Alaskan native community will vote to stay or relocate due to climate change

August 16, 2016 by  
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The Native village of Shishmaref in western Alaska will face a vote on Tuesday , deciding whether they wish to stay where they have lived for generations or to relocate in an effort to escape the effects of climate change . The barrier island village is finding it harder and harder to hunt for food and to keep rising ocean waters from threatening their homes. Over the years, Shishmaref residents have noticed longer months of warm weather in their village on the Chukchi Sea. This has impeded their generations-long traditions of hunting for seal, fishing, and gathering traditional summertime plants for sustenance. Longer periods of time before sea ice forms also means heavier ship traffic, leading to increased pollution and reducing the amount of marine life in the area. Locals also have to worry about warmer temperatures inviting invasive plant species and harmful algae blooms  in their water supply. Related: Remote Alaskan town is the canary in the US climate change coal mine The 650 people living in Shishmaref are voting on August 16 to decide whether they will relocate or stay. Even if they decide to pick up and move, the estimated funds for such an undertaking are at about $200 million. Esau Sinnok, an 18-year-old climate change activist from the Alaskan village, plans on running for mayor to assist with raising grants for the move to the mainland, when the time comes. He told Grist , “What’s special about Shishmaref is that we’re all family.” A relocation would be just as much about finding a new space to settle as finding a way to preserve the community and traditions of a displaced people who consider each other family. Via Grist Images via Wikipedia , Flickr

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Alaskan native community will vote to stay or relocate due to climate change

Scientists may have discovered the closest earth-like planet to date

August 16, 2016 by  
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Humans are fascinated by the idea of Earth-like planets that could potentially support life. Now German publication Der Spiegel is reporting scientists at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) are close to announcing they’ve actually found an Earth-like planet relatively close to our solar system. Citing anonymous sources, Der Spiegel reported that ESO will announce the discovery later this month. The Earth-like planet or “second Earth” orbits Proxima Centauri in the Alpha Centauri system, and the unnamed exoplanet’s distance from Proxima Centauri means it may possess liquid water , “an important requirement for the emergence of life.” The article states : “Never before have scientists discovered a second Earth that is so close by.” Related: Stephen Hawking announces plan to explore Alpha Centauri for alien life AFP reached out to ESO spokesperson Richard Hook who said he knew about the report, but would not say if it was true or not. He told AFP, “We are not making any comment.” It’s not the first time Alpha Centauri has incited speculation. Earlier this year Stephen Hawking said he’s working with Russian billionaire Yuri Milner to send tiny satellites to the star system to “listen” for extraterrestrial life. Nor is it the first time a potentially Earth-like planet has been found: NASA’s Kepler Telescope may have already found six Earth-like planets . Back when NASA announced that discovery in 2015, scientist Doug Caldwell said “The day is on the horizon when we’ll know how common temperate, rocky planets like Earth are.” But the exoplanet near Proxima Centauri is much closer than those other exoplanets . Rather than being 1,400 years away like NASA-discovered Earth-like planet Kepler 452b , the unammed “second Earth” is a mere 4.24 light years away. So is the Der Spiegel article an elaborate hoax or a groundbreaking discovery? We’ll have to wait until later in the month to see if ESO confirms the discovery. Via Phys.org Images via P. Horálek/ESO and Wikimedia Commons

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Scientists may have discovered the closest earth-like planet to date

Obama administration approves Shell to resume Arctic oil drilling

May 12, 2015 by  
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Just months after protecting 12.3 million acres of Alaskan wilderness from drilling, the Obama administration has given Shell the green light to drill for oil in Arctic waters off Alaska’s coast. We reported last month that the request was pending review from the Interior Department and CNN reports that the a statement issued grants conditional approval to allow Shell to start drilling in the Chukchi Sea. Shell will be able to resume drilling as soon as it meets several environmental conditions, which include an assessment of the impact on endangered species, as well as a approval by state agencies. The agency said the drilling wouldn’t happen without “rigorous safety standards” and a long review process. Read the rest of Obama administration approves Shell to resume Arctic oil drilling Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: alaska oil drilling , drilling off alaska coast approved , obama administration approves shell driilling off alaska , obama approves artic oil drilling

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Obama administration approves Shell to resume Arctic oil drilling

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