An escape route for carbon

Study shows minerals sequester carbon for thousands of years, which may explain oxygen's abundance in the atmosphere.

As many of us may recall from grade school science class, the Earth's carbon cycle goes something like this: As plants take up carbon dioxide and convert it into organic carbon, they release oxygen back into the air.

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Surprising Science

Why a V-shaped plane may make a whole lot of sense

When it comes to climate change, today's airplane pollution is a real problem.

Image source: TU Delft
  • A new partnership between the Delft University of Technology and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has been announced along with a plan for a striking new plane.
  • The Flying-V is a plane that's all wing, and promises a 20% reduction in fuel use.
  • Riding in the Flying-V as it banks may not be for the faint of heart.
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Technology & Innovation

Are these 100 people killing the planet?

Controversial map names CEOs of 100 companies producing 71 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.

Image: Jordan Engel, reused via Decolonial Media License 0.1
  • Just 100 companies produce 71 percent of the world's greenhouse gases.
  • This map lists their names and locations, and their CEOs.
  • The climate crisis may be too complex for these 100 people to solve, but naming and shaming them is a good start.
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Strange Maps

Nobel winner claims lasers can make nuclear waste safe

Physicist plans to karate-chop them with super-fast blasts of light.

(Oleksiy Mark/Borys Magierowski/Shutterstock/Big Think)
  • Gérard Mourou has already won a Nobel for his work with fast laser pulses.
  • If he gets pulses 10,000 times faster, he says he can modify waste on an atomic level.
  • If no solution is found, we're already stuck with some 22,000 cubic meters of long-lasting hazardous waste.
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Technology & Innovation

Active ingredient in Roundup found in 95% of studied beers and wines

The controversial herbicide is everywhere, apparently.

(MsMaria/Shutterstock)
  • U.S. PIRG tested 20 beers and wines, including organics, and found Roundup's active ingredient in almost all of them.
  • A jury on August 2018 awarded a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma victim $289 million in Roundup damages.
  • Bayer/Monsanto says Roundup is totally safe. Others disagree.
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Surprising Science