Scotland cut down 14 million trees to clear way for wind turbines
In order to save the country from global warming, Scotland just clear-cut 14 million trees to make way for a new “green” energy project comprised of 21 wind turbines.
Host of the recent United Nations 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) climate summit, Scotland decided that the best way to showcase its commitment to fighting “climate change” was to destroy millions upon millions of trees.
“The Scottish Government has moved to reassure that more trees have been planted, but it is unknown what proportion of these are mature plants that play a bigger role in turning carbon into oxygen,” The Herald reported. More
The Massive Thwaites Glacier is retreating and the results are going to be disastrous
The Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica – about the size of Florida – has been an elephant in the room for scientists trying to make global sea level rise predictions.
This massive ice sheet is already in a phase of fast retreat (a "collapse" when viewed on geological timescales) leading to widespread concern about exactly how much, or how fast, it may give up its ice to the ocean.
The potential impact of Thwaites' retreat is spine-chilling: a total loss of the glacier and surrounding icy basins could raise sea level from three to 10 feet. A new study in Nature Geoscience led by marine geophysicist Alastair Graham at the University of South Florida's College of Marine Science adds cause for concern. For the first time, scientists mapped in high-resolution a critical area of the seafloor in front of the glacier that gives them a window into how fast Thwaites retreated and moved in the past. More
New study sheds light on how diseases can be worsened by climate change
DENVER, Colo. — There's some groundbreaking new research that's shedding light on how diseases such as hepatitis, pneumonia and malaria can be worsened by climate change. More than half of the known human pathogenic diseases can actually be affected, scientists are finding.
For years, scientists have said climate and health are related. As the co-director of the University of Colorado School of Medicine's climate and health program, Rosemary Rochford says the newest findings can be alarming.
"Slowly over the last, since 2010 or so, you start seeing more and more studies trying to bring this point together and see what's happening with climate and health," Rochford said. "The numbers are very jarring." More
Europe endures devastating drought as rivers run low
Much of Europe is in the midst of a historic drought with water levels dangerously low in lakes and rivers, a situation that's caused drinking water shortages, fish kills, crop losses and disruptions of key barge routes.
About 60% of Europe and the United Kingdom are suffering from drought conditions caused by an unusually dry winter and spring exacerbated by summer heat waves, according to the European Drought Observatory. A European Union scientist warned that the continent was on track to experience its worst drought in 500 years.
The dry conditions have fueled wildfires across Europe too, with about 1.6 million acres consumed by fires, according to an Agence France-Press report based on EU data. This year could surpass the record of 2.4 million burnt acres in 2017. Wildfires have been particularly awful in Spain where about 605,000 acres have burned. More
Climate activists reportedly sick of Greta Thunberg and want to get rid of her
MEDIA reports coming out of Austria on Sunday, July 31, have suggested that many climate activists now want to get rid of Greta Thunberg, the 19-year-old who became an ‘icon’ within the environmental movement over the past few years.
According to top Austrian news outlet, Exxpress, climate activists are apparently sick of Greta Thunberg and a “de-Gretaisation” is beginning to take place.
Famed for her passionate speeches regarding climate change and for the ‘FridaysForFuture’ movement she started back in August 2018, Greta Thunberg became the poster child for the fight against the lack of action on climate crisis issues. More
India is set to surpass China in 2023 as the world’s most populous nation
The year 2023 is when India is likely to surpass China as the world’s most populous country, the UN has said.
In 2021, India’s population was 1.412 billion, compared to China’s 1.426 billion and by 2050, it’s expected to increase at a much higher rate.
The global population, a UN report says (pdf), is projected to reach 8 billion on November 15, 2022. Its projections suggest that this number could be around 8.5 billion in 2030 and 9.7 billion in 2050.
“Population growth is caused in part by declining levels of mortality, as reflected in increased levels of life expectancy at birth. Globally, life expectancy reached 72.8 years in 2019, an increase of almost 9 years since 1990.” the report stated. More
Earth's magnetic field: Should we be worried about the poles flipping?
From time to time, the Earth's magnetic poles flip, leaving us without a protective magnetic field for up to centuries at a time. Though the Earth’s magnetic field is very similar to that of a bar magnet, with a north and south pole, it is not as stable because it is generated by complex processes inside the Earth. These cause the magnetic poles to wander.
Historically, the North Pole has moved at about 15 kilometres per year. But since the 1990s it has sped up, and now is moving at about 55 kilometres per year towards Siberia. It is speculation, but this might foreshadow a ‘magnetic reversal’ in which the magnetic north and south poles change locations. This has happened 171 times in the past 71 million years – and we are overdue a flip. More
Sioux Falls' sky turned green amid severe weather
The sky around Sioux Falls before the severe weather was green. And not a light green — the green that you could imagine would be the color of the sky before aliens arrive in a Michael Bay movie. Or before the Wicked Witch of the West threatens Dorothy and her little dog, too.
Weather watchers around Sioux Falls took to Twitter to share photos of the creepy and ominous sky, while we took to the internet to try and find out what this green sky means.
It’s not completely decided why green skies occur, the Scientific American reports. However, if a thunderstorm occurs during a time of red light, like a sunset, the water particles in the air can make it appear as if the sky is slightly green in color, some researchers say. The gray cloud of a thunderstorm, water particles that bend red light to appear blue and ample red light in the sky can create the perfect storm for a green sky. More
New, extremely reactive chemical discovered in the atmosphere
Millions of tons of a class of extremely reactive chemicals called hydrotrioxides can linger in the atmosphere for several hours, a new study suggests — which could have implications for human health and the global climate.
The chemicals interact with other compounds extremely quickly, and their presence means that chemists will have to rethink just how processes in the atmosphere occur.
It's long been thought that hydrotrioxides — chemical compounds that contain a hydrogen atom and three oxygen atoms — were too unstable to last long under atmospheric conditions. But the new research shows instead that hydrotrioxides are a regular product of many common chemical reactions, and that they can stay stable enough to react with other compounds in the atmosphere. More
Peak oil may be just three years away: report
The energy transition continues to gain steam, with oil demand projected to peak in this decade, perhaps as soon as 2025, according to new research by leading global consultancy, McKinsey & Company.
This year’s Global Energy Perspective launches when global energy markets are facing an unprecedented array of uncertainties, including the conflict in Ukraine. Nonetheless, the long-term transition to low-carbon energy systems continues to see strong momentum and, in several respects, acceleration.
Leading up to COP26, a total of 64 countries, covering more than 89 percent of global emissions, have pledged or are legislated to achieve net zero in the coming decades. To keep up with these net-zero ambitions, the global energy system may need to significantly accelerate its transformation. More
When Our Star Erupts - The 1859 Solar Storm And More
In 1859, astronomer Richard Carrington was studying the Sun when he witnessed the most intense geomagnetic storm recorded in history. The storm, triggered by a giant solar flare, sent brilliant auroral displays across the globe and causing electrical sparking and fires in telegraph stations.
Short Wave's scientist-in-residence Regina G. Barber talks to solar physicist Dr. Samaiyah Farid about what's now known as the Carrington event and about what may happen the next time a massive solar storm hits Earth. More
Coastal fire a harsh reminder that fire season is longer, more intense
As a mid-spring brush fire ate 20 homes in Laguna Niguel this week, part of the lesson seemed clear: There’s no such thing as a traditional fire season in California anymore.
In a world changed by global warming, fires can pop up any time, even in months once considered wet enough to be fire safe. The sad images of homes engulfed by what soon was christened the Coastal fire seemed to be the exclamation point.
But what if that’s only half the story? What if the new reality is more subtle, and possibly more dangerous?
These days, more fires do indeed pop up during months – late winter and early spring – that a generation ago were usually fire-free. And those months now are followed by an amplified version of what used to be peak fire season. More
Will the Joro spider make its way to Canada? Here’s what we know
The Joro spider is really good at hitching a ride on cars and trucks, said Andy Davis, research scientist at the University of Georgia and co-author of a study on the invasive spider found in the U.S.
That means one might make its way up to Canada in the next couple of years, according to Davis.
The University of Georgia stated in a press release that the Joro spider belongs to a group of large spiders known as golden orb-web weavers that make enormous, multi-layered webs of gold-coloured silk. It is widespread in its native Japan, Korea, China and Taiwan. Since its arrival in the U.S. in 2013, new research suggests the invasive arachnids could spread through most of the eastern seaboard. More
Loss Of Russian And Ukrainian Farm Products Will Put "Hundreds Of Millions" Of The World's Poorest People Into "Famine" Condition
The hosts of the "All-In" podcast speak with David Friedberg, an early Google executive who started the farming insurance company Climate Corporation, about the second-order effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, including an expected major global shortage of wheat and fertilizer.
At particular risk are the nearly 1 billion people who already right now live on less than 1,200 calories per day.
The Russians "are holding hostage phosphorus, potassium, and the natural gas pricing is just what it is, remember, there are ammonia plants everywhere that use natural gas to create nitrogen-based ammonia" fertilizer, he said. More
Birds in tropical forests plummet 90% in 40 years
The number of birds living in tropical forests has plummeted by up to 90 per cent in just 40 years, according to new research.
Conservationists described the decline as "concerning" after finding that the vast majority of species studied in a Panamanian rainforest had seen declines in numbers of at least 50 per cent between 1977 and 2020.
Study lead author Dr Henry Pollock, of the University of Illinois in the United States, said: "Many of these are species you would expect to be doing fine in a 22,000-hectare national park that has experienced no major land use change for at least 50 years. More
Huge solar flare ejected from sun could hit Earth in days, mess with power grid
Space weather experts have spotted the sun ejecting a large mass of particles and think this could hit Earth in the next few days.
When ejections like this hit Earth’s magnetic field, they can cause solar storms.
An ejection like this is known as a solar flare called a coronal mass ejection (CME). A CME is a huge expulsion of plasma from the sun’s outer layer, called the corona. These expulsions shoot through space and can hit Earth. More
Dog kennel hit by meteor could fetch up to $420,000 at auction
A doghouse that belonged to a German Shepherd named Roky could sell for the price of a Brisbane apartment thanks to one truly out-of-this-world feature.
The humble wood and tin structure that housed the very good boy is estimated to fetch between a whopping $280,000 and $420,000 (US$2-$300,000) at Christie's "Deep Impact: Martian, Lunar and Other Rare Meteorites."
You see, in 2019 a meteorite ripped through the sky, hurtling through the rainforest of north central Costa Rica and the city of Aguas Zarcas, tearing straight through Roky's roof – with the pooch still inside.
"On April 23, 2019 at 9:07 pm, a German Shephard [sic] named Roky experienced quite a fright. A meteorite, part of a shower of exotic stone meteorites loaded with organic compounds, crashed through his doghouse, barely missing him," Christies explains.More
Black box that could record collapse of civilisation set to be installed on Earth
Scientists' warnings about global heating have been ignored for years - prompting fear that the future of humanity is increasingly uncertain.
More and more we are seeing deadly weather events such as fires, floods, extreme heat and droughts, already causing catastrophes across the globe.
Global warming is behind many of the problems we face now - such as rising sea levels and plastic pollution.
In order to record this data, Earth is set to get a 'black box' that will track climate change and man-made climate disasters - and possibly record civilisations downfall.
It is similar to the 'black boxes' rescue crews recover from the wreckage of planes to discover what happened, and could help a future civilisation avoid the same fate. More
Florida Scientists: Social Media Can Track Toxic Algae
(TNS) — Scientists are tapping into social media to learn how to better track one of Florida’s most prevalent harmful algal blooms: red tide.
Red tides, caused by the Karenia brevis organism, occur naturally in the Gulf of Mexico each year.
However, the blooms can be intensified by human nutrient pollution along the coast. Scientists believe that such pollution may have helped fuel recent serious bouts with the toxic algae in Southwest Florida.
When it reaches elevated concentrations in the water, K. brevis can wreak havoc on the marine environment. Toxins released by the algae can kill swaths of wildlife, from small fish to dolphins and manatees. Vast mats of algae and and darkened waters can deprive imperiled seagrass beds, which support marine ecosystems, of necessary sunlight. More
Biologists try to beat the clock to save Maui’s endangered birds
A technique described as “mosquito birth control” is being proposed by federal and state conservation agencies as a way to prevent the extinction of Hawaii’s native forest birds as they fall victim to disease.
If the Hawaiian honeycreepers are to be saved, then “immediate action” needs to be taken to significantly reduce or eliminate nonnative mosquitoes that carry and spread avian malaria in East Maui, said Haleakala National Park superintendent Natalie Gates.
“We do not have time to wait on this,” Gates said during a virtual public meeting on Tuesday night. Proposed by the National Park Service and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, the project would use the “incompatible insect technique,” a mosquito suppression tactic that uses a common bacteria called wolbachia that affects their reproduction and ability to fertilize eggs. More
Arctic Ocean started getting warmer decades earlier than we thought, study finds
The Arctic Ocean has been getting warmer since the beginning of the 20th century—decades earlier than records suggest—due to warmer water flowing into the delicate polar ecosystem from the Atlantic Ocean.
An international group of researchers reconstructed the recent history of ocean warming at the gateway to the Arctic Ocean in a region called the Fram Strait, between Greenland and Svalbard.
Using the chemical signatures found in marine microorganisms, the researchers found that the Arctic Ocean began warming rapidly at the beginning of the last century as warmer and saltier waters flowed in from the Atlantic—a phenomenon called Atlantification—and that this change likely preceeded the warming documented by modern instrumental measurements. More
For Christmases yet to come, climate change threatens Maine's beloved evergreens
Since the 1800s in Maine, the Christmas tree has been an essential point of light for many in the darkest month of the year. But scientists say that some of the state's best-loved conifers are under threat, with extreme weather making it difficult for them to grow.
When Ephraim Weston moved from Massachusetts to the Province of Maine, Christmas trees weren't even a "thing" yet.
"We took ownership of the property in 1799. Started out as a farm for family. Dealt in various commodities throughout the generations, moved into livestock trading and a dairy farm," says John Weston, a descendant of Ephraim who now operates this 1,000-acre farm on the banks of the Saco River. More
Humans Have Broken a Fundamental Law of the Ocean
On November 19, 1969, the CSS Hudson slipped through the frigid waters of Halifax Harbour in Nova Scotia and out into the open ocean. The research vessel was embarking on what many of the marine scientists on board thought of as the last great, uncharted oceanic voyage: The first complete circumnavigation of the Americas. The ship was bound for Rio de Janeiro, where it would pick up more scientists before passing through Cape Horn—the southernmost point in the Americas—and then head north through the Pacific to traverse the ice-packed Northern Passage back to Halifax Harbour.
Along the way, the Hudson would make frequent stops so its scientists could collect samples and take measurements. One of those scientists, Ray Sheldon, had boarded the Hudson in Valparaíso, Chile. A marine ecologist at Canada’s Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Sheldon was fascinated by the microscopic plankton that seemed to be everywhere in the ocean: How far and wide did these tiny organisms spread? To find out, Sheldon and his colleagues hauled buckets of seawater up to the Hudson’s laboratory and used a plankton-counting machine to total up the size and number of creatures they found. More
Lake Tahoe has fallen to an alarmingly low level. Here's what the impact could be
This week, a historically dry period in California will come to bear at Lake Tahoe, where the water level is expected to sink below the basin’s natural rim.
That’s the point at which the lake pours into its only outflow, the Truckee River.
It’s not a crisis, researchers and conservationists say, but it marks another extreme swing for Tahoe amid historic drought, wildfires and erratic weather, all intertwined with climate change and becoming more prominent aspects of the alpine environment.
“Going below the natural rim won’t change much in the lake itself. But there’s very little positive about low lake levels once they get below the rim,” said Geoffrey Schladow, director of the Tahoe Environmental Research Center at UC Davis. More
How Much of the Worsening Energy Crisis Is Due to Depletion?
Coal and natural gas spot prices have recently soared to record levels internationally, while oil is trading at over $80 a barrel—the highest price in seven years. Newspaper columnists are asking whether people in Europe and Asia who can't afford high fuel and electricity prices might freeze this winter. High natural gas prices are causing fertilizer prices to spike, which will inevitably raise costs to farmers, with eventual catastrophic impact on people who already have trouble paying for food.
Political commentators are naturally searching for culprits (or scapegoats). For those on the business-friendly political right, the usual target is green energy policies that discourage fossil fuel investment. For those on the left, the culprit is insufficient investment in renewable energy. More
Warmer, wetter, wilder: 38 million people in the Great Lakes region are threatened by climate change
The Great Lakes are getting warmer, wetter and wilder. These atypical conditions are amplifying other threats. Harmful algal blooms are increasing inseverity and geographic extent, sewers are overflowing and stormwater is flooding neighborhoods and parks. Many terrestrial organisms are shifting northwards and worsening air quality is disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable people living in cities.
The Great Lakes hold one-fifth the standing freshwater on the Earth's surface and more than 34 million people live in the basin, supporting an economy worth US$5 trillion—if it were a country, it would be one of the largest economies in the world. And yet shoreline communities are faltering under the weight of billions of dollars in damages—and are worried that climate change will continue to make things even worse. More
U.S. highway expansions increase traffic and pollution, environmental groups say
AUSTIN, Texas – U.S. policies of expanding highways to ease congestion are misguided and lead to an increase in traffic and pollution, environmental advocacy groups said, urging lawmakers to instead invest more money in public transit.
Led by Colorado-based research group RMI, the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) and Transportation for America, the groups on Thursday released an online calculator to show the adverse effects of highway expansions across all U.S. states.
The groups said decades of investments in highway infrastructure to alleviate congestion have only provided brief respite, eventually filling up with more cars in a phenomenon known as “induced demand.”
“Road expansion projects have failed to deliver the promised benefits. In fact, the evidence shows that they actually make traffic and pollution worse,” said Ben Holland, manager in RMI's Urban Transformation Program. More
22% of renewable water resources lost in 30 years
TEHRAN – Iran’s renewable water resources have decreased from 130 billion cubic meters to about 102 billion cubic meters in less than 30 years, showing a 22 percent decline, deputy minister of energy for water and wastewater, has said.
If the current trend continues, the country will lose five billion cubic meters of renewable water resources annually, which means that the water resources will be halved by the next 10 years, IRNA quoted Qasem Taqizadeh as saying on Wednesday. Therefore, there is no other way but the optimal use of water in all sectors and the use of wastewater, he suggested. More
South Pole posts most severe cold season on record
Amid a record hot summer in large parts of the Northern Hemisphere, beset by devastating fires, floods and hurricanes, Antarctica was mired in a deep, deep freeze. That’s typically the case during the southernmost continent’s winter months, but 2021 was different.
The chill was exceptional, even for the coldest location on the planet.
The average temperature at the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station between April and September, a frigid minus-78 degrees (minus-61 Celsius), was the coldest on record, dating back to 1957. This was 4.5 degrees lower than the most recent 30-year average at this remote station, which is operated by United States Antarctic Program and administered by the National Science Foundation. More
Pollution in China: how bad is it?
There are lots of stories about the pollution in China.
If you haven’t been there, then you might think that the stories are exaggerated. But they aren’t.
The pollution in some Chinese cities is a serious problem and it’s a serious threat to your health as well.
So, if you’re planning to travel to China, you need to be prepared and have some strategies to protect yourself. More
Hundreds of dead fish washing up on the shoreline raises climate concerns for northern campers
Timmins - Campers at Ivanhoe Lake Provincial Park west of Timmins had a startling week after finding what some estimated to be hundreds of dead fish washed up along the beaches and shorelines.
John Laking, who made the trip up from Halliburton for a summer stay, said this was certainly not what he expected to see.
"There were (possibly) thousands of herring and whitefish," Laking said. "Kudos to the park people -- they cleaned up for almost four days." Park staff told CTV that more fish washed ashore each day, making it exhausting to dispose of them before they began to rot. More
A Solar Tsunami Could Knock Out Worldwide Internet – But What Can We Do About It?
Global warming, worldwide pandemic, what’s next you ask? INTERNET APOCALYPSE! Guess it’s time to officially leave this planet.
The past two years haven’t been great for any of us with the ongoing pandemic and news of how every day we’re getting closer to experiencing the drastic effects of climate change. And now it seems like an assistant professor at the University of California decided to break the news of the potential effects of a solar superstorm that would disrupt our internet-clad world. The end is here… More
Study proposes new ways to estimate climate change impacts on agriculture
Most scientists agree climate change has a profound impact on U.S. agricultural production. But estimates vary widely, making it hard to develop mitigation strategies.
Two agricultural economists at the University of Illinois take a closer look at how choice of statistical methodology influences climate study results. They also propose a more accurate and place-specific approach to data analysis.
"If you pay attention to forecasts of how the climate will affect U.S. agriculture, the results are completely different. Some scientists predict it's going to have a positive impact for the nation in the long run, some report it's going to have a negative impact," says study co-author Sandy Dall'Erba, professor in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics (ACE) and director of the Center for Climate, Regional, Environmental and Trade Economics (CREATE) at U of I. More
Northwest sizzles as heat wave hits many parts of US
Volunteers and county employees set up cots and stacked hundreds of bottles of water in an air-conditioned cooling center in a vacant building in Portland, Oregon, one of many such places being set up as the Northwest sees another stretch of sizzling temperatures.
Scorching weather also hit other parts of the country this week. The weather service said heat advisories and warnings would be in effect from the Midwest to the Northeast and mid-Atlantic through at least Friday. In Portland, temperatures on Wednesday reached 102 degrees Fahrenheit (39 Celsius)—tying a record set for the day set in 1977. It's supposed to get even hotter Thursday and Friday. Authorities trying to provide relief to vulnerable people are mindful of a record-shattering heat wave earlier this summer that killed hundreds in the Pacific Northwest. More
Sicilian towns face bankruptcy over Etna clean-up costs
Dozens of Sicilian towns face bankruptcy due to the cost of cleaning up the volcanic ash left by Mount Etna, which has been erupting regularly since February.
The Italian government on Monday allocated €5m to compensate several villages struggling to pay to get rid of the volcanic cinders, the cost of which can reach more than €1m with every eruption.
“The situation is very serious,” said Alfio Previtera, a council official in the town of Giarre, one of the villages most affected by Etna’s ash. ‘‘Streets, squares, roofs, balconies, cars – everything is covered in ash. Since March, about 25,000 tons of ash have fallen on our town. People are using umbrellas as protection.’’ More
Heat wave to cover huge swath of US in coming days
Most of the nation can expect above average temperatures in coming days as a giant heat wave is expected to spread across much of the continental U.S. beginning next week.
The heat wave will bring temperatures that are at least 5 to 10 degrees higher than average to much of the country, according to estimates by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which predicts a high probability of above-average temperatures for most of the U.S. over the next several days.
Add in climbing humidity, and many people will experience temperatures that will feel well over 100 during the heat wave, according Capitol Weather Gang meteorologist Mike Cappucci. The increasing heat is a sign of an oncoming heat dome, he said. More
China’s carbon pollution now surpasses all developed countries combined
Carbon pollution from China's bustling, coal-intensive economy last year outstripped the carbon pollution of the US, the EU, and other developed nations combined, making up a whopping 27 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.
As China’s economy has grown in the last 30 years, so too have its emissions. While pollution from developed countries has largely been flat since 1990, it has more than tripled in China. The country’s soaring emissions and stable population mean that its per capita emissions have grown quickly, too. At 10.1 tons per person, emissions are just below the 10.5 ton average of the 37-nation Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD. More
New York Has a Massive Building Air Pollution Problem
When the green world talks about gas or oil in homes, the focus is often on trendy kitchen ranges and home cooks who just can’t bear to live without gas. And this is an important topic. Yet gas furnaces and boilers are at least as big of an issue, and they are one that is likely to ignite (sorry!) fierce debate in the months and years to come.
New York may be the next place where this battle is waged. In a review of recent research, the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) outlines some of the impacts of building-related fossil fuel combustion in the state. And the overall picture is troubling: New York emits more building air pollution than any other state. More
Paleopocalypse! Ancient Relic Points to a Turning Point in Earth’s History 42,000 Years Ago
The temporary breakdown of Earth’s magnetic field 42,000 years ago sparked major climate shifts that led to global environmental change and mass extinctions, a new international study co-led by UNSW Sydney and the South Australian Museum shows.
This dramatic turning point in Earth’s history – laced with electrical storms, widespread auroras, and cosmic radiation – was triggered by the reversal of Earth’s magnetic poles and changing solar winds.
The researchers dubbed this danger period the ‘Adams Transitional Geomagnetic Event’, or ‘Adams Event’ for short – a tribute to science fiction writer Douglas Adams, who wrote in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy that ‘42’ was the answer to life, the universe, and everything. More
New Recycling Technologies Could Keep More Plastic Out Of Landfills
It feels good to recycle. When you sort soda bottles and plastic bags from the rest of your garbage, it seems like you’re helping the planet. The more plastic you put in the blue bin, the more you’re keeping out of landfills, right?
Wrong. No matter how much plastic you try to recycle, most ends up in the trash heap.
Take flexible food packages. Those films contain several layers, each made of a different type of plastic. Because each type must be recycled separately, those films are not recyclable. Even some items made from only one kind of plastic are not recyclable. Yogurt cups, for instance, contain a plastic called polypropylene. When this gets recycled, it turns into a gross, dark, smelly material. So most recycling plants don’t bother with it. More
Climate change may have changed the direction of the North Pole’s drift
A sudden zag in which way the North Pole was drifting in the 1990s probably stemmed in large part from glacial melt caused by climate change, a new study suggests.
The locations of Earth’s geographic poles, where the planet’s axis pierces the surface, aren’t fixed. Instead, they wander in seasonal and near-annual cycles, largely driven by weather patterns and ocean currents.
But in addition to moving about in relatively tight swirls just a few meters across, the poles drift over time as the planet’s weight distribution shifts and alters its rotation around its axis.
Before the mid-1990s, the North Pole had been drifting toward the western edge of Canada’s Ellesmere Island. But then the pole veered eastward by about 71 degrees toward the northeastern tip of Greenland. It’s continued to head that way, moving about 10 centimeters per year. Scientists aren’t quite sure why this shift occurred, says Suxia Liu, a hydrologist at the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research in Beijing. More
Millions of dead jellyfish are washing up around the world. 'The blob' could be to blame
Like a tourist on a cruise ship, the by-the-wind sailor jellyfish (Velella velella) spends its days drifting aimlessly through the open sea, gorging itself on an endless buffet of complementary morsels.
The jelly straddles the ocean's surface with a rigid sail poking just above the water and an array of purple tentacles dangling just underneath. As the sail catches wind, the jelly floats from place to place, capturing tiny fish and plankton wherever it roams. Thriving Velella colonies can include millions of individuals, all just partying and chowing down together in the open water.
Life is good. Until, that is, the wind blows a colony of sailor jellies onto shore. More
Heat-Trapping Methane Surged in 2020
Methane concentrations in the atmosphere surged at a record rate in 2020, NOAA scientists announced yesterday.
The Earth-warming gas increased by 14.7 parts per billion, the largest annual rise since scientists started taking measurements in the 1980s.
It’s worrying news for the climate. Methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, especially in the short term. Over a 20-year period, its climate-warming potential is more than 80 times stronger than CO2.
Konchinsky's suit alleges that the officers' actions violated her First Amendment right to freedom of speech. More
Mass bird die-off linked to wildfires and toxic gases
After an abnormally large number of migratory birds turned up dead in people's backyards in Colorado and other parts of western and central U.S. states, locals began to document their observations on a crowdsourced science platform called iNaturalist. Within the app, a special project was set up specifically for this die-off, which occurred in August and September 2020, so that records of the dead birds could be compiled together.
Around the same period as the birds' deaths, more than 3 million hectares (7.8 million acres) of land burned, which resulted in habitat loss and the emission of toxic compounds that threaten the health of both avian species and humans. In addition, snowstorms struck parts of the Northwest in early September while these birds were in the midst of their annual migration. Some areas experienced temperature drops of as much as 40°C (72°F) in just a few hours. More
Huge Atmospheric Rivers Could Quicken Antarctic Ice Melt
The vast Antarctic ice sheet is held together through a precarious balancing act.
It loses mass whenever ice melts or breaks off into the ocean. And it restores some of that mass when snow falls and builds up on the surface of the ice.
But as the climate warms, the Antarctic ice sheet is falling out of balance. It's losing ice faster than it can replace, raising global sea levels in the process. The problem has compelled scientists to study a broad range of factors that could affect mass balance on the Antarctic ice sheet. More
In the 1980s and ’90s, loggers and environmental activists faced off over the future of old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest. In this episode, Reveal partners with the podcast series Timber Wars from Oregon Public Broadcasting. Reporter Aaron Scott explores that definitive moment in the history of the land – and the consequences that reverberate today.
We begin with an event that became known as the Easter Massacre, in which a stand of old-growth trees in Oregon’s Willamette National Forest was cut down despite protests that attracted national media attention. More
The dark side of ‘green energy’ and its threat to the nation’s environment
Wind farms and massive arrays of solar panels are cropping up across public and private landscapes both in the United States and abroad as users increasingly turn to “green energy” as their preferred flavor of electricity.
President Joe Biden, in fact, has directed the Interior Department to identify suitable places to host 20 gigawatts of new energy from sun, wind or geothermal resources by 2024 as part of a sweeping effort to move away from a carbon-based economy and electrical grid. But how green is green? More
The cities most impacted by sea level rise
Increasing global temperatures will bring changes to our environment, economy, and society, but one of the most pronounced effects will be the impact on sea level rise. A 2019 report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimated that global mean sea levels will most likely rise between 0.95 feet and 3.61 feet by 2100 due to thermal expansion of water, the melting of glacial ice, and disruption to major ocean currents. The IPCC estimates that worldwide, high seas could displace or affect 680 million people living in coastal areas. More
Climate Change Threatens Two-Thirds of North American Bird Species With Extinction
Two-thirds of North America's birds are threatened with extinction from climate change, a report released Thursday by the Audubon Society finds.
The research uses 140 million observations of 604 North American bird species and climate models to gauge how birds may respond to climate change and estimate their future ranges.
The report estimates that at least eight states could see their state birds totally disappear by the end of the century if warming rises by 3 degrees C, and states that keeping warming below 1.5 degrees C could help more than 75 percent of the continents' species. More
Study Shows Climate Change Accounts for Disappearance of Mangroves in Oman
Nearly 6,000 years ago, the majority of the mangrove forests on Oman’s coasts vanished completely. But the reason behind this disappearance was not completely clear, until now.
The University of Bonn has recently performed a study that sheds new light on this phenomenon—it indicates that climatic changes account for the collapse of coastal ecosystems suggesting that overuse by humans and depleting sea levels are not likely to be the reason.
The pace at which the mangroves became extinct was quite significant: a majority of the stocks were permanently lost within a few years. The study results have been published in the Quaternary Research journal. More
The Crazy Real-Life Story Of Biosphere 2
Way back in ye olde days of 1991, all the major news outlets were reporting on a story that seemed more like something out of a science fiction movie than something that was happening in real life. It was a whole new and exciting decade, though, so everyone just decided to go with it in hopes that it was going to lead to some even more exciting space travel and colonization that the movies had promised we'd see by the new millennium. (Spoiler alert: the movies lied.)
In a nutshell, the project was both incredibly simple and insanely complicated. In an attempt to see if it was possible to build — then live in — a self-contained, artificial world, eight people headed into isolation from the rest of humanity. They entered Biosphere 2 on September 26, 1991, and they had signed up for the long haul: two years of trying to not just live but thrive in their own little man-made world, with no help from the outside. More
Massive seaweed blooms are choking the Atlantic Ocean, rotting on beaches
Ever expanded masses of seaweed are choking the Atlantic ocean and becoming a menace to beaches in Mexico and the Caribbean.
The massive sargassum blooms are a threat to biodiversity, fisheries and tourism, according to a new report from BBC. Researchers at the University of South Florida have determined that since 2011 the annual bloom has been increasing exponentially.
“2011 was a tipping point. Before that we did not see much sargassum. After that we are seeing recurring, massive sargassum blooms in the central Atlantic,” Mengqiu Wang, a researcher from the University, told the news network. More
Atlantic Ocean records hottest decade in nearly 3,000 years
The past decade has seen the Atlantic Ocean see its hottest temperatures in almost three thousand years.
This is according to a new study that found recent spikes in temperature go well beyond what is expected from natural patterns.
Rising ocean temperatures are bad news for a lot of marine life.
Hotter oceans also lead to worrying weather, including increasingly-severe hurricanes. The Atlantic Ocean flows between the UK and the US and all the way down to Africa. It’s the second-largest ocean in the world. More
Global species study suggests warming planet will mean an increase in infectious diseases in cooler climates
A team of researchers from the University of South Florida, the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the University of Notre Dame has found evidence suggesting that as the planet heats up due to global warming, cooler climates are likely to see increase in infectious diseases. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes their study of data for wildlife populations around the world as they experienced unusually warm or cool periods.
As the planet continues to warm due to human-produced greenhouse gas emissions, scientists attempt to predict what sorts of impacts warmer temperatures might bring. In this new effort, the researchers chose to investigate how the "thermal mismatch" hypothesis might play out. The theory suggests that as species acclimated to cooler climates face warming temperatures, their risk of infectious diseases increases; similarly, as species acclimated to warmer temperatures face cooler conditions, their risk of disease also rises. More
Crews vacuum ‘murder hornets’ out of Washington nest
BLAINE, Wash. — Heavily protected crews in Washington state worked Saturday to destroy the first nest of so-called murder hornets discovered in the United States.
The state Agriculture Department had spent weeks searching, trapping and using dental floss to tie tracking devices to Asian giant hornets, which can deliver painful stings to people and spit venom but are the biggest threat to honeybees that farmers depend on to pollinate crops.
The nest found in the city of Blaine near the Canadian border is about the size of a basketball and contained an estimated 100 to 200 hornets. More
Quannah Chasinghorse is fighting to save the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
In March, PhD candidate and climate justice organizer Maia Wikler traveled to Alaska to continue reporting on the ongoing human rights and climate crisis in the Arctic. She is directing a short documentary film, with support from The North Face, featuring the Gwich’in women who are leading the fight to protect the Arctic Refuge.
“Did someone lose their dog?” Quannah Chasinghorse jokes, pointing at a large moose in her neighbor’s snow-covered yard. At -40 degrees Fahrenheit, it is a typical winter’s day in Fairbanks, Alaska. Quannah, an 18-year-old Han Gwich’in and Oglala Lakota youth, is curled up on the couch, wearing a shirt emblazoned with the slogan “Protect the Arctic, Defend the Sacred.”
It is a rare moment of rest for Quannah. In the past year she has traveled coast to coast, advocating to protect her homelands from the desecration of oil drilling, with her mother, Jody Potts, who is Han Gwich’in and a tribal member of the Native Village of Eagle. Her mother also serves as the regional director for Native Movement and is a board member with the Alaska Wilderness League. More
Cold diggers? UN finds a record low in Greenland ice in 1991
GENEVA (AP) — For all the recent talk of global warming, climate historians hunting for past temperature extremes have unearthed what the U.N. weather agency calls a new record low in the Northern Hemisphere — nearly -70 degrees Celsius (-93 F) was recorded almost three decades ago in Greenland.
The World Meteorological Organizations publicly confirmed Wednesday the all-time cold reading for the hemisphere: -69.6 Celsius recorded on Dec. 22, 1991 at an automatic weather station in a remote site called Klinck, not far from the highest point on the Greenland Ice Sheet.
“In the era of climate change, much attention focuses on new heat records,” said WMO Secretary-General Professor Petteri Taalas in a statement. “This newly recognized cold record is an important reminder about the stark contrasts that exist on this planet.” More
What’s Causing the Mass Bird Die-Off in the Southwest?
Thousands of migrating birds have inexplicably died in the southwestern US, in what ornithologists have described as a national tragedy that is likely related to the climate crisis.
Flycatchers, swallows, and warblers are among the species “falling out of the sky” as part of a mass die-off across New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Arizona, and farther north into Nebraska, with growing concerns that there could be hundreds of thousands dead already, said Martha Desmond, a professor in the Biology Department at New Mexico State University (NMSU). Many carcasses have little remaining fat reserves or muscle mass, with some birds appearing to have nose-dived into the ground in mid-flight. More
Zombie storms are rising from the dead thanks to climate change
Wildfires are burning the West Coast, hurricanes are flooding the Southeast — and some of those storms are rising from the dead.
"Zombie storms," which regain strength after initially petering out, are the newest addition to the year 2020.
And these undead weather anomalies are becoming more common thanks to climate change.
"Because 2020, we now have Zombie Tropical Storms.
Welcome back to the land of the living, Tropical Storm #Paulette," the National Weather Service wrote on Twitter on Tuesday (Sept. 22). More
More than 100,000 livestock animals perish as intense snowstorms hit Patagonia
Intense snowstorms and frosts hit Patagonia amid one of the region's worst winters in two decades, which has badly affected the agricultural sector. More than 100,000 livestock animals have perished, according to officials' first estimate of losses, who also warned that herdsmen in the highlands may lose up to 70 percent of the flock. In early August, an agricultural disaster emergency was declared for the affected territories.
Officials conducted the first assessment of losses together with technicians from the Agriculture Technology Institute, covering highlands next to the cordillera.
"Anyhow, we are talking of at least 100,000 sheep and 5,000 cattle," said provincial livestock secretariat Tabare Bassi this week. More
Climate intervention offers some crop benefits, but abruptly ending it may backfire
Geoengineering -- spraying sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere to combat global warming -- would only temporarily and partially benefit apple production in northern India, according to a new study.
Moreover, abruptly ending geoengineering might lead to total crop failure faster than if it were not done at all, according to a U.S. National Science Foundation-supported study published in Climatic Change.
In a climate emergency, society might decide to spray sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere (upper atmosphere) to combat warming. Such geoengineering, or climate intervention, would create a massive cloud that would block some solar radiation and cool the Earth. But if the spraying were to suddenly cease, there would be a major impact on animals and plants, which would be forced to try to move to suitable habitat to survive. More
Lockdown and uneven rainfall hits tea crop, prices firm up at auctions
Tea crop during the year has been affected due to the two-month lockdown in April and May and subsequent uneven rainfall in Assam, industry experts said.
As per the Indian Tea Association (ITA) estimates the production in north India, comprising Assam and north Bengal is down by 40 per cent from January to June as compared to the figures of 2019.
ITA secretary general Arijit Raha said: “We are awaiting the figures for July which will come in a few days.” In Alipurduar and Jalpaiguri in north Bengal lesser quantity of green leaf is being plucked due to large scale absenteeism which has affected production, ITA said. More
Mass Die-Offs of Marine Mammals Are on the Rise
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is a reminder of the devastation disease outbreaks can cause. But such disasters do not only affect humans. New research led by Claire Sanderson, a wildlife epidemiologist and immunologist at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, shows that disease outbreaks among marine mammals have quietly been on the rise. Between 1955 and 2018, a sixth of marine mammal species have suffered a mass die-off caused by an infectious disease.
Reports of disease-induced mass die-offs in marine mammals have been increasing since at least 1996. This could be due in part to increased surveillance. However, it’s also likely that scientists are still underestimating the true numbers of outbreaks in these populations. Marine mammals travel great distances in remote parts of the oceans, and often the only indication that something has gone wrong is when carcasses start washing up on shore. More
A Climate Migration Pilot Program Could Enhance the Nation’s Resilience and Reduce Federal Fiscal Exposure
A recent report by the Government Accounting Office (GAO) found that rising sea levels due to climate change threatens areas where millions of Americans live. Retreat or relocation of communities from coastal areas will be unavoidable, according to the U.S. Global Change Research Program. Because relocation is virtually unavoidable, climate migration—the preemptive movement of people and property away from areas experiencing severe impacts—is one way to improve climate resilience.
GAO identified few communities in the United States that have considered climate migration as a resilience strategy, and two—Newtok, Alaska, and Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana—that moved forward with relocation. Newtok, for example, faced imminent danger from shoreline erosion due to thawing permafrost and storm surge. More
Climate change: Planting new forests 'can do more harm than good'
Rather than benefiting the environment, large-scale tree planting may do the opposite, two new studies have found.
One paper says that financial incentives to plant trees can backfire and reduce biodiversity with little impact on carbon emissions.
A separate project found that the amount of carbon that new forests can absorb may be overestimated.
The key message from both papers is that planting trees is not a simple climate solution. More
Environmentalism: a racist ideology
As reported on spiked last month, it did not take long for green ideologues to seize on the chaos of the coronavirus pandemic. And in recent weeks, racial politics has exploded, putting the Black Lives Matter movement at the centre of global attention.
In its wake, jealous greens have sought to capture the narrative of racial grievance. But by highlighting what they claim are the racial dimensions of climate change, what greens have instead exposed are their deep contradictions and a callous indifference to the plight of the world’s poor.
At the end of May, having only just been reinvented as an expert on coronavirus, Greta Thunberg tweeted: ‘Centuries of structural and systematic racism and social injustice won’t go away by itself. We need a global structural change. The injustices must come to an end.’More
6 ways coronavirus is changing the environment
The coronavirus is upending everything from aviation to the economy — and it's also having a big impact on the environment.
Some of those are positive — a big (albeit likely temporary) drop in CO2 emissions as factories shutter and the economy sputters — while others are negative — growing piles of possibly infected waste like tissues and old face masks.
Here are six ways coronavirus is already having an effect. More
Hot weather, low oxygen causes fish kills in Taipei rivers
Hot weather and low levels of dissolved oxygen have caused fish to die in their thousands in the rivers of Greater Taipei, according the Taipei City and New Taipei City environmental protection bureaus.
The EPAs tested water and found no evidence of toxicity or pollution, but oxygen levels of 2.47 mg/l. Continuous hot weather and lack of rain has caused levels of dissolved oxygen in the rivers to drop, according to inspectors.
Fish kills have been reported in the Dahan, Hsintien, Keelung, and Danshui Rivers, with an accompanying malodorous stench. In some areas, tens of thousands of dead fish have accumulated. Large numbers were seen between Zhongzheng and Huajiang Bridges on the Hsintien River, the Keelung River at Xizhi, and the Dahan River in Sanxia District. More
Indonesia starts cloud seeding to keep forest fires at bay
Indonesia has started cloud seeding to induce rain as the archipelago moves to head off annual forest fires blamed for blanketing swathes of Southeast Asia in toxic haze.
Last year's fires were the worst since 2015 due to dry weather, with some 1.6 million hectares of land, mostly on Sumatra and Borneo islands, razed by the out-of-control blazes.
Authorities deployed tens of thousands of personnel and water-bombing aircraft to tackle the fires, which are intentionally set to clear land for agriculture -- including on palm oil and pulp plantations. More
Thousands of wild and domestic rabbits are being killed off by a deadly virus
A highly-contagious virus is threatening to destroy wild and domestic rabbit populations across the United States.
Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease virus type 2 is believed to have spread to the U.S. from Europe, and was first reported to have killed wild rabbits in New Mexico back in March.
In the months since, the virus has killed thousands of wild rabbits and hares in Texas, Arizona, Nevada and Colorado. Last week, the Department of Fish and Wildlife confirmed that the disease has now spread to California, after the carcasses of 20 black-tailed jack rabbits were discovered on a property in Palm Springs. More
Climate change could cause abrupt biodiversity losses this century
The impacts of climate change on species and ecosystems are already evident. Poleward shifts in the geographic distributions of species, catastrophic forest fires and mass bleaching of coral reefs all bear the fingerprints of climate change.
But what will the world’s biodiversity look like in the future?
Projections indicate that unless emissions are rapidly reduced the climate crisis will get substantially worse. Up to 50% of species are forecast to lose most of their suitable climate conditions by 2100 under the highest greenhouse gas emissions scenario. More
Michael Moore climate film snubs solar and urges population control, ruffling mainstream movement
Big Solar and Big Wind are now as much to blame as Big Oil for a slow reaction to climate change.
Big procreators are culpable, too.
That’s the broad take-away from controversial and Oscar-winning documentary film maker Michael Moore’s latest offering, a screed against the green movement. Moore, with writer and director Jeff Gibbs, used the 50th anniversary of Earth Day to take on the mainstream environmental movement in “Planet of the Humans.” The film streamed on YouTube, with a boost from promotion by Stephen Colbert and others. It had 1.17 million YouTube viewers as of Thursday afternoon. More
Scientists Warn Of Potential Whale Die-Off As Spring Migration Begins
As gray whales begin their northbound migration for the spring season, marine scientists are closely monitoring them to see if a mass animal die-off will occur again. Scientists are hoping that the mortality events of last year will not happen this year.
After spending time in the warm waters of Baja, California, gray whales have now started their long journey to the feeding grounds near Alaska. The migration, which traverses the West Coast, extends from February to June.
With a round trip distance of about 10,000 miles, the annual spring migration of the eastern Pacific gray whales is considered one of the longest journeys of mammals on Earth. After spending the winter season in Baja, the whales have already started their long journey to reach new feeding grounds. More
Ecuador To Sell A Third Of Its Amazon Rainforest To Chinese Oil Companies
Ecuador is planning to auction off three million of the country's 8.1 million hectares of pristine Amazonian rainforest to Chinese oil companies, Jonathan Kaiman of The Guardian reports.
The report comes as oil pollution forced neighboring Peru to declare an environmental state of emergency in its northern Amazon rainforest.
Ecuador owed China more than $7 billion — more than a tenth of its GDP — as of last summer. In 2009 China began loaning Ecuador billions of dollars in exchange for oil shipments. It also helped fund two of the country's biggest hydroelectric infrastructure projects, and China National Petroleum Corp may soon have a 30 percent stake in a $10 billion oil refinery in Ecuador. More
Asteroid news: A 4KM rock to make Earth 'close approach' - astronomers can already see it
According to Astrophysicist Gianluca Masi of the Virtual Telescope Project in Italy, the asteroid was about 15.5 million miles (25 million km) from Earth on March 24.
But the space rock is already visible to some telescopes, appearing as a bright dot of light against the starlit sky.
Dr Masi will track and stream online the asteroid's flyby next month.
He said: "When we imaged it, Asteroid 1998 OR2 was about 25 millions of kilometres from us. "This 1.8 to 4.1km large asteroid will come as close as 6.3 millions of kilometres from us next April 29 - more than 16 times the average lunar distance: it will not hit us - becoming bright enough to be seen with modest optical equipment." More
Amid pandemic, U.N. cancels global climate conference
The United Nations plans to postpone a pivotal climate conference scheduled for November amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, delaying an international effort to head off the worst consequences of climate change.
The gathering, scheduled to be hosted by the United Kingdom in November in Glasgow, Scotland, was envisioned as a moment for nations to offer more ambitious plans to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and transition away from reliance on fossil fuels.
The arena where the massive event was to take place, the SEC Centre, is being converted into a field hospital for patients with covid-19, the disease caused by the novel virus, the Scottish government said this week. More
Evidence of a Cosmic Impact That Destroyed One of the World’s Earliest Human Settlements
Before the Taqba Dam impounded the Euphrates River in northern Syria in the 1970s, an archaeological site named Abu Hureyra bore witness to the moment ancient nomadic people first settled down and started cultivating crops.
A large mound marks the settlement, which now lies under Lake Assad.
But before the lake formed, archaeologists were able to carefully extract and describe much material, including parts of houses, food, and tools — an abundance of evidence that allowed them to identify the transition to agriculture nearly 12,800 years ago. It was one of the most significant events in our Earth’s cultural and environmental history. More
Remote South American Kelp Forests Surveyed for First Time Since 1973 – And They Are “Pristine”
In the kelp forests of Tierra del Fuego, at the southernmost tip of South America, the relative abundance of kelp, sea urchins, and sea stars has not changed significantly since 1973. Alan Friedlander of the National Geographic Society’s Pristine Seas project and colleagues present these findings in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on March 11, 2020.
Home to some of Earth’s most diverse ecosystems, kelp forests worldwide face threats from climate change and human activities. These threats vary depending on distinct regional factors. However, kelp forests in remote locations are understudied, limiting the availability of knowledge to inform conservation efforts. More
This Ceramic Artist Survived the Australian Wildfires by Crawling Inside His Kiln
As the flames hurtled toward artist Steve Harrison’s home in rural Australia last month, he made every effort to defend his property, powering up pumps and sprinklers in preparation for the approaching inferno. But when it came time to evacuate, the road had caught fire and the 67-year-old potter’s only option was to climb inside his kiln and wait for the blaze to pass. Miraculously, he survived.
“The fire was too big, too hot, too fast,” Harrison wrote on his blog. “I couldn’t get out.”
Fortunately, Harrison had built a makeshift kiln from fireproof ceramic fiber the day before. Faced with no other choice, he crawled inside with a bag of laptops and hard drives, a fire extinguisher, a fire blanket, and a bottle of water. The kiln, which keeps heat out, as well as in, offered lifesaving protection. More
A huge iceberg just broke off West Antarctica’s most endangered glacier
On the ice-covered edge of a remote West Antarctic bay, the continent’s most imperiled glaciers threaten to redraw Earth’s coastlines. Pine Island Glacier and its neighbor Thwaites Glacier are the gateway to a massive cache of frozen water, one that would raise global sea levels by four feet if it were all to spill into the sea.
And that gateway is shattering before our eyes.
Over the weekend, the European Space Agency’s Sentinel satellites spotted a significant breakup, or calving event, underway on Pine Island Glacier’s floating ice shelf. A series of rifts that satellites have been monitoring since early 2019 grew rapidly last week. By Sunday, a 120 square-mile chunk of ice—a little under three San Franciscos in size—had broken off the glacier’s front. It quickly shattered into a constellation of smaller icebergs, the largest of which was big enough to earn itself a name: B-49. More
Hospitals across the US prepare for coronavirus outbreak to become global pandemic
“This is the time to open up your pandemic plans and see that things are in order,” Dr. Anne Schuchat, a top official of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, urged hospitals last week as an outbreak of a deadly new coronavirus ravaged much of China.
“For instance,” she continued, health-care providers need to plan for a “surge at a hospital, the ability to provide personal protective equipment for your workforce, the administrative controls and so forth that you might put place in a health care setting.”
Schuchat’s warning came as U.S. and world health officials increasingly sound the alarm of a possible pandemic outbreak of the deadly new coronavirus that has killed more than 2,100 people in China in the last seven weeks. More
Feminist Author Calls on Germans to Stop Having Babies to Save the Planet
Feminist author Verena Brunschweiger has called on Germans to stop having babies to save the planet, despite the fact that the country’s native fertility rate is already at just 1.4 children per woman.
In an interview with Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung, Brunschweiger warns “we are on the brink of ecological collapse” and that the only solution is “the renunciation of one’s own reproduction.”
Claiming that this topic is being kept hidden in “pro-natalist Germany,” Brunschweiger, who herself is childless, remarked, “It is…above all because of the masses of people that we have such big environmental problems. We are just too many and hardly anyone wants to limit themselves. If we were fewer people and restricted ourselves, we could save something.” More
Glacier National Park to remove all 'glaciers will be gone by 2020' signs
GLACIER NATIONAL PARK — Glacier National Park is removing signs that state all glaciers will be melted by 2020.
Park spokeswoman Gina Kurzmen explained that since the early 2000s scientists have reflected and analyzed data stating glaciers would recede by 2020.
She told MTN News that the latest research shows shrinking, but in ways much more complex than what was predicted. Because of this, the park must update all signs around the park stating all glaciers will be melted by 2020. More