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Peru to establish rainforest reserve for isolated Indigenous peoples
17 April 2021 - After nearly twenty years of discussion, the Peruvian government has moved to establish a new Indigenous reserve for 'uncontacted peoples' deep in the Amazon rainforest. Javari Tapiche Indigenous Reserve, which covers 1.1 million hectares (2.7 million acres) in the department of Loreto on the Peru-Brazil border, is home to Matses, Remo and Marubo peoples, as well as other groups that have yet to be identified. (more)

The remarkable power of Australian kelp
16 April 2021 - Algae is a powerhouse for the climate, sending carbon to the seafloor and deacidifying oceans. In Australia, scientists are just beginning to tap its potential. The Aboriginal peoples of Australia were some of the first seaweed innovators in the world. And 45,000 years later on mainland Australia, people are again turning to algae to solve pressing problems. Today, it is not how to get water from A to B, but how to address the world's climate crisis. And in several large open-air bubbling green vats at an industrial complex in Nowra, New South Wales, Pia Winberg is exploring exactly how. (more)

Solar rollout for 25m Nigerians to begin
15 April 2021 - The Nigerian federal government has commenced its plan to deliver electricity through solar energy to Nigerians whose communities are off the national power grid. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who spoke during an event to mark the programme in Jangefe, Roni Local Government Area of Jigawa State, restated the determination of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to give more Nigerians access to inexpensive and environmentally friendly renewable power. (more)

Great Britain's electricity system had greenest day ever over Easter
14 April 2021 - Great Britain's electricity system recorded its greenest ever day over the Easter bank holiday as sunshine and windy weather led to a surge in renewable energy. The power plants generating electricity in England, Scotland and Wales produced only 39g of carbon dioxide for every kilowatt-hour of electricity on Easter Monday, according to National Grid's electricity system operator, the lowest carbon intensity recorded since National Grid records began in 1935. (more)

Adventurer plans to drive EV from South Pole to North Pole
13 April 2021 - When people think of the world's toughest vehicles, an electric car doesn't spring to mind. But rugged U.K. adventurer Chris Ramsey is planning to cover 17,000 miles from the South Pole to the magnetic North Pole in electric vehicles. Ramsey has been planning his upcoming journey for four years. The route will take him across 14 countries and three continents, in temperatures expected to range from -30C to 28C (-22F to 82F). The trip will take an estimated 120 days to complete and will save 29 metric tons of CO2 compared to making this same jaunt in a car with an internal combustion engine. If all goes well, Ramsey will take off on his Pole to Pole adventure in late 2022. (more)

A surprise in Africa: Air pollution falls as economies rise
11 April 2021 - Rapidly growing countries generally see sharp increases in air pollution as their populations and economies expand. But a new study of air quality in Africa published on Monday [8 February] has found the opposite: One of the continent's most vibrant regions is becoming less polluted. (more)

Turtle conservation hits the SPOT in North Cyprus
11 April 2021 - Green and loggerhead turtle nest counts have increased by 162 percent and 46 percent respectively in less than two decades on North Cyprus in the Mediterranean. Conservation begun by enthusiasts in 1983 is now organized by a local NGO, the Society for the Protection of Turtles (SPOT), in collaboration with scientists from the University of Exeter in the U.K. and the local Department of Environmental Protection. (more)

Agroforestry and land reform give Brazil cacao farmers sweet taste of success
10 April 2021 - In the 1990s, witches' broom disease, a fungal outbreak, devastated cacao crops in the south of Brazil's Bahia state, leaving many farms abandoned. The outbreak [left] more than 150,000 farmers unemployed in what had been Brazil's main cacao-producing region since the 18th century. About 30,000 farms went bankrupt. Yet despite this downturn, there was a bright spot. The community reestablished the agroecological system known as cabruca, in which farmers plant cacao trees and other crops without clearing native forest. (more)

Traditional healers are preserving their knowledge, and with it, the biodiversity of Brazil's savanna
10 April 2021 - The Brazilian savanna contains almost a third of Brazil's biodiversity but less than 10 percent is officially protected and its native vegetation is threatened by a rapidly-advancing agricultural frontier. Much of the flora and fauna remain unknown to conventional science. A network of traditional healers is at the forefront of finding ways to protect, sustainably manage, and document the biodiversity based on their in-depth knowledge of medicinal plants. (more)

Event Horizon Telescope images magnetic fields at the edge of M87's supermassive black hole
9 April 2021 - The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) collaboration, which produced the first-ever image of a black hole, has today [24 March] revealed a new view of the massive object at the center of the Messier 87 (M87) galaxy: how it looks in polarized light. This is the first time astronomers have been able to measure polarization, a signature of magnetic fields, this close to the edge of a black hole. The observations are key to explaining how the M87 galaxy, located 55 million light-years away, is able to launch energetic jets from its core. (more)

Global telescope creates exquisite map of black hole's swirling magnetic field
9 April 2021 - A new view of the region closest to the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy has shown important details of the magnetic fields close to it -- and hints about how powerful jets of material can originate in that region. A worldwide team of astronomers using the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) measured a signature of magnetic fields -- called polarization -- around the black hole. Polarization is the orientation of the electric fields in light and radio waves, and it can indicate the presence and alignment of magnetic fields. (more)

Mystery about how particles behave outside a black hole photon sphere solved with string theory
9 April 2021 - A paper by the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe Director Ooguri Hirosi and Project Researcher Matthew Dodelson on the string theoretical effects outside the black hole photon sphere has been selected for the 'Editors' Suggestion' of the journal Physical Review D. Their paper was published on March 24, 2021. (more)

Bank of America to deploy $1 trillion for sustainable finance by 2030
8 April 2021 - Bank of America said on Thursday it will deploy $1 trillion for its environmental business initiative to push for green finance by 2030, expanding on the $300 billion it had announced for the same project in 2019. The second largest U.S. bank said the latest announcement puts its total commitment to sustainable finance by 2030 at $1.5 trillion. (more)

Compounds in amber could help fight drug-resistant bacteria superbugs, scientists find
8 April 2021 - For centuries, people in Baltic nations [Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia] have used ancient amber for medicinal purposes. Now, scientists have pinpointed compounds that help explain Baltic amber's therapeutic effects and that could lead to new medicines to combat antibiotic-resistant infections. ... The Baltic Sea region contains the world's largest deposit of the material, which is fossilized resin formed about 44 million years ago. (more)

Archaeologists unearth large ancient pharaonic city near Luxor
8 April 2021 - Archaeologists said on Thursday [8 April] they had uncovered a large ancient pharaonic city that had lain unseen for centuries near some of Egypt's best known monuments. The city was built more than 3,400 years ago during the opulent reign of Amenhotep III, one of Egypt's most powerful pharaohs, the Egyptian archaeologist overseeing the excavations, Zahi Hawass, said. (more)

New research sheds fresh light on intellectual achievements of long-vanished Aztec empire
8 April 2021 - New research by a British linguistic anthropologist, Gordon Whittaker, is revealing for the first time that the Aztecs' hieroglyphic writing system was one of the most sophisticated scripts that humanity has ever produced. (more)

Muons: 'Strong' evidence found for a new force of nature
7 April 2021 - From sticking a magnet on a fridge door to throwing a ball into a basketball hoop, the forces of physics are at play in every moment of our lives. All of the forces we experience every day can be reduced to just four categories: gravity, electromagnetism, the strong force, and the weak force. Now, physicists say they have found possible signs of a fifth fundamental force of nature. (more)

A tiny particle's wobble could upend the known laws of physics
7 April 2021 - Evidence is mounting that a tiny subatomic particle seems to be disobeying the known laws of physics, scientists announced on Wednesday [7 April], a finding that would open a vast and tantalizing hole in our understanding of the universe. ... The particle is the muon, which is akin to an electron but far heavier, and is an integral element of the cosmos. Dr. Chris Polly and his colleagues -- an international team of 200 physicists from seven countries -- found that muons did not behave as predicted when shot through an intense magnetic field at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, or Fermilab, in Batavia, Illinois [US]. (more)

US: University of California, Berkeley study finds empathy training reduces recidivism rates
6 April 2021 - A UC Berkeley study published March 29 found that empathy training for probation and parole officers led to a reduction in bias against supervisees and recidivism rates among their clients. Over the course of 10 months, there was a 13 percent decrease in recidivism among the clients of parole and probation officers who participated in the empathy training. (more)

Italy approves new decree to keep cruise ships out of Venice lagoon
5 April 2021 - Italy's government has ruled that large cruise ships and container vessels must not pass close to Venice's historic centre and should instead dock in a different location to preserve the famed lagoon. 'Anyone who has visited Venice in recent years has been shocked to see these ships, hundreds of metres long and as tall as apartment buildings, passing through such fragile places,' Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said on Thursday [1 April]. (more)

British band Coldplay adopts a barge that plucks plastic out of the river - before it flows to the ocean
4 April 2021 - The Ocean Cleanup project launched by a Dutch youth a decade ago to tackle the Pacific garbage patch has in recent years begun to fix its attention on the plastic from rivers flowing into the sea. The English band Coldplay is sponsoring the newest 'Interceptor', one of the semi-autonomous water craft developed by The Ocean Cleanup to extract plastic from rivers before it enters the ocean. (more)

Venice bans cruise ships from historic centre
4 April 2021 - Italian authorities have approved a ban on cruise ships entering the historic centre of Venice. The country's culture minister said on Wednesday [31 March] that the decision came in response to a request from UN cultural body UNESCO. Critics argue the ships cause pollution and erode the foundations of the city, which suffers from regular flooding. On Wednesday, Italian ministers agreed that large cruise and container ships would no longer be able to enter the city's Giudecca canal, which leads to the historic St. Mark's Square. (more)

Brussels presents plan to boost organic farming
3 April 2021 - A new plan to boost the production and consumption of organic products, presented Thursday [25 March] by the EU Commission, aims to reach 25 per cent of agricultural land under organic farming by 2030. Organic production comes with important benefits: organic fields have around 30 per cent more biodiversity, organically farmed animals enjoy a higher degree of animal welfare and take less antibiotics, organic farmers have higher incomes and are more resilient, and consumers know exactly what they are getting thanks to the EU organic logo. (more)

Morocco: Organic farming sector still expanding
3 April 2021 - Morocco's organic farming sector has seen rapid growth in the last years, and there are no indications it is slowing. Besides the Green Morocco Plan, the country has made serious efforts to promote organic farming. ... As Morocco developed its agrobiological sector, produce exports experienced significant growth, from 7,230 tonnes in 2007 to 17,000 tonnes in 2019. (more)

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