Scientists uncover hidden Mayan city of 10M people in Guatemala

February 5, 2018 by  
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An international team of researchers have identified tens of thousands of previously unknown Mayan structures using a high-tech aerial mapping technology known as Lidar. Discovered in the jungles of Guatemala , the ancient structures include homes, pyramids, defense installations, large-scale agricultural fields, and irrigation canals, suggesting that up to 10 million people lived in the area at its peak. “That is two to three times more [inhabitants] than people were saying there were,” Marcello A Canuto, a professor of anthropology at Tulane University, told The Guardian . Those that did live there clearly altered the landscape far more dramatically than previously thought. The research team, which includes scientists from the United States , Europe, and Guatemala working in collaboration with Guatemala’s Mayan Heritage and Nature Foundation , used Lidar, which stands for light detection and ranging, to virtually cut through the thick jungle . Lidar works by bouncing pulsed laser light off of the ground to unveil contours otherwise hidden. In addition to its use in archaeology, lidar also serves to assist the control and navigation of self-driving cars. Further areas of lidar application include seismology, laser guidance, and atmospheric physics. Related: Hidden passageway discovered at ancient Mayan ruins The recent discoveries in the Peten region of Guatemala have shown that in some areas of the now-thick jungle, up to 95 percent of land was used for agriculture . “Their agriculture is much more intensive and therefore sustainable than we thought, and they were cultivating every inch of the land,” Francisco Estrada-Belli, research assistant professor at Tulane University, told The Guardian . To do so, the Mayans drained swampland that even today is considered unfit for farming. The large scale of the projects demonstrates the coordinated effort required to complete them. “There’s state involvement here, because we see large canals being dug that are re-directing natural water flows,” Thomas Garrison, assistant professor of anthropology at Ithaca College in New York, told The Guardian . Despite the discovery’s massive size, it would have likely remained unknown without Lidar technology. “I found [an ancient road],” explained Garrison, “but if I had not had the Lidar and known that that’s what it was, I would have walked right over it, because of how dense the jungle is.” Via The Guardian Images via Ithaca College and Depositphotos

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Scientists uncover hidden Mayan city of 10M people in Guatemala

Belize votes to indefinitely end all oil exploration in its waters

January 8, 2018 by  
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The small Central American nation of Belize has decided to indefinitely end all new oil exploration in its waters. Belize only produces 3,000 barrels of oil a day, in contrast to the 1.5 million barrels that the United States produces each day in the Gulf of Mexico. However, this small but significant action sends a message to other developing countries trying to balance economic development with conservation. Like many developing economies, Belize’s depends on the export of its natural resources. Despite the economic importance of oil exports, the government decided that the preservation of its coral reefs and pristine waters were more important in the long run than petrodollars today. Home to a bit less than 400,000 people, Belize also hosts the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere. This and Belize’s other natural attractions, such as lush rain forests, attract tourists from around the world and generate $200 million annually, over 10 percent of the country’s GDP, in tourism revenue. Allowing oil exploration along the coast could seriously endanger the country’s tourism industry and ecological health. Environmental groups have been advocating for a ban on oil exploration since 2006, when Belize’s only oil company discovered new reserves. Related: Gorgeous Belize eco-resort will offer 100% carbon neutral villas The coral reef and its accompanying tourism supports the livelihoods of more than 190,000 people in Belize, so it is no surprise that the public is engaged in protecting the ecosystem . “Belize is a small country making a mighty commitment to putting the environment first,” said World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) reef scientist Nadia Bood, according to Quartz . Environmentalists hope that Belize will inspire similar action in other countries. “Ending oil activities will encourage other countries to follow suit and take the urgent action that is needed to protect our planet’s oceans ,” said WWF campaigner Chris Gee, according to Quartz . “Like the Belize Barrier Reef, nearly half of natural World Heritage sites worldwide are threatened by industrial pressures.” Via Quartz Images via Depositphotos (1)

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Belize votes to indefinitely end all oil exploration in its waters

Climate change may threaten one in six species with extinction

May 7, 2015 by  
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The Golden Toad once made its home in the mountaintop cloud forests of Central America, but as climate change-driven drought caused the forests to disappear, so too did the toad—now considered extinct , as it hasn’t been seen since 1989. If climate change continues at its current rate,  one in six species could face a similar fate , according to a new meta-analysis of 131 published studies examining everything from Arctic foxes to Californian Oak Trees. Read the rest of Climate change may threaten one in six species with extinction Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: australia extinction , Climate Change , climate change environment , environmental destruction , extinction rates , global temperature animals , global warming , golden toad , habitat loss , south america extinction

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Climate change may threaten one in six species with extinction

Coffee leaf tea is the latest craze – and it packs more antioxidants than green tea

March 3, 2015 by  
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Would you like a cup of coffee? No, wait, it’s tea. No, it’s coffee. The hottest new beverage is a delicious tea made from coffee leaves . Brilliant, right? It’s a drink that doesn’t just sound novel; it’s also really good for you. Ranking low in caffeine and packing more antioxidants and polyphenols than green tea, coffee leaf tea provides a stable income for coffee farmers in addition to some really satisfying sips. Read the rest of Coffee leaf tea is the latest craze – and it packs more antioxidants than green tea Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Central America Coffee , coffee alternatives , coffee bean farmers , coffee leaf tea , economic stability , low caffeine beverages , low caffeine drinks , teas high in antioxidants , wize monkey

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Coffee leaf tea is the latest craze – and it packs more antioxidants than green tea

Fungus Outbreak Threatens to Wipe Out Coffee Crops in Central America

June 12, 2013 by  
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Coffee photo from Shutterstock Your morning cup of joe may be next on the endangered list. A disease outbreak in Central America is threatening hundreds of thousands of farms by crippling coffee plants and causing their fruits not to ripen. The culprit, called coffee rust , is a leaf-blighting fungus thought to be flourishing now due to climate change . So far more than 50 percent of the coffee plants growing in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama have been affected by coffee rust. Read the rest of Fungus Outbreak Threatens to Wipe Out Coffee Crops in Central America Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Central America Coffee , Climate Change , coffee in danger , coffee rust fungus , eco design , green design , sustainable design        

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Fungus Outbreak Threatens to Wipe Out Coffee Crops in Central America

Glassy Renovation Brings Natural Light into Canadian Museum of Nature

June 12, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Glassy Renovation Brings Natural Light into Canadian Museum of Nature Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: canada , Canadian Museum of Nature , Daylighting , glass , glazed , green interiors , green renovation , KPMB Architects , Museum , natural light. Architecture , Ottawa        

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Glassy Renovation Brings Natural Light into Canadian Museum of Nature

Study Projects Over Half of World’s Population Could Rely on Food Imports by 2050

May 8, 2013 by  
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Photo via Shutterstock With tomatoes from Chile, salmon from Norway, chocolate from Africa, and coffee from Indonesia, a trip to the local grocery store can seem like a journey around the world. But food security is a serious issue in the 21st century, as countries around the world struggle to produce enough food to feed their growing populations. A new study from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany that was published in the journal  Environmental Research Letters suggests that over half of the world’s population could depend on imported foods by 2050. Read the rest of Study Projects Over Half of World’s Population Could Rely on Food Imports by 2050 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: central america , Climate Change , diet , food security , germany , imported food , marianela fader , Middle East , North Africa , Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research , self sufficiency        

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Study Projects Over Half of World’s Population Could Rely on Food Imports by 2050

Study Projects Over Half of World’s Population Could Rely on Food Imports by 2050

May 8, 2013 by  
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Photo via Shutterstock With tomatoes from Chile, salmon from Norway, chocolate from Africa, and coffee from Indonesia, a trip to the local grocery store can seem like a journey around the world. But food security is a serious issue in the 21st century, as countries around the world struggle to produce enough food to feed their growing populations. A new study from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany that was published in the journal  Environmental Research Letters suggests that over half of the world’s population could depend on imported foods by 2050. Read the rest of Study Projects Over Half of World’s Population Could Rely on Food Imports by 2050 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: central america , Climate Change , diet , food security , germany , imported food , marianela fader , Middle East , North Africa , Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research , self sufficiency        

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Study Projects Over Half of World’s Population Could Rely on Food Imports by 2050

Study Projects Over Half of World’s Population Could Rely on Food Imports by 2050

May 8, 2013 by  
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Photo via Shutterstock With tomatoes from Chile, salmon from Norway, chocolate from Africa, and coffee from Indonesia, a trip to the local grocery store can seem like a journey around the world. But food security is a serious issue in the 21st century, as countries around the world struggle to produce enough food to feed their growing populations. A new study from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany that was published in the journal  Environmental Research Letters suggests that over half of the world’s population could depend on imported foods by 2050. Read the rest of Study Projects Over Half of World’s Population Could Rely on Food Imports by 2050 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: central america , Climate Change , diet , food security , germany , imported food , marianela fader , Middle East , North Africa , Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research , self sufficiency        

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Study Projects Over Half of World’s Population Could Rely on Food Imports by 2050

Trees Pass Through the Interior of Paz Arquitectura’s Casa Corallo in Guatemala City

April 6, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of Trees Pass Through the Interior of Paz Arquitectura’s Casa Corallo in Guatemala City Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Casa Corallo , central america , Corallo house , Guatemala , Guatemala City , Latin America , modern architecture , natural design , Paz Arquitectura , Trees

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Trees Pass Through the Interior of Paz Arquitectura’s Casa Corallo in Guatemala City

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