Reusing tableware can reduce waste from online food deliveries

14 hours 53 minutes ago
Lifestyles in China are changing rapidly, and ordering food online is an example. However, those billions of delivery meals produce an enormous amount of plastic waste from packaging, but also from food containers and cutlery; in one year, some 7.3 billion sets of single-use tableware accompany the food. Around one-third of the 553 kilotons of municipal solid waste that is generated each day comes from packaging. That is why a group of scientists analyzed whether using paper alternatives or reusable tableware could reduce plastic waste and associated life cycle emissions.

Major wind-driven ocean currents are shifting toward the poles

15 hours 1 minute ago
The severe droughts in the USA and Australia are the first sign that the tropics, and their warm temperatures, are apparently expanding in the wake of climate change. But until now, scientists have been unable to conclusively explain the reasons for this, because they were mostly focusing on atmospheric processes. Now, experts at the AWI have solved the puzzle: the alarming expansion of the tropics is not caused by processes in the atmosphere, but quite simply by warming subtropical ocean.

Most Angelenos say climate change is a threat—but few act accordingly

17 hours ago
Anew report shows that a solid majority of Los Angeles County residents believe that climate change is caused by human activity and that it poses a threat to their well-being. And the more mindful they are of the threat, the more willing they are to adopt practices that benefit the environment. However, less than half of residents are aware of government incentives to help them adopt those practices, and a large majority are unprepared for the threat posed by climate change, including its ability to exacerbate wildfires.

Image: Tarawa, Kiribati

17 hours 13 minutes ago
The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over the Tarawa Atoll in the Republic of Kiribati – a remote Pacific nation threatened by rising seas.

Research links sinking land to regions of high groundwater demand

17 hours 20 minutes ago
Excessive pumping from underground aquifers can cause the surrounding land to sink and lead to damage to streets, bridges and other infrastructure, reduced groundwater storage, and contaminated drinking water, according to researchers at Missouri S&T. They are using a form of artificial intelligence known as machine learning to map the sinking—called land subsidence—to help water policy officials make informed decisions.

Researcher investigates the most lethal volcanic phenomena on earth

17 hours 22 minutes ago
Like many who grew up in East Germany, Dr. Gert Lube always yearned to travel and explore different places. Ten years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, when he was a first-year geology student at the University of Greifswald, he heard about a field trip to Iceland and seized the opportunity.

Solution to water shortages: Reuse of sewage for groundwater fed irrigation

17 hours 32 minutes ago
Globally, there is an imbalance between water availability and water demand. The main cause of this mismatch is agricultural irrigation, which accounts for about 70% of freshwater withdrawal. At the same time, wastewater treatment plants discharge large volumes of water that diminish the quality of the limited freshwater resources. A new study by a diverse team of experts, including researchers from the University of Amsterdam, shows that reusing treated domestic wastewater through groundwater fed irrigation can satisfy part of the agricultural water demand, while wastewater is naturally purified through the sub-soil. Their findings are now published in the scientific journals Science of the Total Environment and Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology.

Future urban development exacerbates coastal exposure in the Mediterranean

17 hours 38 minutes ago
Urban extent in low-lying coastal areas is increasing faster than in the hinterland, thus leading to increased exposure to sea-level rise and associated hazards. Societies' risk to future coastal flooding will, therefore, not only depend on the physical drivers of change but also on the rate and pattern of urban growth. Researchers at Kiel University (CAU), together with partners from Berlin and Athens, have now developed a new set of spatially explicit projections of urban extent for ten countries in the Mediterranean, with a high spatial and temporal resolution. These future urban projections indicate that accounting for the spatial patterns of urban development can lead to significant differences in the assessment of future coastal urban exposure. Depending on the urban development scenario chosen, the exposure of certain coastal regions can vary by up to 104 percent until 2100. These results have recently been published in the international journal Scientific Reports.

Researcher tackles growing plastic waste

18 hours 39 minutes ago
Humanity is facing many serious problems at the moment, notwithstanding the global viral pandemic that is SARS-CoV-2. Global warming and climate change are still with us, water and food security are increasingly problematic for millions of people, and the amount of plastic waste we are generating simply grows and grows.

A watershed study for wetland restoration

18 hours 42 minutes ago
Where rivers meet oceans, each cycle of the tide moves water in and out of estuaries. The mixing and mingling of fresh and briny water, combined with seasonal weather, creates a unique environment for ecosystems in coastal estuaries and upstream tidal rivers.
19 minutes 35 seconds ago
Phys.org provides the latest news on earth science, climate change
Subscribe to Phys.or Earth feed