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Inga Vesper

Journalist, editor, writer

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Environment

Iron-rich rock helps oceans sink atmospheric carbon

Adding crushed rocks containing magnesium and iron minerals to seawater allows it to sequester more carbon from the atmosphere, geoscientists have shown.

London soil pollution worst on former Blitz bomb sites

The UK capital’s soil bears a poisonous legacy from the Blitz bombing campaign – with calcium, lead and zinc pollution highest in the most heavily damaged areas.

Shipping pollution hotspots mapped with real-time data

Coastal areas around South East Asia suffer the most from pollution caused by ship traffic, according to a global study that estimates shipping emissions based on real-time, local activity for the first time. The study, published in Atmospheric Environment, sheds light on forces at play in a region where shipping pollution is believed to cause up to 24,000 deaths a year.

Mud bricks best for cool, green houses, says study

Simple mud concrete bricks provide the most affordable and sustainable houses in the tropics, a Sri-Lankan study suggests. Comparisons of four different types of walling materials revealed that mud concrete bricks have the lowest environmental impact and keep houses cool. They are also the cheapest, and easiest to dispose of once a house is knocked down.

Living near noisy roads could make it harder to get pregnant

Living near a noisy road seems to affect couples who are trying get pregnant, increasing the likelihood that it will take them between six to 12 months. That’s according to an analysis of 65,000 women living in Denmark.

Trump’s budget jettisons ‘irreplaceable’ marine mammals agency

The US Marine Mammal Commission, an organisation charged with restoring mammal populations in the world’s oceans, is set for the chop in president Donald Trump’s latest budget proposal.

Changing climate to wreak havoc on Mediterranean soils

Climate change could reduce the amount of carbon stored in soil in the Mediterranean region by a third over the next 60 years, according to research undertaken at the University of Cordoba. This in turn could drive up food prices and endanger crop production in the region as soils become poorer and more and more fertiliser is needed to keep yields up.

Hawaii seeks to ban ‘reef-unfriendly’ sunscreen

A proposed Hawaiian bill aims to stop the sale of lotions containing certain UV-filters, but their effects on coral are disputed.

Against the grain

Europe’s farmers have a difficult relationship with those beyond their community. The consumers of their products, the 500 million Europeans who need a daily splash of milk in their coffee, tend to perceive farmers as swimming in subsidies, while EU politicians prefer to keep a safe distance from the demonstrations staged regularly by agricultural unions in Brussels.

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