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The Biden administration is considering a first-ever action plan for global water security. Axios reports that the plan seeks to protect the world’s water resources, not just those of the U.S. If approved, it would create a global framework for ensuring universal access to clean and reliable water.
Women from Kabasa Internally Displaced People's camp return from fetching water from the River Jubba | Credit: UNICEF Somalia
Sand is used in many products, including concrete, computer chips, and glass. Most of it comes from lakes, rivers, beaches, and the sea. The demand for sand has tripled over the last 20 years, mostly due to population growth and urbanization especially in China and India. A report from the UN says that concrete, which uses sand, is the second-most consumed substance on Earth, with each person using an average of nearly three tons a year.
Suction pumps can extract a large volume of sand in a short space of time and can also operate through the day and night and through all seasons to quickly denude an area of it's sand. | Credit: Sumaira Abdulali
Cacti are in a prickly situation. A new study led by the University of Arizona has found that a high percentage of them could succumb to climate change by the middle of the century. It’s a surprising finding, given we picture cactus as tough, spiny plants living in harsh desert conditions. But cacti inhabit a range of ecosystems from rainforests to mountains and coastlines where they’ve adapted to their niche environments. Unfortunately, as the planet warms, that adaptation could be their undoing.
Credit: Nabin K. Sapkota / Creative Commons
We know that humans are far from the only living beings that communicate. Dogs bark, whales sing, and…mushrooms talk? That’s what Prof Andrew Adamatzky at the University of the West of England suggests. In a recent study, he thinks he’s found evidence that some fungi produce electrical impulses in patterns that resemble human speech.
Split gill mushroom (Schizophyllum commune) | Credit: Bernard Spragg, Christchurch, New Zealand/Creative Commons