Migratory barnacle geese threatened by rapidly rising Arctic temperatures

July 20, 2018 by  
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Migrating barnacle geese that lay their eggs in the Arctic zones of northern Russia are becoming confounded by earlier springs in their traditional nesting grounds, according to a study published in Current Biology . The rising temperatures in the Arctic circles caused by global warming are threatening the survival of this species, which travels more than 3,000 km, or 1,800 miles, to reach their nesting territory. The research , released in May 2018, noted that the geese habitually make the month-long journey from parts of northern Germany and the Netherlands based on a biologically coordinated schedule now jeopardized by human activity. Rapid environmental changes have caused the animals to speed up their flight plans. Related: Arctic shipping routes could threaten “unicorns of the sea” Bart Nolet, member of the research team from the Netherlands Institute of Ecology and the University of Amsterdam, told NPR , “They actually depart from the wintering areas around the same date regardless of whether it’s early or late spring in the Arctic ,” because they “cannot predict what the weather is or what the season is up there from 3,000 kilometers distance.” This causes the geese to speed up their inherent migration pattern mid-flight, after they realize that the temperature is too warm. They complete the arduous expedition in only a week, leaving them exhausted. Originally, the birds used to arrive and lay their eggs just as the winter snow melted. By the time their goslings hatched, plants began to grow, resulting in a “food peak” for the animals. Now, both adult and baby barnacle geese must bear the hardships of malnourishment. Despite rushing their migration and flying “nearly nonstop from the wintering areas to their breeding grounds,” according to Nolet, the 10 days needed after migration to find food and recover from exhaustion still puts the birds behind schedule. The geese cannot lay their eggs straightaway. Instead, after their expedited journey, they must rest and forage for food to ensure their own survival and the vitality of their offspring — ultimately the determining factor in the continuance of their species. + Current Biology Via NPR Images via Gennady Alexandrov

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Migratory barnacle geese threatened by rapidly rising Arctic temperatures

Tenth of world’s wilderness destroyed in last 20 years, study finds

September 9, 2016 by  
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A tenth of the world’s wilderness has been lost since the early 1990s and if trends continue there could be no wilderness left on the planet by 2100, according to new study published in the journal Current Biology. The researchers found that an area twice the size of Alaska and half the size of the Amazon — 3.3 million square kilometres — has been destroyed by human activities such as large-scale land conversion, industrial activity and infrastructure development. That equals to approximately 9.6 percent of the world’s wilderness. The most losses have occurred in South America (29.6 percent loss) and Africa (14 percent loss). The researchers discovered that 30.1 million square kilometres (23.2 percent of the world’s terrestrial areas) now remains as wilderness.

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Tenth of world’s wilderness destroyed in last 20 years, study finds

Affordable chandi gar homes made with recycled plastic bricks pop up in a matter of hours

September 9, 2016 by  
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People living in Karachi, Pakistan generate 12,000 metric tons of trash every day. To deal with the issue, many burn the garbage, which comes with a slew of environmental and health hazards. Nargis Latif, a local environmentalist, decided to do something about the burgeoning plastic waste in particular, transforming it into bricks that can be used to build homes ” in just a matter of hours .” Latif started the organization Gul Bahao , the ” Pakistan’s first research center on waste management ,” according to its website. Chandi ghar, or homes made from the recycled plastic bricks, are one of Gul Bahao’s innovations. According to the website, they have also worked on “instant compost,” a mobile toilet, and a method to purify water. Related: These LEGO-like recycled plastic bricks create sturdy homes for just $5,200 The plastic utilized in chandi ghar are mainly food wrappers discarded by factories often because of printing issues. Latif said while some shy away from the idea of living in houses made of waste, the trash she utilizes is clean. The homes are low cost as well: Gul Bahao receives 300 to 400 rupees per square foot (that’s about $2.90 to $3.80). To build a chandi ghar, strips of recycled plastic are put into a ” thermopore shell ” which is tied together to form the bricks. The bricks are then attached to wooden pillars to rapidly construct homes. Latif said in a video the homes are “modular” and “weatherproof,” and a two story house can be erected in just four to five hours. After an earthquake in 2005, chandi ghar were constructed as shelters for those who had lost homes. They’ve also been set up for families of patients at a hospital in the poor district of Tharparkar. Latif said the chandi ghar could also be beneficial for nomads who have traditionally lived in mud shelters. Residents of chandi ghars aren’t as susceptible to diseases they can be exposed to while living in mud shelters. Latif told Al Jazeera since 2005, over 150 chandi ghar have been built in Pakistan. She said, “You can make beautiful structures using rejected material…If you make such bricks, it’s bye-bye to pollution, climate change, and the melting glaciers. Because you’ve stopped burning garbage and plastic.” Via Al Jazeera Images via Gul Bahao

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Affordable chandi gar homes made with recycled plastic bricks pop up in a matter of hours

Scientists just discovered there are four separate species of giraffes

September 9, 2016 by  
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Biologists have long assumed that all giraffes are part of a single species , but a new study in Current Biology throws everything we thought we knew about giraffes on its head. A first of its kind genetic analysis has found that the animals actually belong to four distinct species, each hailing from a different region of Africa. The species are said to be as different from one another as polar bears are from black bears. In the past, biologists had observed some differences in various groups of giraffes, based on geographic distribution, coat markings, and number of fur-covered nubs (called ossicones ) on the giraffes’ heads. In the past, the animals had been categorized into nine different sub-species – a system we know now to be completely inaccurate. The new research grew out of concerns that zoos sharing giraffes and breeding them with one another might be reducing the biodiversity of the species. So ecologists collected 190 tissue samples from animals across Africa and tested them over the course of seven years. What they found were four highly distinct species that don’t seem to interbreed at all in the wild. Two of these, the Masai giraffe ( G. tippelskirchi ), and the reticulated giraffe ( G. reticulata ), are matches for previously-identified subspecies. The other two, the southern giraffe ( Giraffa giraffa ), and the northern giraffe ( G. camelopardalis ), cover several subspecies each. Related: Giraffes are in danger of extinction—help save them! This new knowledge has huge implications for conservationists. Until now, giraffes have been considered a species of “ least concern ,” but now knowing that the populations of each species are much smaller than believed, it may make sense to categorize at least three of them as formally threatened . Northern giraffes, for example, are believed to number less than 4,750 individuals in the wild, while reticulated giraffes number only 8,700. Zookeepers are also going to have to adapt to this new research. Most giraffe populations in zoos are hybridized, but if zoos wish to help preserve biodiversity, they need to be more selective in their breeding programs. Via Gizmodo Images via Phil Dolby and Benh LIEU SONG

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Scientists just discovered there are four separate species of giraffes

Octopi are taking over the oceans, and no one knows why

May 24, 2016 by  
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A new study published in the journal Current Biology has revealed some startling statistics — a group of researchers from the University of Adelaide have found that since the 1950s, the population of cephalopods (octopus, squid, and cuttlefish) in the world’s oceans has exploded. What makes this truly curious is the fact that climate change, overfishing, and ocean acidification have caused the numbers of many fish and shellfish species to plummet during the same period. Scientists…

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Octopi are taking over the oceans, and no one knows why

Dinosaur Farts May Have Caused Prehistoric Global Warming

January 10, 2015 by  
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We know that today’s cows are responsible for producing staggering amounts of heat-trapping methane gas , a major driver of climate change, but British scientists now claim that dinosaurs with vegetarian diets may have contributed to prehistoric global warming simply by passing gas. Dr. Dave Wilkinson from Liverpool John Moores University led the study, which was published in the journal Current Biology . He told The Telegraph “Indeed, our calculations suggest that these dinosaurs could have produced more methane than all modern sources.” Read the rest of Dinosaur Farts May Have Caused Prehistoric Global Warming Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Climate Change , Current Biology , dairy industry , Dinosaur , eco design , emissions , global warming , green design , greenhouse gases , industrial revolution , Liverpool John Moores University , meat industry , methane gas , Sauropods , sustainable design

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Anti-Aging Secrets Discovered in Yeast Could be the Key to Eternal Youth

September 11, 2013 by  
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Yeast photo from Shutterstock Who knew the secret to eternal youth could have been hiding in bread-rising yeast all this time? A team of researchers from Japan and New Zealand has found a way to double the lifespan of yeast by stabilizing a genetic sequence known as ribosomal DNA (rDNA). In a new study, published in the scientific journal Current Biology , the researchers say that doing the same thing to rDNA genes in humans could stop or slow aging for people too. Read the rest of Anti-Aging Secrets Discovered in Yeast Could be the Key to Eternal Youth Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Anti Aging , Austen Ganley , bacteria , beauty tips , cell division , Current Biology , Dermatology , Eternal Life , Eternal Youth , genetic engineering , how to stay looking young , Japan , Looking Young , massey university , National Institute of Genetics , New Zealand , rDNA , ribosomal DNA , skin care , Takehiko Kobayashi , yeast        

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Migratory Birds Leaving Earlier in Spring Because of Climate Change Still Arriving on Time

January 29, 2010 by  
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photo: Sébastien Bertu via flickr. Some migrating birds may be more able to adapt to changing climate that previously thought

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Migratory Birds Leaving Earlier in Spring Because of Climate Change Still Arriving on Time

Gimme Shelter: Climate Change is Making People Homeless

January 29, 2010 by  
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Photo via Earthwatch Guest blogger Caroline Chisholm is head of marketing and communications globally for Earthwatch . Homelessness is often seen as someone else’s problem

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Gimme Shelter: Climate Change is Making People Homeless

Today on Planet 100: Top 5 Benefit Concerts (Video)

January 29, 2010 by  
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Today on Planet 100: Top 5 Benefit Concerts (Video)

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