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Environment

Edible six-pack rings to save marine life? We'll drink to that

Six-pack rings that make their way into the ocean spell all kinds of trouble for its residents, trapping and choking sea-dwelling animals or otherwise taking their sweet time to break down. So one Florida-based craft brewery is turning this curse into a blessing, tying its six-packs together with an edible material for marine life to feast on.Read More

New world record set for converting sunlight to electricity

An Australian team has set a new record for squeezing as much electricity as possible out of direct, unfocused sunlight via a new solar cell configuration. Engineers at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) achieved 34.5 percent sunlight-to-electricity conversion efficiency, a new mark that also comes closer than ever to the theoretical limits of such a system.Read More

Coffee grounds recycled as sustainable road material

Melbourne folk do love their coffee, and one day the beverage mightn't be just pepping them up for a day's work but paving the way for their trip into the office. Swinburne University researchers have scoured the campus' cafes for coffee grounds and used them as part of the mix for a more sustainable road construction material.Read More

Seismic vibrations provide a new, accurate way to monitor ice sheet decline

We currently measure changes in ice sheets via data gathered by missions such as NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite, or by flying planes over a region and using lasers to map topography. But there could be a better way, with a team of researchers, led by scientists at MIT, getting positive results from a new method that tracks seismic vibrations caused by ocean waves to measure changes in ice volume.Read More

How infecting carp with herpes can help save dying river systems

When carp were first introduced into Australia in the mid-19th century, acclimatizing settlers hoped the freshwater fish would bring a taste of home to their food and recreational activity down under. Today, these pests are running riot across the country's waterways, seriously compromising the health of its rivers and native species. The Australian government is now moving to cut populations through the controlled release of carp-specific herpes virus, which it says is capable of killing individual fish off within 24 hours. Read More

Increased CO2 levels are greening the Earth

Researchers studying NASA satellite data on the Earth's vegetation coverage have discovered that plants have significantly increased their leaf cover over the last 35 years to the point that new growth across the planet is equivalent to an area twice as large as the continental United States. According to the study, the largest contributor to this greening is the growing level of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere.Read More

Planes, ships and ground stations working together to study pollution

Next week, an international effort between NASA and the Republic of Korea's National Institute of Environmental Research (NIER) will see the two bodies working together on an ambitious, six-week set of observations designed to improve our understanding of air pollution. The project will include the use of three planes housing 37 different instruments, and more than 300 ground sites, working together to gather data that help in the development of new solution to combat poor air quality across the globe.Read More

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