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Environment

Shaken, not stirred: How climate change can upset the chemistry of freshwater lakes

Much like James Bond's favorite cocktails, freshwater lakes need to be shaken up in order to make sure vital ingredients are evenly distributed within. Without a giant cocktail shaker at its disposal, nature carries out this task by way of big storms in the colder months that turn over the bodies of water and preserve the health of the ecosystem. But scientists are now warning that rising surface temperatures may bring an end to this, which would give algae new rein over these lakes and seriously threaten fish populations and vital freshwater resources.Read More

Quickfire carbon capture method turns CO2 into solid rock within two years

Carbon capture and storage, or carbon sequestration, is one approach proposed to offset mounting C02 emissions, but the possibility of gas seeping out and escaping into the atmosphere is one of the factors holding the technology back. Researchers have now come up with a technique that promises to overcome this problem, finding that injecting CO2 into volcanic rocks can turn the gas solid within two years, which is a drastically shorter timeframe than the centuries or millennia the current scientific consensus suggests.Read More

Cashed up Ocean Cleanup project to forge ahead with real-world testing

The mounting trash in the sea is a big problem that will take a large-scale solution. Numerous ideas have been put forward, but perhaps none with the big-picture feel of catching plastic waste in floating arms that stretch for 100 km (62.1 mi) across the ocean surface. The Ocean Cleanup Project has now edged a little close towards this goal, banking more than US$1.5 million in funding to move ahead with the first real-world test of its garbage collection barriers.Read More

Adidas runs with first batch of ocean plastic footwear

The first batch of Adidas footwear to be produced using ocean plastic has been made available. The sportswear brand partnered with Parley for the Oceans to create the Adidas x Parley, which is made with plastics collected in coastal areas of the Maldives, as well as illegal deep-sea gill nets.Read More

This machine draws fertilizer from sewage

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB in Stuttgart, Germany, have developed a new method to harvest phosphorus, a key component of agricultural fertilizers, from wastewater. It incorporates a reactor that is environmentally-friendly, doesn't rely on chemicals, and is ready to be marketed.Read More

Toothpaste pods brush away waste

Few people would look at toothpaste tubes as being in need of improvement, until, perhaps, they realize how long they take to decompose and how many get thrown away. Poppits toothpaste, however, doesn't come in a tube, but in waste-free pods that dissolve in the mouth.Read More

Scientists take the fish out of fish food

It's one of the great environmental ironies of aquaculture – although the fish themselves come from farms, the food that they're raised on still contains wild-caught fish. A few years ago, however, a study showed that prawns could be fed microbes instead of fish byproducts. Now, a more recent study has concluded the same thing about tilapia, one of the most farmed fish in the world.Read More

Latest bionic leaf now 10 times more efficient than natural photosynthesis

Over the last few years, great strides have been made in creating artificial leaves that mimic the ability of their natural counterparts to produce energy from water and sunlight. In 2011, the first cost-effective, stable artificial leaves were created, and in 2013, the devices were improved to self-heal and work with impure water. Now, scientists at Harvard have developed the "bionic leaf 2.0," which increases the efficiency of the system well beyond nature's own capabilities, and used it to produce liquid fuels for the first time.Read More

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