Environment

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Australia is sweltering through an intense heatwave this week that’s scorching the country from coast to coast with temperatures as high as 49.3 degrees Celsius (120.7 degrees Fahrenheit). In numerous locations, temperature records have already been broken, with minimum overnight temperatures in three towns of 33°C (91°F) showing even the night offers no escape from
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As Europe wilted in the sweltering, record-breaking harshness of summer 2018, strange things happened. Mysterious outlines of ancient societies revealed themselves across the seared landscape, but it’s not just traces of ghostly architecture resurfacing. So too are grim words of warning. Inscribed boulders known as ‘hunger stones’ are reappearing in Czechia after a prolonged drought afflicting
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Earlier this year, researchers found a deposit of rare-earth minerals off the coast of Japan that could supply the world for centuries, according to a study. The study, published in the journal Nature in April 2018, says the deposit contains 16 million tons of the valuable metals. Rare-earth minerals are used in everything from smartphone batteries
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The fate of civilisation itself lies squarely in the hands of today’s leaders, Sir David Attenborough has warned in a strident address on behalf of the world’s peoples. Speaking at the opening of the United Nations COP24 Climate Change Conference in Katowice, Poland, Attenborough implored the assembled delegates and decision-makers to listen to the voices
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The Woolsey and Paradise wildfires brought widespread devastation to California in November, killing more than 90 people and torching 250,000 acres of land. With the fires now fully contained, residents have returned home to find nothing but scorched foundations. Officials are still on the hunt for hundreds of missing people – a process made more
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The federal government on Friday released a long-awaited report with an unmistakable message: The effects of climate change, including deadly wildfires, increasingly debilitating hurricanes and heat waves, are already battering the United States, and the danger of more such catastrophes is worsening. The report’s authors, who represent numerous federal agencies, say they are more certain
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Slow-motion collisions of tectonic plates under the ocean drag about three times more water down into the deep Earth than previously believed, according to a seismic study that spans the Mariana Trench. The observations from the deepest ocean trench in the world have important implications for the global water cycle, researchers say. “People knew that
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Researchers have developed catalysts that can convert carbon dioxide—the main cause of global warming—into plastics, fabrics, resins, and other products. The electrocatalysts are the first materials, aside from enzymes, that can turn carbon dioxide and water into carbon building blocks containing one, two, three, or four carbon atoms with more than 99 percent efficiency. Two
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Humanity is likely responsible for the death of yet another sperm whale. After it washed ashore Kapota Island in the Wakatobi National Park in Indonesia, park officials found its stomach full of plastic. Over 1,000 individual pieces were found, including 115 plastic cups, 25 plastic bags, two flip-flops, and a sack containing over 1,000 pieces