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Phase down? Or phase out? That was the question at COP28, the climate summit in Dubai. As of Sunday, December 10, at least 80 countries, including the U.S., the EU, and small island nations were urging members to agree on an eventual end to burning fossil fuels—phasing them out to avoid the worst effects of climate change.
Credit: Markus Spiske/Unsplash
In addition to fossil fuel lobbyists, representatives of the world’s largest meat and dairy companies were at COP28—in record numbers—three times as many as last year and including some from fertilizer and pesticide firms. The increased attendance of those enterprises comes as more focus is placed on the food industry to cut its greenhouse gas emissions.
Beyond Burger in the fresh meat section of a supermarket | Credit: UBC Media Relations
Many photos of the Great Wall of China show a mountaintop path made of stone and brick, but much of the 20,000-kilometer-long structure, which began construction in the 3rd century BCE, was built using only compacted soil, gravel, and clay. It would be expected that those so-called rammed earth portions would erode quickly and not be a good defense against invading hordes; however, according to a new study, earthen sections of the wall are defending themselves against time.
Sections of the Great Wall of China get extra support and protection from a living layer of bacteria and moss. | Credit: Bo Xiao/China Agricultural University
It turns out you can make a better cup of coffee if you think of it as you would a volcano. That was the splash of insight that came out of a collaboration between chemists and volcanologists at Oregon State University who saw parallels between the way coffee beans behave in a grinder and how plumes of volcanic ash, magma, and water interact in an eruption.
A spray bottle used to wet whole beans before grinding | Credit: University of Oregon