Arctic Ocean undergoes ‘massive shift,’ becoming more like Atlantic

April 7, 2017 by  
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Increasing temperatures aren’t the only factor to blame for dramatic Arctic sea ice loss. An international team of 16 scientists led by the International Arctic Research Center in Alaska discovered warm currents from the Atlantic Ocean are snaking up to the Arctic and melting ice from below. They call this phenomenon the Atlantification of the Arctic. Scientists placed sensors in the Arctic seas in 2002, and the information they’ve gathered isn’t good. The Arctic Ocean’s behavior has undergone a massive shift, according to physical oceanographer Finlo Cottier of the Scottish Association for Marine Science, who was not part of the study. Related: Scientists hatch crazy $500 billion plan to refreeze the Arctic Warm Atlantic currents have a lot to do with this change, according to research published online by Science yesterday. The scientists looked at the Eurasian basin, or one of two basins in the Arctic Ocean divided by a ridge far beneath the surface. The Eurasian basin is north of Europe and Asia. Scientists have long known warm Atlantic currents prevent ice formation on the western side of the Eurasian basin north of Scandinavia . But now it seems those currents are working against ice on the eastern side north of Siberia too. Atlantic currents stream into the Arctic at depths of around 656 to 820 feet, with temperatures around four degrees Celsius higher than surface water. When they mix with surface water, which cools and falls in winter, the mixed water is a little warmer overall so the ocean has little sea ice. On the Eurasian basin’s eastern side a barrier known as the cold halocline layer (CHL) used to prevent much of that mixing. But now the eastern side is becoming more like the western side. Summer sea ice once helped form the CHL, but without that ice the ocean mixes more – and then not as much ice forms. Study lead author Igor Polyakov of the University of Alaska in Fairbanks told Science , “Previously this monster, Atlantic warm water, was well covered from the surface” by the CHL. “The new data show this layer has disappeared in winter.” Cottier told Science , “Here we’re seeing an ocean basin changing on a generational timescale – or less.” Via Inverse and Science Images via NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on Flickr and Wikimedia Commons

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Arctic Ocean undergoes ‘massive shift,’ becoming more like Atlantic

Sweden opens an entire mall full of reclaimed goods

April 7, 2017 by  
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You’re familiar with thrift stores – maybe you shop at one from time to time. But have you ever seen an entire mall of reclaimed goods? Such a thrifter’s paradise exists in Sweden , about 1.5 hours west of central Stockholm. ReTuna Återbruksgalleria , or ReTuna Recycling Galleria, peddles reused or upcycled goods, pioneering the climate -friendly future of the shopping mall. How does ReTuna work? People can submit items worthy of reclaiming or restoring to the Return. Staff from the city of Eskilstuna’s Activity, Motivation, and Work unit sort the donated items, which are then fixed up, repaired, or transformed to be sold in the mall. The goods are assigned to the mall shops based on each one’s business plan. There are 14 shops inside ReTuna, along with a restaurant serving organic food . Related: 6 Places You Can Find Trash to Transform into Treasure The purpose of the creative mall is to explore a new way of shopping resulting in less harm to the environment . All businesses in the mall must operate in an environmentally friendly way, and if they must purchase new goods – such as the cafe – the items must be organic or climate-friendly. According to the mall’s website, “ Sustainability is not about holding back and living less – but achieving more with the resources we already have.” Mall manager Anna Bergström says on the website they envision customers stopping by to donate old furniture or clothing, and then entering the mall to find maybe a new jacket or a new lamp, and having a bite in the organic restaurant. She said, “When you leave here, you should feel that you did something good for the environment.” The ReTuna website says it is “perhaps the world’s first shopping mall that will take advantage of things that need new homes.” The recycling mall will host an information meeting on April 20, 2017. + ReTuna Återbruksgalleria Images via ReTuna Återbruksgalleria and ReTuna Återbruksgalleria Facebook

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Sweden opens an entire mall full of reclaimed goods

8 universities given three years to develop a self-driving Chevy Bolt

April 7, 2017 by  
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We’re getting closer to the year many automakers predicted would see self-driving vehicles on the road. While Ford has made great advances lately, General Motors isn’t yet ready to stand on the side line with other automakers in 2020. In order to help bridge that gap, GM has announced it is giving eight American universities a Chevy Bolt as part of the new autonomous vehicle design competition called AutoDrive Challenge. The AutoDrive Challenge includes teams from Kettering University, Michigan State University, Michigan Tech, North Carolina A&T University, Texas A&M University, University of Toronto, University of Waterloo and Virginia Tech. Each school will be given three years to to develop and demonstrate a fully autonomous Chevy Bolt. Related: The new Nissan Leaf will be able to drive autonomously on the highway While three years may seem like a long time, the AutoDrive Challenge will be quite tough. At the end of the three years, each team will have to complete the development of a Chevy Bolt that will be able to navigate an urban driving course, autonomously and without any human interaction. In addition to receiving the Bolt, GM has also tapped strategic partners and suppliers to aid the students in their technology development by providing vehicle parts and software. Additionally, throughout the competition, students and faculty will be invited to attend technology-specific workshops to help them in their concept refinement and overall autonomous technical understanding. “GM is very excited to work closely with these eight universities over the next three years,” said Ken Kelzer, GM vice president of Global Vehicle Components and Subsystems. “The students and faculty at these schools bring deep knowledge and technical skills to the competition. We are proud to help offer these students the hands-on experience necessary for them to make an immediate impact on the automotive world when they graduate.” The AutoDrive Challenge kicks off this fall. Images @GM + General Motors

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8 universities given three years to develop a self-driving Chevy Bolt

Haunting Human Gyre made of over 200 underwater figures warns of climate change

January 10, 2017 by  
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A haunting sight awaits scuba divers on an Atlantic seabed. Over two hundred life-size human figures have been arranged in a circle to create the ‘Human Gyre,’ the last exhibit in Museo Atlantico , Europe’s first underwater museum officially completed this month. Located off the coast of Lanzarote, Spain, the artistic installation forms a complex reef for marine species to inhabit and speaks to the fragility of our ecosystem and our relationship with the natural marine environment. The monumental Museo Atlantico complex is the project of British artist Jason de Caires Taylor , who installed over 300 works across a dozen large-scale installations. Constructed around 14 meters underwater, the sprawling museum was created to promote conservation and education. The sculptures, made from environmentally friendly, pH-neutral inert materials, were specially created to double as artificial reefs and attract local fish species. The installations are made to last for hundreds of years and help raise awareness about the threats facing our world’s oceans and climate. Early works installed less than a year ago—construction began in February 2016—have already seen an increase of over 200 percent in marine biomass. Related: Haunting drowned figures send a chilling message in Europe’s first undersea sculpture museum Some of the hauntingly beautiful artworks double as political commentary, such as ‘Deregulated,’ which depicts suited businessmen in a playground-like environment to suggest that corporations are irresponsibly abusing nature as their play area. The life-size human figures used in the Human Gyre and in other installations are based on models of all ages and from all walks of life. “The artistic installation reminds us that we have evolved from marine life, and are all subject to the movements and will of the ocean,” says a statement in the museum press release. “The piece embodies our naked vulnerability to its inherent power, and our fragility in the face of its cycles and immense force. It provides the oxygen we breathe, it regulates our climate and it provides a vital source of nutrition to millions of people. A visit to Museo Atlantico may lead us to a closer understanding of our relationship with the natural marine environment and appreciate the need to value and protect this fragile ecosystem in order to save ourselves.” + Museo Atlantico Images via Jason de Caires Taylor

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Haunting Human Gyre made of over 200 underwater figures warns of climate change

Giant squid brings the mysticism of the sea to a Portuguese island

November 3, 2016 by  
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Created for the sixth annual public arts festival of the Azores , the character of Vernie was inspired by the vibrant sea life in the Atlantic Ocean. Moradavaga writes: “Influenced by the stunning landscapes and the mystic aura related to all that concerns whale hunting (in the past) and observation (in the present) our mind wandered through old tales like Moby Dick, by Herman Melville, and 20.000 Leagues Under the Sea, by Jules Verne, and the presence of sperm-whales along the Azores coasts led us to devise a character, “Vernie” the giant squid, that came from the depths of the ocean to serve as a communicative playful tool for passersby of all ages at Portas do Mar in the city of Ponta Delgada.” Related: VIDEO: Watch giant squid flash different colors to communicate Made with long red tubes, Vernie the giant squid sprawls out across a green park with a length of 15.55 meters. The mantle with the head measures 1.9 meters in height and features two empty “eye-holes” large enough for visitors to stick their head through. The tentacles are extended in different directions and wrap around nearby objects, from a wire sculpture to trees. The site-specific sculpture was installed in July 2016. + Moradavaga Via ArchDaily Images via Moradavaga

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Giant squid brings the mysticism of the sea to a Portuguese island

Category 3 storm Hurricane Nicole batters Bermuda

October 13, 2016 by  
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Just days after Hurricane Matthew , Hurricane Nicole is slamming into Bermuda. The Category 3 hurricane battered Bermuda Thursday, destroying homes and trees, and causing massive  floods . While the hurricane is expected to miss the United States and travel into the Atlantic Ocean, it could still cause rip currents along the U.S. East Coast. According to the National Hurricane Center , Hurricane Nicole is “extremely dangerous.” They predicted water levels would surge six to eight feet higher than normal in Bermuda, and “large and destructive” waves would pummel the island. Maximum sustained winds clock in at 125 miles per hour. Tornadoes could possibly roll through the area and add to the destruction. Related: Unchecked global warming could bring the worst hurricanes ever seen by the end of this century Residents and visitors hid indoors as the storm hit. National Security Minister Jeff Baron said, “This is a serious storm , and it’s living up to the weather predictions. The worst is not over.” Bermuda’s weathered hurricanes in the past, but few have been as strong as Hurricane Nicole, according to the National Hurricane Center. The island’s infrastructure is built to deal with severe weather, but even so 20,000 customers lost power. Airlines and cruise ships canceled travel to the tropical destination, as those on the island hunkered down to wait. Government offices and schools closed on Thursday. AP spoke with local Nick West, whose garden was underwater and who lost a big part of his roof to the hurricane. “We are hiding downstairs,” West told AP. “Just as long as we are all safe, that is all I really care about.” While it’s likely Hurricane Nicole won’t make it to the United States, it could still affect weather conditions. The National Hurricane Center warned everyone “from the Carolinas northward” to beware of rip currents. North Carolina and South Carolina could see threatening swell conditions. Via NPR and AP Images via NOAA NWS National Hurricane Center Facebook and screenshot

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Category 3 storm Hurricane Nicole batters Bermuda

This Hamptons beach house is as beautiful as it is weather-proof

February 1, 2016 by  
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Hurricane Alex becomes first hurricane to form in January in the Atlantic since 1955

January 14, 2016 by  
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For the first time in 61 years, there is a hurricane brewing in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean in January. Subtropical storm Alex formed near the Azores on Wednesday and was rapidly upgraded to hurricane status. The National Hurricane Center has issued a series of advisories for the islands, situated in the middle of the Atlantic, and storm-force winds are expected to hit land as soon as this evening. Heavy rain and continued high winds may begin tomorrow and last through the weekend as the storm travels north across the Azores . Read the rest of Hurricane Alex becomes first hurricane to form in January in the Atlantic since 1955

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Hurricane Alex becomes first hurricane to form in January in the Atlantic since 1955

A curious cold spot in the Atlantic has scientists thinking their worst fears have come true

September 25, 2015 by  
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Scientists have observed record high temperatures around the world all summer long. People everywhere are suffering from the intense heat, and the higher temps have contributed to the increasing western drought, wildfires, and all manner of environmental destruction. All points on the globe seem to be hitting new peaks on the thermostat, except for one. There is a curious cold spot in a map of ever-warming ocean waters , showing a “blob” of cooler-than-expected water in the northern Atlantic Ocean, and it has climate scientists more than just a little freaked out. Read the rest of A curious cold spot in the Atlantic has scientists thinking their worst fears have come true

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California’s Volcano House boasts 360 degrees of Mojave desert views

September 25, 2015 by  
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