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Environmental officials in China's northern city of Xi'an have been detained for altering air quality monitoring results in order to avoid penalties for high pollution in their area.

According to media reports, five officials—including He Limin, the chief of the Environmental Protection Bureau for the city—were arrested for their involvement in the deception.

Environmental officials in China‘s northern city of Xi’an have been detained for altering air quality monitoring results in order to avoid penalties for high pollution in their area.

Lu Guang / Greenpeace

According to media reports, five officials—including He Limin, the chief of the Environmental Protection Bureau for the city—were arrested for their involvement in the deception.

The investigation revealed the deceptive acts began when the monitoring station in question was being relocated to the Xi’an University of Posts and Telecommunications back in February, according Global Times newspaper.

A China Business View report said the head of the station, Li Sen, made a copy of the key so employees could have access to the station during that time to stuff the sensors with cotton gauze. The alteration to the system’s data as a result triggered an alert to the National Environmental Monitoring Center who sent out inspectors to examine the station. During their investigation, they discovered the surveillance videos for March had been deleted, according to the report.

China has been cracking down on pollution by enacting an environmental protection law last year giving officials the authority to punish businesses whose pollution levels are too high and anyone who participates in deceptive practices. Researchers estimate about 1.6 million people die each year in China due to pollution. In June 2015, China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection reported seven cases of falsification of air quality data, according to Greenpeace East Asia.

https://twitter.com/EcoWatch/statuses/640516844546334720 news should serve as a warning to officials around the country that the central government is serious about punishing environmental abuses.”

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Have scientists figured out the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle? That’s the claim that is going viral on the internet following the discovery of strange, hexagonal clouds at the western tip of the triangle.

Science Channel screenshot

According to a Science Channel documentary, the clouds were captured by satellites over the Bahamas peaking meteorologists’ interest. The shape of the clouds appeared to have straight edges which, meteorologists say, is not normal.

“You don’t typically see straight edges with clouds,” Dr. Steve Miller, satellite meteorologist at Colorado State University, said. “Most of the time, clouds are random in their distribution.”

The clouds, measuring between 20 and 50 miles across, have also been found in the North Sea in Europe and are believed to create “air bombs,” formed by microbursts of air that blast out of the bottom of the cloud and hit the ocean creating massive waves and sea-level winds at up to 170 mph.

not the case.”

NBC meteorologist Kevin Corriveau didn’t even seem convinced that the clouds seen in the Bahamas would create “air bombs.”

“When I look at a hexagonal cloud shape in the Bahamas, this is not the cloud signature of what a microburst looks like,” he told NBC News. “You would normally have one large to extremely large thunderstorm that wouldn’t have an opening in the middle.”

Rather, he said, the odd shapes could be due to the small islands of the Bahamas heating the air differently than the long coastline of Florida, creating erratic weather patterns.

The Bermuda Triangle—a region of ocean bordered by Florida, Bermuda and Puerto Rico—has gained notoriety over the past century as the location many ships and aircrafts reportedly disappear without a trace.

Violent weather has been blamed for mysterious disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle before, along with other explanations ranging from compass problems, the Gulf Stream, methane hydrates that can reduce the density of the water and sink ships, and even paranormal activity.

While this theory adds to the discussion, there is still much more to learn about its occurrence and effect in the area of the Bermuda Triangle.

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A 13-year-old student from Ohio won the top prize at the 2016 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge Tuesday for developing a cost-effective device that uses solar and wind power to create energy.

Maanasa Mendu, a ninth grader at William Mason High School in Ohio, said she was inspired by a visit to India where she discovered many people lacked basic life necessities such as clean water and lighting.

A 13-year-old student from Ohio won the top prize at the 2016 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge Tuesday for developing a cost-effective device that uses solar and wind power to create energy.

Grand prize winner Maanasa Mendu with 3M scientist mentor Margaux Mitera at the 2016 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge in St. Paul, MN.Discovery Education

Maanasa Mendu, a ninth grader at William Mason High School in Ohio, said she was inspired by a visit to India where she discovered many people lacked basic life necessities such as clean water and lighting.

Mendu’s initial idea harnessed only wind energy when she entered the competition. According to Business Insider, the leaves cost roughly $5 to make.

During the past three months, Mendu worked with Margaux Mitera, a 3M senior product development engineer, to develop a more advanced system that was inspired by how plants function. Mendu decided to create “solar leaves” that harnessed vibrational energy. Her “leaves” get energy from rain, wind and the sun, using a solar cell and piezoelectric material—the part of the leaf that picks up on the vibrations—and transforms it into usable energy, Business Insider said.

Besides being named “America’s Top Young Scientist,” Mendu won $25,000 for her invention.

“Each year, the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge reminds us of the inspiring ingenuity that results when we empower our youngest generation to apply science, critical-thinking and creativity to solve real-world problems,” said Bill Goodwyn, president and CEO, Discovery Education.

The second, third and fourth place winners each received a $1,000 prize and a trip to a taping of a show on Discovery’s family of networks for their inventions:

  • Rohan Wagh from Portland, Oregon, a ninth grader at Sunset High School in Beaverton School District, received second place for his innovation that utilizes the natural metabolism of bacteria to create energy.
  • Kaien Yang from Chantilly, Virginia, an eighth grader at Nysmith School for the Gifted, received third place for his innovation that uses pumpkin seed oil to create both a biodiesel and bioplastic that reduces emissions and pollution from plastic.
  • Amelia Day from Sumner, Washington, a ninth grader at Sumner High School in Sumner School District, received fourth place for her invention that uses sensory feedback to help rebuild neural connections inside of the brain during rehabilitation.
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