Australia is investing over $377 million to protect and restore the Great Barrier Reef

May 1, 2018 by  
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The Great Barrier Reef provides $6.4 billion AUD to the economies of Australia and the Australian state Queensland a year — and now the Australian government aims to protect that asset with what they say is the largest ever single investment in the reef . They’ll pour over $500 million AUD, or around $377 million, into “the planet’s greatest living wonder” — which is at risk. The Australian government is investing millions in the Great Barrier Reef to “protect thousands of jobs, improve water quality, tackle coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish and implement scientific reef restoration.” NPR reported just over 11 percent of this money will go to marine park and federal agencies, with $444 million AUD, or around $335 million, going to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation . Related: Rising ocean temperatures are cooking the Great Barrier Reef to death $40 million AUD of the money for the Great Barrier Reef Foundation will go towards reef health monitoring, $45 million AUD to other work including coastal clean-ups and community engagement like indigenous traditional knowledge, and $58 million AUD to fighting the starfish. $100 million AUD will go towards “harnessing the best science to implement reef restoration” as well as funding research supporting adaptation and resilience. $201 million AUD will go towards improving water quality, starting on land: with farming practices like lowered fertilizer use and “adopting new technologies and land management practices.” The Great Barrier Reef is in trouble. It suffered from coral bleaching events in 2016 and 2017. Since 2016, around half of the reef has died, according to Forbes . The waters around the Reef warmed due to El Niño and climate change , and corals have perished. Heat stress from global warming (right) killed 30% of corals in 8 months (left). In the north, 50% died. Then it happened again in 2017. To save the #GreatBarrierReef , WE NEED TO TACKLE GLOBAL WARMING. https://t.co/YeW6ymNDok pic.twitter.com/m5GGgWWxS9 — Terry Hughes (@ProfTerryHughes) April 29, 2018 Surprise – not a single mention of #climatechange nor the massive coal mines that are driving the destruction of the Reef in this PR blurb for the government! https://t.co/axBhiHcNx7 — Christopher Wright (@ChristopherWr11) April 29, 2018 Government that wants to put public money into coal mines and coal power plants announces Reef package for all the factors harming the reef other than the ocean warming that will kill it https://t.co/tcl1n0PrHn — Tom Swann (@TOM_SWANN) April 29, 2018 Will the investment be enough to save the reef? Business Insider said experts have criticized the plans for their failure to address greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, seen as the root cause of the reef’s struggles. + Great Barrier Reef Foundation Via NPR , Forbes , and Business Insider Images via Depositphotos and Matt Kieffer on Flickr

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Australia is investing over $377 million to protect and restore the Great Barrier Reef

Birds called ‘firehawk raptors’ are intentionally spreading fires in Australia

January 10, 2018 by  
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When you think of causes of fire in Australia , you might think of lightning or arsonists – but you probably don’t think of birds . But at least three birds of prey species spread wildfires in Australia, according to a new paper incorporating indigenous knowledge. Penn State University geographer and lead author Mark Bonta told National Geographic , “We’re not discovering anything. Most of the data that we’ve worked with is collaborative with Aboriginal peoples…They’ve known this for probably 40,000 years or more.” ‘Firehawk raptors’ – the Black Kite ( Milvus migrans ), Brown Falcon ( Falco berigora ), and Whistling Kite ( Haliastur sphenurus ) – spread fire by carrying burning sticks in their beaks or talons. They can transport fiery sticks up to around one kilometer, or 0.6 miles, away, staring fires where the flames haven’t yet burned. And while indigenous people have known about this behavior for a long time, this new study published in the Journal of Ethnobiology late last year documenting the knowledge and around six years of ethno-ornithological research could help overcome what the paper abstract described as “official skepticism about the reality of avian fire-spreading.” Related: Carnivorous marsupial alive and well after being presumed extinct for 100 years “Intentional Fire-Spreading by “Firehawk” Raptors in Northern Australia,” Bonta et al. Journal of Ethnobiology, 37(4) (abstract): https://t.co/JJVomc5zDy #ethnobiology #ethnoornithology #birds #fire pic.twitter.com/Bv4oSA6BpC — Bob Gosford (@bgosford) January 1, 2018 Why would these birds of prey set fires? According to National Geographic, the blazes could help them find food as small animals and insects attempt to escape the fire. Co-author Bob Gosford told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in 2016, “Black kites and brown falcons come to these fronts because it is just literally a killing frenzy. It’s a feeding frenzy, because out of these grasslands come small birds, lizards, insects, everything fleeing the front of the fire.” And it’s important to dispel skepticism so officials could better plan land management and restoration. The researchers hope their paper will help with fire ecology and fire management that takes into account these fire-spreading birds. Via ScienceAlert and National Geographic Images via Depositphotos ( 1 , 2 )

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Birds called ‘firehawk raptors’ are intentionally spreading fires in Australia

Australian home builder to include a Tesla Powerwall in every new home

April 4, 2017 by  
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An Australian home builder has announced plans to include a Tesla Powerwall in all new homes. Arden Homes says they will outfit all their new homes with the energy storage technology through a partnership with solar energy company and certified Tesla Powerwall reseller Bradford Solar . The move is expected to slash electricity costs for homeowners. Tesla Powerwalls will now be standard in Arden homes as part of the Bradford Solar ChargePack. Solar panels on home rooftops will gather energy, which can then “be used to power your appliances, fed back into the grid , or stored for later use,” according to an Arden brochure . The pack also includes cloud-based monitoring so people can track energy consumption right from their smartphones. Related: Solar homes with Tesla’s Powerwall 2.0 are already cost-competitive with the grid in Australia The Tesla Powerwall, a rechargeable lithium-ion battery , allows homes to run on renewable energy whether the sun is shining or not, and can even power homes during an outage. Powerwalls can also help homeowners slash electric bills by up to 92 percent; according to Tesla , the battery charges when electricity demand is low, and therefore rates are low, and discharges when electricity demand is higher and rates are more expensive. According to Arden’s brochure, families could save around $2,500 every year on electric costs, and their five kilowatt (kW) Bradford Solar ChargePack allows a family of four to attain 90 percent self-sufficiency a day. Their six kW pack allows an Australian family to live with little dependency on the grid. Arden Homes are also designed to allow plenty of natural light to brighten up their dwellings through sun courts and large picture windows. 15 percent of Australian households – or around 1.5 million homes – are utilizing solar energy, and information released late last year showed the electricity generated in Australian solar homes with a Tesla Powerwall 2 is cost-competitive with the grid. + Arden Homes + Bradford Solar Via Futurism Images via Bradford Solar Facebook and Arden Homes Facebook

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Australian home builder to include a Tesla Powerwall in every new home

Green-roofed Torquay House provides sanctuary in a less-than-secluded neighborhood

November 18, 2016 by  
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A concrete facade conceals a secluded courtyard that leads up to the glazed entrance door. From this point on, a variety of large, open spaces unravel and blur the line between the interior and the central courtyard. A double-height gallery space is glazed on one side to reveal the plan that wraps around the courtyard and draw northern light and breezes through the house. Related: Solar-powered Bush House exemplifies chic eco-friendly living in the Australian outback A series of rooftop gardens , along with greenery draping off the deep concrete eaves give a verdant feel to the entire house. A rich palette of natural and metallic elements, including fine timber battening and brass detailing, creates patterns and provides warmth that counterpoints the rugged quality of the concrete . + Auhaus Architecture Via Uncrate Photos by Derek Swalwell

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Green-roofed Torquay House provides sanctuary in a less-than-secluded neighborhood

Australian father and son crowdfund $13 million for backyard Flow Hive honey harvester

September 19, 2016 by  
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Nearly 18 months ago, we reported on Flow Hive , the wildly successful crowdfunded project with two key benefits: making it easier to harvest honey in your backyard while simultaneously supporting threatened bee populations . The crowdfunding campaign broke numerous records , as it soared past $1 million in backing pledges on Day 1. The wild success of Flow Hive’s Indiegogo campaign made history—not just for bees and prospective beekeepers, but for all sorts of inventors and entrepreneurs looking for ways to fund their own innovations. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z54bL6kjyOI In total, the crowdfunding effort raised a whopping $13,244,379 for the Australian father-and-son team of Stuart and Cedar Anderson. That is 17,380 percent of the campaign’s original goal. The campaign was a raging success for many reasons. To start, the duo’s invention addresses a global problem and provides a hands-on solution that individual people or small communities can actually utilize (despite criticisms about Flow Hive’s plastic honeycomb). Additionally, the Andersons thoughtfully prepared photos, descriptions, and videos demonstrate how their prototype works. Related: 6 Buzz-worthy backyard beehive designs Those essential elements contributed to what happened next: the crowdfunding campaign went viral. The Flow Hive received widespread news coverage and tons of activity on social media. Because the campaign got so much attention, it quickly broke a number of crowdfunding records. Flow Hive became the fastest campaign to reach $1 million in backing (within the first 24 hours), the fastest to reach $2 million, and ultimately the most successful crowdfunding campaign ever launched outside the United States. By the end of this month, the project’s backers will have all received their very own Flow Hives, and the duo also sells them directly (for $699). While this particular project translates into a sweet life for bees and backyard honey fans, it’s also a great example of the awesome power that comes from combining a good idea, an entrepreneurial spirit, and an internet community full of bee lovers. Via CNET Images via Honey Flow

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Australian father and son crowdfund $13 million for backyard Flow Hive honey harvester

Refined timber-wrapped house is a low-maintenance space for a retired couple

August 24, 2016 by  
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The house is located on a sloping site in Victoria, Australia . The configuration of the plot dictated the form of the building, which the owners wanted to be all on a single level for convenience. Completed in 2014, the building functions as a friendly getaway where the couple can relax between travels. Related: Solar-powered Bush House exemplifies chic eco-friendly living in the Australian outback The main living area faces north and is naturally ventilated , while the bedrooms are oriented to the east to receive optimal amounts of natural light in the mornings. External timber cladding adds warmth to the house and makes it look like a cozy mountain cottage. + Coy Yiontis Architects Via Freshome Photos by Tatjana Plitt

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Refined timber-wrapped house is a low-maintenance space for a retired couple

Jam Furniture transforms reclaimed timber into sleek minimalist designs

June 27, 2016 by  
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Stylish furniture that is kind to the environment is always the way to go and it’s even better if the designs reference the beauty of nature. Like its name indicates, Jam Furniture is sweet yet practical. Inspired by reclaimed material and minimalist design, Jam Furniture’s creations showcase timber that tells a story, timber that had a previous life. Details like the nail holes in this stunning seventy-year-old reclaimed Australian cypress pine table are what make each design unique. Since many of these quirks can’t be recreated without the passage of time, Jam takes care to retain as many of them as possible. An all-natural (even edible) Beeswax polish gives the timber a sheen that extenuates the character of the grain, while locally sourced folded and powder coated steel frames and celebrates the warmth of the wood. Jam was established by Ben Cramp in 2013 on the rugged West Coast of Wales in the UK. + Jam Furniture The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

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New NASA tech could provide the entire solar system with internet

June 27, 2016 by  
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NASA is celebrating the first deployment of new technology at the International Space Station (ISS) that makes it much easier, faster, and more efficient to transmit data to Earth. Essentially, it’s the first step toward internet connectivity in space that is just as reliable as your home Wi-Fi signal. The new system, called Delay/Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN), provides a smart solution to interrupted connections, and lays the groundwork for Solar System-wide internet connectivity in the not-so-distant future. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gCMIiJdYPQ On Earth, we’re accustomed to what happens when something blocks a wireless internet signal . The connection slows, or even becomes disrupted entirely. For transmissions from ISS , this was a big problem because the objects in the way were large and numerous – planets, other spacecraft, radiation waves, and the like. Those obstacles made the signal slow, and sometimes meant some data was lost in transmission. DTN addresses those pitfalls in the way it transmits data. Rather than streaming bit by bit, the DTN process stores data when and if a connection becomes interrupted, and then forwards it using relay stations to its intended destination. This means the network can function even when a recipient server is offline. Related: Why Wi-Fi is faster on the moon than at your local coffee shop NASA has been testing DTN technology for years, and installed it earlier this month in the Telescience Resource Kit (TReK), a software suite for researchers to transmit and receive data between operations centers and their payloads aboard station. NASA reports that adding this service on the station will also enhance mission support applications, including operational file transfers. In order to make this giant leap for the future of space internet, NASA partnered with one of the “fathers of the internet,” Dr. Vinton G. Cerf, vice president and chief internet evangelist for Google and a distinguished visiting scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Cerf worked with NASA’s team to develop the technology, and he predicts many benefits in space as well as on Earth, especially in disaster relief conditions. “Our experience with DTN on the space station leads to additional terrestrial applications especially for mobile communications in which connections may be erratic and discontinuous,” said Cerf. “In some cases, battery power will be an issue and devices may have to postpone communication until battery charge is adequate. These notions are relevant to the emerging ‘Internet of Things’. ” There you have it, folks. The future is here, and it will be well connected. Via Futurism Images via NASA

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New NASA tech could provide the entire solar system with internet

Joel Rea’s captivating surrealist paintingswill make you feel tiny

June 5, 2016 by  
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In his work, Rea captures the dynamic motion of natural elements , while inspiring a deep feeling of humility. He represents how small we are within nature, leaving us wondering who has the ultimate control in this world. Using slow-drying oil on canvas, his richly colored, detailed scenes come alive. Related: PHOTOS: Life at Aconcagua’s Confluencia, a Sustainable Geodesic Base Camp in the Argentine Andes Rea’s paintings look like stills from a vivid dream, where a man in a suit stands on an empty beach looking helpless, juxtaposed with the crashing waves that might end with his life at any moment. His cinematic new works include titles such as Resolution , The Final Pieces , Edge of the World , and The Time Has Come If you want to see more of Joel Rea’s surrealist world, check his older paintings here . +  Joel Rea Via My Modern Met Photos by  Joel Rea

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Joel Rea’s captivating surrealist paintingswill make you feel tiny

Australias best outdoor playground is located in Melbourne

June 5, 2016 by  
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Forget the amusement park—the next time you go to Australia with the little ones, bring them instead to Nature Play at Royal Park, a public park that Australian Institute of Landscape Architects just crowned Australia’s best outdoor playground . Located in Melbourne, Nature Play offers a diversity of play spaces including slides, climbing structures, and rope areas. Open to both citizens and visitors, the Melbourne park even integrates references to the seven seasons of the local Wurundjeri aboriginal tribe.

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Australias best outdoor playground is located in Melbourne

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