Animals, News

Journalist Uses GPS Trackers and Fake Elephant Tusks to Reveal Smuggling Route

Image credits: Brent Stirton.

Every year, over 30,000 elephants are murdered, slaughtered for their tusks. Ivory is an extremely valuable commodity, and many people will stop at nothing to get it and sell it. With this in mind, investigative journalist Bryan Christy set out to see what the smuggling route is, so he commissioned a taxidermist to create two fake ivory tusks, which he embedded with

News, Renewable Energy, Science

The UK plans to build the world’s largest wood-burning power plant

Artist's rendering of the biomass-fired power plant at Teesside.
Image via inhabitat

Investment in the renewable project is estimated to reach £650m ($1bn), which will be partly funded through aids from the European Commission, and construction works would create around 1,100 jobs. Environmental technology firm Abengoa, based in Spain, along with Japanese industry giant Toshiba will be leading the project for their client, MGT Teesside, subsidiary to the British utility MGT Power.

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.

Climate, News, Science, World Problems

Ever-growing population and climate instability will lead to severe food shortages by 2050

foodshortages

The food industry has become much more efficient in the last few decades as a result of globalization, but also a lot more vulnerable to shocks. Climate change will lead not only to increased temperatures, but the extreme weather it causes in North, South America and Asia are likely to also lead to global food shortages.

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.

Animals, Biology, News

Ants can tell who’s who using their crazy sense of smell

ant smell

Maybe the most amazing of social insects, ants use complex cues of pheromones to determine to which cast in the colony each individual ant belongs to. A team at University of California at Riverside found ants do this by sniffing out hydrocarbon chemicals present on their cuticles (outer shell). These cues are extremely subtle, but the ants can sense them with great sensitivity due to the way they’re hardwired. It’s enough to notice that ants have more olfactory receptor proteins in their genome than we humans have. Amazing!

Animals, Biology, News

Drones are stressing bears and other wildlife

In this remarkable capture from above, we see a grizzly bear guarding a massive bison carcass. The photograph was taken by Doug Smith at Yellowstone National Park. Smith, who is the leader of Yellowstone’s Wolf Project, suspects that the bear happened upon the recently deceased bison and has now assumed ownership of the meal against other would be diners such as wolves [Source: BettPratt.com].

The buzzing racket of quadcopters and drones may be stressing wildlife, a new study shows. Drones have long ceased to be the provision of the military, and are now extensively been used for civilian purposes. Amazon, for instance, wants one day to deliver all its goods with unmanned aerial vehicles. In research, drones have proven to be particularly useful in observing wildlife. But these aren’t as unobtrusive as some might believe and future research should take into account that flying drones overhead should be done carefully so as to not disturb the wildlife.

Animals, Biology, News

Tasmanian devil might get reintroduced to Australia after 3,000 years absence

You're next, wallaby! Image: San Diego Zoo

Some conservationists are considering introducing the Tasmanian devil, currently only found in Australia’s island state of Tasmania, back to the mainland. The devil went extinct on the mainland some 3,000 years ago, and scientists hope the predator might restore balance to the local ecosystem, currently destabilized by too many cats and foxes.

Environment, News, Technology

Reinventing the shower: new shower head uses 70% less water

Image via Nebia.

Shower heads are generally not very different one from another. Sure, you can get a different pressure, a different type of water jet, some have temperature control, but all in all, they’re the same thing. But now, a San Francisco start-up wants to change that: they’ve developed a new shower head that consumes 70% less water, while cleaning you up

Climate, News, World Problems

Striking new atlas shows dramatic extent of Arctic ice loss

national geographic atlas

Every five years for more than a century, National Geographic releases an atlas of the world complete with the latest geographic and geologic cartographic representations. The latest edition of Atlas of the World can be quite terrifying if you move up north, in the Arctic, for it shows just how dramatic ice loss has been in the past decades. For comparison, the GIF above stitches three edition (7th and 10th) from 2000 to 2015. The latest caption shows the Arctic as it had been in 2012, during its record low ice extent.