Environment

New Chevron oil spill in Utah – bird refuge threatened

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It’s Chevron’s third oil spill in three years in Utah alone; a June 2010 spill involved more than 30,000 gallons of crude oil near Red Butte Gardens in Salt Lake City, while a December 2010 leak near the same site involved about 21,000 gallons. This time, the spill was originally thought to be 27,000 gallons, but new estimates put the

Animals, Research, World Problems

Humans caused ancient Pacific bird extinction that killed 10% of world bird population

The Takahe is a flightless bird that was previously thought to be extinct in New Zealand until it was discovered in the 1950s in a remote region of the South Island.(c) Tim Blackburn

A new study sheds new light on the impact humans had on the local aviary fauna in the Pacific, after the authors conclude that human colonization of the Pacific Islands is the main driving factor that wiped out some 1,300 bird species in the area or roughly 10% of the entire bird population on the planet. The study also shows

Climate, Oceanography, World Problems

Study suggests global warming has in fact accelerated in the past 15 years

Ocean Heat Content from 0 to 300 meters (grey), 700 m (blue), and total depth (violet) from ORAS4, as represented by its 5 ensemble members. The time series show monthly anomalies smoothed with a 12-month running mean, with respect to the 1958–1965 base period. If you take the past 15 years, it looks a lot like an exponential function to me.

You’ve probably heard it a few times: the climate is indeed warming up, but it’s all good, because the rate at which it is warming up is slowing down. But a new study published in Geophysical Research Letters analyzing ocean warming (which represents 90% of global warming) claims otherwise. Accelerating global warming Contrary to the rather popular belief, global warming

Animals, Environmental Issues, Studies

Animal hybridization accelerated by climate change

Brown-polar-bear hybrids at Germany’s Osnabrück Zoo. (c) Corradox/Wikimedia Commons

What do you get when you cross a grizzly bear with a polar bear? Simple, a prizzly bear or golar bear, depending on the side you’re looking from. What about a narwhal with a beluga whale? A narluga! No, these aren’t childish word plays, nor elaborated photoshop attempts – these animals truly exist and come as a result of animal

Renewable Energy, Technology

Nanowires break solar cell cell theoretical maximum efficiency and usher in a new era of solar power

The figure shows that the sun's rays are drawn into a nanowire, which stands on a substrate. At a given wavelength the sunlight is concentrated up to 15 times. Consequently, there is great potential in using nanowires in the development of future solar cells. (credit: Niels Bohr Institute)

One of the biggest hurdles the solar energy industry currently faces is efficiently transforming the incoming energy from the sun’s rays. Vast fields of solar panels are a common sight, but truth of the matter is their energy output is quite low, which puts them at a technical and economic disadvantage from other renewable solutions and, most important to consider,

Animals, Genetics

Better looking specimens have healthier children, a study on great tits shows

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Great tits are widespread species throughout Europe, the Middle East, Central and Northern Asia, and parts of North Africa in any sort of woodland. They tipically don’t migrate, except for very harsh winters. According to a new paper published in BioMed Central’s open access journal Frontiers in Zoology, the female’s appearance can be correlated with healthy attributes in offspring. The

Geology, World Problems

Dinosaur wipeout caused by comet, not asteroid – new study finds

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The current leading theory that explains the mass extinction of the dinosaurs – once the dominant group of animals on Earth for millions of years – states that an asteroid impact some 65 million years ago brought their demise, wiping them out along with 70% of all life on the planet. A new study, however, suggests based on sedimentary analysis

Animals

Scientists want to ‘de-extinct’ 22 species, including the wooly mammoth, the Dodo bird and the tasmanian tiger

The passenger pigeon is a perfect example of how destructive humans can be.  In the mid 1850, some 3.5 - 5 BILLION passenger pigeons existed. They went extinct in under 50 years, due to habitat loss and meat consumption.

So far… it’s re-extinction Almost 10 years ago, on July 30, 2003, a team of Spanish and French scientists reversed time. They brought an animal back from extinction, if only just to see it go extinct again. The animal they revived was a kind of wild goat known as a bucardo, or Pyrenean ibex. For tens of thousands of years,

Environment

Earth hour 2013

EarthHour_poster.pdf

Each year, towards the end of March, we mark Earth Hour – a worldwide event organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) that encourages households and institutions to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour to raise awareness about the need to take action on climate change. Sorry to the Australians and people from New Zealand for

Environment, Studies

How roads could help protect the environment instead of destroying it

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Rapidly expanding road networks are causing massive direct and indirect damage to forests but proper infrastructure planning and implementation could actually turn them into a net positive for the environment, argue researchers writing in the journal Science. William Laurance and Andrew Balmford have studied the severe negative environmental issues caused by expanding road networks in wilderness areas, including fostering illegal