Burmese roofed turtle is rescued from extinction

September 4, 2020 by  
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The Burmese roofed turtle has been saved from the brink of extinction. The turtle had not been seen for over 20 years, leading many conservationists to assume that it was extinct . But in 2001, one Burmese roofed turtle was spotted in markets in Myanmar, sparking interest among scientists. From this point forward, efforts to save the endangered species were put in place by scientists in collaboration with the government of Myanmar. The efforts have paid off, with nearly 1,000 of these turtles existing today. The Burmese roofed turtle is a giant Asian river turtle that is characterized by its large eyes and small, natural smile. Since the sighting of a surviving turtle in Myanmar about 20 years ago, the population of the turtles has been increased to about 1,000, thanks to serious conservation efforts. Some of the turtles have already been released to the wild, while the others are still within captivity. Related: This turtle with a green mohawk is one of the most endangered reptiles in the world These turtles were once thriving around the mouth of the Irrawaddy river in Myanmar. But by the mid-20th century, fishing and overharvesting led to a significant drop in the number of turtles. For years, the state of the species was unknown, given that Myanmar had closed its borders. Scientists could not access the country and, as a result, could not make any efforts to save the turtles. By the time Myanmar reopened its borders in the 1990s, scientists could not find any Burmese roofed turtles and began to believe that they were extinct . “We came so close to losing them. If we didn’t intervene when we did, this turtle would have just been gone,” Steven Platt, a herpetologist at the Wildlife Conservation Society, told The New York Times . Turtles and tortoises are among the most vulnerable species globally. About half of the planet’s turtle and tortoise species , a total of 360 living species, are threatened. The scenario is especially bad for species across Asia, where turtles and tortoises are affected by habitat loss, climate change and hunting for consumption. But the recent good news on the growing population of Burmese roofed turtles gives hope that concerted conservation efforts can continue to save more vulnerable species. Via The New York Times and Wildlife Conservation Society Image via Wildlife Conservation Society

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Burmese roofed turtle is rescued from extinction

Scientists pledge to sequence the DNA of all 1.5 million known species on Earth

April 25, 2018 by  
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You may have heard of the Human Genome Project, but an international group of researchers has recently announced plans to go one step further. The Earth BioGenome Project is a massive effort to sequence the DNA of every single one of the 1.5 million species on Earth – and it will officially be the largest genome sequencing project ever undertaken. Ultimately, scientists hope that it will help us understand and protect the plants, animals, and fungi that call our planet home. Researchers announced their ambitious plans this week at the World Economic Forum , writing that “increasing our understanding of Earth’s biodiversity and responsibly stewarding its resources are among the most crucial scientific and social challenges of the new millennium. These challenges require fundamental new knowledge of the organization, evolution, functions, and interactions among millions of the planet’s organisms.” Related: Atacama ‘alien’ skeleton’s identity revealed by genetic testing So far, we’ve sequenced just 0.2 percent (about 2,500) of the eukaryotic species on Earth, so we have a long way to go to before reaching the 1.5 million known species – and that doesn’t even take into account the estimated 10 to 15 million undiscovered ones. The entire project is estimated to take about 10 years and $4.7 billion to complete. While that may sound like a ton of money, sequencing a genome is just a fraction of the cost that it used to be. In fact, today sequencing a new species costs just $30,000, compared to the $2.7 billion it cost to sequence the first human genome. Once completed, the data will be made available as part of the public domain. Via Gizmodo Image via Nikola Jovanovic and Deposit Photos

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Scientists pledge to sequence the DNA of all 1.5 million known species on Earth

EPA to consider burning wood a ‘carbon neutral’ energy source

April 25, 2018 by  
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Earlier this week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a new policy which will classify the burning of wood as a ‘carbon neutral’ fuel source. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt unveiled this policy shift to an audience of timber industry leaders in Georgia, who have a vested interest in whether they can market wood-based fuel products as ‘green energy.’ Pruitt supported his decision by claiming that forest regrowth will lead to greater absorption of carbon dioxide and somehow counteract the cumulative greenhouse gas emissions resulting from deforestation and burning wood. Scientists, none of whom were consulted in this policy change, disagree. “Today’s announcement grants America’s foresters much-needed certainty and clarity with respect to the carbon neutrality of forest biomass,” Pruitt said in a  press release . A study published by British think-tank Chatham House concluded that when all emissions and carbon absorption is accounted for, harvesting energy from burning wood produces carbon pollution equivalent to that of coal . Further, using this method of energy to create steam may be 50 percent more carbon intensive than coal. Scientist William Moomaw, who focuses on forests and their role in climate change, told Mashable that the policy was announced with “zero consultation” of agency scientists or the EPA’s Science Advisory Board. “It’s a bad idea because anything that has carbon in it produces carbon dioxide when you burn it,” Moomaw said. “This is horrific.” Related: Iceland is replanting its forests 1,000 years after vikings razed them The EPA’s decision to inaccurately classify burning wood as carbon neutral may have global consequences. “Between this and the Europeans [who constitute the largest market for bioenergy], it means no chance of staying within the 2-degree limit,” Moomaw explained. Even if the forests do grow back to their original state, the damage will already be done. “The carbon dioxide in the air will have warmed the planet. … When the tree regrows, the glacier doesn’t regrow,” Moomaw said. “The climate change effects are irreversible. Carbon neutrality is not climate neutrality.” Via Mashable Images via Depositphotos (1)

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EPA to consider burning wood a ‘carbon neutral’ energy source

How To Make Reusable Halloween Window Decals

October 3, 2012 by  
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Halloween can be among the most wasteful holidays if you only buy store-bought, disposable decorations, but it doesn’t have to be! One sure way to lower your Halloween eco-footprint is to make your own reusable decorations. In this easy, six-step tutorial, we’ll show you how to make super-spooky homemade window silhouettes. All you need is a roll of recycled paper and some eco-friendly paint. And the best part: When Halloween is over, you can roll them up and use ‘em again next year! READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: decorations , halloween , holidays , Inhabitots , kids , Recycled Materials , window decals

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How To Make Reusable Halloween Window Decals

New California building code to slash energy bills by billions

May 31, 2012 by  
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  New standards adopted today in California will make new construction in the state, as well as major alterations and additions to existing buildings, among the most energy efficient in the nation.  

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New California building code to slash energy bills by billions

Artist Makes Challenger II Tank From 5,016 Egg Cartons For Charity!

February 13, 2012 by  
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People do a lot of interesting things in order to raise money for charity, however this has to rank among the most “eggscellent” – Sculptor Stuart Murdoch has created a life-size replica of a Challenger II tank out of 5,016 egg cartons to raise money for Help The Heroes . The UK charity raises money for wounded servicemen and women returning from conflict. Read the rest of Artist Makes Challenger II Tank From 5,016 Egg Cartons For Charity! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: challenger 2 tank egg boxes , challenger 2 tank egg cartons , challenger 2 tank help for heroes , challenger II tank egg box , egg tank , egg tank carton , eggs for heroes , eggs for soldiers , help for heroes charity , help for heroes egg tank , stuart murdoch challenger 2 tank , stuart murdoch challenger II tank

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Artist Makes Challenger II Tank From 5,016 Egg Cartons For Charity!

Study Shows Spike in Japan’s CO2 Levels After Fukushima Nuclear Disaster

February 13, 2012 by  
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A newly released study from the Breakthrough Institute shows a clear indication on how dependent Japan has been on nuclear power . First the good news: after the devastating earthquake and resulting destruction of the Fukushima Nuclear Plant in Japan last year the nation reduced its energy consumption by 9.8%. Unfortunately, the reduction in energy is not enough to offset the environmental impact of replacing nuclear energy with carbon-intensive fuels.  From a glass-half-empty perspective, it looks like reducing energy consumption is not a magic bullet as CO2 levels rose 15%. But we are glass-half-full types here at Inhabitat – and the numbers are a clear indicator that the faster Japan transitions to clean, renewable power sources, the better off they (and all of us) will be. Read the rest of Study Shows Spike in Japan’s CO2 Levels After Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Breakthrough Institute , Breakthrough Institute Japan , CO2 spike Japan , Fukushima , Future of Japans energy , green energy , Japan CO2 , Japan energy future , Japan environmental leadership , japan nuclear , Japan sustainable energy , Japans green future , renewable enrgy Japan

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Study Shows Spike in Japan’s CO2 Levels After Fukushima Nuclear Disaster

Then-and-Now Pics Reveal Stunning Greenland Glacier Melt

September 6, 2011 by  
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Oblique view of the Petermann glacier front on 24 July, 2009 Jason Box Byrd Polar Research Center, Ohio State University via PhysOrg Greenland is melting. That’s hardly a newsflash: retreating ice and vanishing glaciers in the Arctic have long been foremost among the most visible icons of global climate change. But the rate at which those glaciers are disappearing continues to shock scientists anew. This summer, a new crop of photos were taken of one such dissipating ice mass, the Petermann glacier. When lined up with photos taken on the same … Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Then-and-Now Pics Reveal Stunning Greenland Glacier Melt

Pediatricians Say U.S. Policy Fails Children on Chemical Safety

April 26, 2011 by  
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Image: christina rutz via flickr Pediatricians are, at least in theory, among the most trusted groups of professionals in the country, so it’s notable when they come out with a position statement on the health of our children and the lack of proper policy to protect the most at-risk populations . That’s exactly what has happened this week: the American Academy Of Pediatrics released a

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Pediatricians Say U.S. Policy Fails Children on Chemical Safety

Gutsy Goats Caught Scaling Super-Steep Dam (Pics)

October 13, 2010 by  
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Photo via Peter Bosshard / International Rivers Dams are among the most monumental examples of mankind’s engineering savvy, though they’re also perhaps the most environmentally impactful , too — but none of that could keep this brave herd of Ibex goats from scaling the sheer face of one such dam in Italy.

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Gutsy Goats Caught Scaling Super-Steep Dam (Pics)

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