ANSTI News

Scientists Sound Warning Over Pollutants In Treated Sea Water

 
WET AND WILDThe Gugulethu swimming pool is one of a few open this summer since water restrictions were implemented in Cape Town.

Desalinated sea water poses a probable health risk to Capetonians, say scientists from the Western Cape's top universities.

The city's three marine sewage outfalls, which send more than 36million litres of effluent a day into the ocean, contain chemicals that mean "great caution is needed" in the desalination process, which is touted as the answer to Cape Town's water crisis, the environmental scientists warn.

Read more: Scientists Sound Warning Over Pollutants In Treated Sea Water

An Antarctic eruption could ‘significantly disrupt’ international air traffic


A climber stands near Mount Erebus, an active volcano in Antarctica.

Dig into the black sand of Deception Island, off the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, and hot water percolates up, heated by geothermal activity. The horseshoe-shaped spit of land is itself the flooded caldera of an active volcano and home to more than 50 volcanic craters—markers of past eruptions. Now, scientists have shown that ash lofted by a hypothetical eruption on Deception Island would potentially disrupt air traffic as far away as South America, Australia, and Africa.

Read more: An Antarctic eruption could ‘significantly disrupt’ international air traffic

Zimbabwe’s Scientists Hope Political Change Will Revitalize Research


Protesters gathered at the University of Zimbabwe in Harare this week, amid political ructions that precipitated the end of Robert Mugabe's 37-year rule. Credit: Getty

Scientists in Zimbabwe say they are hopeful that the sudden change of political power in their country could spell a new era for its beleaguered research system. Those working in the nation hope that the shift will unlock and attract research funds from overseas, while Zimbabwean researchers abroad say that the potential for new order in their country could encourage them to return home.

Read more: Zimbabwe’s Scientists Hope Political Change Will Revitalize Research

Platform aims to boost Africa’s science footprint

When Marianne Mureithi submitted her paper on infectious diseases to an international scientific journal, it was rejected, much to her dismay.

She was a post-doctoral researcher in West Africa, and a back and forth between her and the journal between 2005 and 2008 yielded no fruit, even after she incorporated the minor changes asked of her.

Read more: Platform aims to boost Africa’s science footprint

Despite forest loss, African protected area can support 10s of thousands of elephants

Niassa Reserve is Mozambique's largest protected area, spanning 42,300 square kilometers (16,300 square miles), and is considered one of the least biologically explored regions in Africa. The reserve supports Mozambique's largest populations of endangered wildlife. Approximately 40,000 people legally live within its boundaries and harvest its natural resources.

Read more: Despite forest loss, African protected area can support 10s of thousands of elephants

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