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Search Results for: plastic

We’re guinea pigs in global microplastic experiment

Microplastics are everywhere – in our water, soil, and even the air we breathe. The consequences of this exposure on human health is unknown.

Record microplastic found in Arctic sea ice

New research shows that even the Arctic Ocean isn’t immune to an influx of plastic.

This Pacific island is the most plastic-polluted place on Earth

Explore remote, uninhabited Henderson Island in the South Pacific. It may look idyllic from above, but is littered with millions of tons of plastic.

Ocean plastic killing marine turtles

Hundreds of marine turtles die every year after getting tangled in trash – such as plastic ‘six pack’ holders and discarded fishing gear – in oceans and on beaches.

Microplastics found in deep-sea animals

Scientists were astonished to discover tiny bits of plastic inside the bodies of animals in the deep ocean.

Plastics in ocean harm oysters

Ground-breaking data on a negative effect on oysters from microplastics, which enter our oceans via cosmetics, clothing, and industrial processes.

Plastic bits in 90% of seabirds

A new study estimates that almost all seabirds have eaten plastic.

New plastics heal themselves

Researchers have developed a regenerating plastic that grows back after damage.

Cassini spacecraft finds plastic in space

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has detected propylene, a chemical used to make food-storage containers, car bumpers and other consumer products, on Saturn’s moon Titan.

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Microplastics are a growing concern for the Great Lakes

Scientists have found thousands of microplastic particles floating in the Great Lakes. They are concerned that the particles may disrupt aquatic food webs.

New plastic electronics can greatly reduce food waste worldwide

Researchers have invented a circuit that makes it possible to test whether food inside packaging is still safe to eat. This development should drastically reduce the amount of edible food which is wasted every day.

Plastic fragments found in fish

Scientists have found tiny fragments of plastic in the digestive systems of fish pulled from the English Channel.

Plastic in Pacific is changing ocean habitats, study shows

In the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, plastic has increased by 100 times over in past 40 years. Some sea creatures are now laying their eggs on plastic.

Plastic bottles used to clean arsenic from drinking water

Scientists have developed a simple, inexpensive solution to treat drinking water contaminated by arsenic. The new technology could dramatically improve health.

Anthony Andrady says plastics in ocean biodegrade slowly

He pointed out that plastics have been around for less than 100 years. In that short time span, no group of microorganisms has evolved that is capable of biodegrading plastics.

Marcus Eriksen describes ocean gyre of plastic garbage

He calls it a “soup” of plastic, created by debris that leaves coastal watersheds, washes out to sea, and gets stuck in vast regions of the north Pacific Ocean.

Geoffrey Coates creates greener plastics

A chemist has created a range of new plastics from renewable resources, which are almost indistinguishable from many of today’s plastics.

Why is Earth’s spin axis drifting?

As Earth rotates, its spin axis — an imaginary line that passes through the North and South Poles — drifts and wobbles. Scientists now have, for the 1st time, identified 3 reasons why.

Why are some species more likely to go extinct?

Death is inevitable for individuals and also for species. With help from the fossil record, paleontologists are piecing together what might make one creature more vulnerable than another.

It’s World Oceans Day. Your favorite ocean photos, right here

Thanks for all in the EarthSky community who contributed these photos. The focus of World Oceans Day 2018 is plastic pollution.

It’s nesting season for sea turtles

Adult female sea turtles – on beaches from North Carolina to Texas and throughout the Caribbean – are crawling out of the ocean and laying their eggs. Here’s an update from a biologist who’s been studying these turtles for 36 years.

Why observe Earth Day on April 22?

April 22 is the date of Earth Day in part because of Arbor Day, an earlier observance. The focus of Earth Day 2018 is plastic pollution.

Was another civilization on Earth before humans?

How do we know earlier industrial civilizations on Earth didn’t rise and fall long before humans appeared? That’s the question posed in a new scientific thought experiment.

Blackbirds in the city: Bad health, longer life

Blackbirds live longer in cities than in forests. But a new genetic analysis suggest that city birds have much poorer health than their rural cousins.

Great Pacific Garbage Patch now 3 times size of France

In 2015, a mega-expedition – 30 vessels simultaneously – crossed the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and collected 1.2 million plastic samples. They say the problem is getting worse.

Why do comets emit X-rays? Mystery solved

Researchers fired laser beams onto a plastic foil to mimic some of the conditions comets encounter as they travel through our solar system and to solve a long-standing mystery.

What’s the birthstone for December?

December has two birthstones, turquoise and zircon.

Creatures raft across Pacific, thanks to tsunami

Hundreds of species hitched a ride on debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami for a 4,400-mile journey across the Pacific Ocean.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017

Which one would you choose?

Our Age of Humans in a galactic context

A proposed new classification system – somewhat like the well-known Kardashev scale for classifying extraterrestrial civilizations – and a new way of thinking about human sustainability on Earth.

Asgardia’s 1st satellite due to launch

Asgardia’s 1st satellite – Asgardia-1 – will launch aboard a NASA mission to ISS later this summer. “Asgardians” are invited to send their personal data – a photo or a file of their choosing – to space with it.

World Oceans Day 2017

“Our oceans, our future” is the theme for World Oceans Day 2017.

Why cats can’t resist (even a phony) box

Twitter has been blowing up with posts on cats’ attraction to taped squares on the ground. An animal behavior expert explains what draws Fluffy to the #CatSquare.

Astronauts’ brains change shape in space

MRIs taken before and after missions show that astronauts’ brains compress and expand in space.

Ancient tortoise reveals tropical DNA

This is a rare look at tropical DNA, courtesy of an ancient giant tortoise that tumbled into a sinkhole 1,000 years ago.

Toxic pollutants persist in deepest ocean

Banned chemicals from the 1970s have been discovered in the bodies of crustaceans in the deepest of Earth’s ocean trenches.

Why pine trees smell so good

Pine, spruce, and fir trees – Christmas tree favorites – produce chemicals called terpenes, which give them their special, distinctive scent.

Experts declare Anthropocene has begun

It means Age of Humans. A scientific working group – at an international meeting of geologists – just recommended including it in the Geologic Time Scale.

Atmospheric scientists say ‘no chemtrails’

Is there a large-scale, secret program to spray chemicals into Earth’s atmosphere, resulting in “chemtrails?” Leading atmospheric scientists just say no.

Evolution insights from a walking cavefish

Fish evolved into the first land vertebrates 420 million years ago. Clues to that fins-to-limbs transformation may lie in a walking blind cavefish in Thailand.

2016 Great Backyard Bird Count starts February 12

This year’s Great Backyard Bird Count runs from February 12–15. It’s free and easy to participate. Find out how.

How to take photos of snowflakes

Try it yourself! With a little preparation and a good camera and with a macro lens, you can take your own photos of snowflakes.

Lifeform of the week: Portuguese Man o’ War

Don’t call the Portuguese Man o’ War a jellyfish. And don’t get near its stinging tentacles, even if it’s dead.

This bird is a superstar

Fewer than 100 pairs of Spoon-billed Sandpipers remain in the wild. Their migration is long and arduous. This is the first hand-reared bird that’s returned to breed.

How to celebrate World Oceans Day

World Oceans Day is Sunday, June 8. Celebrate! Take an ocean selfie, or just wear just wear blue. Fact is, we’re all intimately tied to Earth’s oceans.

A circuit board modeled on the human brain

New microchips based on the human brain are 9,000 times faster and use significantly less power than a typical PC.

Genius materials on the ISS

With proper coaxing, molecules in microgravity can assemble themselves into forms with surprising properties. This new NASA ScienceCast video explores the possibilities

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Chasing the black holes of the ocean

According to researchers from ETH Zurich and the University of Miami, some of the largest ocean eddies on Earth are mathematically equivalent to the mysterious black holes of space.

Only 20 Asian carp could establish breeding population in Great Lakes

These prolific fish are already widespread in stretches of the Illinois and Mississippi rivers, where they have severely overwhelmed native aquatic communities.

New coating turns ordinary glass into superglass

Resilient, ultraslippery glass could lead to self-cleaning, scratch-resistant windows, lenses, and solar panels.