Want to help fight climate change? Try going 'flexitarian.'

Whether or not there are tropical islands in 50 years might depend on whether or not we can eat fewer hamburgers.

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  • Results from recent research suggest we have roughly 12 years to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. If we can't, then the amount of greenhouse gases released to the atmosphere will have compounding feedback loops that progressively warm the planet up further.
  • One of the biggest culprits in warming the planet is the production of beef and sheep meat.
  • Anybody could help prevent climate change by consuming less beef and sheep, or by cutting them out entirely.
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A closer look into Harvard scientists' plan to block out the sun

The project involves a high-altitude balloon, tons of tiny particles and knowledge gained from a violent volcano eruption in 1991.

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  • Solar geoengineering aims to cool global temperatures by reflecting some of the sun's light back into space.
  • The team plans to test how releasing particles at high altitudes affects a small part of the stratosphere.
  • Solar geoengineering solutions such as this could be a relatively cheap way to curb global warming.
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Australia cuts plastic bag use by 80% in 3 months after supermarket ban

Australia's two largest supermarkets led the ban, which has so far prevented some 1.5 billion plastic bags from entering the environment.

  • The ban was led by the private sector, though several Australian states have banned single-use plastic bags.
  • Worldwide, more than 30 countries and two U.S. states have banned single-use plastic bags.
  • Kroger, the largest supermarket chain in the U.S., recently announced plans to phase-out plastic bags by 2025.
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We can assess the health of coral reefs by the sounds algae make

Tiny bubbles talk photosynthesis.

(Freeman, et al)
  • During photosynthesis, algae produces a symphony of little "pings."
  • The sounds are produced by oxygen bubbles breaking away from the plants.
  • Monitoring reef health through its sound is a new avenue for acoustic ecology.
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Scientist's accidental discovery makes coral grow 40x faster

There might be hope for our oceans, thanks to one clumsy moment in a coral tank.

Photo by Preet Gor on Unsplash.
  • David Vaughan at the Mote Laboratory is growing coral 40 times faster than in the wild.
  • It typically takes coral 25 to 75 years to reach sexual maturity. With a new coral fragmentation method, it takes just 3.
  • Scientists and conservationists plan to plant 100,000 pieces of coral around the Florida Reef Tract by 2019 and millions more around the world in the years to come.
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