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Australian households on track to add near-record rooftop solar capacity to electricity grid
25 September 2023 - Households are on track to add three gigawatts of rooftop solar capacity to the electricity grid this year but investment in large-scale wind and solar remains all but stalled, according to the Clean Energy Regulator. The regulator said 1.4GW of capacity, from almost 160,000 rooftop systems, was added to the grid in the first half of 2023, which chief executive and chair David Parker said showed consumers were looking to save money on their energy usage while reducing their carbon footprint. (more)

Superdrug to stop selling single-use vapes in UK and Ireland
25 September 2023 - Superdrug will stop selling disposable vapes in all its UK and Ireland stores after concerns about the environmental damage from millions of single-use e-cigarettes. ...The company said it had made the decision in order to protect the environment. (more)

Swarms of birds will fly over the US soon. Explore BirdCast's new migration tool to help you prepare.
24 September 2023 - Migration is the best time to be a birdwatcher, says the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Hugh Powell. As days get shorter and weather slowly shifts, birders are preparing for the spectacular fall migration. BirdCast, launched in 2018 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, released their migration tools for the 2023 season earlier this month [August]. (more)

You can visit America's national parks for free September 23, but there's a chance to do more
23 September 2023 - Sept. 23 is going to be a big day for nature lovers. It's America's 30th annual National Public Lands Day. Not only will hundreds of federal lands offer visitors free entry, but it'll also be the biggest day of the year for volunteering at parks and public lands, according to the National Environmental Education Foundation, which coordinates National Public Lands Day in partnership with federal agencies, nonprofits, and state and local parks. (more)

'Small and inconspicuous' tree was thought extinct in Brazil for 186 years. Until now
22 September 2023 - About 186 years ago, botanist George Gardner discovered a unique holly tree while on an expedition. The 'small and inconspicuous' tree was officially identified in 1861 as Ilex sapiiformis, or the Pernambuco holly tree based on the Pernambuco state where it was found. Since then, scientists have been unable to locate the plant again -- until now. (more)

Colombia: How Medellin is beating the heat with green corridors
22 September 2023 - Sometimes referred to as the 'City of Eternal Spring', Medellin's temperate climate has long helped attract tourists all year round, but increasing urbanization had also exposed it to the urban heat island effect, where buildings and roads absorb and retain heat. Its new green corridors, however, have proven remarkably effective in reversing this impact, with a 2C temperature reduction across the city, according to local government data seen by BBC Future Planet. Medellin, Colombia's second largest city after Bogota, started its 'green corridors' programme in 2016 due to concern about air pollution and rising heat. (more)

Emmy Noether: the woman who developed one of the most beautiful theorems in physics
21 September 2023 - Emmy Noether revolutionized our understanding of the universe by linking the concept of symmetry to the fundamental laws that conserve quantities like energy and momentum. (more)

Tree thought extinct discovered after 2 centuries in 'incredible' find
21 September 2023 - A tree previously thought to have been extinct has been rediscovered in Brazil, in an 'incredible find.' Scientists said that they discovered the tree, which had not been seen in almost 200 years, in an urban area in Igarassu, northeastern Brazil, the Belgian news outlet The Brussels Times reported. The tree, called the Ilex sapiiformis also known as the Pernambuco holly, was first recorded in 1838, and, until recently, this was the only confirmed sighting. (more)

A new London exhibition highlights the untold stories of Black British fashion designers
20 September 2023 - A new exhibition is opening in London to chart for the first time the contributions that Black British culture made to U.K. fashion and design history and to celebrate Black designers who haven't received public recognition. ...One success story was Bruce Oldfield, the veteran couture designer who worked closely with Princess Diana and, more recently, made Queen Camilla's coronation gown. Oldfield was one of the first visible Black designers in the U.K. in the '70s and '80s, and the exhibition featured a glamorous red silk embroidered dress worn by Diana in 1987. (more)

Half-million-year-old wooden structure unearthed in Zambia
20 September 2023 - The discovery of ancient wooden logs in the banks of a river in Zambia has changed archaeologists' understanding of ancient human life. ...The findings, published in the journal Nature, suggest stone-age people built what may have been shelters. ...Team member Perrice Nkombwe, from the Livingstone Museum, in Zambia, said: 'I was amazed to know that woodworking was such a deep-rooted tradition.' (more)

'Oldest wooden structure' discovered on border of Zambia and Tanzania
20 September 2023 - Researchers have discovered remnants of what is thought to be the world's oldest known wooden structure, an arrangement of logs on the bank of a river bordering Zambia and Tanzania that predates the rise of modern humans. The simple structure, made by shaping two logs with sharp stone tools, may have formed part of a walkway or platform for human ancestors who lived along the Kalambo River nearly 500,000 years ago. (more)

The social lives of kangaroos are more complex than we thought
20 September 2023 - Kangaroos have stronger bonds to one another than you might think. Over six years, we [researchers] monitored a population of around 130 eastern gray kangaroos near Wollar in New South Wales to see how their relationships changed over time. ...We found that kangaroo mothers become more social when caring for joeys (which is the opposite of what we previously thought). We also uncovered new evidence that indicates kangaroos could potentially form long-term relationships. (more)

Network of ancient American Indian earthworks in Ohio named as UNESCO World Heritage sites
19 September 2023 - A network of ancient American Indian ceremonial and burial mounds in Ohio described as 'part cathedral, part cemetery, and part astronomical observatory' was added Tuesday [19 September] to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. (more)

US: How a rural Alabama school system outdid the country with gains in math
19 September 2023 - While the rest of the country's schools were losing ground in math during the COVID pandemic, student performance in a rural Alabama school district was soaring. Piedmont City schools notched significant improvement in math, landing in the top spot among school districts across the country in a comparison of scores from before and during the pandemic. Nationwide, students on average fell half a year behind in math, researchers say. (more)

Wild Woodbury: Red List bird species return after rewilding
19 September 2023 - A rewilding project has led to the return of a number of bird species that are in critical decline. Seven birds on the Conservation Concern Red List have been spotted at Wild Woodbury in Dorset [England]. ...Nightingale, greenfinch, grey partridge, marsh tit, skylark, nightjar and tree pipit -- all Red List species -- have been recorded. (more)

Small-scale farmers in Africa will be the beneficiaries of huge humanitarian prize
17 September 2023 - One Acre Fund, through a suite of services across nine African countries, is working to help small and subsistence farmers grow more food, make more money, and reinvest in their communities. This year's Hilton Humanitarian Prize, one of the largest humanitarian awards in the world, has been awarded to OAF for its work with smallholder farmers. (more)

Jose Andres: The man who created an army of culinary first responders
16 September 2023 - Before chef Jose Andres became famous for World Central Kitchen, he had already scaled the heights of his profession building a culinary empire in Washington, DC and beyond -- nearly 40 restaurants to date. And don't forget to add bestselling author, TV host, podcast producer, educator, and Nobel Peace Prize nominee. His new cookbook celebrates the group's [World Central Kitchen] humanitarian impact. (more)

Astronomy Photographer of the Year: Huge plasma arc wins
15 September 2023 - A photo of a huge plasma arc next to the Andromeda Galaxy has won this year's prestigious photography prize. A team of amateur astronomers led by Marcel Drechsler, Xavier Strottner, and Yann Sainty captured the surprising discovery. Scientists are now investigating the newly discovered giant cloud of gas. It could be the largest such structure in the nearby environment in the Universe. (more)

England's rarest species to get British pounds 14.5m funding boost
15 September 2023 - Nature projects to revive England's endangered species have been awarded British pounds 14.5m of funding by Natural England -- the government's advisers. Water voles in London to crayfish in North Yorkshire will benefit from the money which will go towards breeding programmes and improving habitats. Estimates suggest 15 percent of the country's species are at risk of extinction. Tony Juniper, chair of Natural England said previous recovery schemes have shown they do work. (more)

Astronomers weigh ancient galaxies' dark matter haloes for 1st time
14 September 2023 - The measurement of the mysterious form of matter around these quasar galaxies could have profound implications for our understanding of how the cosmos has evolved. A team of astronomers has, for the first time, 'weighed' dark matter haloes surrounding actively feeding supermassive black holes in the bright hearts of ancient galaxies. (more)

Feds spread $1 billion for tree plantings among US cities to reduce extreme heat and benefit health
14 September 2023 - Hundreds of communities around the country will share more than $1 billion in federal money to help them plant and maintain trees under a federal program that is intended to reduce extreme heat, benefit health, and improve access to nature. U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the $1.13 billion in funding for 385 projects at an event Thursday morning [14 September] in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (more)

A Norwegian man needed a hobby. His new metal detector found a showy 1,500-year-old gold necklace
14 September 2023 - At first, the Norwegian man thought his metal detector reacted to chocolate money buried in the soil. It turned out to be nine pendants, three rings, and 10 gold pearls someone might have worn as showy jewelry 1,500 years ago. The rare find was made this summer by 51-year-old Erlend Bore on the southern island of Rennesoey, near the city of Stavanger. (more)

Nature's great survivors: Flowering plants survived the mass extinction that killed the dinosaurs
13 September 2023 - A new study published in Biology Letters by researchers from the University of Bath (UK) and Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (Mexico) shows that flowering plants escaped relatively unscathed from the mass extinction that killed the dinosaurs 66 million years ago. While they suffered some species loss, the devastating event helped flowering plants become the dominant type of plant they are today. (more)

Astronomers reveal cosmic ribbon around rare galaxy
13 September 2023 - International astronomers using a telescope owned and operated by CSIRO, Australia's national science agency, have revealed a galaxy wrapped in a cosmic 'ribbon'. The research, led by Dr Nathan Deg and Dr Kristine Spekkens from Queen's University Canada and co-authored by CSIRO's Professor Barbel Koribalski, presents a stunning image of a galaxy called NGC 4632 that is 56 million light years from Earth. It's been identified as a potential polar ring galaxy, which are some of the most spectacular types of galaxies in the Universe, and among the most mysterious. (more)

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