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Botanical gardens 'most effective' green space at cooling streets in heatwaves
23 February 2024 - A comprehensive review of research into the heat-mitigating effects of green spaces during heatwaves has found that botanical gardens are the most effective. It is a finding the team at the Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCCAR) hope will inform policymakers planning cities for a warming world. ...This particular research found that sites such as the Chelsea Physic Garden and Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in London, or the Gardens by the Bay in Singapore, reduced air temperatures during heatwaves in the city streets around them by an average 5C. (more)

Mystery of whale song unraveled by scientists, study says
22 February 2024 - How baleen whales, which include humpback whales, are able to sing underwater has eluded scientists since whale songs were first discovered more than 50 years ago. While toothed whales, which include dolphins and killer whales, developed a vocal organ in their nose to produce sound, baleen whales are thought to use a larynx -- or voice box -- in their throat to do so, according to a new study published in the journal Nature on Wednesday [21 February]. (more)

How do whales sing? Scientists point to a specialized voice box that other animals don't have
21 February 2024 - Whales sing loud enough that their songs travel through the ocean, but knowing the mechanics behind that has been a mystery. Scientists now think they have an idea, and it's something not seen in other animals: a specialized voice box. (more)

Once banned by communists, Poland's stately 18th century dance garners UNESCO honors
20 February 2024 - Once banned by rulers dispatched from Moscow, Poland's stately polonaise dance that nurtured the country's spirit even through the dark years of its partition is now honored by UNESCO. This 18th century dance has been performed from aristocratic balls to village celebrations, inspiring composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach and Frederic Chopin. (more)

Quantum computing is outperformed by new type of traditional computing
18 February 2024 - Recent research has demonstrated that with a clever approach, classical computing can not only match but exceed the performance of cutting-edge quantum machines. The key to this breakthrough lies in an algorithm that selectively maintains quantum information, retaining just enough to accurately predict outcomes. (more)

Researchers show classical computers can keep up with, and surpass, their quantum counterparts
17 February 2024 - Quantum computing has been hailed as a technology that can outperform classical computing in both speed and memory usage, potentially opening the way to making predictions of physical phenomena not previously possible. ...Conventional computers process information in the form of digital bits (0s and 1s), while quantum computers deploy quantum bits (qubits) to store quantum information in values between 0 and 1. ...However, quantum computers are finicky and have a tendency to lose information. Moreover, even if information loss can be avoided, it is difficult to translate it into classical information -- which is necessary to yield a useful computation. (more)

PM Modi lays foundation for NLC India's solar power plant in Rajasthan
16 February 2024 - Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday [16 February] laid the foundation stone for NLC India Ltd's 300-mw solar power project in Barsingsar, Rajasthan. The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone of other solar projects in the state. Addressing the event through videoconferencing, Modi said that the country has started moving at a fast pace in generating solar power, and in giving an impetus to this mission, today, the foundation stone has been laid for various solar power projects in Rajasthan. (more)

US: Company plans $344 million Georgia factory to make recycled glass for solar panels
15 February 2024 - A company that recycles solar panels announced Thursday [15 February] that it would build a $344 million factory in northwest Georgia [U.S.], for the first time expanding to making new glass for panels. (more)

India-led alliance set to fund solar projects in Africa in a boost to the energy transition
14 February 2024 - An alliance of nations that push for more solar power worldwide are set to announce nearly $35 million for projects such as mini grids and rooftop installations, mainly in Africa, according to the group's director general. (more)

US: Over 600,000 solar panels powered Super Bowl LVIII in historic green milestone
13 February 2024 - Kansas City Chiefs fans were over the moon when their team won last night's [11 Feb] Super Bowl in a thrilling game that went into overtime. But for climate activists, the real victory happened behind the scenes. For the first time ever, the NFL's [National Football League] biggest game of the year was played in a stadium powered by 100 percent renewable energy. (more)

Research finds that playing an instrument or singing helps keep your brain healthy
12 February 2024 - A study out of the UK, recently published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, found that playing music (rather than just listening to it) helped older adults without a dementia diagnosis stay sharp across a variety of mental skills. The research is a new argument for encouraging broad, accessible music programs as a public health initiative. (more)

'Cosmic time machines': how space telescopes transformed our ability to understand the universe
11 February 2024 - The launch of Hubble in 1990 marked a turning point in our quest to unravel the mysteries of deep space. ...For stunning astrophotography, nothing can beat Nasa's Hubble space telescope, or its huge new successor, the James Webb space telescope (JWST). They're called space telescopes not just because they observe space, but because they're located in space. (more)

AP PHOTOS: Asia welcomes Lunar New Year of the Dragon with temple visits and celebrations
10 February 2024 - People across Asia welcomed the Lunar New Year on Saturday [10 February ] with family gatherings, festivals, and temple visits to ask for blessings. The Lunar New Year is the most important annual holiday in China, a time for reunions with relatives and friends and to enjoy festive feasts. Each year is named after one of the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac, with this year being the Year of the Dragon -- widely considered the most auspicious zodiac sign in Chinese communities. (more)

Super Bowl 58 to be the first fully powered by renewable energy
10 February 2024 - This year's Super Bowl will be the first one fully powered by renewable energy, thanks to the host stadium's agreement with a solar farm, reports say. More than 621,000 solar panels found in a barren area of the Nevada desert help power the Allegiant Stadium ... host of Super Bowl LVIII, reports several media outlets. ...According to CBS News, the Les Vegas stadium entered into a 25-year agreement with NV Energy to buy power from its new solar installation. (more)

AP PHOTOS: Lunar New Year in the Philippines draws crowds to one of the world's oldest Chinatowns
9 February 2024 - Crowds are flocking to Chinatown in the Philippine capital to usher in the Year of the Wood Dragon and experience lively traditional dances on lantern-lit streets with food, lucky charms, and prayers for good fortune. ...Lamp posts in Manila's riverside Binondo commercial district, said to be one of the oldest Chinatowns in the world, feature dragon decor with tails curled around the poles. In a crowded mall, a huge dragon hangs over selfie-taking shoppers. (more)

Ghana artifacts that were looted 150 years ago by British forces have been returned by a US museum
9 February 2024 - Seven royal artifacts looted 150 years ago by British colonial forces from Ghana's ancient Asante kingdom and kept by a United States museum have been returned and presented to the kingdom on Thursday [8 February], the latest of a series of stolen treasured items being repatriated to several African countries. (more)

What is Lunar New Year and how is it celebrated?
8 February 2024 - In the Chinese zodiac, 2024 is the Year of the Dragon. Different countries across Asia celebrate the new year in many ways and may follow a different zodiac. The Lunar New Year -- known as the Spring Festival in China, Tet in Vietnam, and Seollal in Korea -- is a major festival celebrated in several Asian countries. It is also widely celebrated by diaspora communities around the world. (more)

Which came first: Black hole or galaxies?
8 February 2024 - Black holes not only existed at the dawn of time, they birthed new stars and supercharged galaxy formation, a new analysis of James Webb Space Telescope data suggests. (more)

Napping polar bear image wins top wildlife photography prize
7 February 2024 - An image of a napping polar bear curled up on an iceberg has captured the hearts of voters to become the winner of this year's Wildlife Photographer of the Year People's Choice Award. British amateur photographer Nima Sarikhani called it an honor to win the award for the dreamy scene 'Ice Bed,. captured off Norway's Svalbard archipelago. (more)

Sleepy polar bear that dug out a bed in sea ice to nap wins prestigious wildlife photography award
7 February 2024 - One of the world's most prestigious wildlife photography awards has announced its winner-- and it's equal parts mesmerizing and adorable. The winner of the Natural History Museum of London's Wildlife Photographer of the Year award is Nima Sarikhani, for her captivating image of a polar bear sleeping on sea ice. (more)

US: Super Bowl 2024 to be powered by Nevada desert solar farm, marking a historic green milestone
7 February 2024 - Super Bowl 2024 is setting the stage not just for a showdown between top NFL teams, but also for a major environmental milestone. This year, the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas will host a Super Bowl powered entirely by renewable energy -- a first in the history of the event. The seemingly desolate area of the Nevada desert is the source of the green energy used to power the game. (more)

Big US jobs rise in January surprises again
4 February 2024 - Job creation in the US surged in January, as the economy continued to defy predictions of a slowdown. (more)

An enzyme used in laundry detergent can recycle single-use plastics within 24 hours
3 February 2024 - Scientists at King's College London have developed an innovative solution for recycling single-use bioplastics commonly used in disposable items such as coffee cups and food containers. ...The speed at which the bioplastics break down using this new method could revolutionize plastic production, offering an efficient, scalable, and sustainable blueprint for recycling single-use bioplastics. (more)

Greenlandic YouTuber teaches the world about Greenland's culture and people in insightful series of videos
2 February 2024 - Greenland is the largest island in the world. Yet, despite its prominent presence on the world map, most people know very little about its culture and the people who call this remote place home. This inspired a Greenlandic woman named Qupanuk to share and teach the world about life in Greenland through a series of insightful videos. Her channel, Q's Greenland, is a one-stop-shop to know everything about the country, from its traditional food to its unique language. (more)

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