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Imagine for a moment a dump truck filled with sand. Now, imagine (if you can) one million trucks filled to the brim. The volume they hold is equivalent to the amount being extracted from the world’s oceans each year—more than six billion tons—and in some places with devastating impacts to marine life and coastal communities.
A sand dredger actively working close to an oyster’s nest, dredging due to increased request for building materials like sharp sand have led to destruction of various fish and sea habitat, it has also created erosion in the sea bed. | Credit: Ei’eke CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia
The Colorado River is in crisis as prolonged drought and climate change have led to the Southwest becoming even more arid—a process called aridification. Now, the federal government is beginning to review new rules for managing the heavily used waterway.
Glen Canyon Dam, substation (left) and bridge (in front of the dam) as seen from the south, near Page, Arizona, USA | Credit: Adbar/Creative Commons
Our infrastructure was designed for a bygone era before our climate started to change. There might be no better example of this than in Texas, where cities endured the hottest summer on record with below-average rainfall—a combination that caused water lines to rupture.
Road damage caused by a 2007 flood in Minnesota | Credit: FEMA/Patsy Lynch
Huge amounts of plastic are accumulating in the world’s oceans and harming marine life, but there's some good news. Researchers in China have found a way to reduce the flow of the garbage into waterways—and it’s something each of us could do. We can fork off—that is, just say no to including disposable knives and forks in our takeout orders.
The old interface, in which the default cutlery option at the check-out page was preset as “with cutlery.” Users had to click on the pop-up window and scroll to the bottom to choose the no-cutlery option. (B) The new interface in the treated cities. A window about cutlery automatically popped up during checkout and required the consumer to choose the number of sets of single-use cutlery (SUC). The default cutlery option was “no cutlery.” Users could make any option their default by clicking the “set as default” button (so that this window would not pop up in their future orders). The no-cutlery option came with a small nonpecuniary incentive, that is, green points. Contents are translated by the authors.