How Long Will Australia Be Livable?
As the country suffers through one of its worst droughts on record, and heat waves shatter temperature records not once but twice within the same summer week, some are asking whether Australians can afford to keep returning to the same parched, scorched landscapes.
Kiribati: A Drowning Paradise In The South Pacific
UN estimates indicate that Kiribati could disappear in just 30 or 40 years. That’s because the average elevation is less than two meters above sea level. And some of the knock-on effects of climate change have made the situation more difficult.
The Key To Good Luck Is An Open Mind
What do these people have that the rest of us don’t? It turns out “ability” is the key word here. Beyond their level of privilege or the circumstances they were born into, the luckiest people may have a specific set of skills that bring chance opportunities their way.
The Drone Boat Of ‘Shipwreck Alley’
Divers flock from all over the world to see the wrecks for themselves each year — and last spring, they were joined by an unusual interloper: an autonomous boat named BEN. BEN is a self-driving boat that’s been tasked with making maps, and to help lay bare the long-lost secrets of the lakebed.
The Rail Industry’s Secret, Decades-Long Fight Against The Climate
For nearly 30 years, America’s four biggest rail companies—which move the majority of the country’s coal—have spent millions to deny climate science and block climate policy. They have joined or funded groups that attacked individual scientists and rejected reports from major scientific institutions.
The Brutal Reality Of Life Inside One Of The World’s Most Polluted Cities
In Quintero, oil leaks and pollution from heavy industry is taking a heavy toll on the health of local citizens. The air often tastes metallic, rather than of the sea. Even the beach looks darker than it should be. Now the fight is on to clean up one of Chile’s so-called “sacrifice zones”.
The Ingenious System Bringing Water To The Chinese Desert
The Karez is a modern-day engineering marvel and a prime example of a native people working with, not against, the forces of nature to deliver their needs – in this case, water. Today, this system nourishes an area called Grape Valley, once an oasis for weary travelers along the Silk Road.
Neuroscientists Reveal The “Dark Secret” Of Smart Decision-Making
Our perceptions—physical and cognitive—are unreliable, so the more people are involved in a decision, the more likely it is that they will reach a conclusion based on a debate over various sensations, challenging each others’ experiences of reality.
The Dark Side Of Electronic Waste Recycling
Electronics can be hazardous when disposed of improperly, and the Basel Action Network, or BAN, investigates the underground world of the e-waste trade. The nonprofit group secretly embeds trackers in discarded devices, then hands them to recyclers to see where they end up, exposing bad practices in the process.
L’Oréal’s Clip-on Sensor Tracks Your Exposure To UV Rays
The future of wearable skincare technology is roughly the size of an M&M. L’Oréal’s La Roche-Posay My Skin Track UV sensor clips onto clothing and measures the wearer’s exposure to UV radiation, a form of radiation that is known to damage skin and, in large amounts, cause skin cancer.
Can China Dump Its Waste Addiction?
China sent Australia’s recycling industry into a spin when it banned most waste imports. Now it’s tackling a home-grown rubbish crisis. Bill Birtles looks at China’s own war on waste and asks: is it winning?
Scientists Use Recycled Sewage Water To Grow 500-Acre Forest In The Middle Of Egyptian Desert
Serapium Forest is the most prosperous of Egypt’s 36 tracts of land that make up an ambitious program to combat desertification by creating sustainably managed commercial forests fed entirely by wastewater.
The Radical Plan To Save The Fastest Sinking City In The World
Many of our coastal cities are imperiled, but none have plotted an escape quite as audacious as Jakarta’s. President Joko Widodo plans to pick up and move the capital, along with 7 million people.
The Diabetes Patients Who Hacked A Pancreas
While diabetics anxiously awaited the release of commercial systems, tech-savvy diabetics and their loved ones worked on do-it-yourself systems. How could a bunch of hackers, working in their free time, create something medical manufacturing companies had yet to put on the market?
Medieval Spanish Ghost Town Becomes Self-Sufficient Ecovillage
It’s a utopian fantasy, discover a ghost town and rebuild it in line with your ideals, but in Spain where there are nearly 3000 abandoned villages, some big dreamers have spent the past 3 decades doing just that. One of the first towns to be rediscovered was a tiny hamlet in the mountains of northern Navarra.
Yemen’s Deadly Ghost Ship
Five miles off the coast of Yemen lies a floating bomb. An oil storage vessel called the FSO Safer has been sitting more or less unattended in the Red Sea for half a decade. The abandoned oil tanker with over a million barrels of oil on board is an environmental catastrophe waiting to happen.
Why Is Africa Building A Great Green Wall?
Eleven countries are planting a wall of trees from east to west across Africa, just under the southern edge of the Sahara desert. The goal is to fight the effects of climate change by reversing desertification.
With a Simple Twist, A ‘Magic’ Material Is Now The Big Thing In Physics
The stunning emergence of a new type of superconductivity with the mere twist of a carbon sheet has left physicists giddy, and its discoverer nearly overwhelmed.
Search and rescue teams train for the worst conditions. But the worst conditions are getting worse. Search teams are stretched. Rescuers are burning out. We are all less safe. Are search and rescue teams ready for the next big disaster?
How The U.S. Betrayed The Marshall Islands, Kindling The Next Nuclear Disaster
Between 1946 and 1958, the United States detonated 67 nuclear bombs on, in and above the Marshall Islands — vaporizing whole islands, carving craters into its shallow lagoons and exiling hundreds of people from their homes.
Can Sea Water Desalination Save The World?
Ocean water is saturated with salt, and undrinkable. Most of the freshwater is locked away in glaciers or deep underground. Less than one percent of it is available to us. So why can’t we just take all that seawater, filter out the salt, and have a nearly unlimited supply of clean, drinkable water?