Humans are a massive minority on Earth. Why don’t we act like it?

photo: red panda

The endangered Red Panda has a wild population of less than 10,000 mature individuals Image: REUTERS/Rebecca Naden

Most of us, including scientists, are blind to the full scope of the living world. This was illustrated by an informal survey which asked biologists and ecologists from elite universities two questions. In terms of mass, is the living world mostly composed of animals, plants or bacteria? And is there more global biomass … [more…]

How a Yemen Water Plant Helped Cut Cholera by 92 Percent

How a Yemen Water Plant Helped Cut Cholera by 92 Percent

Why you should care:
Because cholera has had a devastating effect on the conflict-ravaged country and can be used as a tool of war.

For nearly four years, Yemen, one of the Arab world’s poorest countries, has been ravaged by war. With on-the-ground reporting still difficult, the death toll from fighting and bombing — currently over 60,000 — is thought to be vastly underestimated. Beyond that, starvation and disease have … [more…]

The Seafloor Is Dissolving Because of Climate Change

underwater photo: scuba diver and ocean floor

Carbon emissions are acidifying the ocean so quickly that the seafloor is disintegrating.

According to a new study, ocean acidification is setting off a dangerous feedback loop that’s dissolving the very bottom of the ocean.

According to a study published this week in PNAS, this sets off a feedback loop that acidifies the ocean even more quickly, a process that is already killing off foundational marine life species such as … [more…]

Proof humans ARE eating plastic

photo: tool for taking fecal samples. Proof humans ARE eating plastic: Experts find nine different types of microplastic in every sample taken from human guts with water and drinks bottles blamed as the source

Experts find nine types of microplastic in every sample from human guts

  • Sources could include the eating of fish or drinking from plastic bottles
  • The smallest microplastic particles are capable of entering the bloodstream
  • Research was a pilot study involving eight participants. Each one kept a food diary for a week

Human bodies are becoming polluted with plastic, scientists have confirmed for the first time.

Tiny pieces were found in … [more…]

How One Kid Stopped the Contamination of a River

photo: Stella Bowles, citizen scientist and environmentalist

Stella Bowles was 11 years old when she first donned her rubber boots to test for water contamination in the LaHave River, which runs beside her home on the South Shore of Nova Scotia, Canada.

“I wanted to swim in the water, and Mom’s always said no,” Bowles told CityLab. But in 2015, after hearing her mom, Andrea Conrad, say that their neighbors were using illegal straight pipes, Bowles asked … [more…]