Apple, Akamai, Etsy and Swiss Re get together to buy clean power

August 9, 2018 by  
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Collectively, the foursome will bring 290 megawatts of solar and wind power to the Eastern electric grid.

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Apple, Akamai, Etsy and Swiss Re get together to buy clean power

Reversing global warming requires nothing short of a ‘total reorientation’

August 9, 2018 by  
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The call for collective action is growing increasingly urgent.

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Reversing global warming requires nothing short of a ‘total reorientation’

Previously stable zones of Antarctica are now falling victim to climate change

August 1, 2018 by  
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Unlike its counterpart, West Antarctica, which has long been decimated by melting ice caps, East Antarctica used to be a safe zone – something scientists could depend on as a constant while they solved the more pressing destruction in the western part of the continent. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case. According to  research unveiled last week in the journal  Geophysical Research Letters , despite the higher elevation and colder temperatures found in the eastern portion of the Antarctic continent, warm ocean currents and rising global temperatures are now destabilizing two of its glaciers. The research has chronicled the lives of two glaciers in the coldest region on Earth for the past 15 years. These glaciers shield the Eastern zone’s land ice, descending from the ice directly toward the sea. This creates a naturally formed dam that, if disturbed, would affect the ice that covers the rest of the region by subjecting it to the warming ocean waters. The melting of these two massive glaciers alone would raise sea levels more than 16 feet (five meters), undoubtedly compromising the rest of the territory. In an interview with Earther , Yara Mohajerani, lead expert in the study and PhD candidate at the University of California, explained, “The East Antarctic ice sheet contains much more ice and sea level potential than any other ice sheet by far, making it of crucial global significance.” Past research has shown the disappearance of similar glaciers in the East Antarctic region when carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have reached levels comparable to those found today as a result of human activities. Related: Scientists uncover giant canyons under the ice in Antarctica Scientists believe that, due to the circulation of warm ocean water under the two glaciers, they’ve been losing mass for quite some time. To help quantify the losses, NASA provided the researchers with its Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite, which measures small changes in gravity. GRACE collected data from 2002 to 2017, and the new study reveals that the glaciers are losing 18.5 gigatons of ice each year, or the equivalent of 7.4 million Olympic-sized swimming pools. While this is minuscule in comparison to losses in the rest of Antarctica, the location of these glaciers makes their survival central to the discussion of East Antarctica’s stability and, therefore, the state of the continent as a whole. + Geophysical Research Letters Via Earther

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Previously stable zones of Antarctica are now falling victim to climate change

Deadly heatwaves may make parts of China uninhabitable by the end of the century

August 1, 2018 by  
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It is no surprise that the world’s most populous country, China , is also the largest polluter on Earth. However, for individuals living in China’s northern plain, the most densely populated region on the planet, it may come as a shock that their homes could become uninhabitable by the end of the century. The region is expected to be subject to aggressive heatwaves that could kill even the healthiest of people in just a matter of hours if carbon emissions are not reduced. In a recent study published by MIT’s Center for Global Change Science , researchers found that China’s northern plain will be the worst spot in the world for future deadly heatwaves. “China is currently the largest contributor to the emissions of greenhouse gases , with potentially serious implications to its own population,” said Professor Elfatih Eltahir, speaking on behalf of his team who ran extensive computerized climate models to research the unfolding event. “Continuation of current global emissions may limit the habitability of the most populous region of the most populous country on Earth.” Related: 6 ways that scientists are hacking the planet This is especially worrisome, because a large portion of the region’s 400 million people are farmers dependent on both the land and outdoor conditions for their livelihoods. According to Bloomberg , Chinese diets are becoming increasingly more like western ones — and it takes about 1 acre to feed the average individual in the U.S. When considering fields that are affected by pollution, which produce mercury-infected rice and milk powder with melamine, China barely has 0.2 acres of arable land per citizen. Pair the degradation of prime land by pollution with the dangerous heatwaves, and China will have a major humanitarian crisis in the near future. Eltahir and his team have previously published global models noting that the key driver to these heat waves is climate change, but that irrigation for farmland is also a serious contributor as water evaporation leads to harmful humidity levels. This combination of heat and humidity is measured in units called “wet bulb” temperature or WBTs. According to the U.S. National Weather Service, WBTs above 87.8 degrees Fahrenheit are classified with an “extreme danger” warning and, “If you don’t take precautions immediately, you may become seriously ill or even die.” WBTs above 95 degrees Fahrenheit will kill even the healthiest individuals sitting in the shade within just six hours. The country will be gambling with the lives of their citizens — not only those living in the northern region — if stricter regulations on carbon and greenhouse gas emissions are not adopted. + MIT Center for Global Change Science + Nature Communications Via The Guardian

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Deadly heatwaves may make parts of China uninhabitable by the end of the century

Cold front turns Niagara Falls into a glorious icy wonderland

January 1, 2018 by  
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In case you hadn’t heard: It’s cold in the Eastern half of North America. So cold, in fact, that everything surrounding the Niagara Falls has frozen over, creating a mesmerizing winter wonderland. NIAGARA FALLS, ? BY AARON LYNETT #inspo #weather #snow #winter #goals #niagarafalls #canada #travel A post shared by MISC ZINE (@misc.zine) on Jan 1, 2018 at 5:23am PST The frigid temperatures east of the Rocky Mountains have been setting new records. This week, it has been -15 Fahrenheit in Niagara Falls , while Edmonton in Alberta felt like -40 degrees; that’s colder than Mars is right now. When it gets that cold, windows break, electric poles snap and most people try not to head outside, which is probably good because many cars won’t start anyway. Related: Thresher sharks die in Massachusetts – likely due to cold shock 70 Millionen Amerikaner erwarten die kälteste Silvesternacht seit Jahrzehnten – die Temperaturen werden an manchen Orten mehr als 20 Grad unter den üblichen liegen. #niagarafalls #new_year_2018 #happynewyear #winter #winterusa #ice #naturephotography #horseshoefalls #winterwonderland A post shared by tagesschau (@tagesschau) on Dec 31, 2017 at 6:35am PST Ice forms on Niagara Falls every year, and the falls last froze over in 2014 during the infamous Polar Vortex. But that doesn’t make the phenomenon any less breathtaking. If you can’t visit Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side to witness the magic yourself, check out these photos from brave visitors. Fire and ice A post shared by Kael Rebick (@punkodelish) on Dec 27, 2017 at 6:04am PST The beauty and wonder of Niagara Falls #winterwonderland #niagarafalls A post shared by Catherine McLoughlin (@cmcloughlin1) on Jan 1, 2018 at 6:57am PST Happy 2018 everyone! ?? . . . . . . . . . . #newyear #2018 #fireworks #niagarafalls #horseshoefalls #ontario #canada #niagrafallscanada #niagaraparks #canada150 #waterfall #toronto #nye #wanderlust #instatravel #instagood #instadaily #travelbug #visitcanada #just_features #visitontario #potd #photographoftheday #explorecanada #rainbow #niagaraparks #niagararegion #beautifuldestinstion #exploretocreate #passionpassport @canoncanada @cangeo @aircanada @weheart_hamilton @mycanadianphotos @urbanizercan @imagesofcanada @canada @enjoycanada @tourcanada @nikoncanada @huffpostcanada @aroundtheworldpix @earth_shotz @earthofficial @earthdecanted @earthpix @earthfocus @natgeoyourshot @natgeo @natgeotravel @natgeoadventure @natgeochannel @ig_color @splendid_ig @splendid_earth @ontariotravel @discoverontario @ontarionature @niagarafallstourismcanada @nature.geography @bbc_travel @ig_bestpicworldtravel @worldtravelscapes @ig_canada @canadiancreatives @torontoclx @welivetoexplore @we_heart_ottawa @paradise.canada @tourcanada @splendidcanada @enjoycanada @vsco @illgrammers @moodygrams @gramslayers A post shared by Tanvi Javkar Photography (@tjavkar) on Dec 31, 2017 at 11:06pm PST Still cold on New Year's Eve at Niagara Falls. This is a view of Horseshoe falls from the Behind the Falls viewpoint . . @sonyalpha #a7RIII with a @Sony 24-70/2.8 #gmaster . . #sonyalpha #sonyphotography #sonyaoi #niagarafalls #niagara #horseshoefalls #canada #ontario #travel #adventure #explore #cold #winter #tonygale #tonygalephoto #sonyimages #potd #agameoftones #sonyalphaclub #ice #frozen A post shared by Tony Gale (@tonygalephoto) on Dec 31, 2017 at 10:15am PST Via Sydney Morning Herald Lead image via Unsplash

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Cold front turns Niagara Falls into a glorious icy wonderland

All-wool bed & breakfast opens in London

October 30, 2016 by  
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In celebration of London’s Wool Week, a cozy new AirBNB has popped up in the eastern part of the British capital. Visitors can snuggle into a cozy wool-clad room filled with wool pillows, duvets, mattresses, and even knitted wall art! Click the link below for more pictures of this one of a kind vacation rental.

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All-wool bed & breakfast opens in London

Wildlife officials deny mountain lions have returned to the Blue Ridge Mountains

September 15, 2016 by  
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Mountain lions once roamed the continent from west to east, but the spread of human communities have led to a massive reduction in the number of big cat populations in the east. In fact, the only recognized population of mountain lions east of the Mississippi River are southern Florida panthers and DNA testing has confirmed that population is not migrating north. Declining numbers of mountain lions over the past 100 years led wildlife officials in other Eastern states to declare them extinct . However, the growing number of sightings in Tennessee since September 2015 has environmentalists arguing that it’s time to reconsider the species’ status, and work to conserve their habitat to encourage further population increases. So far, wildlife officials do not seem eager to take action. Related: LA lawmakers take steps to create wildlife corridor to protect big cats Are they really mountain lions? A mountain lion is a wild cat ranging from two to three feet tall, with females weighing up to 120lbs and males up to 200lbs, making it the fourth largest cat in the world. They are also known as cougars, panthers, pumas, or catamounts—all are the same animal. While bobcats are considerably smaller (the largest among them are under 20lbs), their similar coloring can lead to cases of mistaken identity, especially from a great distance. What’s more, mountain lion kittens and young bobcats are very difficult to tell apart. Many reports of mountain lion sightings are immediately dismissed as a case of mistaken identity and some, like this alleged sighting of a dead mountain lion on a highway cutting through North Carolina’s stretch of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Wildlife officials claim no knowledge of the carcass, but there are any number of alternate explanations, such as scavengers dragging it off the road or a passerby collecting it. The scientific evidence Tennessee wildlife officials admit cougars roam the mountains in that state, after the first cougar in 100 years was photographed there. Despite the mounting number of sightings, videos, and captures over the past year , the state does not recognize the big cats as a permanent residents, because of the lack of evidence of reproducing females. A study from University of Minnesota reviewed 18 years of cougar sightings in an effort to understand the big cats’ activity. The study argues that the increased population in Tenn. suggests that cougars are expanding their Midwest territory in search of adequate habitat to reproduce. Some say the big cats could reestablish their populations in the Blue Ridge Mountains within 25 to 50 years. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYUQaF3mK_w One of the early sightings caught on video (above) was of this female mountain lion, who was subsequently captured in Nov. 2015 in Olbion County, Tenn. DNA testing revealed the cougar is not related to known populations of panthers in southern Florida , and the notion that the big cats have traveled from western states has been dismissed due to common sense. The remaining logical conclusion points to a slow resurgence of the eastern cougars that once lived all over the Eastern mountains. Alleged mountain lion attack A man injured while hiking a section of the Appalachian Trail near Humpback Rock in Virginia was initially reported as the victim of a mountain lion attack  on Jul. 1 of this year. At that time, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, suggested that was unlikely and issued a statement recalling that “since 1970, 121 sightings have been identified as possible mountain lions, but have not been officially confirmed. Most sightings occur in Shenandoah National Park and in Bedford, Amherst and Nelson County region.” The victim’s mother, who had called 911 on his behalf, later revealed that a miscommunication led her to identify the wrong animal. She said that her son was actually attacked by a bobcat, which he had referred to as a “big cat.” She made an assumption when she told the 911 operator it was a mountain lion. This clarifying piece of information fuels the doubt about the true resurgence of the eastern cougar. What’s next for the eastern cougar? Environmental conservation groups are urging wildlife officials to review the status of mountain lions across several states, including Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia, and little progress has been made. The federal Fish & Wildlife Service removed the eastern cougar from the Endangered Species List last year, and reclassified them as an extinct subspecies after a four-year review. Prior to that decision, the Mountain Lion Foundation sponsored a petition to urge the opposite, suggesting FWS work to support the eastern cougar’s repopulation of the Blue Ridge Mountains instead. Just months after the federal agency declared the big cats extinct, the animals began appearing in the Tennessee mountains, leading to a renewed effort to protect the eastern cougar. MLF and other conservation groups argue that genetic testing proves all mountain lions are the same subspecies, so the FWS decision to declare them extinct in the Eastern states is not only irresponsible but unethical. Will it take federal wildlife officials another four years to recognize that eastern cougars are trying to make a comeback in the Blue Ridge Mountains, or will their tracks once again fade into oblivion? Lead image via Wikipedia , additional images via TN Fish & Wildlife , Wikipedia ( 1 , 2 , 3 ), and Eastern Cougar Foundation

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Wildlife officials deny mountain lions have returned to the Blue Ridge Mountains

“Thousand-year rainfall” in South Carolina unearths coffins in local cemeteries

October 5, 2015 by  
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Hurricane Joaquin may have turned north and headed away from the Eastern coast of the U.S., sparing residents from their worst fears, but the storm still managed to dump nearly two feet of rain in South Carolina. Flooding has overtaken many streets and homes in the state, killing at least five people as of Sunday evening. The damage doesn’t stop there, though. Evidence of one heart-wrenching side effect of historic flooding surfaced on social media this weekend, as numerous people posted images of coffins floating in several flooded cemeteries , having been unearthed by the high water tables. Read the rest of “Thousand-year rainfall” in South Carolina unearths coffins in local cemeteries

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“Thousand-year rainfall” in South Carolina unearths coffins in local cemeteries

Watch a California lake disappear before your eyes in this time lapse video

October 5, 2015 by  
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Click here to view the embedded video. California residents are understandably concerned about the worsening drought , but those not living there may not fully comprehend how bad things really are. One Californian created a video to help illustrate the effects , capturing the receding water line at a popular summertime recreational spot. The time lapse video, composed with clips collected at the reservoir over a four-month period, makes it clear that the drought is not only real, but devastating to the state’s environment as well as its people. Read the rest of Watch a California lake disappear before your eyes in this time lapse video

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Watch a California lake disappear before your eyes in this time lapse video

Bangalore’s toxic foam lake spills chemicals into the streets

October 5, 2015 by  
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It might not look particularly dangerous, but the froth bubbling out of this lake in Bangalore is actually toxic foam caused by years of chemicals and sewage being dumped into the water. IT professional Debasish Ghosh has been documenting the astounding situation and recently shared his photos with BBC . His images reveal a noxious cocktail of pollution that, when it rains or the wind blows, is tossed into the air and engulfs vehicles and roads in a layer of grime that not only irritates skin, but has caught on fire serval times over the past few months. Read the rest of Bangalore’s toxic foam lake spills chemicals into the streets

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Bangalore’s toxic foam lake spills chemicals into the streets

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