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How to make a water filter | Do Try This At Home | At-Bristol Science Centre

Water is essential to life on Earth. But how does the water get from the rivers and streams to your tap at home? Ross & Heather of the Live Science Team show you how to make a water filter and visit Bristol Water treatment works to investigate the science and engineering behind a glass of water: https://youtu.be/-c1xM2hhfNI

By: At-Bristol Science Centre

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The Ruinous Beauty Of California’s Wildfires

In addition to its recent record-breaking rain and flooding, California is in the thick of an especially cataclysmic wildfire season. Last week, a 3,500-acre fire swept through the area just northeast of Los Angeles, charged across Interstate 15, and torched 20 cars in the process. At this very moment, a massive fire with flames 100 feet high is heading toward nearly 100 homes in the wine country, where firefighting helicopters are refilling their water buckets in a nearby lake to keep up with the surging blaze. But despite the destruction, there is a certain beauty to all of this, and local photographer Stuart Palley has captured it perfectly.

New Research in Green Plastics Uses Tree Resin

New research into renewable, green plastics is using tree resin rather than petroleum. University of South Carolina researcher Chuanbing Tang has given evergreen a new meaning. The polymers come from evergreen trees such as pine and fir. These materials are loaded with hydrocarbons, which through the polymerization process can be turned into various types of plastics. Tang says that these wood products are useful because “they’re a rich source of the cycloaliphatic and aromatic structures that make good materials after polymerization, and they have the rigid molecular structures and hydrophobicity that materials scientists know work well.“

Not only are these products ‘green’ from the beginning, they also end ‘green’. Since these polymers are derived from living materials, they are biodegradable. "With a polymer framework derived from renewable sources, we’re able to make materials that should break down more readily in the environment” says Tang.

—Adam

Photo: Wildeherb.com

Further Reading:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130220170631.htm

http://www.newswise.com/articles/turning-pine-sap-into-ever-green-plastics

What Will Happen to Your Favorite Beach After Climate Change?

But underneath the surface of sandy shores and rolling tides, the ecology of American beaches is quickly changing. More than half of the U.S. population now lives in coastal watersheds, which comprises of less than a fifth of total U.S. land area. The NOAA reports that coastal populations have swelled by 45 percent since 1970, with no end to growth in sight. As rapid development in mushrooming communities pushes these areas’ infrastructures—originally designed to serve smaller populations—to their breaking point, it increasingly results in polluted beaches and coastal waters. Coastal communities are also more vulnerable than ever to the effects of climate change, as beach erosion and extreme weather threaten the livelihoods and safety of residents.

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The Last Family Portrait | Neil DaCosta

Every 20 seconds, a family in Sub-Saharan Africa loses a loved one to unsafe drinking water. Without anything to remember them by. That’s why WATERisLIFE, working with Deutsch New York and award-winning photographer Neil DaCosta, embarked on another emotional project that gave Ethiopian families their first ever portraits. Knowing it might be their last.

OCEAN CURRENTS AFFECT BLUE PENGUINS CHICKS

The little blue penguin (Eudyptula minor) also know as fairy penguins, with 33 cm in height is the smallest species of penguin. It is found in Australia, New Zealand, with some possible records from Chile.

The role of environmental variability in modulating organisms’ life-history strategies is still an outstanding issue in ecology. Now an international team of researchers have discovered that dynamism of ocean currents may be influencing the pattern of penguin breeding. These finding provide new guidelines to investigate the effects of environmental disturbances on marine organisms.

“Ocean currents affect the seasonal patterns of marine productivity and thus, the availability of food,” explains CSIC researcher Francisco Ramirez. 

The expert adds that using environmental cues, “such as the surface temperature, the penguins are able to predict those patterns and adjust their reproductive cycle at the time of maximum food availability”.

Pro Surfer Kelly Slater Launches Clothing Line Made From Ocean Trash

Kelly Slater’s new clothing line is tackling two pressing environmental issues at the same time: textile waste and ocean plastic. Outerknown, the 11-time world surfing champion’s sustainable menswear label, includes a line of 100 percent recyclable clothing made from reclaimed fishing nets.

“I created Outerknown to smash the formula,” Slater, who parted ways with longtime sponsor Quiksilver to launch his own brand, said on the company’s website. “To lift the lid on the traditional supply chain, and prove that you can actually produce great looking menswear in a sustainable way.”

The brand’s Evolution Series features board shorts and jackets made with Econyl, a new type of nylon yarn that’s made from old nets, carpet and other nylon waste, Fast Company reported.

These clothes can be upcycled over and over into new clothing. “There’s an infinite number of times the nylon can be broken down and re-born into new yarn without any loss of quality,” Outerknown noted on its website.

According to the Marine Mammal Center, abandoned fishing nets, also known as “ghost nets,” account for approximately 10 percent of all marine debris. Shockingly, as Reuters reported, about 640,000 tonnes of discarded fishing gear gets added to the oceans yearly.

Not only that, these nets are a major plague on marine life. More than 100,000 marine mammals—fish, dolphins, sea lions, seals as well as birds—die every year from the harmful effects of plastic, fishing nets and trash in our oceans, the Marine Mammal Center also pointed out.

No stranger to the ocean, the 43-year-old surfer has been outspoken on the threat of plastic waste to marine life and sits on the advisory board of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

“You have problems like not only oil spills and that kind of stuff but also the constant outpouring of plastics,” Slater told CNN. “Single-use plastics all through the ocean, degrading, turning into little bits that are all eaten by the sea life, and they’re dying because their stomachs are full of stuff.”

The entire Outerknown collection has a classic yet beachy vibe and was praised by men’s style Bible GQ as a “cool-ass new surf line.” With organic cotton blazers for $495 and T-shirts around $90, Outerknown clothing won’t fit everyone’s budget.

However, there’s a reason why fast-fashion from retail giants such as H&M and Forever21 is so cheap, as EcoWatch has previously reported. A truly sustainable clothing line costs a lot of money to bring from the factory to the rack, which explains Outerknown’s price tags.

“Clothing is a really icky business, but it’s a whole system,” Slater told Surfer Magazine. “You’ve got retailers bitching about prices but they’re also bitching about production and the way things are made. Those two things are completely tied together. If you’re going to use good materials and take care of people working in your factories, the clothing will be exponentially more expensive to produce.”

Outerknown has partnered with the Fair Labor Association, which is the best standard for protecting workers throughout the supply chain. Additionally, the clothing company also partnered with Bluesign, a sustainable textile auditing company that seeks to eliminate harmful substances from the beginning of the manufacturing process.

“I believe we have an obligation to build better products and understand the way our consumption impacts the world around us,” Slater also wrote on Instagram. “In saying that, the focus of our brand is to make a product that has a positive effect on every possible level.”

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Of dams and mitigated results

When the Aswan high dam was completed in 1970 it was seen as a triumph of socialist modernism and archaeological rescue, since it involved the dismantling and recreation off the giant statues of Abu Simbel, whose original site was drowned. Intended to provide electricity and irrigation water in order to turn the desert green, and also (successfully) tame the annual Nile flood that has been at the centre of Egyptian life since the dawn of its Civilisation (and too which the culture was adapted), it has also had unexpected consequences that could be devastating to the long term future of the country.

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