Environment

The Kīlauea volcano in Hawaii began causing earthquakes on Wednesday afternoon, after morning explosions of “ballistic blocks” three times larger than bowling balls. Earthquakes up to 4.4 magnitude have been measured after Kilauea’s caldera, one of its large craters, dropped 90cm causing nearby faults to move.   According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), residents
0 Comments
If you thought the crisis over the gaping hole in the ozone layer was under control, prepare to be disappointed. Researchers at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have noticed an unexpected and persistent increase in ozone-destroying chemicals, called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).   The Montreal Protocol, which was finalised in 1987, was a revolutionary, international
0 Comments
The ongoing surge in volcanic activity on Hawaii’s Big Island soon could cause a massive explosion from a volcano’s summit, scientists and Hawaii officials warned Wednesday. Kilauea, the longest-erupting volcano on the planet, has displaced some 1,700 people and destroyed 36 structures since a shifting flow of underground magma last week burst through the surface
0 Comments
Humanity’s toxic addiction to plastic has reached stunning depths, and we only wish we were speaking figuratively. A new study analysing over 30 years’ worth of data on human-made trash found in the deepest parts of the ocean reveals almost 3,500 pieces of plastic and other debris have been discovered littering these remote, fragile ecosystems.
0 Comments
The carbon footprint of tourism is about four times larger than previously thought, according to a world-first study published today in Nature Climate Change. Researchers from the University of Sydney, University of Queensland and National Cheng Kung University – including ourselves – worked together to assess the entire supply chain of tourism.   This includes
0 Comments
Less than a week ago, Leilani Estates was the picture of serenity on Hawaii’s Big Island, a subdivision in the island’s eastern Puna district filled with wooden homes nestled in tropical plant-filled lots.   The eruption of the island’s most active volcano changed everything. Shortly after Kilauea erupted Thursday, the ground split open on the east side
0 Comments
At the southwestern corner of Antarctic continent, there’s a river of ice dubbed the “most dangerous glacier in the world”. On Monday, American and British scientists officially launched a venture to investigate Thwaites Glacier. Their goal: to figure out whether it’s headed for a catastrophic collapse in the near future.   We already know Thwaites
0 Comments
On Sunday, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that Australia would be putting aside more than $500 million Australian dollars (or $379 million USD) to protect the Great Barrier Reef.   The amount is unprecedented, and is the biggest single investment that the imperilled ecosystem, or any other coral reef ecosystem, has ever seen. As part
0 Comments
Every few hundred thousand years, Earth’s magnetic field flips, and considering the huge impact that would have on everything from satellite systems to electrical grids, scientists are very keen to work out when the next one might be.   Hopefully it won’t be for a while yet, according to the latest study – by analysing
0 Comments
More than a thousand low-lying tropical islands risk becoming “uninhabitable” by the middle of the century – or possibly sooner – because of rising sea levels, upending the populations of some island nations and endangering key US military assets, according to startling new research published Wednesday.   The threats to the islands are twofold. In
0 Comments
Back in March 2016, scientists released the first audio recordings taken from the deepest point on Earth’s surface, Challenger Deep, at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Filled with strange moans, low rumbles, and the occasional high-pitched screech, the soundbites below shed rare light on the dark world that lies 10.9 km (6.7 miles) below the
0 Comments
The mass quantities of food Americans waste every year has staggering environmental consequences, according to a study published Wednesday. “Our data suggest that the average person in the United States wastes about a pound of food per day,” said the University of Vermont’s Meredith Niles, one of the study’s authors along with researchers at the
0 Comments
In chaos theory, they say the infinitesimal flapping of a butterfly’s wings can hypothetically cascade into a fierce tornado. Now, scientists have demonstrated how some of the smallest creatures in the ocean could have the same outsized impact under the waves – with swarms of marine organisms inadvertently producing powerful currents that mix and churn
0 Comments
It’s the prettiest powder keg on the planet – the Yellowstone supervolcano, simmering under the mystique and grandeur of the national park that adorns the fearsome caldera. And scientists just got one step closer to understanding the hidden geology of this epic blowhole.   Using supercomputers to model the behaviour of two known magma chambers concealed
0 Comments