Jessi Gowan

Australia’s Capacity for Pumped Hydro-Storage Could Support a Completely Renewable Power Grid Within 20 Years

A recent analysis conducted by the Australian National University (ANU) has revealed that the country has the potential to store up to 1,000 times more renewable energy than it would ever need. The study, which saw a team of researchers investigating tens of thousands of pumped hydro sites around Australia, offered significant insight into the country’s storage capacity. According to lead researcher Andrew Blakers, an engineering professor with ANU, at […]

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Traces of Pesticides Discovered In 75 per cent Of The World’s Honey

Residue from potentially harmful pesticides has been discovered in 75 per cent of honey sampled from around the world, according to a study conducted by Swiss scientists that was published in the journal Science in October 2017. The researchers sampled 198 different honeys sourced from every continent, excluding Antarctica, testing for the presence of five unique neonicotinoid pesticides that are frequently applied to crops. These insecticides are so efficient that […]

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Australian Farmers Benefit from the Use of Biosolids

The use of human biosolids to improve pastures has been catching on in New South Wales – to the point where demand for the resource from area farmers is outstripping Sydney Water’s available supply. Each year, the company reuses 100 per cent of biosolids produced, for a total of approximately 180,000 tonnes. “The soils on our farm are of poor quality and fragile, with low organic matter and poor structure […]

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The Cost of Food Insecurity

In many developing countries, undernutrition is a recognized – and well documented – crisis. However, with increasing urbanization, another health concern is beginning to emerge as people choose to consume foods of convenience rather than exert the effort it takes to grow their own produce. While nutritious foods are still readily available in rural areas, the industrial urban systems involved with food processing and supply means these healthy foods are […]

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“Free” Fertilizer is Saving Rural Farmers

Revitalizing dead soil can be done in just one planting season, thanks to Shivansh farming. Rural farmers can use whatever materials are available to them to restore their livelihoods – lowering their costs and increasing their yields. The majority of the world’s poorest farmers use a nitrogen fertilizer called urea. The chemical was initially produced to serve industrial agriculture, but many small-scale farmers were swayed by the fertilizer’s promise of […]

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Creating Community Through the Act of Gardening

“Through one simple, little act, we can cultivate a world that is more diverse, unified, and collaborative, and less divided and lonely – ultimately, a world more joyous and sustainable than this one through one simple act: gardening,” begins a riveting TEDTalk by Jasun “Plaedo” Wellman, a community organizer, educator, gardener, and artist. Gardening, he said, offers a practical remedy to many of society’s increasingly common ills – disconnection, depression, […]

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How Much Can Plants Hear?

Plants may possess more complex senses than previously thought, according to a new study led by the University of Western Australia that has revealed that plants have the ability to both detect and respond to sound. Talking to plants has always been fairly common practice among many aboriginal tribes – and to this day, the most devoted gardeners will claim that playing classical music or providing words of positive reinforcement […]

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Continued Climate Change May Disrupt Ocean Currents

Climate change is giving us more to worry about than just rising seas, scientists claim. Greenland’s glaciers are melting fast, pouring ice into the Arctic Ocean – and according to a new study, this influx of freshwater from the melting ice could lead to a disruption of a major ocean current system. The consequence of this disruption could be devastating, drying out the narrow section of land from Mauritania to […]

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City Greening Needs to be Done Properly to Mitigate Harmful Impacts of Global Warming

Covered in heat-trapping asphalt and concrete, cities can become urban heat islands that can stay hot even into the late-night hours. According to some studies, the heat-stress index for many European cities will double by 2050, when compared with adjacent rural areas. By 2100, some cities may even see a temperature increase of 8 degrees Celsius. While adding more trees and creating larger areas of shade seems like a perfect […]

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Artificial Photosynthesis: Liquid Fuel Created from Sunlight by “Bionic Leaf”

Researchers at Harvard have developed a system of artificial photosynthesis – creating liquid fuel from sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water. Described in a new paper published in Science, the process could be a big step in reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. Daniel Nocera, a professor of energy science at Harvard, and his colleague, Pamela Silver, have achieved the process at an efficiency of 10 percent using pure carbon dioxide […]

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Are We Running Out of Water?

More than half of the world’s population may be facing serious daily water shortages by 2025 if we keep up our current patterns of consumption. Scientists around the world are warning global policy makers about this impending crisis, hoping to avoid the potential catastrophe. “What’s happening bit by bit is that water scarcity is becoming increasingly common around the world, no matter where you look – as country after country […]

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How Creative Constraints Drive Innovation and Discovery

“Imagine you’re asked to invent something new,” begins a recent TED-Ed lesson by advertising account manager Brandon Rodriguez. “It could be whatever you want, made from anything you choose, in any shape or size.” While having the freedom to explore your imagination to come up with an invention of your choice might seem liberating, Rodriguez said most people are, in fact, paralyzed when faced with such a challenge. Without any […]

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