Environment

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A new study suggests a potential change in tropical rain belt patterns could threaten the livelihoods and food security of billions of people. Today, the tropical rain belt brings with it heavy precipitation along the equator, but as different parts of Earth’s atmosphere heat up at different rates, this belt looks likely to become disrupted
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A new technique using diamonds and titanium has the potential to help remove plastic microfibres before they enter the environment, by decomposing them into naturally occurring molecules. It’s a secret the fashion industry would prefer to keep under wraps – most of our synthetic clothes are made of plastic, and they’re contributing to a big problem, shedding microplastic
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Forests and other land ecosystems today absorb 30 percent of humanity’s CO2 pollution, but rapid global warming could transform these natural ‘sinks’ into carbon ‘sources’ within a few decades, opening another daunting front in the fight against climate change, alarmed researchers have said. Climate skeptics often describe CO2 as “plant food”, suggesting that increased greenhouse
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The emergency is not invisible. But that doesn’t mean we can see it. After decades of inaction and ineffective action on biodiversity decline, climate change, and pollution, civilisation stands on the precipice of a “ghastly future” it has gravely underestimated, an international team of scientific experts warns in an unnerving new study published this week.
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Scientists are studying a major, once-in-a-century drought from Medieval Europe to better understand how extreme weather events indicate rapid climate changes. In the years leading up to the Little Ice Age, between 1302 and 1307, many regions on the European continent were facing exceptional heat and drought, according to historical records and data collected from
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Caught between rapidly expanding resource use and climate change-fuelled fires, the future of the Amazon rainforest and the stunning array of life teeming within it just keeps growing bleaker. In a new report for Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development geologist Robert Toovey Walker from University of Florida reviews recent research on the Amazon
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The world’s (former) largest iceberg continues to break apart into smaller pieces on the doorstep of a major marine wildlife haven and home to millions of macaroni and king penguins in Antarctica.  This comes less than a week after the mammoth iceberg, known as A68a, first split in two, Live Science recently reported.  Scientists at the US National
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With global travel curtailed during the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are finding comfort in planning future trips. But imagine that you finally arrive in Venice and the “floating city” is flooded. Would you stay anyway, walking through St. Mark’s Square on makeshift catwalks or elevated wooden passages – even if you couldn’t enter the Basilica or
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Massive greenhouse gas reserves, frozen deep under the seabed, are alarmingly now starting to thaw. That’s according to an international team of scientists whose preliminary findings were recently reported in The Guardian. These deposits, technically called methane “gas hydrates”, are often described as “fiery ice” due to the parlour trick of burning atop a Bunsen burner
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Even if humanity stopped emitting greenhouse gases tomorrow, Earth will warm for centuries to come and oceans will rise by metres, according to a controversial modelling study published Thursday. Natural drivers of global warming – more heat-trapping clouds, thawing permafrost, and shrinking sea ice – already set in motion by carbon pollution will take on
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Shellfish such as scallops, mussels, and oysters – bivalve molluscs – readily take up tiny specs of metals into their tissues and shells. In sufficient concentrations, this can harm their growth and survival chances, and even threaten the health of any human who eats their contaminated meat. Such shellfish provide one-quarter of the world’s seafood,