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Energy positive: how Denmark’s Samsø island switched to zero carbon
Climate / Environment / Technology

Energy positive: how Denmark’s Samsø island switched to zero carbon

From The Guardian, February 24, 2017 (Image: Marcelo Medeiros via Flickr) Anyone doubting the potential of renewable energy need look no further than the Danish island of Samsø. The 4,000-inhabitant island nestled in the Kattegat Sea has been energy-positive for the past decade, producing more energy from wind and biomass than it consumes. Samsø’s transformation … Continue reading

Silverton windfarm’s output will be equal to taking 192,000 cars off the road
Environment / Technology

Silverton windfarm’s output will be equal to taking 192,000 cars off the road

From The Guardian, February 10, 2017 (Image: @PaulDCocker via Flickr) After years in planning, construction on the Silverton windfarm in western New South Wales is finally set to begin after the sale of the project from AGL to its Powering Australian Renewables Fund (PARF). The deal will see AGL pay just $65 a megawatt hour … Continue reading

Extreme fire weather forecast for Australia and the Mediterranean
Climate / Environment

Extreme fire weather forecast for Australia and the Mediterranean

From Cosmos Magazine, February 7, 2017 (Image: bertknot via Flickr) Extreme wildfires are set to surge as the number of days that foster these catastrophic events climbs from 20% to 50% in disaster-prone regions, a new study warns. David Bowman, a fire ecologist from the University of Tasmania in Australia, and colleagues examined temperature data … Continue reading

How acid warps your thoughts and feelings
Biology / Neuroscience / Psychology

How acid warps your thoughts and feelings

From Cosmos Magazine, January 27, 2017 (Image: Mesaj via Flickr) Eight decades since Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann first cooked up the psychedelic drug lysergic acid diethylamide – LSD or “acid” – and half a century on from its heyday during the 1960s counterculture, how LSD messes with our brain is still little understood. But two new … Continue reading

Killer whale menopause evolved from mother-daughter conflict
Biology / Evolution

Killer whale menopause evolved from mother-daughter conflict

From Cosmos Magazine, January 13, 2017 (Image: Shawn McCready via Flickr) Menopause is an evolutionary anomaly. Only in three species – humans, orcas and short-finned pilot whales – does female reproduction grind to a halt part-way through life. For orcas (Orcinus orca), a new study published in Current Biology shows that menopause isn’t just a … Continue reading

Environment / Technology

Solar cooling systems take heat out of summer’s hottest days

From The Guardian, December 20, 2016. (Image: allanjder via Flickr) As Australia settles in for another long hot summer, the demand for air-conditioning is set to surge. In fact, with the World Meteorological Organisation stating that 2016 is likely to be the hottest year on record, it’s no surprise an estimated 1.6bn new air conditioners … Continue reading

Will the internet of things sacrifice or save the environment?
Environment / Technology

Will the internet of things sacrifice or save the environment?

From the Guardian, December 12, 2016. (Image: Kevin Dooley via Flickr) The internet of things (IoT) – that ever-expanding ecosystem of digital sensors, home appliances and wearable smart devices – attracts its fair share of attention. Speculation is rife on how the 23bn-odd (and counting) “things” will improve quality of life, streamline business operations and … Continue reading