Unprecedented Bleaching Leaves the Great Barrier Reef Terminal

April 28, 2017 by  
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In 2016, the Great Barrier Reef saw the worst bleaching event on record — two-thirds (67 percent) of corals in the northern sector of the reef died after being exposed to unusually warm currents. While experts warned that these bleaching events…

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Unprecedented Bleaching Leaves the Great Barrier Reef Terminal

Studio Gang designs massive paper tube Hive for the National Building Museum

April 19, 2017 by  
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The National Building Museum has welcomed giant ball pits , mazes , and icebergs into its historic Great Hall, and this year the Washington, D.C. museum will welcome yet another imaginative creation: the Hive. Architecture firm Studio Gang designed the latest installation for the Museum’s Summer Block Party series that commissions larger-than-life temporary structures. The massive Hive will be built from thousands of recyclable paper tubes stacked to reach 60 feet in height. Built with over 2,700 wound paper tubes , the Hive will soar to the uppermost reaches of the museum and take on a curved form reminiscent of Saarinen’s Gateway Arch in St. Louis and even a spider’s web. The tubes, which vary in size, are interlocked to create three interconnected domed chambers, the largest of which has an oculus over 10 feet in diameter. The tubes will have a reflective silver exterior and a bright magenta interior. “When you enter the Great Hall you almost feel like you’re in an outside space because of the distance sound travels before it is reflected back and made audible,” said Studio Gang founding principal Jeanne Gang. “We’ve designed a series of chambers shaped by sound that are ideally suited for intimate conversations and gatherings as well as performances and acoustic experimentation. Using wound paper tubes, a common building material with unique sonic properties, and interlocking them to form a catenary dome, we create a hive for these activities, bringing people together to explore and engage the senses.” Related: ICEBERGS immerse visitors in a beautiful underwater world in Washington, D.C. The Hive will open to the public July 4 until September 4, 2017. A full schedule of concerts, tours, talks, and programs will be hosted alongside the installation . + Studio Gang Images via National Building Museum

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Studio Gang designs massive paper tube Hive for the National Building Museum

Air-purifying pavilion uses plants to absorb harmful toxins in Hanoi

April 19, 2017 by  
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A green oasis has popped up in Hanoi , a city choked by smog. Hung Nguyen Architects designed and built the Pavilion of Origins, a greenery-draped structure that uses living plants to purify the air. Set on the terrace of a three-story house in Hanoi, the pavilion is minimal and modern with a simple palette of green leafy plants, white upcycled steed frames, and a light gray pebble floor. Hanoi ranks among the worst in the world for air pollution with traffic congestion blamed as the leading cause. In an attempt to bring a breath of fresh air to the city, Hung Nguyen Architects created a pavilion covered with a wide variety of plants, including the peace lily and snake plant, selected for their air-purifying and decorative qualities. The plants are arranged inside and around a collection of simple white cuboid frames of varying sizes built of upcycled steel. A translucent polycarbonate roof allows natural light to pour through while reducing solar radiation. The white frames and light-colored pebble floor keep the focus on the plants, which grow and spread on multiple levels. White netting on the tops of the larger cuboid frames can be used as hammocks for relaxation. Related: 7 indoor plants that purify the air around you naturally “In Pavilion of the Origins, trees and plants play a role as the main users for the amount of time they spent in this space, while the pavilion owners act as the servants who have the duties to take care of those main users and subsequently be paid in clean, fresh air, as well as experiencing the vivid beauty of the natural origins,” wrote the architects. “This slender structure is just a minimal intervention of human to nature. Architecture, in this sense, acts as a rope to tighten up the interaction and connection between humans and nature.” + Hung Nguyen Architects Via ArchDaily Images via Hung Nguyen Architects

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Air-purifying pavilion uses plants to absorb harmful toxins in Hanoi

The Complete Guide to Earth Day 2017

April 18, 2017 by  
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How are you celebrating Earth Day? You could spend it in the great outdoors (all national parks are free this weekend), or by supporting an eco-friendly company. If you need a little inspiration, we’ve compiled activities all across the…

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The Complete Guide to Earth Day 2017

Scientists say Great Barrier Reef coral death has reached devastating heights

October 27, 2016 by  
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Data from a period of widespread coral bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef is trickling in and it does not look good. Researchers are finding that the formerly pristine northern section of the reef has been hit especially hard , with up to 80 percent of corals killed as a result of warming waters or subsequent predators and disease. A recent report from researchers at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook Universit y in Queensland shows the most up to date state of the damage. Scientists have taken several surveys since March, when the area was inundated with unseasonably warm waters – each painting a bleaker picture than the last. Estimates in May suggested at least 50 percent of the northern reef had died, a statistic that was bumped up to 80 percent with these recent findings. “The mortality is devastating really,” senior research fellow Andrew Hoey told The Washington Post . “It’s a lot higher than we had hoped.” Related: No, the Great Barrier Reef isn’t dead – but it is damaged If there is any silver lining to this report, it is that the central and southern areas of the reef were not hit as badly as the north. To put things into perspective, a total 22 percent of corals have died cross the entire reef, according to the The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority . Where the damage is most severe, researchers note the influx of climate change-induced warm waters resulted in the first wave of coral die-off. Invasion of predatory snails and disease have since swept in to kill much of the surviving corals. This particular bleaching event is said to be even worse than those of 1998 and 2002 – though more data needs to be gathered. Hoey says it could take one or two decades for the reef to recover from such devastation, assuming another mass bleaching event does not strike again in that time. With climate change doing anything but slowing down, those chances might be slim. Via  The Washington Post Images via  Wikimedia , Pixabay

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Scientists say Great Barrier Reef coral death has reached devastating heights

World’s longest car-free trail stretching 15,000 miles to open next year in Canada

September 5, 2016 by  
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Canada started work on a huge cross-country network of trails for cyclists, hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts back in 1992, and the project is finally nearing completion. To date, over 20,000 kilometers or 12,906 miles of car-free trails have been connected, 26 percent of which are on water. According to The Great Trail website , 80 percent of Canada’s population lives within 30 minutes of what is said to be the largest recreational trail in the world. Which means Canucks have no excuse – save an angry moose or miserable weather – to waste away indoors. Apart from its impending completion sometime next year, a slew of headlines about bicycle ” superhighways ” in Europe has drawn new attention to the ambitious Great Trail project. Over two decades in the making, the extraordinary trail starts in Newfoundland, or “Kilometre Zero”, according to the website, and stretches west across the great white north to British Columbia. When it is completed, it will comprise 14,913 miles of mixed-use trails. While great emphasis has been placed in European cities on cycling as a form of green transportation , The Great Trail gives Canadians the opportunity to not only commute, but also enjoy a variety of other activities amid the country’s diverse landscapes and cityscapes. Walking or hiking, cycling, paddling, horseback riding, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling are top recommended pastimes. Albeit a boon for recreation, the Great Trail project has also boosted communities across the country. Related: New bike “greenway” stretching from Florida to Maine is 31% complete “Trail sections are owned, operated and maintained by local organizations, provincial authorities, national agencies and municipalities across Canada,” according to the website. The “Trans Canada Trail is represented by provincial and territorial organizations that is [sic] responsible for championing the cause of the Trail in their region. These provincial and territorial partners, together with local trail-building organizations, are an integral part of Trans Canada Trail and are the driving force behind its development.” Germany opened the first few miles of a 60-mile highway earlier this year, and the United States is planning its own bike greenway up the east coast, but neither compares with The Great Trail, a singular unifying project with benefits for all Canadian residents. + The Great Trail Via MTLBlog Images via Wikipedia and screenshot

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World’s longest car-free trail stretching 15,000 miles to open next year in Canada

Seabin Project Aims To Reduce Ocean Pollution

August 4, 2016 by  
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Have you heard of The Great Pacific Garbage Patch? It’s a huge pile of garbage that’s located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean – and it’s larger than the great state of Texas. Sadly, there are millions of tons of garbage that have collected into…

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Seabin Project Aims To Reduce Ocean Pollution

Airbnb wants a family to sleep in this Great Barrier Reef floating ‘house’, but is it safe?

June 23, 2016 by  
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The Airbnb listing calls the accommodations an “apartment” but it is decidedly not that. Composed of an open-air floating platform , the space is elaborately decorated with white linens and natural elements. The reef-adjacent guest space sleeps up to four people, so Airbnb is marketing this particular giveaway to families in partnership with Disney Pixar’s Finding Dory , which opened June 17. The contest entrant must be at least 21 years old, and the winner can bring along three immediate family members. The prize also includes return airfare to Cairns (the nearest city), as well as accommodations there in an Airbnb property on the night before and after the Great Barrier Reef adventure. Related: Airbnb is offering a night in an underwater bedroom surrounded by 35 sharks The main bedroom area features what appears to be a queen-sized bed, while a second sleeping area is situated behind a dividing wall positioned at the head of bed. There, a bunk bed is adorned with colorful Disney-themed bedding, but the kids sleeping area is also dangerously exposed, without so much as a railing between the “bedroom” and the open sea. If you choose to ignore the obvious safety concerns, the space is decidedly beautiful. The open walls feature billows of gauzy curtains which are more for aesthetic appeal than privacy or protection from the elements. Unfinished wood make up the floor and sofa, while fluffy pillows in white and sandy colors offer cool places to enjoy the view. This dreamy floating getaway is also conspicuously missing a bathroom, although there is a sink positioned between the bedroom and the lounge area. Par for the course with Airbnb giveaways , the winners will do more than just sleep on the waves. The prize also includes a late lunch featuring from local produce, prepared by Neil Perry, one of Australia’s most famous chefs. In the afternoon, the winners will go on a guided dive, and tour private coral gardens with a marine biologist. Entries will be accepted until June 30 and a winner will be announced soon after, with the trip planned for July 12 to 14. The entire prize package is worth $30,000, according to Airbnb, which seems like a lot of money to put behind a floating room that gives parents major cause for concern about the safety and comfort of their children. + Airbnb Night At Great Barrier Reef Via MyModernMet Images via Airbnb

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Airbnb wants a family to sleep in this Great Barrier Reef floating ‘house’, but is it safe?

For the tourism industry, there’s no vacation from climate change

June 9, 2016 by  
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Tour operators of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef unite to demand the government divest from coal.

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For the tourism industry, there’s no vacation from climate change

The Fangshan Tangshan National Geopark by HASSEL Studios celebrates the diversity of the Palaeozoic era

August 17, 2015 by  
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