Rising temperatures are putting the Global Seed Vault at risk

February 12, 2019 by  
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Global warming is putting Earth’s doomsday vault at risk. New research from Norway suggests that rising temperatures could melt the ice on the island where the Global Seed Vault is located, potentially endangering seed samples from around the world. The seed vault, which is capable of preserving 2.5 billion samples, is located near the Arctic on an island called Svalbard . The Norwegian government manages the island with help from the Nordic Genetic Resource Center and Crop Trust. Frigid temperatures in the Arctic help preserve the seed samples, which is why rising temperatures are a major concern for the long-term viability of the project. Related: The world is close to annihilation according to the iconic Doomsday Clock According to Gizmodo , Svalbard has experienced a rise in temperature by 5 degrees Celsius since statistics were first gathered in 1971. Scientists estimate that temperatures will continue to increase over the next 80 years and could be as much as 10 degrees Celsius higher than current readings. Such a significant change would also disrupt nearby glaciers, sea ice and permafrost. The surrounding landscape, including the permafrost, plays a critical part in keeping the doomsday vault at a chilling -18 degrees Celsius, or 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the permafrost starts thawing , it makes it more difficult to maintain the vault’s desired temperature, which is a serious concern for investors. Rising temperatures have already cost the organizations who run the vault millions of dollars. Several years ago, permafrost on the island started thawing out, which led to widespread flooding . This forced investors to drop millions in updates and renovations, just to keep up with climate change. Although the vault was recently upgraded, experts do not believe it can handle another 10-degree rise in temperatures on the island. If carbon emissions are lowered over the next half-century, however, scientists believe the islands will only witness about a 7 degree change, which is still a concern but slightly more manageable. Via Gizmodo Image via Bjoertvedt

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Rising temperatures are putting the Global Seed Vault at risk

A 1970 home gets a modern, light-filled revamp in Santiago

February 12, 2019 by  
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When a family with three children sought a modern refresh for their aging home in the commune of Las Condes in Santiago, they turned to local architecture firm Cristobal Vial Arquitectos to lead the redesign. The house — which belongs to a set of 25 one-story homes originally designed by architects Christian de Groote, Victor Gubbins and Hector Mery — already enjoys access to two gardens, one to the north and the other to the south. The green renovation emphasized these garden views by stripping away unnecessary additions, and in the process created a more open and contemporary living environment. The green  renovation and expansion of the home, dubbed the Golfo de Darien House, covers a total area of 213 square meters. The original structure — reinforced masonry, slab and reinforced concrete beams — was kept while many of the timeworn modifications added over the years were stripped away. Even the chimney was removed in favor of a floating concrete wall that does double duty as a space divider and shelf. Two “light yards” and a new skylight funnel greater light and sense of spaciousness indoors. To further update the 1970 home and improve the building’s energy efficiency , the architects installed a new heating system that uses a high-efficiency aerothermal heat pump and radiant slab system. Thermopanel crystals were added to all the openings. Related: Crusty old Swiss barn transformed into a modern solar-powered home “The consolidation of the three courtyards of the house, allows a fluid journey, in a same level,” the architect said. “For the intermediate courtyard a wooden deck is projected, which gives greater warmth and permanence to the space. The predominant materials used in this work are wood, stone, glass, steel and exposed concrete , always trying to put in value the original structure and adding a contemporary language that not only accounts for its interior, but more well of a whole that integrates the vegetation to the work.” + Cristobal Vial Arquitectos Images via Cristóbal Vial

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A 1970 home gets a modern, light-filled revamp in Santiago

How to grow 10 foods from kitchen scraps

February 12, 2019 by  
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Meal plans and grocery lists, the cycle never ends. While some of your foods may come from carefully cultivated seeds or seedlings planted in your garden , did you know that you can grow food from food? You have probably heard that romaine lettuce regenerates easily if the base is placed in water, or that basil and cilantro cuttings will turn into entire plants, but there are many, many more foods that will grow from your kitchen scraps. Here’s a highlight reel. Bon appetit! Garlic Growing your own garlic is easy as well as rewarding. Start with a healthy bulb of your favorite varietal. Separate the bulb into individual cloves. Then place each clove into the soil with the pointy end facing upward. Allow 4 to 6 inches between each clove for a bulb to form. Cloves should go into the ground in the fall, before the first frost, and will be ready to harvest in the spring. After harvest, hang dry the entire stalk. You can braid stalks together for compact storage. During the winter and summer months, you can plant cloves indoors and enjoy the garlic greens, but don’t expect bulbs to form in these conditions. Related: 6 surprising uses for garlic you probably didn’t know about Peppers Seeds from both sweet peppers (red, green, yellow and orange) and hot peppers (jalapeno, habanero) can be dried and used in the garden next season. Be sure to choose seeds from healthy, non-hybrid plants for the best chance of success. Remove the seeds from a well-matured fruit and lay them out to dry. Store dried seeds in a cool location, like your refrigerator, and be sure to label the jar. In late spring or early summer, plant your seeds in soil. Thin and replant once they grow a few inches high. Tomatoes Tomato plants often have issues with bacteria, so make sure you choose fruit from very healthy plants and allow the fruit to ripen completely before harvesting the seeds. Once ripe, scoop out the seeds along with the gel that surrounds it. Place the seeds into a jar with some water. Stir the mixture twice each day until the mixture ferments. Around day five, the seeds will sink to the bottom of the jar. When this happens, pour off the liquid, rinse the seeds and dry them spread out on paper towels or cloth. Store the same way as for peppers. Peas and beans Again, this is a situation of harvesting the seed for your next harvest , saving you the cost of purchasing new seeds or plants. Wait until peas or beans are very dry and turn brown on the plant before harvesting. You should hear the seeds rattle inside the pod. After removing the entire pod from the plant, lay it to dry for at least two weeks. At this point, you can remove the seeds or leave the entire pod intact and remove the seeds when planting season arrives. Potatoes Some argue that potatoes need to be grown from potato starts specific to the purpose. However, any backyard gardener knows that if left alone for an extra week, those potatoes in the drawer will sprout voluntarily. To grow your own potatoes, cut your sprouting potatoes into large chunks, about two inches around, and leave them to dry out for a few days. In early spring, drop the chunks into the soil for harvest in mid-summer. Barrels or large pots work well for creating layers of potatoes in a compact space. Related: How to grow an avocado tree from an avocado pit Strawberries This one takes a little patience, because strawberry seeds are very small. You may not have even realized that the little seeds on the outside of the berry can produce more plants. To harvest the seeds, use tweezers. Alternately, you can “peel” the outer layer off the strawberry. Place the peel or seeds in soil and cover lightly with more soil. Place in a sunny windowsill and water regularly until the starts emerge from the dirt and are ready for transplanting outdoors. Turmeric You may have heard how easy it is to grow your own ginger, so it’s not surprising the turmeric will grow using the same technique. As rhizomes, the large bulbs divide and regenerate well. The trick is to plant the root sideways, which may feel contrary to what you’re used to. Turmeric naturally grows best in tropical locations, so it will probably perform best indoors across most of the United States; it will be happiest at 75-80 degrees. Plant the root in soil, water frequently and allow it a few months to mature. Harvest when it begins to dry out. Pumpkins If you’ve ever thrown a pumpkin into a  compost  pile, you’ve probably seen a plant shoot out of the ground some months later. Grow your own pumpkins (on purpose) by drying a few seeds from last year’s jack-o-lantern. Create a dirt mound in your garden and plant the seeds well spaced apart, or thin the plants once they pop through the soil. Pineapples When you think pineapple, you probably envision tall, swaying palm trees and tropical breezes, but it is possible to turn one pineapple into another in the comfort of your home. Cut the top off of a healthy pineapple and prop it above a container filled with water. You want it to hover rather than float — toothpicks can help with this. Keep the water level consistent until you see roots begin to form. At this point, transplant your pineapple into potting soil. Fruit trees It does take a long-term commitment, but apple, nectarine, peach, plum, apricot, cherry and even lemon trees will grow from seed. Simply save seeds from healthy, non-hybrid fruits. Dry them thoroughly, and plant them in quality soil in an area that receives direct sunlight. For the best results, plant a few of each type of tree next to each other. Images via Manfred Richter , Vinson Tan , Efraimstochter ,  Christer Mårtensson , Arut Thongsombut , Franck Barske , Hans Braxmeier ,  Pexels and Shutterstock

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How to grow 10 foods from kitchen scraps

Climate change to change the color of the oceans over the next 80 years

February 12, 2019 by  
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The color of the oceans is about to undergo some major changes. As a result of ongoing climate change , scientists are predicting that the color of the oceans will slowly become bluer over the next 80 years. The color difference is directly connected to microbial phytoplankton , which absorb sunlight near the surface of the ocean. As the acidity and temperature of the oceans rise, the number of phytoplankton is expected to decrease in certain regions. Once the phytoplankton populations drop off, the surface will have a harder time reflecting sunlight, which will ultimately change its color. Related: Oceans warming 40 percent faster than previously thought According to Gizmodo , new research from Nature Communications argues that the subtropical oceans will be most affected by the color change. These regions are particularly susceptible to temperature and pH fluctuations, which will harm phytoplankton populations. Conversely, oceans in the Antarctic and Arctic could become greener, because these areas are not likely to experience significant changes in water temperature. Scientists have been using satellites to monitor the color of the oceans over the past 20 years. The images taken by the satellites are manipulated by a computer algorithm, resulting in a rough sketch of how much chlorophyll is present in the water. The only issue with this tactic is that climate change is not the only force at work here. Natural forces, like El Niño , also affect the color of the oceans. This is why scientists are exploring other methods of detection that will isolate the impacts of climate change. This includes measuring food sources for phytoplankton, looking at patterns of ocean circulation and analyzing growth rates of phytoplankton populations around the world. “Our model can now suggest what such satellites might see in the future world,” MIT scientist Stephanie Dutkiewicz explained. Experts predict that by 2100, the temperature of the oceans will have risen by at least 3 degrees Celsius. This difference in temperature is expected to change the color of around half of Earth’s oceans, though the color difference will not be detectable by human sight. Via Gizmodo Image via NOAA

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Climate change to change the color of the oceans over the next 80 years

The world is close to annihilation according to the iconic Doomsday Clock

January 31, 2019 by  
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The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Science and Security Board has announced that the iconic Doomsday Clock is remaining at two minutes to midnight because of the dangers of climate change and the lack of progress on nuclear risks. Midnight on Doomsday is a symbolic point of annihilation and has reached the familiar point it was once in at the peak of the Cold War in 1953. The Science and Security Board made the decision to keep the clock in its current standing with the Board of Sponsors — which includes 14 Nobel Laureates — and have dubbed the situation as “the new abnormal.” In addition to climate change and nuclear risks, another factor in the decision was “the increased use of information warfare.” “It is still two minutes to midnight. Humanity now faces two simultaneous existential threats, either of which would be cause for extreme concern and immediate attention. These major threats — nuclear weapons and climate change  — were exacerbated this past year by the increased use of information warfare to undermine democracy around the world, amplifying risk from these and other threats and putting the future of civilization in extraordinary danger,” read the 2019 Doomsday Clock statement. The statement went on to say that this “new abnormal” is unsustainable and extremely dangerous, but nonetheless, the power to improve the severity of the situation remains in the hands of world leaders. The clock can move away from catastrophe if leaders act under pressure from engaged citizens. Related: Is the Green New Deal the all-inclusive climate plan we need? Rachel Bronson, the president and CEO of Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists , says that they are describing a frightening reality and the clock is the closest it has ever been to an apocalypse and should be recognized as a stark warning by all leaders and citizens of the world. The 2019 Doomsday Clock statement emphasized #RewindtheDoomsdayClock and recommended multiple action steps be taken. They included U.S. and Russian leaders resolving their differences over the INF treaty, adopting measures to prevent peacetime military incidents on the NATO borders and American citizens demanding climate action from their government . Other recommendations were for countries around the world to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to reach the temperature goal of the Paris climate agreement and for the Trump administration to revisit their decision to exit the plan for limiting Iran’s nuclear program. Via Bulletin.org Image via Shutterstock

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The world is close to annihilation according to the iconic Doomsday Clock

World’s largest survival community comprises 575 off-grid doomsday bunkers

January 9, 2017 by  
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Will the end of the world arrive with the next economic collapse, nuclear war, or presidential inauguration? Thinking it best to be prepared, Vivos has taken readiness to new extremes with their 575-bunker Vivos xPoint community in South Dakota . It will cost preppers $25,000 to lease an off-grid bunker in a high-security area, combined with a $1,000 per year ground lease for 99 years. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mn0229zWnos Vivos converted an old army munitions depot, where the Army stored ammunition and bombs from 1942 to 1967, into a refuge where around 5,000 people can survive in case of a devastating catastrophe or zombie apocalypse. The hardened concrete bunkers are located south of Edgemont in South Dakota, and Vivos boasts the community is around 100 miles from “the nearest known military nuclear targets.” Just to be safe, each bunker can reportedly endure a 500,000-pound internal blast. Related: Worried About the End of the World? Buy a Stylish Vivos Bunker Berms cover each bunker. Inside, residents obtain water via two wells, stored in reinforced concrete tanks. Outfitting the bunker is up to the lessee; they can hire contractors or purchase a turnkey shelter from Vivos. The company says residents can choose geothermal heating, solar or wind to provide backup power for a generator, or even a nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) air filtration system. Vivos hopes to add a general store, shooting range, hydroponic gardens, medical clinic, horse stables, classroom, and members-only restaurant, among other planned amenities. Why stop at just one bunker? The company suggests preppers could even secure more shelters to store their art or wine collection, car, or horses. With 1,800 to 2,400 square feet of interior floor space, the bunkers can accommodate 10 to 20 people for a whole year. No one lives in Vivos xPoint just yet, according to Business Insider , but the group is taking reservations. For $5,000 and a background check, people can apply to live in what Vivos describes as “the place you will want to be when the SHTF!” And if South Dakota isn’t your kind of place, Vivos offers communities in Indiana or Europe as well. + Vivos Images via Vivos

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World’s largest survival community comprises 575 off-grid doomsday bunkers

Earth Can Only Sustain Life for Another 1.75 Billion Years

September 24, 2013 by  
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Until now, a string of apocalyptic disaster movies like 2012 and The Day After Tomorrow seemed pretty silly and implausible. As it turns out, Hollywood directors might be onto something. According to scientists around the world, Earth will only be able to sustain life for another 1.75 to 3.25 billion years before the planet is expected to stray too close to the sun and burn up into nothing but hot rock. Read the rest of Earth Can Only Sustain Life for Another 1.75 Billion Years Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Apocalypse , Blue Marble , Bummer , doomsday , earth , Environment , environmental destruction , News , Pale Blue Dot , solar system , space , sun , the end is nigh , world ending scenarios        

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Earth Can Only Sustain Life for Another 1.75 Billion Years

Zero Skyscraper: A Survival Structure for Post-Apocalyptic Life On Earth

March 18, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Zero Skyscraper: A Survival Structure for Post-Apocalyptic Life On Earth Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “eVolo” , agriculture , Apocalypse , Communication , doomsday , Ekkaphon Puekpaiboon , human extinction , internet , skyscraper , Survival , zero skyscraper

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Zero Skyscraper: A Survival Structure for Post-Apocalyptic Life On Earth

Official Doomsday Clock Moves One Minute Closer to End of World Due to Climate Change, Nuclear Proliferation

January 11, 2012 by  
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A well-known group of scientists decided yesterday that Earth’s doomsday is now one minute closer due to global inaction on climate change and the ongoing threat of nuclear disaster. The decision was made by the Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Sciences (BAS) – a magazine that covers global security and public policy issues, which was founded in 1945 by the group of scientists who helped develop the first atomic weapons. BAS’s Board of Directors and Board of Sponsors — a group that includes 18 Nobel Laureates — decided to move their doomsday clock (a symbolic gauge of nuclear danger) to five minutes to midnight from six minutes to midnight partially due to the disastrous consequences of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, American and Russian disagreement on nuclear disarmament and the inability of World leaders to come to meaningful consensus at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban . Read the rest of Official Doomsday Clock Moves One Minute Closer to End of World Due to Climate Change, Nuclear Proliferation Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bas , bulletin of atomic scientists , Climate Change , doomsday , doomsday clock , durban , end of the earth , end of the world , global climate change , global warming , mayan calendar , nuclear disarmament , nuclear proliferation , nuclear weapons

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Official Doomsday Clock Moves One Minute Closer to End of World Due to Climate Change, Nuclear Proliferation

Reclaimed Bunker Offers Doomsday Luxury Accommodations

October 11, 2010 by  
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This everything-proof doomsday condo takes disaster-proof design to the umpteenth degree. Showcased in the latest issue of Popular Science , the ‘luxury’ underground condo is located in a reclaimed bunker near Barstow, California.

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Reclaimed Bunker Offers Doomsday Luxury Accommodations

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