background preloader

Our Environment and its Degradation

Facebook Twitter

Study: Swapping beans for beef would put serious dent in greenhouse gas emissions. The US' current plans to combat change include, among other things, a pledge to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 17 percent by 2020 relative to 2005 levels.

Study: Swapping beans for beef would put serious dent in greenhouse gas emissions

Whichever way you slice it, that sort of reduction would involve some radical shifts in behavior. A new study has put forth one such suggestion, substituting the entire US population's beef with beans, a dietary change they say would achieve between 50 and 75 percent of this reduction target. Let's get one thing straight, the entire US population is not going to suddenly stop eating beef. You'd struggle to convince the third-generation Texas barbecue pit master to shut up shop, and you're not going to tell a Yankees fan that they can't have a hot dog at the ball game (those things have got beef in them, right?)

Remote island has 'world's worst' plastic rubbish density. Earth - Terrifying 20m-tall 'rogue waves' are actually real. TEN-storey high, near-vertical walls of frothing water.

Earth - Terrifying 20m-tall 'rogue waves' are actually real

Smashed portholes and flooded cabins on the upper decks. Thirty-metre behemoths that rise up from nowhere to throw ships about like corks, only to slip back beneath the depths moments later. Evocative descriptions of abnormally large "rogue waves" that appear out of the blue have been shared among sailors for centuries. With little or no hard evidence, and the size of the waves often growing with each telling, there is little surprise that scientists long dismissed them as tall tales. Until around half a century ago, this scepticism chimed with the scientific evidence.

However, we now know that they are no maritime myths. Sciencemag. It is undeniably an ambitious vision.

sciencemag

Boyan Slat, a charismatic 22-year-old drop-out inventor, plans to clean up plastic trash circulating in the North Pacific Gyre by launching a fleet of floating trash collectors. Ocean currents would propel floating plastic trash into curved floating booms, which would funnel trash toward a central tank, to be collected monthly by ships. The ocean cleanup unveils breakthrough new design ready to start work in 2018. The Doomsday Glacier - Rolling Stone. In the farthest reaches of Antarctica, a nightmare scenario of crumbling ice – and rapidly rising seas – could spell disaster for a warming planet.

The Doomsday Glacier - Rolling Stone

Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica is so remote that only 28 human beings have ever set foot on it. Knut Christianson, a 33-year-old glaciologist at the University of Washington, has been there twice. A few years ago, Christianson and a team of seven scientists traveled more than 1,000 miles from McMurdo Station, the main research base in Antarctica, to spend six weeks on Thwaites, traversing along the flat, featureless prairie of snow and ice in six snowmobiles and two Tucker Sno-Cats. "You feel very alone out there," Christianson says. He and his colleagues set up camp at a new spot every few days and drilled holes 300 feet or so into the ice. How Electrified Steel Could Suck Toxic Metals From the Ocean. This article is from Hakai Magazine, an online publication about science and society in coastal ecosystems.

How Electrified Steel Could Suck Toxic Metals From the Ocean

Read more stories like this at hakaimagazine.com. When heavy rain hits New Caledonia, the rivers run red. Prepare for new wave of biological invaders, warn scientists - New Atlas. In the delicate ecosystems of the world, invasive species are akin to cancer.

Prepare for new wave of biological invaders, warn scientists - New Atlas

They arrive where they're not wanted, spread aggressively, and they damage the very system in which they live. Kudzu, zebra mussels and Africanized honeybees are some of the more well-known invasive species, but a team of international scientists says those are just the beginning. In a recently released report they warn that a new wave of biological invaders is on its way. A Massive Lake Of Molten Carbon The Size Of Mexico Was Just Discovered Under The US.

Theconversation. The Paris Agreement commits nations to limiting global warming to less than 2˚C by the end of the century.

theconversation

However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that, to meet such a massive challenge, societies will need to do more than simply reduce and limit carbon emissions. It seems likely that large scale removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere may be called for: so-called “negative emissions”. One possibility is to use waste material from mining to trap CO₂ into new minerals, locking it out of the atmosphere. For the first time on record, human-caused climate change has rerouted an entire river.

A stream flows through the toe of Kaskawulsh Glacier in Kluane National Park in the Yukon.

For the first time on record, human-caused climate change has rerouted an entire river

In 2016, this channel allowed the glacier’s meltwater to drain in a different direction than normal, resulting in the Slims River water being rerouted to a different river system. (Dan Shugar) A team of scientists on Monday documented what they’re describing as the first case of large-scale river reorganization as a result of human-caused climate change. They found that in mid-2016, the retreat of a very large glacier in Canada’s Yukon territory led to the rerouting of its vast stream of meltwater from one river system to another — cutting down flow to the Yukon’s largest lake, and channeling freshwater to the Pacific Ocean south of Alaska, rather than to the Bering Sea.

The researchers dubbed the reorganization an act of “rapid river piracy,” saying that such events had often occurred in the Earth’s geologic past, but never before, to their knowledge, as a sudden present-day event. Business true. Researchers: Antarctica's sleeping ice giant could be waking soon. Scientists were able to reach the vast floating East Antarctic Totten ice shelf, which provides the backward stress that blocks the ice of the largest glacier in East Antarctica from emptying into the ocean.

Researchers: Antarctica's sleeping ice giant could be waking soon.

They were able to take measurements of the water, the depth and the shape of the bedrock. Jane Qiu writes a compelling post in the journal Nature, where she reports on the scientists and the grim findings that the measurements had revealed below the bitter cold and ice of East Antarctica. Qiu notes the E Antarctic region is about as big as the entire United States and the majority of it is an ice cap sitting on a high plateau 2 ½ miles above the ocean surface. It is an inhospitable environment where temperatures can plunge to −140F. The glaciologists confirmed, that like the West Antarctic ice shelves that buttress their glaciers, the East Antarctica shelves are also melting from beneath due to warm ocean temperatures. 3D image of Antarctica offers clearest picture yet of ice coverage. Since 2010, the European Space Agency's CryoSat satellite has circled the Earth and monitored the state of the polar sea ice, along with the ice sheets that cover Antarctica and Greenland.

3D image of Antarctica offers clearest picture yet of ice coverage

Some of the data collected over the last six years has now been compiled into a one-of-a-kind 3D image, offering a more comprehensive look at Antarctic ice elevation than ever before. The 3D image is constructed from around 250 million measurements taken by CryoSat's radar altimeter. Radar altimeters work by bouncing radio waves off the terrain below and measuring how long they take to return to the spacecraft. How To Make Farmers Love Cover Crops? Pay Them. Green shoots of cereal rye, a popular cover crop, emerge in a field where corn was recently harvested in Iowa.

The grass will go dormant in winter, then resume growing in the spring. Less than three percent of corn fields in the state have cover crops. Courtesy of Practical Farmers of Iowa hide caption toggle caption. Did humans create the Sahara Desert? New research investigating the transition of the Sahara from a lush, green landscape 10,000 years ago to the arid conditions found today, suggests that humans may have played an active role in its desertification. The desertification of the Sahara has long been a target for scientists trying to understand climate and ecological tipping points.

A new paper published in Frontiers in Earth Science by archeologist Dr. David Wright, from Seoul National University, challenges the conclusions of most studies done to date that point to changes in the Earth's orbit or natural changes in vegetation as the major driving forces. "In East Asia there are long established theories of how Neolithic populations changed the landscape so profoundly that monsoons stopped penetrating so far inland," explains Wright, also noting in his paper that evidence of human-driven ecological and climatic change has been documented in Europe, North America and New Zealand.

More information: David K. Log In - New York Times. EarthRx: How Community Mycoremediation Projects Can Clean Up Oil Spills Around the Planet. Back in 2011, the giant Chevron corporation was found guilty of illegally dumping billions of gallons of oil waste into the Ecuadorian rainforest in what has been described as the Amazon’s “Chernobyl” and the worst case of oil pollution on the planet. Chevron was ordered to pay $US 9.5 billion to offset the damage they caused, which they are still dodging with an army exceeding 2,000 lawyers while a huge slice of the most bio-diverse and beautiful ecosystem on earth remains contaminated. Antacid for the atmosphere could cool down planet Earth. Geoengineering. Sprinkling of sawdust could soak up Arctic oil spills.

Since the Deepwater Horizon incident, we've seen an increased focus on developing new ways to contain and clean up oil spills more efficiently. What do Earth's magnetic fields tell us about warming oceans? Originating in our planet's core and ballooning out into space, the Earth's magnetic field has long kept humans safe from charged particles and deadly radiation, and it turns out it might also know a thing or two about our future well being. Arctic soils: a ticking climate time bomb. In Huge Win for Oceans and Wildlife, California Phases Out Plastic Bags.

Mutant grasses can clean up the mess left over from bombs. RDX is a highly-toxic explosive that has been used in munitions ever since World War II. To this day, it accumulates in the soil at locations such as bombing ranges and military training grounds, where it can ultimately leech into groundwater sources. Cleaning up these contaminated sites using conventional technology can be very expensive, so scientists at the University of Washington and the University of York have developed an alternative – they've created transgenic grass that "eats" RDX.

The Nasty Fallout from North Carolina's Powerful Hog Industry. Fossils reveal approaching relocation of plants on Earth – HeritageDaily. Share Tweet. Giant vacuum cleaner sucks up urban pollution. Atmospheric acidity almost back down to preindustrial levels. After increased industrialization in the 1930s, atmospheric acidity levels rose up sharply to a peak in the 1970s, but 40 years after the US and Europe introduced legislation to combat air pollution, acidity in the air has now dropped back down to pre-1930 levels. Theconversation. Your drain on drugs: Meth seeps into Baltimore's streams. Earth - Five surprising uses of poo. Theconversation. Study looks at long-term impact of farming. Ocean Cleanup project to test its first trash-catching barriers in Dutch waters. This Genius Bucket Sucks Trash And Oil Right Out Of The Sea. Row-bot cleans dirty water and powers itself by eating microbes. Fallout from Fukushima: The Radioactive Exclusion Zone. From suicidal shrimp to spiked tap water: where unused medications end up — Hopes&Fears — flow "Wellness"

Fredrik ausinsch imagines collector drone for algae abundance in the baltic sea. From rainforest to your cupboard: the real story of palm oil - interactive. Indonesia is burning. So why is the world looking away? Chilling Photos Show Coral Bleaching Across the Globe. At site of world's worst nuclear disaster, the animals have returned. There are now 3.04 trillion trees on earth. Cleaning ship emissions with metal sponge cells. Ocean Cleanup project completes Great Pacific Garbage Patch research expedition. Scientists track subsurface waves the size of skyscrapers. The Climate Deception Dossiers: Internal Fossil Fuel Industry Memos Reveal Decades of Corporate Disinformation. “Faith-based arguments that deal with climate change are a smokescreen that mask the real problem” An 8-year-old Falls Into One of Mexico’s Most Contaminated Rivers. 18 Days Later, He’s Dead. Earth's oceans found to be a much greater source of greenhouse gas than previously believed.

Ocean Cleanup concept to become a reality next year. Let’s just re-engineer the climate — Bull Market. Fukushima Seaborne Radiation Has Reached North American Shores. Thoughts on the Apocalypse: Fight for What You Love by Derrick Jensen - Terrain.org: A Journal of the Built + Natural Environments. What really caused the Chernobyl disaster? Dozens of new craters suspected in northern Russia. How Cattle Grazing Can Reverse Desertification and Climate Change. An Iceberg Flipped Over, and Its Underside Is Breathtaking.

There Were Too Many Deer In The Forest. So They Unleashed The Wolves Without Any Idea What Would Happen. A 2,500 Square-Mile Methane Plume Is Silently Hovering over Western US. Underwater robot provides first detailed, high-resolution 3D maps of Antarctic sea ice. 'Aquatic Osteoporosis' Jellifying Lakes. Watch Leave It to Beavers. American forest fires are melting the ice on Greenland. Limits to Growth was right. New research shows we're nearing collapse. Integral Sustainability: Correlating Action Logics with Sustainability to Provide Insight into the Dynamics of Change. It's personal: why leaders don't turn climate knowledge into action.

Losing Ground. Hundreds of Methane Plumes Erupting Along East Coast. This Floating Platform Could Filter The Plastic From Our Polluted Oceans. Can tiny plankton help reverse climate change? – David Biello. Infertility in Spanish Pigs Has Been Traced to Plastics. A Warning for Humans? Iron from Melting Ice Sheets May Help Buffer Global Warming. Global Extinction...Within One Lifetime? This Will Shatter Your View of Apex Predators: How Wolves Change Rivers. 'Rivers On Rolaids': How Acid Rain Is Changing Waterways. Japan government abandons hands-off approach to Fukushima clean-up.

Sustainable seafood is a fantasy. A Radical Approach to the Climate Crisis. Tiny Plastic Beads Are Latest Pollution Threat To The Great Lakes. Japanese Nuclear Plant May Have Been Leaking for Two Years. 19-Year-Old Develops Cleanup Array To Remove 7,250,000 Tons Of Plastic From Oceans. Prozac Found to Make Fish Homicidal/Suicidal In Even Trace Amounts. 'God's Bathtub:' Ancient Lake In Australia Found To Be Unaffected By Climate Change (PHOTO) Where the world's greenhouse gases come from. Net Loss: How We Continually Forget What the Oceans Really Used to Be Like [Excerpt]

Things May Be Bad, But at Least Our Streets Don't Burp Mystery Goo - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart - 05/20/13. Fukushima and the Growing Cost of Cancer. 6 things you need to know about the Arkansas oil spill. Phoenix is doomed — to be a target for doomsayers. Wastewater treatment process may keep fish off antidepressants. "Pharmed" fish exposed to anti-anxiety drugs change behavior, could impact ecosystems. A Mysterious Patch Of Light Shows Up In The North Dakota Dark : Krulwich Wonders... Cleaning air the natural way. 'Mysterious' Baltic Sea Object Is a Glacial Deposit. Where has all the Gulf spill oil gone? Shell to Test Capturing of Carbon in Canada. Hunting mysterious environmental toxins. 'Unprecedented,' 'Amazing,' 'Goliath': Scientists Describe Arctic Sea Ice Melt. 7500sq Miles of Pumice from Underwater Volcano Located.