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In a major turnaround, the U.S. government is planning to announce an international agreement to triple the use of nuclear power by 2050, which involves at least ten countries on four continents, according to the Huffington Post.
Spray ponds serve as back-up cooling for plant components at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station in the town of Tonopah in the Arizona desert, 50 miles west of Phoenix | Credit: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, photograph by Carol M. Highsmith [reproduction number, e.g., LC-USZ62-123456]
Microplastics are tiny plastic pieces less than five millimeters in size, some of which come from clothing, packaging, tires, and microbeads in cosmetics. The tiny particles had been found almost everywhere, including in drinking water, in marine organisms from plankton to whales, and even in our bodies. The plastics can affect human health by stimulating hormone disruptors and by carrying other toxic chemicals.
Sunrise viewed from Mount Tai | Credit: AlexHe34/Creative Commons
Life is not easy for green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas), which are listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. First, the creatures are at risk of extinction because of poaching, collisions with boats, habitat destruction, and entanglement in fishing gear. Second, climate change is threatening the reptiles because the sex of hatchlings is temperature dependent. The warmer the sand in a nest, the more likely the embryos will develop into females. Having only females and no males could mean the end of the line.
Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) | Credit: Kydd Pollock, USFWS, Pacific Region
Does it seem like there were a lot more nuts this fall? We don’t mean oddballs and eccentrics. We mean acorns and walnuts scattered on sidewalks, cluttering driveways, or piling up in parks. Whether you noticed or not, 2023 was a so-called “mast year” when trees go, well, nuts.
White oak (Quercus alba) acorns—one prolific tree can nearly cover the ground in a good year. Duke Forest Korstian Division, Durham North Carolina. | Credit: Dcrjsr/Creative Commons