This pink snow may be pretty, but it’s terrible news for the environment

June 27, 2016 by  
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Pink snow might sound outlandish, but it can actually be found around the world. While it may be pretty, it turns out it really isn’t a good look: the color is caused by blooming algae , which cause the snow to melt quicker. As the climate changes, these algae thrive – but their presence has ominous implications for glaciers . In a study published this week in Nature Communications , scientists from the UK and Germany scrutinized the algae and an effect called “bio-albedo.” White surfaces, like glaciers and snow, reflect sunlight, and that’s called albedo. When those glaciers and snow melt, they reveal darker surfaces beneath, like mountains or oceans, and those surfaces have a lower albedo, or absorb greater amounts of sunlight. That effect is important because red algae actually gives snow a lower albedo and makes it melt faster. Related: Arctic temperatures are literally off the charts Lead author Stefanie Lutz told Gizmodo, “The algae need liquid water in order to bloom . Therefore the melting of snow and ice surfaces controls the abundance of the algae. The more melting, the more algae. With temperatures rising globally, the snow algae phenomenon will likely also increase leading to an even higher bio-albedo effect.” Lutz’s study reveals ” red pigmented snow algal blooms ” can decrease snow albedo by 13 percent during a melt season. The phenomenon takes place all around the world, too, from the Arctic to Antarctica. Greenland, the European Alps, and Iceland are a few other places where people have noted the algae. The algae is especially prevalent in the Arctic during the summer, when Lutz says by her estimation at least 50 percent of snow on a glacier displays the blooms. Lutz and her colleagues recommended the algae be taken into account in future climate models, because warmer temperatures will likely mean more algae, and therefore even more melting. Via Gizmodo Images via Wikimedia Commons and Dick Culbert on Flickr

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This pink snow may be pretty, but it’s terrible news for the environment

Largest algae bloom in U.S. history is causing brain damage in California sea lions

December 15, 2015 by  
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Amid perhaps the largest toxic algae bloom in U.S. history , California’s sea lions are suffering brain damage , according to a new report. The algae produces domoic acid, which poisons the animals and leaves them unable to find food, leading to unprecedented numbers of stranded sea lions. Sick sea lions have been reported farther away than ever before and new reports further illuminate the link between the algae bloom and the loss of brain cells in sea lions. Read the rest of Largest algae bloom in U.S. history is causing brain damage in California sea lions

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Largest algae bloom in U.S. history is causing brain damage in California sea lions

A new study says US could run completely on clean energy by 2050

December 15, 2015 by  
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The latest  Clean Energy Future report (tagline: Protecting the climate, creating jobs, saving money) reveals how we can cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent and rely completely on renewable energy sources by 2050 , all while adding hundreds of thousands of jobs to the economy and becoming a leader in environmentalism. Surprising? The report isn’t the only one out there with the same optimism for the US. Is it really possible for us to make such a big turn-around? Read the rest of A new study says US could run completely on clean energy by 2050

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A new study says US could run completely on clean energy by 2050

Waterways are Oozing ‘Rock Snot’ Because of Climate Change

March 6, 2014 by  
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The effects of climate change aren’t always massive storms and never-ending drought. Sometimes they happen quietly, over many years, before finally surfacing in all their disgusting, stomach-turning glory. Case in point? Rock snot . Since 2006, folks in Canada have been noticing a thick, mucous-like substance spreading across the bottom of rivers and streams. Like the common name suggests, this nasty mass of sliminess looks exactly like what might happen if a rock caught a nasty cold and then sneezed without a tissue. For a long time, scientists assumed it was an invasive species, but it turns out it’s actually a type of algae that’s kicked into high gear thanks to changing weather patterns . Read the rest of Waterways are Oozing ‘Rock Snot’ Because of Climate Change Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: algae bloom , algae in waterways , canada , Didymo , gross effects of climate change , invasive species , north america , rock snot , rock snot and climate change , weird effects of climate change        

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Waterways are Oozing ‘Rock Snot’ Because of Climate Change

Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone to Triple in Size this Year, NOAA Warns

July 11, 2013 by  
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Every year runoff carried by the Mississippi River creates a “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico and this year it is expected to triple in size, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Larry McKinney, executive director of the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, blames ethanol for the expansion of these low-oxygen waters, which threatens 18 percent of the country’s commercial seafood production. Read the rest of Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone to Triple in Size this Year, NOAA Warns Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: algae bloom , dead zone , Environment , environmental destruction , ethanol production , fertilizer runoff , gulf of mexico , louisiana , Mississippi River , News , texas        

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Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone to Triple in Size this Year, NOAA Warns

China’s Largest Algae Bloom Covers the Coast of Qingdao in Thousands of Tons of Sea Lettuce

July 5, 2013 by  
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The coast of Qingdao, China is usually known for its beaches – but recently the nation's largest algae bloom blanketed the shores with thousands of tons of sea lettuce . A bloom the size of Connecticut has invaded the Yellow Sea surrounding the coastal town, suffocating its waters with layer upon layer of green algae . The sea lettuce may be harmless to humans, but it poses a danger to the marine ecosystem as it spreads and eventually begins to rot, emitting hydrogen sulphide into the water. Read the rest of China’s Largest Algae Bloom Covers the Coast of Qingdao in Thousands of Tons of Sea Lettuce Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: algae bloom China , algae Yellow Sea , eco design , green design , qingdao , Sea lettuce china , sustainable design        

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China’s Largest Algae Bloom Covers the Coast of Qingdao in Thousands of Tons of Sea Lettuce

The Top 5 Environmental Issues Humanity Should Be Thinking About in 2013

July 5, 2013 by  
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Image via Shutterstock Like too many fruit flies in a bottle, there are now so many humans on this finite planet that are activities are changing our environment to be less favorable for a comfortable and enduring future. And, although we try not to alarm folks, any ecologist worth his salt knows that at some point density-dependent mortality factors eventually kick-in that keep populations from overshooting their environmental, or planetary, carrying-capacity. Certainly, our technology and cleverness have helped us elevate our species’ carrying-capacity, but our explosive population growth will soon outstrip these advantages as we exceed planetary boundaries. While there is much Earth-angst and hand-wringing over a long list of environmental issues, five green issues really and truly deserve serious attention and action by our species if we are to dodge excessive loss and adversity. Read the rest of The Top 5 Environmental Issues Humanity Should Be Thinking About in 2013 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Biodiversity , climate , Climate Change , climate issue , earth , earth destruction , earth issues , Environment , environmental destruction , Fishing , green , humanity , ocean pollution , oceans , priority , top , toxins        

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The Top 5 Environmental Issues Humanity Should Be Thinking About in 2013

Rogue Geoengineering Experiment Creates Massive Algae Bloom in Pacific Ocean

October 17, 2012 by  
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Photo via Shutterstock The Guardian is reporting that a July dump of 100 tonnes of iron sulphate in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of British Columbia, Canada, by California businessman Russ George has fueled a plankton bloom as large as 10,000 square kilometers . The dump is part of a rogue geoengineering experiment that is intended to demonstrate that ocean fertilization using iron can draw carbon from the atmosphere and sequester it in the ocean long-term to help combat climate change. But with creation of the giant algae bloom, environmentalists have called George’s experiment a “blatant violation of two international resolutions.” Read the rest of Rogue Geoengineering Experiment Creates Massive Algae Bloom in Pacific Ocean Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: algae , August 2012 , BLOOM , carbon , Climate Change , diatom , dioxide , fertilization , geoengineering , iron sulphate , nasa , ocean , phytoplankton , russ george , sequestration

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Rogue Geoengineering Experiment Creates Massive Algae Bloom in Pacific Ocean

The Farmery is a Farm and Market in Four Recycled Shipping Containers in North Carolina

October 17, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of The Farmery is a Farm and Market in Four Recycled Shipping Containers in North Carolina Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: eco design , farmer’s market , green design , hydroponic growing systems , modular growing system , mushrooms , raleigh , Recycled Materials , shipping container , sustainable design , The Farmery , Urban Farming

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The Farmery is a Farm and Market in Four Recycled Shipping Containers in North Carolina

Scientists Propose Dumping Iron in the Sea to Slow Climate Change

July 20, 2012 by  
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Photo via Shutterstock Algae blooms can have positive and negative effects on the environment. While they can absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, they can also consume a large amount of oxygen suffocating other species. However, a new report from an international team of scientists states that by dumping iron in the seas, we can encourage bloom growth , capture carbon from the atmosphere and bury it on the ocean floor for centuries. Read the rest of Scientists Propose Dumping Iron in the Sea to Slow Climate Change Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Alfred Wegener Institute , algae bloom , algae growth , carbon capture , Climate Change , iron algae growth , iron dumping , iron molecules

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