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The Biden administration acted last week to preserve rivers, lakes, and forests in northeastern Minnesota that have been threatened by copper and nickel mining. More than 225,000 acres of the Superior National Forest will now be protected from mining for at least 20 years. The ban includes the region in which the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness lies—it’s the most heavily visited wilderness area in the U.S.
Superior National Forest | Credit: USFS
It’s being called an “environmental nightmare”—tiny plastic pellets the size of lentils have been washing up on beaches in France and Spain over the past two months, as winter winds and water currents drag the pollution onshore. Technically known as “industrial plastic granules” or IPGs, the beads are melted and then shaped into many plastic products we use. But during their manufacture and transport, as many as ten trillion of the pellets escape into waterways every year.
Volunteers with Surfrider Europe attempted, in vain, to collect plastic pellets from a beach in Pornic, France, on Jan. 21, 2023 | Credit: Surfrider Foundation Europe
In cold weather, people use layers of clothing to keep warm and then peel them off when it gets too hot. Now, researchers at the University of Chicago have applied that same concept to buildings. They’ve designed a multi-layered material that contains copper particles that can change from a solid that retains warmth to a watery state that emits heat.
Hsu Group created models of how their material could cut energy costs in typical buildings in 15 different U.S. cities, finding that, on average, the material would use less than 0.2% of the building’s total electricity, but could save 8.4% of the building’s annual HVAC energy consumption. | Credit: Hsu Group
Cape Verde or, officially, the Republic of Cabo Verde, is an island nation off the west coast of Africa known as a global hotspot for marine biodiversity, supporting a rich diversity of marine life, including several species of whale, sea turtles, sharks, and rays.
Celebrations of World Water Day 2015 were mainly targeting school students to raise awareness on water conservation issues. "Cape Verde has shown climate leadership in words and actions," Antonio Guterres, the United Nations secretary-general, noted during a visit in January 2023. | Credit: IWRM AIO SIDS
Music Credits: Pump Up the Mind, Chilled Minimalism | Instant Classix, Scandinavian Noir Thriller Music | Winnie the Moog, Inspired Life | Maze, Dark Clouds / Creative Commons