Environmental Science

The environment is truly a thing of beauty and should be protected whenever possible. What can we do to save the environment, and what new technology is available to help us?

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Nuclear power stands as one of humanity's greatest scientific achievements, as well as one of the greatest risks to its self-extermination. This collection of images highlights some of the main features of nuclear power.

By Rick Mayda

Whether you sail, surf, fish or collect shells, having one of these could help you out before you hit the water.

By Jennifer Horton

Diamonds are some of the most brilliant and expensive natural features Earth has to offer. This collection of images displays diamonds in all their uncut and polished shapes and sizes. Obligatory pictures of very large diamonds are included of course.

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

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The word "ozone" gets tossed around conversation as casually as a softball, but how many of us could really describe what the ozone layer is? The "hole" in it isn't exactly a hole.

By Jane McGrath

If you've ever walked the New York City streets in July, you've experienced the misery of this phenomenon. Why do cities heat up like furnaces while surrounding rural areas remain cooler?

By Jane McGrath

You might never notice the relentless movement of the oceans unless their waters went eerily still. What forces drive the oceans every second of the day?

By Jennifer Horton

Wind energy is great, but what happens when there's no breeze? The Iowa Stored Energy Park will store compressed air underground. Can it replace traditional energy sources?

By William Harris

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If oil shale can decrease U.S. dependence on foreign nations for oil, why aren't we making it yet? We're caught between a rock and a hard, geopolitical place.

By Josh Clark

Protecting the Earth is serious business for a radical group of environmental and animal activists dubbed eco-terrorists. Who are they? Why does the FBI consider them a top priority?

By Jennifer Horton

You don't have to think too hard to come up with a long list of candidates for this title, but one far-reaching environmental catastrophe stands above the others.

By Jennifer Horton

One grows from the ground and one from the ceiling, but sometime's it's hard to remember which is the stalactite and which is the stalagmite. How do they get there, anyway?

By John Fuller

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Scientists are stockpiling the world's seeds, organizing them in giant libraries of planting possibilities. Is every type of plant included? Or, are the seeds of pesky plants shunned?

By Debra Ronca

You might think of solar panels as large racks of rigid panels on someone's roof, but newer solar cells are more flexible and efficient.

By William Harris

Why waste drinkable water on your yard when your old bathwater will suffice? That's the idea behind gray water reclamation -- getting the most out of your water through reuse.

By Robert Lamb

A sustainable community might not be as radical as you think. What's so crazy about minimizing waste, reducing consumption and preserving green space?

By Jennifer Horton

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You've finally cleaned out your garage. Four cans of paint, a dead car battery and a circa 1991 Nintendo sit before you. But where in the world do you recycle these items?

By Debra Ronca

Popeye used the iron from spinach to morph into a formidable sailor. We know that iron is an essential component of the human body. But could it also be the answer to global warming?

By Jennifer Horton

How will Abu Dhabi's Masdar City function without cars, skyscrapers and fossil fuels? How is such a city even possible -- and what will keep it running?

By Jane McGrath

Polar bears are facing a grim future as global warming melts their Arctic home. What problems are they up against and what's being done to save them?

By Julia Layton

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Not all recycling is created equal. Some familiar recycled items are more "worth it" than others, and the hands-down winner may be in your recycling bin right now.

By Jennifer Horton

One company's SkyMine technology aims to capture industrial carbon dioxide emissions and turn them into an endlessly useful product: Baking soda. But how do pollutants become a household staple?

By Julia Layton

Earthquakes and volcanoes get all the press. But the landslides they trigger are often more devastating. What makes the ground suddenly rip downhill, taking trees and homes with it?

By Jennifer Horton & Mark Mancini

Thousands of women around the world choose to combat ecological problems -- they're known as ecofeminists. But what would you do if you found out your house sat atop a toxic waste dump?

By Winifred Fordham Metz

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No one likes paying bills. But you wouldn't have quite so many if you lived off the grid. How do you create enough energy to ditch public utilities?

By Charles W. Bryant

Carbon dioxide released from burning fossil fuels is a prime suspect in global warming. Could we mitigate the problem by burying the CO2 deep within the ocean?

By Josh Clark