US, Europe and SpaceX launch a satellite to track rising global sea levels

Scientists should soon have an easier time studying rising sea levels as climate change takes hold. NASA and the ESA have partnered with SpaceX to launch the Sentinel 6 Michael Freilich ocean tracking satellite. The spacecraft will gauge sea levels w...

The world’s first item-tracker made from recycled ocean-plastic

The choice of material for Chipolo’s latest Ocean Series trackers is quite poetic if you ask me. The trackers help you keep track of your personal belongings – things of value to you – but ironically or poetically enough, they’re made from the things you don’t consider valuable… single-use plastics.

Through a strategic partnership with Oceanworks.co to source ocean-based plastic waste, the Chipolo ONE Ocean tracking device comes made with a recycled-plastic body. Fishing nets, trawls, and ropes floating in the sea are collected in the shallow areas of the ocean near the shoreline, before being cleaned, treated, and turned into polypropylene plastic pellets. These pellets are the primary raw material used to create the outer body of Chipolo’s tracking device. While it isn’t much plastic to begin with (each tracking chip is the size of a coin), Chipolo is committed to helping reduce plastic waste in the ocean… in fact, they’re even committing to pledge $1 from the profits of each Chipolo ONE Ocean sold towards the non-profit organization Oceanic Global to support ocean clean-up efforts.

The Chipolo ONE Ocean joins its popular line of tracking devices, helping you keep track of your belongings from your keys to your wallet, or even your backpack. Just attach your Chipolo to any item you want to track and connect it with the Chipolo app on your iPhone or Android phone. You can ring the tracking device from the Chipolo App to find them, or see its last known location on a map, if they’re out of the Bluetooth range. The devices are backward-compatible too, and you can double press your Chipolo device to help locate your connected smartphone if you can’t find it. Each Chipolo ONE Ocean comes powered by a CR2032 coin battery, giving it a battery life of up to 2 years.

Designers: Chipolo in collaboration with Oceanworks.co and Oceanic Global

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There could be as many as six billion Earth-like planets in our galaxy

Is humanity alone in the universe? It’s a question that mankind has grappled with for literal ages, and while Hollywood has spent decades feeding our curiosity with depictions of little green men and pew-pewing lasers, scientists have taken a more ca...

Almost a fifth of Earth’s ocean floor has been mapped

Us humans know more about the surface of the Moon than we do Earth’s oceans, but there’s progress on closing that gap. The Seabed 3030 Project reports (via BBC News) that scientists have mapped 19 percent of ocean floors to contemporary standards, or...

This migrating collection of pods plans to clean the floating islands of plastic in our oceans

While the world handles the COVID-19 crisis, we haven’t forgotten the climate crisis. Designers Lucy Zakharova and Ted Lu have proposed a plan to tackle the ocean pollution problem with a network of five capsules that will work towards restoring the marine ecosystem’s health. The revolutionary project has been rightfully named ‘En·cap·su·lat·ing’! Let’s dive in.

There is actually so much trash in the ocean that we have a designated area called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The patch is 1.6 million square kilometers large and these capsules will be built from the plastic waste found here. There are literal islands made of plastic and marine life is forced to either eat plastic or get entangled in it which has been adversely affecting the larger food chain as well as migration – the marine ecosystem is being tested harshly and if not acted upon right now, it could collapse. Each capsule will be deployed at a different depth level in the ocean and work for that zone so the load is divided equally between all five structures. The real revolution here is that each pod of this constellation is non-static or migrating in design, so the pod can move along with the floating islands of plastic.

The capsules will have a non-static infrastructure and move cyclically in their ocean zones. They are not only there to mitigate the crisis caused by humans but also help the animals have a healthier environment. The main goal of this project is to detoxify the ocean by changing the plastic configuration and spread more awareness of its long-term toxic effects. The structures will have dedicated areas for research labs and data collection about the deep sea. Teams will monitor temperature, pressure, salinity, and working on preserving marine life that has not been able to adapt to the climatic changes. Structures like these are crucial for us to understand the weight of our actions and do our best to fix the damage so that we don’t have to deal with another crisis – 2021 can be a good year if we try!

Designers: Lucy Zakharova and Ted Lu

The conceptual designs of the facility

Drone view of the facility.

Top view of the floating structure.

Underwater view of the facility.

The underwater sectional view of the facility.

The underwater view showcasing the three different facilities: education, research, and environmental preservation.

The flattened map of the Earth showing the plastic islands floating in the oceans.

The concentration of the plastic trash in the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean

Sketch/ exploration of the environmental preservation station

Made using 3000 Nespresso pods, this installation transforms ocean waste into art

The Superegg Installation is a comment on our capitalist tendencies and its effect on nature. By combining consumerism and creation into one hard-hitting sculpture, the art piece helps turn human-created ocean waste into an object that sparks conversations while saving the environment. The 6’6″ high structure comes made from 3000 Nespresso and Keurig single-use coffee pods that were pulled out of the ocean. These aluminum pods were then mounted onto aluminum sheets which were finally wrapped onto plywood rings to create the shape of an egg.

The Superegg installation looks like a Fabergé egg from afar, with the thousands of colorful pods forming patterns on it, but the magic is doubled at night, when a light within the installation illuminates the structure, causing it to create mesmeric shadows like tinted glass mosaics at churches and cathedrals. The egg acts as proof of how damaging our consumerism can be on the environment, while being a reminder that we can always turn our waste and wasteful behaviors into something more meaningful and nurturing.

The Superegg is a winner of the A’ Design Award for the year 2020.

Designer: Jaco Roeloffs

NASA’s supercomputer needs your help to map coral reefs

Coral reefs are shrinking. That’s bad news for wildlife. Millions of species call coral reefs their homes, and coral itself is a cluster of tiny aquatic animals. And it’s bad news for humans, too -- scientists’ analyses of organisms in and around cor...

Alphabet’s next moonshot: protect the ocean

Alphabet's moonshot factory is turning its attention back toward the ocean. But whereas Project Foghorn looked to turn seawater into a carbon-neutral fuel, the newly-announced Tidal has a broader mission to protect the sea and its aquatic inhabitants...