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Your search has returned 48 articles:
  • News

    New tech harvests drinking water from (relatively) dry air using only sunlight

    A new device the size of a coffee mug can generate drinkable water from desert air using nothing but sunlight.

    With this kind of device, "you can harvest the equivalent of a Coke can’s worth of water in an hour,” says cocreator Omar Yaghi, a chemist at the University of California, Berkeley. “That’s about how much water a person needs to survive in the desert.”

    Though that may not...

    04/13/2017 - 14:00 Chemistry, Sustainability, Materials, Science & Society
  • Wild Things

    Most fish turned into fishmeal are species that we could be eating

    A person growing up in Peru in the 1970s or 1980s probably didn’t eat anchoveta, the local species of anchovies. The stinky, oily fish was a food fit only for animals or the very poor. The anchoveta fishery may have been (and still is, in many years) the world’s largest, but it wasn’t one that put food on the table.

    For thousands of years, though, anchoveta fed the people of Peru. It was...

    02/27/2017 - 07:00 Sustainability, Oceans, Animals
  • Feature

    New, greener catalysts are built for speed

    Platinum, one of the rarest and most expensive metals on Earth, may soon find itself out of a job. Known for its allure in engagement rings, platinum is also treasured for its ability to jump-start chemical reactions. It’s an excellent catalyst, able to turn standoffish molecules into fast friends. But Earth’s supply of the metal is limited, so scientists are trying to coax materials that aren...

    02/21/2017 - 09:00 Chemistry, Materials, Sustainability
  • Feature

    New desalination tech could help quench global thirst

    The world is on the verge of a water crisis.

    Rainfall shifts caused by climate change plus the escalating water demands of a growing world population threaten society’s ability to meet its mounting needs. By 2025, the United Nations predicts, 2.4 billion people will live in regions of intense water scarcity, which may force as many as 700 million people from their homes in search of...

    08/09/2016 - 16:00 Sustainability, Agriculture, Materials
  • 50 years ago, humans could pick the oceans clean

    Seafood is exhaustible — Man is capable of using up the resources of the ocean … and if he is going to exploit them intelligently, he has a lot to learn…. The world’s annual fish catch went up from 23 million to 46 million tons between 1953 and 1963, and is now estimated at 50 million tons, but scientists do not expect it to double every decade indefinitely. — Science News, August 6, 1966...

    07/28/2016 - 07:00 Oceans, Sustainability
  • Feature

    Ocean's plastics offer a floating fortress to a mess of microbes

    Oceanfront property doesn’t come cheap. Except, perhaps, for some seafaring microbes.

    Steady streams of tiny plastic pieces making their way into the ocean give microbial squatters a place to take up residence. Each plastic home comes equipped with a solid surface to live on in an otherwise watery world. These floating synthetic dwellings and their microbial inhabitants have a name: the...

    02/09/2016 - 13:12 Earth, Oceans, Pollution, Ecosystems, Sustainability
  • News

    Just adding pollinators could boost small-farm yields

    Just sending more pollinators into action on small farms around the world could significantly boost crop yields, says a massive new study.

    Coaxing more bees, beetles and other pollinators to buzz around small fields could on average boost crop yields enough to close the gap between the worst and the best of these farms by almost a quarter, says agroecologist Lucas Alejandro Garibaldi of...

    01/21/2016 - 14:13 Agriculture, Ecology, Sustainability
  • Science Stats

    Humankind’s water use greater than thought

    Humans’ global water footprint is up to 18 percent greater than previous estimates, researchers from Sweden report in a new study.

    An analysis of water and climate data from 1901 to 2008 from 100 large water basins around the world revealed more water loss to the atmosphere and less water runoff compared with conclusions from earlier studies. The researchers link both water impacts to...

    12/03/2015 - 15:23 Earth, Sustainability, Agriculture
  • News

    Rising temperatures complicate efforts to manage cod fishery

    Warming waters in the Gulf of Maine have reduced Atlantic cod populations in that region and distorted estimates of how many fish were available to catch, a new study finds.

    Cod stocks have decreased even though fishing quotas should have maintained a sustainable cod fishery. But those quotas relied on historical data without considering higher water temperatures, leading to incorrect...

    10/29/2015 - 14:48 Oceans, Climate, Sustainability
  • Wild Things

    Shipwreck provides window into Tudor-era cod fishing

    An army marches on its stomach, the saying goes, but so too sails a navy. And when Tudor England was starting to ramp up its fleet, on its way to becoming a global naval power, its navy drew its food supply from far and wide, a new study shows. By the mid-16th century, globalization had begun.

    Commercial fishing and the growth of sea power reinforced globalization in Renaissance Europe,...

    09/13/2015 - 05:00 Animals, Sustainability