight birds threatened by biochemicals and climate change

Atlantic puffins live in cliffs along the Atlantic during summer time. Their colonies have been steadily vanishing. Photo: CYRIL RUOSO, MINDEN PICTURES/CORBIS

From the tropics to the poles, bird populations all over the world are facing a sharp decline, cornered by climate change and exposure to man-made biochemicals, namely pesticides. According to to BirdLife International, one in eight species (more than 1,300 species) of birds are under serious threat of becoming extinct. The list includes iconic birds of pray and song like eagles, vultures, swifts or swallows, but also seabirds like sandpipers, pelicans or storks. …

News, Renewable Energy, Technology

Stanford scientists split water with device that runs on an ordinary AAA battery

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Researchers from Stanford have found a way to split water into oxygen and hydrogen using very little energy; the hydrogen they obtain could be used to power fuel cells in zero-emissions vehicles. I’m quite excited for cars that run on hydrogen, which are set to hit the market in 2015; but while they are always presented as “zero emission cars”, many of…