A robotic arm breaks off a chunk of mineral-rich rock deep underwater. Nautilus Minerals of Australia hopes to develop and expand undersea mining by extracting copper, gold, silver and zinc from the seafloor.
Credit Nautilus Minerals
Credit Nautilus Minerals
This deep-sea rock is rich in copper. Minerals form in the seafloor because a natural hot spring has been laying them down for thousands of years.
Filmmaker James Cameron recently reminded us of the wonders of the sea by diving solo in a submarine to the deepest spot in the ocean. Next year, if all goes as planned, a rather different expedition will take place 1,000 miles south of that dive: An Australian company will start mining for copper, gold, silver and zinc on the seafloor off the shore of Papua New Guinea.
A wildfire in the foothills southwest of Denver continues to burn out of control. It's destroyed dozens of homes and buildings, and with two people confirmed dead and another missing, it looks to be Colorado's deadliest wildfire in decades.
A day and a half after the fire started, the weather at the command post is so beautiful it's hard to imagine the nearby blaze is raging almost out of control. Mark Techmeyer of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department calls the Lower North Fork Wildfire a monster.
Researchers haven't given much thought to the effect of noise and noise pollution on plants. After all, plants don't have ears — at least, not the kind you hear with — so there doesn't seem to be much point. But thanks to ecologist Clinton Francis, that could be about to change.
Francis is a postdoctoral researcher at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center in North Carolina. But he has spent the past few years in northwestern New Mexico, studying noise pollution in Rattlesnake Canyon.
In Wisconsin, a bill that would authorize a hunting and trapping season for wolves sits on Governor Scott Walker’s desk. The bill pits republican and democratic supporters against environmental and conservation groups who say the proposal has no basis is the science of wildlife management.
Shell Oil plans to explore for petroleum off Alaska's north coast this summer. The native people of Alaska have a big stake in both oil revenue and environmental protection. That conflict has played out in recent trips by Inupiats to Washington, D.C., to argue their case.
Rising gas prices have again shifted the political debate between those calling for more drilling to meet America's fossil fuel dependency and those advocating for investment in alternative energy sources. Many environmentalists are convinced that we are nearing the day when fossil fuels are tapped out, or too expensive or too harmful to extract.
Dear EarthTalk: American farmers are an aging population. Is anyone doing anything to make sure younger people are taking up this profession in large enough numbers to keep at least some of our food production domestic?-- Beverly Smith, Milwaukee, WI
Dear EarthTalk: I can’t seem to find any natural bug repellents that really work so I end up using the harsh, chemical varieties. Are there any really effective bug repellants that aren’t chemically based, or other strategies we can use to keep bugs at bay? -- Melissa Armantine, New Paltz, NY
This year, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services turns 25 years old. Its Commissioner, Tom Burack says that over that time a lot of progress has been made in terms of clean water, air and land, but there’s still a long way to go. “This legacy,” Burack says “requires vigilance and maintenance”. Those are tough goals, and with recent budget cuts to his department it makes it even that much more tough.
The man who warned us that aerosol spray-cans could destroy the earth's protective ozone layer has died.
F. Sherwood Rowland, better known as Sherry Rowland, was a Nobel-prize winning chemist at the University of California, Irvine. And he didn't just keep to the laboratory: He successfully advocated for a ban on ozone-destroying chemicals called CFCs.
Mother and calf common dolphins are transported to the beach by a team from the International Fund for Animal Welfare and the New England Aquarium before being released back into Cape Cod Bay on Jan. 14. So far, area rescuers have counted 147 dolphin strandings this winter alone.
Dolphins have been stranding themselves along the shores of Cape Cod, Mass., since the Pilgrims' times, and this winter is no different. What is different is how long the latest round of strandings has lasted — almost a month. So far, rescuers have counted 147 strandings and 38 successful rescues and releases.
Dear EarthTalk: I was horrified to read recently that our oceans are actually becoming acidic, that the continued burning of fossil fuels is changing the chemistry of our seas. What’s going on? -- Kim Richardson, San Diego, CA
Dear EarthTalk: Is it true that cable and other pay TV boxes that sit atop television sets consume massive amounts of energy, in part because they are always on, even when the TV is off? -- Sam Winston, Metarie, LA