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Environment


— Environment

Breaking down humanity's contribution to climate change

Over the past 100 years, global temperatures have risen by an average amount of 0.8° C (1.4° F), which according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), is due largely to humanity's release of pollutants into the atmosphere. Now an international team of researchers has analyzed almost 40 years worth of data in order to quantify exactly what fraction of the change can be attributed to mankind based on events and trends in different regions.

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— Environment

"Light recycling" tech could save incandescent bulbs from obsolescence

Incandescent light bulbs may put out a warmer-looking, more familiar type of light than LEDs or compact fluorescents, but they're far less efficient – the majority of the energy they use is wasted, mainly in the form of heat. Technology may save them yet, however. Scientists at MIT and Purdue University have developed an ultra-efficient new incandescent bulb that reuses the heat it gives off, converting that heat into more light.

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— Environment

Air-purifying filter made from peanut shells

There are a lot of peanuts grown in Mexico. Needless to say, the processing of them results in a lot of discarded peanut shells, which are generally considered to be a worthless byproduct. That could be about to change, however. Led by biotech expert Raul Pineda Olmedo, a team from the National University of Mexico and the Research Center of Advanced Studies has developed an air-purifying filter that utilizes the shells.

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— Environment

Cheap, waterless toilet that turns waste into clean water and power to be trialed in Africa

A cheap, easy to maintain, "green" toilet that uses no water and turns human waste into electricity and clean water will be trialed in 2016, possibly in Ghana. Dubbed the "Nano Membrane Toilet" by its creators from Cranfield University, UK, this new approach to managing waste could help some of the world's 2.3 billion people who have no access to safe, hygienic toilets.


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— Environment

Ocean Cleanup project to test its first trash-catching barriers in Dutch waters

Scooping up all the plastic waste in the world's oceans would be a massive undertaking given that scientists estimate there's around 5 trillion pieces of it currently bobbing about in the water. But the Ocean Cleanup project believes it is up to the challenge and has today announced plans for the first real-world test of its rubbish collection barriers off the coast of The Netherlands.

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— Environment

Researchers develop fermentation process to produce biofuels from waste biomass

Imagine a world where vehicles run on beer. Some might think of this as a devastating waste of good hops, but a University of Maryland (UMD) team sees a lot of promise for the idea. The team has been awarded a patent for a process that uses natural microorganisms to ferment biomass or gases into hydrocarbons. In short, they've figured out how to brew gasoline naturally.

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— Environment

SmartFin gathers ocean data while users surf

When it comes to assessing the health of the oceans, scientists already utilize buoys and autonomous vehicles that monitor the deep waters. What they're lacking, however, is information on the waters close to shore – it's an area that's too shallow and/or turbulent for the usual tools. That's why SmartFin was created. It's a surfboard fin, that will allow surfers to gather oceanographic data for scientists.

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— Environment

Arctic winter observations show higher-than-expected methane emissions

A new study led by researchers from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and San Diego State University (SDSU) has examined the amount of methane gas escaping from the Arctic – a key component of global warming. The results go against conventional theory, finding that a much larger amount of the gas escapes during the Arctic winter than previously thought.

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— Environment

Ocean-friendly Seabin sucks up surrounding sea trash

The mounting plastic waste in the world's oceans has been the subject of of some pretty bold environmental undertakings, perhaps none more so than the Ocean Cleanup Project aiming to eradicate the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The Seabin Project represents a smaller-scale approach, but it is noble in its aspirations all the same. Installation in ports and marinas sees this ocean-friendly trash can suck up the surrounding debris and even remove oil from the water.

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