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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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New Technology Turns a Sunny Day into Safe Water

A new technology can speed the purification of water using sunlight, potentially providing clean water to billions of people.

What Do the Numbers Inside Recycling Symbols on Plastic Items Mean?

There are seven different numbers you might see on a plastic container. And each number has its own meaning.

Have We Hit the Peak Recycling Point?

The forward momentum on recycling has stalled in the U.S. and other countries, but some experts say there's still potential for growth.

Here's Where to Find the Cleanest Air in the World

Some cities, even large ones, are making big strides in improving air quality.

Cockroach Farms Turn Food Trash Into Treasure

Cockroaches are taking a big bite out of a Chinese city's trash problem.

Sastrugi: Nature's Beautiful Speed Bumps

Sastrugi are gorgeous snow formations found in the polar north, but they're also no fun to travel over.

Ancient Rock Arches Sing Songs

These ancient wonders aren't static sculptures; they vibrate and shift throughout the day, creating a variety of sounds as they stretch their aging, eroding 'bones.'

Lapis Lazuli Found in Teeth of Medieval European Woman

The pigment ultramarine was as expensive as gold in medieval Europe; so how did it end up in the teeth of a nun buried at a monastery in rural Germany?

Peat Bogs Are Freakishly Good at Preserving Human Remains

What makes these spongy, waterlogged areas of decaying plant matter so perfect at preservation? In a word: science.

Earth's Magnetic North Pole Has Rapidly Shifted in the Past 40 Years

Prior to the mid-1990s, the magnetic north pole traveled at speeds of around 9 miles per year. Now, it's 34 miles annually. What accounts for the acceleration?

Earth's Missing Crust Was Removed by Glaciers, New Study Says

Researchers hypothesize that missing rocks from the geologic record, known as the Great Unconformity, were sheared away by glaciers at a time when most — or all — of the world's surface was coated with ice.

5 Positive Environmental Stories From 2018

Believe it or not, despite all of the dire prognostications, there was some good news about the environment in 2018.

Pacific Garbage Patch Cleanup Device Suffers Breakdown

The ambitious project to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch has hit a few snags, but the team, led by a 24-year-old inventor is undaunted.

Scientists Develop Quick-Growing Coral Method to Save Dying Reefs

Coral grows faster when it's cut or broken and scientists are taking advantage of that to replenish depleted reefs.

What Makes a 'Killer' Lake Explode?

Lakes seem like serene places to escape and enjoy peace and quiet. So you'd probably be surprised to learn that a lake can actually explode without warning. It's happened, with deadly consequences.

Gigantic Undiscovered Cave Found in British Columbia

How, in today's world, could a cave this massive go undetected for so long?

Bricks Made of Urine — Our Pee Is 'Liquid Gold'

Urine is so much more valuable than we think. Soon, we might be building houses with pee bricks.

Palm Oil Is Everywhere. Here's Why That Matters.

Palm oil has become one of the most widely used substances on the planet, but its cultivation has been an environmental and human rights disaster.

Could Injecting Particles Into the Stratosphere Slow Global Warming?

Stratospheric Aerosol Injection (SAI) is a controversial possibility in the effort to slow the rate of climate change.

Ancient Egyptians Believed Cats Had 'Divine Energy'

Archaeologists recently unearthed dozens of mummified cats from a 2,500-year-old Egyptian tomb. So what were they doing there in the first place?

Seeds of World's Rarest Trees and Crops Can't Be Banked

Seed banks like the Svalbard Vault in Norway are saving seeds for our future. But a new study found not all seeds can be banked.

Massive Underground Mud Geyser Is California's 'Slow One'

A bubbling mud pool is moving toward the San Andreas Fault, but scientists don't see evidence of an impending earthquake.

Georgia Tech Using Campus Wastewater to Grow Veggies

We flush a shocking amount of perfectly good water down the toilet every day. An environmental engineer has a better idea.

Deadly 1948 Donora Smog Launched the U.S. Clean Air Movement

A killer smog 70 years ago helped lead to the first federal air pollution laws.

Kiss Your Beer Goodbye if Climate Change Continues Unchecked

As if warming temperatures and melting glaciers aren't bad enough, now climate scientists are warning that the world's beer supply could all but dry up. Even at Germany's world-famous Oktoberfest.

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