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Browsing: Environment

Bangor University experts are pioneering “backpack” transmitters for bees. The technology, originally developed in 2015, is attached to bees so scientists can track their movements. The charge powers a signal, which can be followed by an overhead drone as the bees fly over a wide range. Scientists hope tracking them will provide clues as to why some pollinating insects are in decline. “Existing bee monitoring devices face limits due to their weight, range, and battery life duration and these are the problems that we’ve set out to resolve using cutting-edge micro-technology,” said Dr Cristiano Palego, from the University’s School…

Vegans and other ethically minded people now have it much easier when finding synthetic alternatives to leather. Vegan and more ethical fashion is revolutionizing the industry, as more and more people are demanding animal-friendly eco styles. Now, Mainstream brands such as Toms, Vans, Dr. martens and Etnies have all created their own vegan style line, making finding ethical alternatives for your feet a breeze. On your next shopping spree however, don’t just look out for the leather symbol, as many large retailers are still using animal derived glues, so even non-leather shoes may not be vegan. List of high street…

By Olivia Romero-Collins San Jose, Costa Rica. 26th-28th October 2017: A three-day intensive course for professional biologists and civil engineers working for the government, charities, and private organisations in related fields was held to learn about how to implement wildlife-friendly roads in Mesoamerica. The following article is an account of what I learned at the conference. It’s night time in Costa Rica and you are driving down a quiet road, when all of a sudden, your headlights catch a flash of eyes and the faint outline of the spotted body of a jaguar. What do you do? Do you risk…

The end of October brought an exciting new field course opportunity during the recent reading week, for those in the school of SENRGy (School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography. A small group of environmental, conservation students (and one geographer), including myself and 7 others, were fortunate enough to join with some students from the University of Ghana, to undertake a field ecology and conservation course in Ghana. Lead by Prof. Julia Jones of Bangor and Prof. Erasmus Owusu, this intensive 10-day course provided all involved with some of the most valuable skills and knowledge needed for a future in…

Always remember the 5th November… Bonfire Night, a celebration which brings friends and family together with fireworks and fires to warm up on a cold November evening.  However, Guy Fawkes is regularly the most polluted day of the year in the UK, burning masses of timber and shooting rockets into the air adds carbon monoxide and other dangerous to background air pollution. The added smoke in the atmosphere has the potential to cause serious health issues especially to those suffering from lung problems. Researchers have found that airborne particles from Guy Fawkes and Diwali, a celebration in which fireworks are…

Coral reefs are built by fascinating marine invertebrates that produce calcium carbonate and form many compact colonies in the shallow waters of tropical oceans. They are often called the ‘rainforests of the sea’ as they house a quarter of all known marine organisms covering less than 1% of the ocean’s area. Their formation requires specific circumstances (temperature, light) and they are essential for the functioning of a significant portion of the marine ecological cycle. Nevertheless, corals still remain a wonder of the ocean and require a lot of further research. From an interview with John Turner, from the School of…

After over three decades of protection from over-production EU milk quotas were scrapped on the first of April in order to allow EU dairy businesses to compete with international rivals in supplying the ever expanding markets of Asia and Africa. While the EU are confident that the new system will not bring a return to the butter mountains and lakes of milk of the 1980s, farmers in the UK are worried about the already low price of milk falling even further. EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan said the ending of quotas was both a challenge and…

The International Energy Agency reported last month that the growth in global carbon emissions had stalled for the first time in their 40 year records, in the absence of major economic crisis. The figures remained at 32 gigatonnes in 2014, the same as 2013. While this is encouraging the IEA has warned that despite the news, this was “no time for complacency”. “This is both a very welcome surprise and a significant one,” said IEA Chief Economist Fatih Birol, “It provides much-needed momentum to negotiators preparing to forge a global climate deal in Paris in December: for the first time,…

As Lord of the rings famously said “boil ‘em, mash ‘em, stick ‘em in a stew”. The humble potato has many uses and is now on the verge of launching a food revolution. On a small island called Texel (pronounced Tessel), part of the Netherlands, a group of scientists have pioneered a species of potato that is grown using diluted sea water. While most farmers go to great lengths to keep salt water away from their crops Marc Van Rijsselberghe, an entrepreneurial organic farmer has embraced the salty water and developed a potato that is not only tolerant of salt…

An ambitious project in Snowdonia National Park has passed the halfway stage in its effort to raise funds to develop a 270 kW run-of-river hydroelectricity scheme. The community of Abergwyngregyn, Gwynedd, and the founding directors of Ynni Anafon Energy Cyf, the community organisation set up to manage the scheme, are hoping to raise £300,000 by the end of November to ensure construction can begin in the new year. The scheme has already raised over £165,500 through a share offer in the scheme, offering people the chance to be part of the project for as little as £250. The target date…

A professor from Bangor University’s School of Ocean Sciences is set to travel to Massachusetts this week as one of only 12 scientists invited to speak at the International Arctic Science Committee. Professor Tim Rippeth, who gained his PhD is in Physical Oceanography at Bangor in 1994, is to talk to the conference about how the disappearance of Arctic sea ice will affect the rest of the world. Professor Rippeth will warn that the loss of ice cover could be the cause of extreme weather in the UK, such as the wet summers and severe winters experienced in recent years.…

A backpacker from Edinburgh got an unwelcome surprise a whole month after returning from a trip to Cambodia and Vietnam. Daniela Liverani, 24, found a three inch leech living in her nose a full four weeks after returning from her trip after presuming it was a blood clot following a motorcycle crash. The leech, nicknamed Mr Curly, came to light when it crawled out of Ms Liverani’s nose in the shower; the animal was swiftly removed from her nose at accident and emergency and Ms Liverani disposed of the creature in “an Edinburgh City Council bin”, but not without boiling…

Britain is being threatened with court action by the European Commission within the next 2 months for what it sees as a failure to protect Harbour Porpoises. The threat comes after the numbers of the cetaceans has plummeted in recent years due to injuries from boats, underwater noise and fisheries bycatch. To avoid court action the UK needs to introduce more designated protection sites under the Habitats Directive so as to protect the cetaceans from “seriously compromise to their ecological character”, something that could happen should numbers continue to fall.

The Ice Bucket Challenge has been the charity phenomenon of the summer and has encouraged everyone, from former US President George W Bush to Stephen Hawking, to pick up a bucket and get involved. The craze has created a much larger impact than just a few celebrities getting their heads wet however; the challenge has created a backlash from animal rights groups and also environmentalists. For anyone who has somehow missed the deluge of videos which have flooded social media the past few months, the basic idea of the Ice Bucket Challenge is as follows. The participant makes a short…

In the last week of August, a demolition crew detonated a battery of explosives to destroy the final 30 feet of a 210-foot high Glines Canyon dam on a small river in Washington State in the largest dam removal project in the world. The 45 mile long, Elwha River was damned twice in the early 20th century, in 1914 by the Elwha Dam, located 5 miles from the mouth of the River and secondly in 1927 by the Glines Canyon Dam in 1927, 8 miles further upstream. The dams were put in place at the time, along with many others…

With yet another London Fashion week over and companies already planning their 2015 spring summer collection, it seems that clothes from summer just gone are already well and truly out of style and those clothes that are ‘so last season’ will soon be disposed of. Over 60% of the UK clothing waste ends up in landfill which is a sad fact for any vintage lover, but the reality is that we just don’t make clothes like we used to any more. During the war material was in short supply and everything had to be made to last, now garments are…

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