Pollution

Greenhouse gases reached record levels in 2011

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Greenhouse gas emissions are growing, growing and growing; the level of CO2 emitted by humans grew to 390.9 parts per million (ppm) – 40 percent above the levels in the pre-industrial age. Fossil fuels are the biggest are the biggest contributor to this volume, responsible for 375 billion metric tonnes (413.37 billion tons) of carbon that has been released into…

Animals

Apes go through mid life crisis too

sad orangutan

They may not take up surfing or start drinking or just being weird around cupcakes, but chimpanzees go through mid life crisis too – just like humans.   A survey of 508 great apes in captivity published today shows that the animals just get the blues from the late 20s to mid 30s, and their sense of well being just…

Environment, Renewable Energy

World Bank worries about global warming

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When the first major talks about global warming began, a top margin of 2 degrees was set for 2100, people slowly understood the globe is warming up much faster than previously expected, so the limit was pushed – first to 3 degrees, now to 4 degrees – and even this isn’t certain.   So heat waves and droughts should be…

World Problems

Mount Doom from LOTR set to erupt – in real life

Mount Ruapehu is the highest mountain on the North Island.

For his fantastic Lord of the Rings trilogy, director Peter Jackson relied on two volcanoes in New Zealand, Mount Ngauruhoe and Mount Ruapehu, to portray Mount Doom. The latter, however, is keen on showing that it can be bad off-screen as well, after geologists warn that it’s nearing an impending eruption. “The current situation can’t continue, Ruapehu is so active…

Animals, Oceanography

New study estimates 1 million marine species – one third still unknown

marine ecosystem

The world’s oceans are teeming with life, a new census estimating almost 1 million species out there; but marine life is declining, with the main causes being overfishing, ocean acidification and coastal damage. Avoiding a crisis The new numbers are just estimates, but they are much lower than previous studies, which put the number of species at around 10 million;…

Renewable Energy, Research

First wooden wind turbine installed in Germany is a lot more eco-friendly

timbertower wooden wind turbine

As of 2010 wind power amounted to 2.5% of the world’s energy production with an estimated 25% increase in quota each year. Yes, eolian  power is one of the cleanest forms of energy production, but like any other renewable sources, its no entirely all green. During a wind power turbine’s manufacturing hundreds of tons of steel are used, which translates…

Animals, Science

World’s leggiest creature found

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The elusive millipede species has 750 legs and was thought to be extinct. The leggiest creature lives in California – no big surprise there, is smaller than the average pinky and has a really strange anatomy. Aside for the 750 legs sported by females (about 550 by males), they spin silk from long hairs that cover their body, practically creating…

Animals

Poisoning rats is poisoning birds

owl

Law-makers in Canada and the US are making moves to restrict rat poisons based on blood thinners as studies show that the toxins accumulate in birds of prey and other animals. Blood thinning and rats For many people, rats are the worst pets, and they will use all sorts of methods to get rid of them; one method, really common…

Animals, Genetics

Brainless slime redefines intelligence, could solve real problems

Physarum polycephalum

Single cell amoebae can remember, make decisions and anticipate change, urging researchers to redefine what we perceive as intelligence as soon as possible. For gardeners, they are usually a pest, for some hikers, a nice view, and for researchers, they are protists, a taxonomic group reserved for “everything we don’t really understand,” says Chris Reid of the University of Sydney….

Other, World Problems

Chinese manufacturer of Apple iPads and iPhones wants to replace workers with 1 million robots

Foxbot Manufacturing Robot

Foxconn Taiwan is the world’s largest manufacturer of electronic components, most famous for being responsible for Apple’s iPad and iPhone assembly. Most of its plants and the gross of its 1.2 million workers are located in China. Recently, however, the company’s name has been long time criticized by international media outlets who in fine lines labeled Foxconn as a slave driver….