2022 may have been turbulent, but there was also plenty of good news you may have missed.
The year brought surprisingly positive news about Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
For years, scientists have warned rising temperatures are bleaching the reef’s coral.i
But an August report revealed the Great Barrier Reef is healing, with most of it now enjoying coral levels higher than they’ve been in over 35 years.ii
That wasn’t the only positive climate news out of Australia.
An Aussie startup may have solved the problem of methane emissions from livestock.
Cows produce so much of the greenhouse gas that some activists suggest the only solution is for humans to shift to more plant-based diets.iii But the researchers developed a feed supplement that can reduce cows’ methane emissions by over 95%.iv
And cows weren’t the only animals who got big news in 2022.
Scientists in the U.K. may have made a major breakthrough in protecting marine life.
Since the 1970s, the global population of sharks and rays has declined by 71%, because many are accidentally killed by fishing operations.v
But researchers devised an electric pulse to keep the sharks and rays away from fishing hooks. An experiment showed the device reduced the accidental catch of sting rays by 71% and of blue sharks by 91%.vi
2022’s good news wasn’t just limited to the animal kingdom.
Here on dry land, we may have found a way to significantly reduce car crashes.
A pair of studies on technology that automatically hits a vehicle’s brakes in case of an emergency showed that it can reduce pickup truck crashes by 40% and rear-end collisions by half.vii
Perhaps the biggest breakthrough of 2022, however, came from a group of Japanese scientists who, working with embryonic cells, were able to grow hair follicles in a lab setting.viii
The research may represent the first step towards curing baldness.
It could be the biggest comeback since the Great Barrier Reef.