Environment

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Over ten years ago, a tsunami triggered a disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant on Japan’s east coast. After the accident, large amounts of radioactivity contaminated the ocean leading to the imposition of a marine exclusion zone and huge reputational damage to the regional fishing industry. Huge volumes of contaminated water have accumulated
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As climates around the world grow harsher and increasingly unpredictable, concerns are increasing over our world’s food security. Already, yields of staple crops like maize and wheat are dropping in low-latitude tropical regions and in dry and drying regions such as African drylands and parts of the Mediterranean. Wealthy countries are far from immune. Australia
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The ozone layer that shields life on Earth from deadly solar radiation is on track to recover within decades, but controversial geoengineering schemes to blunt global warming could reverse that progress, a major scientific assessment warned Monday. Since the mid-1970s, certain industrial aerosols have led to the depletion of ozone in the stratosphere, 11 to
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Catastrophic floods, crop-wilting droughts, and record heatwaves this year have shown that climate change warnings are increasingly becoming reality, and this is “just the beginning”, experts say, as international efforts to cut planet-heating emissions founder. The year did see some important progress, with major new legislation, particularly in the United States and Europe, as well
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Scientists have discovered a new way to break apart ‘forever chemicals’, the notoriously stubborn pollutants that contaminate our waterways and threaten public health, contributing to a growing list of potential methods of dealing with the long-lived compounds. News of a simple, low-energy way to degrade some, but not all, forever chemicals came in August from
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Some parts of the Arctic don’t look very polar anymore. Many regions are likely transforming from snowfall- to rainfall-dominant climates, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “At the fringes, the transition is essentially occurring already,” John Walsh, chief scientist at the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, said in
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A new study has revealed that small lakes on Earth have expanded considerably over the last four decades – a worrying development, considering the amount of greenhouse gases freshwater reservoirs emit. Between 1984 and 2019, global lake surfaces increased in size by more than 46,000 square kilometers (17,761 square miles), researchers say. That’s slightly more
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Our failure to decisively mitigate climate change is prompting researchers to examine more drastic approaches, like fertilizing the oceans to combat the massive excess of carbon dioxide in our air. “At this point, time is of the essence,” says Michael Hochella, an Earth scientist at the US Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. “To
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Fast-melting glaciers are releasing staggering amounts of bacteria into rivers and streams, which could transform icy ecosystems, scientists warn. In a study of glacial runoff from 10 sites across the Northern Hemisphere, researchers have estimated that continued global warming over the next 80 years could release hundreds of thousands of tonnes of bacteria into environments