In recent years, the demand for cobalt, a crucial component of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries for smartphones and electric cars, has been on the increase. Around 60 percent of the world’s cobalt supply comes from the mineral-rich Katanga copper belt, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Researchers at KU Leuven (Belgium) and the University of

With sea ice in the Arctic melting at an alarming rate, opportunities for trans-Arctic shipping are opening up, and by mid-century ships will be able to sail right over the North Pole—something not previously possible for humankind. UConn geographer Scott Stephenson and colleagues say the growth of trans-Arctic shipping and the increase in emissions that

Radioactivity in fracking wastewater comes from the interaction between a chemical slurry and ancient shale during the hydraulic fracturing process, according to Dartmouth College research. The study, detailed in twin papers appearing in Chemical Geology, is the first research that characterizes the phenomenon of radium transfer in the widely-used method to extract oil and gas.

Agriculture that appears to be more eco-friendly but uses more land may actually have greater environmental costs per unit of food than “high-yield” farming that uses less land, a new study has found. There is mounting evidence that the best way to meet rising food demand while conserving biodiversity is to wring as much food

Researchers found that using bio-sequestration to capture carbon produced by US coal-fired plants even after carbon capture and storage would require using 62 percent of the nation’s arable land for that process, or 89 percent of all US land with average forest cover. In comparison, offsetting the amount of carbon produced by manufacturing solar panels

New research confronts the elephant in the room—the ‘trilemma’ of population growth, economic growth and environmental sustainability—and reveals the vast incompatibility of current models of economic development with environmental sustainability. Using data collected from across the globe, national economies and natural resource use were closely examined by an international team of scientists using a mathematical

So here’s the good news: Despite fears to the contrary, California isn’t facing a year-round drought in our warming new world. However, UC Riverside Earth Sciences Professor Robert Allen’s research indicates that what precipitation the state does get will be pretty much limited to the winter months—think deluge-type rainfall rather than snow—and non-winter months will

A study on dramatic changes to Earth’s vegetation as it emerged from the last ice age and temperatures rose has offered clues on the kinds of transformations that will occur to landscapes with similar increases in temperature anticipated over just the next 150 years. ANU was part of the international research team that found two-thirds

Crop losses for critical food grains will increase substantially as the climate warms, as rising temperatures increase the metabolic rate and population growth of insect pests, according to new research. “Climate change will have a negative impact on crops,” said Scott Merrill of the University of Vermont, a co-author of the study published today in

University of California, Berkeley, engineers have created a new way to remove contaminants from storm water, potentially addressing the needs of water-stressed communities that are searching for ways to tap the abundant and yet underused source of fresh drinking water. Using a mineral-coated sand that reacts with and destroys organic pollutants, the researchers have discovered

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