Deadly heat: How to survive the world’s new temperature extremes

Deadly heat: How to survive the world’s new temperature extremes

The sun sets in a market in Thailand, but the heat doesn’t always let upSirichai raksue/Alamy Stock Photo By John Pickrell EVEN by Australian standards, last summer was a scorcher. January 2017 was the hottest ever recorded in Sydney and Brisbane, and great swathes of the south-east endured temperatures that often exceeded 40°C for weeks on […]

UK’s plastic bag ban is a pitiful attempt at a greener future

UK’s plastic bag ban is a pitiful attempt at a greener future

Tough on plastic bags, but it’s not enoughDaniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty By Michael Le Page Prime Minister Theresa May today unveiled the UK government’s long-awaited 25-year plan for improving the environment. It contains much talk about protecting wildlife, making the country cleaner and greener, and so on. It all sounds wonderful, but it is mostly waffle. “The […]

Storm waves can move boulders heavier than the Statue of Liberty

Storm waves can move boulders heavier than the Statue of Liberty

Rogue waves can move rocks weighing hundreds of tonnesrock on coast Noel Moore/Alamy Stock Photo By Lucas Joel MONSTROUS oceanic waves are able to transport boulders weighing hundreds of tonnes. The finding helps explain how huge rocks end up atop high cliffs. It also implies that storm waves, and other rogue waves, can be more […]

Creating an augmented-reality sandbox for astrophysics

Creating an augmented-reality sandbox for astrophysics

Top Story Undergraduate students designed and built a sandbox where users can mold their own universe with sand and watch how gravity affects an object — a spacecraft or a comet, for example — as it travels through the imagined environment. Funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, the augmented-reality sandbox, dubbed “Gravbox,” […]

If the sea floor is sinking, are we safe from sea level rise?

If the sea floor is sinking, are we safe from sea level rise?

Meltwater adds to sea level riseIra Block/National Geographic/Getty By Michael Le Page “We’ve measured sea level rise wrong for 20 years – and it’s higher than previously thought.” Well, no, not really. This is just one of the misleading headlines about the first study to try to work out how much the ocean floor is […]

Winter road salt, fertilizers turning North American waterways increasingly saltier

Winter road salt, fertilizers turning North American waterways increasingly saltier

Top Story Across North America, streams and rivers are becoming saltier, thanks to road deicers, fertilizers and other salty compounds that humans indirectly release into waterways. At the same time, freshwater supplies are becoming more alkaline or basic, the “opposite” of acidic. Salty, alkaline freshwater can create big problems for drinking water supplies, urban infrastructure […]

Ban on plastic microbeads comes into force in the UK

Ban on plastic microbeads comes into force in the UK

Tiny microbeads are too tiny to be filtered out using waste-water treatment processesScience History Images / Alamy Stock Photo By New Scientist Staff and Press Association A UK-wide ban on the manufacture of cosmetics and care products containing tiny pieces of plastic known as “microbeads” has come into force. The move is aimed at protecting […]

Biofungicide contains beneficial microbe to help plants fight fungal disease

Biofungicide contains beneficial microbe to help plants fight fungal disease

Top Story The Environmental Protection Agency has registered BASF’s new Velondis brand biofungicide seed treatment formulations, which contain a patented beneficial microbe to help plants fight fungal disease. With potential applications in agriculture, horticulture and forestry, the products are designed to boost the protection of seedlings and plants from key soil-borne diseases. The bacteria produce […]

Investigating improved wind forecasting to harness clean energy potential

Investigating improved wind forecasting to harness clean energy potential

Top Story Wind is a highly variable and intermittent source of energy, which means that integrating it into the power system can prove tricky. Therefore, when integrating wind energy into the power system, power companies will rely heavily on backups to manage against the sudden changes in wind energy. To deploy this juggling act efficiently […]

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