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May 24, 2019
On Thursday, SpaceX launched the first satellites that will be part of its orbiting internet system. For years, founder Elon Musk has been working on developing a global internet system coming from space, and now, he has taken the first step towards completing this project. Late Thursday night, the first 60 satellites were launched in a Falcon-9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, and the deployment of the satellites was completed an hour into the flight. SpaceX plans to launch 12,000 satellites overall to form its Starlink internet system.
May 24, 2019
Scientists warn that methane is being released faster than ever before in the tropics, which poses a significant threat to the goals that were set in the Paris Accord. A group of scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration analyzed the amount of methane that was being released in the tropics and discovered that between 2013 and 2018, methane levels had increased by 50%. Moreover, they concluded that "as temperatures increase, the efficiency of the microbial communities that convert organic matter into methane increases." Now, scientists warn that this increase in methane levels could make it harder for the world to meet the goals from the Paris Accord.
May 24, 2019
Tanzania has become the latest African nation that has passed a single-use plastic ban in an attempt to target plastic pollution. Back in 2006, plastic bags were first banned in the Zanzibar islands, later on in 2015, there were proposals to ban them nationwide. Now, beginning on June 1, plastic bags will be prohibited from being imported, exported, manufactured, sold, stored, supplied, and used in Tanzania. Moreover, visitors will be asked to surrender their plastic bags upon arrival after their luggage gets checked at designated desks in all of the country's entry points. Reports say Tanzania plans to ultimately ban the production of ziplock bags as well.
May 24, 2019
Conservationists are currently urging gardeners to let their gardens run wild in an attempt to save the bee population. Since the 1930s, 7.5 million acres of pasture in the UK have been lost, which has attributed to the steep decline in the bee population. Now, conservationists are encouraging citizens not to mow their lawns, and to count every flower in their garden. The objective of this initiative is to create a national nectar score by calculating how many nectar lawns there are and the number of bees they could support.
May 24, 2019
A scientist warns that invasive earthworms could cause severe greenhouse gas emissions in the boreal forest. A couple of years ago, Cindy Shaw, a researcher from the Canadian Forest, found invasive earthworms in northern Alberta and since then, the scientific community has been wondering about the consequences this invasive species could bring. Earthworms are known for speeding decomposition and releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and now that they have a significant presence in the boreal forest, scientists worry that this place will go from being a carbon sponge to a carbon polluter.
May 24, 2019
After filling up the "space contamination" paperwork, Japan has gotten the all clear to drill in one of Mars' moon. In 1967, the United Nations' Outer Space Treaty was passed to protect space from human contamination, and since then, everyone that wants to go to outer space requires a permit first. Now that this panel successfully gave Japan the all clear, JAXA, the Japanese space agency, will start working on the MMX mission to Mars. Moreover, JAXA says it plans to travel to one of Mars moon called Phobos by 2024, and once they have arrived there, they plan to drill a part of the moon and bring it back to Earth to study it.
May 24, 2019
Measures to prevent lambs from getting eaten by sea eagles are being trialed across Scotland. Since the reintroduction of sea eagles in the 1970s, this species has become the UK largest bird of prey, and now, lambs are being targeted by them. In an attempt to save the lamb population in Scotland, a coalition of conservationists and farmers have started some trials consisting on distracting the birds with alternative food options and helium balloons that would deter the Eagles from coming close to affected areas. However, these techniques don't seem to be working yet, so these professionals hope to study the sea eagles a bit further to see what method they will respond to best.
May 24, 2019
Archeologists have unearthed thousands-year-old bark shield from the iron age in Leicestershire, England. A team from the University of Leicester was the one to discover the shield near the River Soar in 2015, and since then it has been preserved in waterlogged soil. After years of study, scientists have revealed that they first believed the shield was too flimsy for use during a battle. Nevertheless, after several experiments to remake the weapon, the researchers determined it was tough enough to withstand a grueling confrontation.
May 24, 2019
Live Nation, responsible for the major festivals in the UK, has stated that its venues will go plastic-free by 2021. Since 2008, festivals in the UK have tried to curb plastic pollution by setting recycling stations, and after independent British festivals went plastic-free this year, Live Nation's owner has vowed to cut plastic from its venues within the next few years. Now, the leading festival British company has started trailing plant-based water bottles and has promised to set new sustainability goals that would seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and send zero waste to landfill by 2030.
May 24, 2019
Today's school strike for climate change is expected to be bigger than previous ones after organizers revealed more than 1.4 million people would join in the global protest. Last year, activist Greta Thunberg started the school strike for climate change movement, and since then, millions of people have joined this cause while participating in worldwide demonstrations. Today, 1,400 cities in 110 countries will participate in the school strike, and it is expected that the turnout will top the 1.4 million protesters gathered in March demonstration.
May 23, 2019
A pair of white storks are to become the first wild birds to successfully breed in the UK in centuries. A rewilding project brought a pair of white storks to Knepp estate so that this species could be reintroduced to south-east England. After experts worried the birds wouldn't settle down in the area, they built nests and laid eggs, which are supposed to hatch next month. If the white storks' eggs hatch successfully, they will become the first ones to have hatched since 1416.
May 23, 2019
A new study has revealed that some European countries should reduce working hours to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Thinktank Autonomy used data from the UN and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to determine the amount of greenhouse gas the UK, Germany, and Sweden emit, and how much will their working hours have to be reduced to help the climate crisis. The results revealed that people in Sweden would have to work 12 hours a week, in the UK nine hours and Germany just six. Moreover, scientists announced that the cut of working hours would have to be accompanied by urgent measures to decarbonize the economy and prevent a climate breakdown.
May 23, 2019
Scientists have discovered that the birthing of a new volcano in the Indian Ocean caused seismic ripples across the world. Last year, mysterious low-frequency seismic activity was felt around the world, and most particularly on the French island of Mayotte. Since then, scientists from France's National Centre for Scientific Research have been interested in determining what caused these tremors. Now, the French Geological and Mining Research Bureau has revealed it was the start of an underwater volcano that "was made from scratch in 6 months." Moreover, it was announced that this underwater volcano was located 3,500 meters under the Indian Ocean and that its peak could be over 2,500 feet high.
May 23, 2019
New research revealed chimpanzees have learned to survive out of protected areas after humanity has destroyed their habitats. A group of anthropologists from the University of Kent analyzed the behavior of monkeys at a sanctuary in Sierra Leone through cameras for eight months. The cameras captured chimpanzees crossing roads and eating domesticated food, which led scientists to believe that this species has successfully adapted to living out of protected areas. Nevertheless, the researchers warn that although these monkeys learned and adapted, they could still go extinct because their habitats are threatened.
May 23, 2019
Billion-year-old microfossils of fungi have been discovered in the wilderness of the Canadian Arctic. Until recently, the oldest fossilized fungi that had been found was from Wisconsin and dated back to 450 million years ago. However, in a new study published in the journal Nature, scientists revealed they had found tiny fossils of fungi in a spore that was excavated in the wild Canadian Arctic. Moreover, it was revealed that the multicellular fungus, which they named Ourasphaira giraldae, lived in an estuary environment about 900 million to 1 billion years, making it the oldest fungus ever found.
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