Focus on renewable energy, not carbon capture, say researchers

Rather than scrubbing the emissions from fossil fuel plants, a new analysis suggests we should simply replace those power plants with renewable alternatives.

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  • Retrofitting carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology to fossil fuel-based power plants makes sense; our main problem, after all, is the CO2 these plants emit, right?
  • Early studies have suggested that these CCS solutions could be 85 to 95 percent efficient. A new study that is among the first to study actual field data suggests this wildly underestimates the impact of upstream and downstream sources of emissions, as well as the energy needs of CCS solutions themselves.
  • Instead, the researchers say, our best bet is to just replace fossil fuel-based power plants with ones that use renewable energy.
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Chemicals in consumer products linked to lower IQs in children

Scientists find common chemicals can negatively impact pregnant women.

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  • Researchers find a link between the use of chemicals by pregnant women and lower IQs in children by age 7.
  • The scientists looked at chemical exposure in women in the first trimester of pregnancy.
  • The issue particularly affects boys.
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Why synthetic chemicals seem more toxic than natural ones

Some pesticides are about as toxic as table salt.

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Many people believe that chemicals, particularly the man-made ones, are highly dangerous.

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Report: Chipotle, Sweetgreen bowls contain cancer-linked 'forever chemicals'

The synthetic chemicals — called PFAS — never break down naturally.

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  • The results don't suggest that eating from any of these restaurants poses a serious health risk.
  • The Food and Drug Administration allows a certain amount of PFAS to exist in food containers.
  • Still, the science behind the health and environmental effects of PFAS remains largely unclear.
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How oceanic evolution took a left turn 170 million years ago

New research reveals a major shift in what pressures life used to face.

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  • For the vast majority of the evolutionary history of ocean life, sudden changes in climate and oceanic chemistry had a huge impact on what life could flourish and what life could not.
  • But about 170 million years ago, this changed. The ocean became more stable, and things like predator-prey relationships started to dominate how life evolved.
  • The reason for this sudden change? Calcifying plankton came to dominate the oceans.
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