environmental

What the frack?

Credit: bufivla @flickr

The story

Fracking is a controversial way of mining for natural gas reserves that are buried deep underground in layers of rock. It is been banned in some countries but is being carried out in the USA and UK. A few weeks ago the scheme got the green light to be extended in the UK. More

Plant plastics

The story

A team of scientists from a Dutch university has discovered a way of turning biogas made from plant matter into the building blocks of common plastics.
They used a new kind of iron catalyst made from nanoparticles to make ethene and propene. This new method means that plastics with the same chemical structure, and therefore properties as traditional petroplastics, can be produced using biomass, a renewable resource. More

Global warming in fast-forward

This video comes courtesy of NASA and shows how global temperatures have changed over the last 131 years.  It would make a great starter to any lesson on climate change.  You can clearly see that temperatures started to showed a significance increase from the 1970s due to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions from energy production, industry and vehicles. Students could be asked to spot this trend and come up with an explanation for it.

Solving the mysteries of the Earth

It was a couple of earth-science stories that caught my attention this week. After the recent earthquakes that shook Japan and New Zealand, predicting where and when the next big seismic event will happen is a holy grail to seismologists. More

Space tourism

The story

How long will it be before visiting space will be as common an event as boarding a flight to Spain?  And will we be holidaying on Mars rather than Marbella in the future? More

Could London Rock?

The story

I wrote a post about the New Zealand earthquake at the beginning of this month and whilst it was terrifying to those involved at least the people of New Zealand are prepared for earthquakes and realise that they could happen at any time.

Now reflect on Britain.  More

Seismic shocker

Image: Schwede66

The story

This photo shows some of the devastation caused by the 7.4 magnitude earthquake that hit New Zealand’s South Island on September 4th. More

The incredible shrinking Moon

The story

Astronomers studying pictures from a NASA orbiter have announced that wrinkles on the surface of the Moon is evidence it is still geologically active and that it is not the dead, inactive lump of rock that we have previously thought. More

Plastic fantastic?

Credit: Recycled island

The story:

Netherlands-based firm WHIM Architecture has announced plans to take all of the plastic waste currently floating around in the Pacific Ocean and turn it into an island the size of Hawaii. More

Fast and furious geology

The Afar region

I visited the Festival of Science and Arts at London’s Southbank last Friday.  Part of the event is the Royal Society’s annual summer science exhibition, which gives visitors the opportunity to meet some of the scientists who are leading the country in cutting-edge research.  It is well worth a visit, and you have until this Sunday to take a look yourself. More

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