Environment

Boaty McBoatface. Credit: Povl Abrahamsen, British Antarctic Survey The first mission involving the autonomous submarine vehicle Autosub Long Range (better known as “Boaty McBoatface”) has for the first time shed light on a key process linking increasing Antarctic winds to rising sea temperatures. Data collected from the expedition, published today in the scientific journal PNAS,
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Credit: CC0 Public Domain It’s the stuff everyone tries to get rid of but that never really goes away: Hard-to-wash-out shampoo bottles, paper ice-cream tubs you can’t recycle, crinkly plastic cereal bags—the stuff that fills our trash cans, clogs our waterways, and ends up in floating, toxic masses in the ocean. With global attention on
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The world is changing as temperatures rise, and just as some parts of the planet are predicted to become uninhabitable, others are heading in the opposite direction – including the freezing cold wastelands of Siberia, new research shows. Siberia and the wider Asian Russia region accounts for 77 percent of Russia’s land area but just 27
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Ice is melting in unprecedented ways as summer approaches in the Arctic. In recent days, observations have revealed a record-challenging melt event over the Greenland ice sheet, while the extent of ice over the Arctic Ocean has never been this low in mid-June during the age of weather satellites. Greenland saw temperatures soar up to
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As the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) changes, it affects the trade winds, which blow from the east across the tropical Atlantic. When the NAO is high, the trade winds are stronger than normal, which in turn strengthens the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). But at the same time, the westerly winds over New England are
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Late last month scientists undertook a pretty amazing feat, successfully installing five automated weather stations across the Himalayan region, including the highest weather station in the world, near the very top of Mount Everest. In a long-form feature by National Geographic writer Freddie Wilkinson, the international team explain how they battled extreme weather, record crowds
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Researchers from ETH Zurich have developed a novel technology that produces liquid hydrocarbon fuels exclusively from sunlight and air. For the first time worldwide they demonstrate the entire thermochemical process chain under real field conditions. The new solar mini-refinery is located on the roof of ETH’s Machine Laboratory building in Zurich. Carbon-neutral fuels are crucial
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Despite being grown and consumed for over two decades, there’s still a huge amount of misinformation and confusion that surrounds genetically modified (GM) foods. Researchers tell us to ignore the myths about GM foods, given the overwhelming scientific consensus that GM crops are safe to eat and deliver huge benefits in farming. While the evidence
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As rain deluged the Midwest this spring, commercial fisherman Ryan Bradley knew it was only a matter of time before the disaster reached him. All that water falling on all that fertilizer-enriched farmland would soon wend its way through streams and rivers into Bradley’s fishing grounds in the Gulf of Mexico, off the Mississippi coast.
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If you had asked a botanist just a few years ago how many plant species have perished in modern times, their estimate would probably number fewer than 150. The most exhaustive study thus far has now quadrupled that amount. Ever since 1753, when Carl Linnaeus “the father of modern taxonomy” put together his classification of plant
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Simultaneous heat waves scorched land areas all over the Northern Hemisphere last summer, killing hundreds and hospitalizing thousands while intensifying destructive and deadly wildfires. A study published this week in the journal Earth’s Future concludes that this heat wave epidemic “would not have occurred without human-induced climate change.” The alarming part? There are signs record-setting
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