There are sizeable numbers of people who hold to beliefs that run counter to overwhelming contrary evidence. Flat Earthers and Holocaust deniers are well-known examples and, more recently, people – some of them in high places – who reject the evidence for climate change. New research published in the journal Open Mind by developmental psychologists at […]
Earth Wise offers a look at our changing environment. Eco-friendly business practices, the latest environmental news, and how nature impacts our environment in ways never before considered.
The Greenland ice sheet is the second largest ice body in the world after the Antarctic ice sheet. It covers over 660,000 square miles, more than twice the size of the state of Texas. But it is melting. According to a new study published in the journal Nature, the Greenland ice sheet is melting faster […]
It’s no secret that sea levels along the East Coast of the United States are rising. But what’s less known is that the water isn’t rising at the same rate everywhere. As the climate continues to change, some cities may remain dry while others struggle to keep water out. During the 20th century, sea levels […]
News about the world’s coral reefs has been relentlessly bad for a number of years. Warming, acidifying oceans have wreaked havoc with coral reefs leading to enormous losses. Nowhere have things been more dire than in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Coral bleaching events have been increasingly common and severe over the past two decades. In […]
With a new year upon us, there are several energy trends to watch out for. The most important one is that the fundamental shift toward slow-carbon technologies is continuing. This shift is taking place despite diminishing government policy support and even active government efforts to thwart it. There is just too much momentum to stand in […]
There are approximately 7,000 languages spoken in the world today but only about half of them are expected to survive this century. There are many factors contributing to the decline in languages. Perhaps the most significant is globalization, which pushes countries and individuals to shift to national or international languages for economic reasons. Other factors […]
A new bio-composite material made from date palm fiber biomass could be used to produce sustainable, lightweight and low-cost parts for the automobile and marine industries. A team of researchers from the UK has developed a date palm fiber polycaprolactone composite that is completely biodegradable, renewable,sustainable and recyclable, in contrast to synthetic composite materials reinforced […]
The commercial hunting of whales nearly drove the giant mammals to extinction. By the 1960s, as hunting technologies improved and ships began to resemble floating factories, it became clear that whaling could not continue unchecked. But despite all this, commercial whaling was never actually banned. Instead, in 1986, members of the International Whaling Committee (IWC) […]
As atmospheric carbon dioxide levels continue to set new records and the effects of climate change grow stronger, humanity has continued to procrastinate on reducing emissions. As a result, it is increasingly clear that any strategy to avoid runaway climate change will have to involve the use of “negative emissions”- techniques or technologies that actually […]
It is estimated that air conditioners use about 6% of all the electricity produced in the United States for an annual cost of $29 billion. With rising temperatures, this expense is only going to get larger. A significant part of the heat load in buildings arises from heat coming through windows. It turns out that […]
Black coffee has a bitter taste. Bitterness evolved as a natural warning system to protect the body from harmful substances. By the logic of evolution, we should therefore want to spit coffee out, but obviously it doesn’t work that way. Caffeine itself has a particularly bitter taste. Surprisingly, a new study at Northwestern University has found […]
A technique pioneered by NASA for the purpose of growing plants extra-terrestrially is now being applied here on earth to fast-track improvements in a range of crops. The technique, known as speed breeding, has been adapted for use by British and Australian researchers on a scale ranging from vast greenhouses to desktop growth chambers. Speed […]
The transition from fossil fuel-based power plants to clean, renewable energy sources is accelerating as both wind and solar power get cheaper and increasingly become cost-competitive with traditional power sources. The biggest stumbling block both energy sources face is that they cannot always supply power on demand but require the sun to shine and the […]
The rapid expansion of cities around the world has accelerated in recent decades. If current trends continue, the equivalent of a city the size of London could be created every seven weeks by the year 2050, according to a study at Texas A&M University.
In the fall of 2017, Tesla took on the challenge of installing a 100-megawatt battery storage system in South Australia in under 100 days, promising that the system would be free if it was not built in time. The project was actually completed in 54 days. The system is located at the Hornsdale Wind Farm, […]
Last summer, the two largest supermarket chains in Australia – Coles and Woolworth’s – decided to stop offering single-use disposable plastic bags to customers. The initial public reaction was decidedly negative. However, within just three months after the radical change, the country’s National Retail Association reported an 80% drop in the consumption of plastic bags […]
In an engineering feat straight out of a weird science-fiction story, researchers at Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey have taken an ordinary white button mushroom and used 3D printing technology to coat it with graphene microribbons and cyanobacteria to produce a device that generates electricity.
It has become increasingly evident that reducing carbon dioxide emissions is not happening quickly enough to prevent runaway climate change and that negative emission techniques will need to be utilized as well. Negative emissions means removing carbon dioxide that is already in the atmosphere.
The ocean energy sector is still at an early stage of development. Despite the fact that the ocean is permanently in motion, extracting energy from that motion on a major scale continues to be a challenge. But the potential benefits of ocean technologies are compelling enough that many approaches continue to be pursued.
Researchers from the University of Wyoming have developed a computer model that can identify wild animals in camera-trap photographs with remarkable accuracy and efficiency. This breakthrough in artificial intelligence (AI), detailed in a paper recently published in the scientific journal Methods in Ecology and Evolution, represents a significant advancement in the study and conservation of […]