Environment

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Those ‘flushable’ wipes sure are a gross problem. Combined with nappies (diapers), condoms, tampons and congealed fat, they can stick together to form a gargantuan ‘fatberg’, like the one currently clogging up a section of London’s sewers. At 130 tonnes (143.3 tons) and covering 250 metres (820 feet), it’s the biggest ever unearthed in Britain.
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When people picture sand spread across idyllic beaches and endless deserts, they understandably think of it as an infinite resource. But as we discuss in a just-published perspective in the journal Science, over-exploitation of global supplies of sand is damaging the environment, endangering communities, causing shortages and promoting violent conflict.   Skyrocketing demand, combined with
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Australian scientists investigating ice caves under Antarctica’s glaciers say they are so warm they could support animals and plants. Around Mount Erebus, an active volcano on Ross Island in Antarctica, steam has hollowed out extensive cave systems.   Dr Ceridwen Fraser from the ANU Fenner School of Environment and Society says forensic analyses of soil
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That we are in the midst of a mass extinction event is no secret. As climate change melts glaciers, warms oceans, and throws off weather patterns, organisms all over the planet are being pushed to their biological limits and made more vulnerable to disease. By some estimates, 75 percent of species on the planet could disappear during the course of this extinction
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Environmentalists are celebrating after a Brazilian court blocked an attempt by the country’s president to allow mining in a massive protected reserve in the Amazon rainforest. Brazilian president Michel Temer sparked outrage last week when he issued a decree abolishing a protected area called the National Reserve of Copper and Associates (aka Renca) to open
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Controversy around the Dakota Access Pipeline continues with the latest news that the company behind the oil pipeline is now suing Greenpeace and other environmental groups who were involved in extensive protests against the project. On Tuesday, Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) filed a federal lawsuit, alleging the dissemination of “materially false and misleading information” about
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A comprehensive analysis of almost 40 years’ worth of ExxonMobil communications has found that the company consistently misled the public on the mechanisms of climate change. In a new peer-reviewed study investigating nearly 200 climate change documents from the oil and gas giant, researchers discovered a damning discrepancy between what the company internally acknowledged versus
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In an effort to improve the efficiency of natural photosynthesis, a researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, has created cyborg bacteria. These bacteria were trained to grow and cover their bodies with tiny semiconductor nanocrystals that act as efficient solar panels for harvesting sunlight.   Although most life on Earth relies upon photosynthesis as
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Scientists have developed a packaging-free, instantly dissolvable milk capsule that you can drop straight into your hot beverage, making them easier to use than the conventional little cartons we’re all used to, and reducing waste along the way. They’re essentially like sugar cubes but for milk, and the team behind them says they’re produced along
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An expedition has been launched to help solve the mysteries of Zealandia, an underwater continent to the east of Australia. The drill ship JOIDES Resolution is visiting Townsville today before a two-month expedition that is part of the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP).   The expedition led by The Australian National University will also look