Month: September 2020

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Global warming is making the oceans more stable, increasing surface temperatures and reducing the carbon they can absorb, according to research published Monday by climate scientists who warned that the findings have “profound and troubling” implications.   Man-made climate change has increased surface temperatures across the planet, leading to atmospheric instability and amplifying extreme weather
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Tarantulas don’t just come in brown and black. These large, hairy spiders can also display wonderful hues of blue, green, purple, and red. Yet tarantulas are most active at twilight, meaning they’re ‘crepuscular’ animals – where vibrant colours are significantly harder to see (at least for us). Until now, researchers didn’t know if they could even see
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For mouthless, lungless bacteria, breathing is a bit more complicated than it is for humans. We inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide; Geobacter – a ubiquitous, groundwater-dwelling genus of bacteria – swallow up organic waste and ‘exhale’ electrons, generating a tiny electric current in the process.   Those waste electrons always need somewhere to go (usually
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Wildfires are burning the West Coast, hurricanes are flooding the Southeast — and some of those storms are rising from the dead.  “Zombie storms”, which regain strength after initially petering out, are the newest addition to the year 2020. And these undead weather anomalies are becoming more common thanks to climate change.   “Because 2020,
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Raising Earth’s average surface temperature another degree Celsius will lock in 2.5 metres of sea level rise from Antarctica alone and an extra three degrees see the frozen continent lift oceans 6.5 metres, scientists warned Wednesday.   These devastating increases in the global waterline – enough to cripple coastal cities from Mumbai to Miami and
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The history of today’s stainless steel industry can be traced back to the early 19th century, when scientists noticed iron-chromium alloys resisted corrosion by certain acids. New research, however, suggests a similar alloy was being developed much, much earlier than this – even as far back as a thousand years ago.   Archaeologists have found what they
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Earth’s lost eighth continent, Zealandia, sank into the sea between 50 and 35 million years ago. Today, we know the tiny fraction of it that remains above the waves as New Zealand.   But before most of Zealandia disappeared – about 60 million years ago – ancient penguins walked upon the 2-million-square-mile continent (5.18 million square
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Hundreds of elephants that died mysteriously in Botswana’s famed Okavango Delta succumbed to cyanobacteria poisoning, the wildlife department revealed on Monday. The landlocked southern African country boasts the world’s largest elephant population, estimated at around 130,000.   More than 300 of the pachyderms have mysteriously died since March, with their intact tusks ruling out the
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The fall equinox comes this Tuesday at 9:30 am ET (1:30 pm UTC). Although not the best time to balance an egg (that’s an old wives’ tale), the equinox heralds the coming of autumn, cooler temperatures, and shorter days for the Northern Hemisphere, which houses about 90 percent of Earth’s population.   For the Southern Hemisphere, it signifies the opposite:
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As a species, humans have populated almost every corner of the earth. We have developed technologies and cultures which shape the world we live in. The idea of ‘natural selection’ or ‘survival of the fittest’ seems to make sense in Stone Age times when we were fighting over scraps of meat, but does it still
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Scientists in Japan have developed a paper-based sensor equipped with an array of extremely tiny microneedles, which they say can painlessly penetrate human skin for a quick and easy method of conducting diagnostic tests for conditions like pre-diabetes.   Microneedles are super tiny-spikes so small they’re measured in micrometres (one thousandth of a millimetre), designed
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The world’s most advanced telescopes were not made for today’s temperatures, and it’s messing with our observations of the night sky.  Three decades-worth of data from the Paranal Observatory in northern Chile – home of the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) – has revealed several ways in which climate change is already impacting
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Magnetism and electricity are linked together in many weird and wonderful ways throughout science, including the fascinating magnetoelectric effect noticeable in some crystals – where the electrical properties of a crystal can be influenced by a magnetic field, and vice versa.   Now things have gotten even weirder, because scientists have discovered a brand new