Ocean cleanup device successfully collects plastic for first time

Floating boom finally retains debris from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, creator says A huge floating device designed by Dutch scientists to clean up an island of rubbish in the Pacific Ocean that is three times the size of France has successfully picked up plastic from the high seas for the first time. Boyan Slat, […]

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How Plastic Straws Slip Through the Cracks of Waste Management

Earlier this year, a three-year-old video of researchers extracting a long, twisted tube from a reptile’s bleeding nostril went viral. To date, it has accumulated more than 30 million views and set off a moral panic. The straw that broke the turtle’s beak also did a number on the camel’s back. Company like Starbucks, Ikea, […]

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Neolithic chewing gum helps recreate image of ancient Dane

Analysis of birch tar describes a female hunter-gatherer with dark skin and blue eyes At the dawn of the Neolithic era, a young woman discarded a lump of ancient chewing gum made from birch tar into a shallow, brackish lagoon that drew fishers to the coast of southern Denmark. Nearly 6,000 years later, researchers excavating […]

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We Need a Data-Rich Picture of What’s Killing the Planet

You’ve probably heard about the plague of plastic trash in the oceans. You’ve seen YouTube videos of sea turtles with drinking straws in their noses, or whales with stomachs full of marine litter. But how much plastic is out there? Where is it coming from? We don’t really know, because we haven’t measured it. “There’s […]

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‘Reconstruction’ begins of stone age lands lost to North Sea

Scientists to create 3D map of submerged Mesolithic landscape of Doggerland Lost at the bottom of the North Sea virtually eight millennia ago, a vast land area between England and southern Scandinavia which was home to thousands of stone age settlers is about to be rediscovered. Marine experts, scientists and archaeologists have spent the past […]

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Monterey Bay Is a Natural Wonder–Poisoned With Microplastic

California’s Monterey Bay is one of the more pure, more dynamic coastal ecosystems on Earth. Otters–once hunted nearly to extinction–float among towering kelp woods, which themselves have rebounded thanks to the booming otter population’s appetite for kelp-loving sea urchins. Great whites visit from time to time, as do all manner of whales and dolphins. All […]

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Humans Built This Planet Hell. Hopefully We Can Help Some Species Adapt

This week the UN released a horrifying report–by the thousands of writers around the world–warning that a million species of plants and animals face extinction in the next few decades. That’s one in four species on this planet that could soon disappear. Virtually every human activity–agriculture, energy production, fishing, urbanization–is conspiring to destroy life on […]

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How to Save a Town From Rising Waters

This story originally appeared on CityLab and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration. The only land route that connects Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana, to the rest of the continental United States is Island Road, a thin, four-mile stretch of pavement that lies inches above sea level and immediately drops off into open water on either side. Even […]

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Fukushimas Other Big Problem: A Million Tons of Radioactive Water

The tsunami-driven seawater that engulfed Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has long since receded. But plant officials are still struggling to cope with another dangerous flood: the enormous amounts of radioactive water the crippled facility generates each day. More than 1 million tons of radiation-laced water is already being kept on-site in an ever-expanding forest […]

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