Greenland is melting four times faster than it was 15 years ago

January 24, 2019 by  
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A new study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has found that Greenland is melting four times faster than it has in the past 15 years. Using data from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), which were two satellites launched by Germany and NASA back in 2002, researchers discovered that between 2002 and 2016, Greenland lost 280 gigatons of ice every year, and that resulted in the addition of .03 inches of water annually to the world’s oceans. “We’re going to see faster and faster sea level rise for the foreseeable future,” study lead author and Ohio State University geodynamics professor Michael Bevis said in a press release . “Once you hit that tipping point, the only question is: How severe does it get?” Bevis explained that they knew there was a significant problem with the increasing rates of ice discharge from the large outlet glaciers. But what they didn’t expect was ice melt from Greenland’s southwest region. That area does not normally have breaking glaciers like the southeast and northwest, yet the southwest is where the most consistent ice loss happened between 2003 and 2012. Now, according to EcoWatch , researchers are recognizing that large amounts of ice mass are going to become a major contributor to the rise of sea levels over the next couple of decades. There was also a noticeable pause in melting back in 2013, at the same time that warm air was brought to Greenland by a reversal in North Atlantic Oscillation. Bevis said that is concerning, because in the past, the cycle of warm and cool temperatures didn’t have such a dramatic impact on the region. If the base-level temperature is so warm that the natural temperature cycles are accelerating the ice melting, then this could be a “tipping point.” However, the authors of another study from December 2018 cautioned using such language. They found that Greenland was melting at the fastest rate in more than three centuries, but that doesn’t mean we have passed “the point of no return,” according to the study authors. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute scientist Sarah B. Das said that there are still meaningful actions humans can take. If we limit greenhouse gas emissions, we can limit global warming . This will make a big difference in how quickly the ice melting in Greenland will affect the rise of sea levels. Via EcoWatch and OSU Image via Christine Zenino

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Greenland is melting four times faster than it was 15 years ago

This tiny home eschews minimalist design for vibrant colors and bold patterns

January 24, 2019 by  
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Most tiny homes tend to go for the standard “less is more” strategy when it comes to interior design. But one Texas designer, Galeana Younger from the Galeana Group , is breaking that mold with her stunning “maximalist” tiny home. Forgoing the typical neutral color palette, Younger decked out the 190-square-foot tiny home with a host of vibrant colors, funky patterns and plenty of personal touches that give the home a jubilant character. Recently, the designer told Lonny that she wanted the tiny home design to be full of fun. “I wanted to create an environment that would allow/encourage people to feel comfortable and happy but still slightly elevated and outside of themselves,” Younger said. “Like they were in a hip, urban locale that made them feel a little more chispa than usual.” Related: The off-grid Eucalyptus tiny home radiates cool, Californian vibes Accordingly, the bold interior design found throughout the home has quite a bit of “spark” from the moment you enter. The living space features a small wicker sofa covered with various pillows in an array of colors and textures. To the right, the bedroom is wallpapered in a lively black and white cactus print. Contrasting the busy pattern on the walls is the ceiling, which is painted a light ethereal blue. A triangle-patterned rug is on the floor, nicely connecting the black door and trim, which is found throughout the interior. Moving into the kitchen , the blast of fun, vibrant colors cannot be missed. The geometric backsplash is comprised of multiple hues and shades that add a sense of whimsy to the cooking area. Open shelving stores the home’s dishware along with decorative bottles in different shapes and colors. Further into the back of the space is the bathroom. Surprisingly spacious for a tiny home, this black and white motif still manages to be filled with personality. The shower stall was hand laid with the words, “Howdy, ya’ll.” Above the bathroom, a ladder leads to a compact sleeping loft . + The Galeana Group Via Curbed Photography by Mark Menjivar via The Galeana Group

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This tiny home eschews minimalist design for vibrant colors and bold patterns

Extreme Arctic warmth deeply concerning, scientists say

February 26, 2018 by  
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A recent bout of extreme warm weather in the far north Arctic Circle is setting new temperature records and unnerving climate scientists. “To have zero degrees [Celsius] at the North Pole in February – it’s just wrong,” researcher Amelie Meyer told the Sydney Morning Herald . “It’s quite worrying.” Cape Morris Jessup in Greenland , the most northern land-based weather station, has already experienced 61 hours above freezing this year, an all-time record. The previous record was set in 2011 at only 16 hours above freezing by the end of April that year. The world’s weather seems to literally be upside down. Climate scientist Andrew King told the Sydney Morning Herald “Parts of Greenland are quite a bit warmer than most of Europe”. In addition to, and likely connected to, climate change, the so-called polar vortex that has kept frigid polar air contained in the Arctic has weakened in recent decades. As a result, warm air more frequently settles in the far North even during winter while extremely cold air has dipped deep into North America and Eurasia, bringing temperatures in normally warm regions to record lows. As north Greenland experiences its relatively balmy weather, continental Europe endures a deep freeze, with temperatures in Berlin dropping as low as minus 12 degrees Celsius. The abnormal weather is even changing the orientation of weather systems. “For Britain and Ireland, most weather systems would typically blow in from the west, but [on Tuesday] we will see a cold front cross Britain from the east,” said Dr. King. Related: Scientists dash to explore Antarctic ecosystem hidden by ice for 120,000 years In light of the extreme weather, the ice coverage in the Bering Sea is now at levels usually seen in May or June. The long-term effect of shrinking ice coverage acts as a positive feedback loop. Sunlight is reflected off of ice back into space, protecting the frozen seas . When the ice is gone, this heat is absorbed by the water, which then warms ice that remains. The situation is grim; while scientists had originally predicted an ice-free Arctic by 2050, these recent warm spells calls this prediction into question. Via Sydney Morning Herald Images via Climate Reanalyzer and NASA  

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Extreme Arctic warmth deeply concerning, scientists say

Playful guerrilla group unleashes 50 swings across San Francisco

February 26, 2018 by  
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A guerrilla group in San Francisco has unleashed a bunch of swings across the city. Swing Bomb SF installed more than 50 sneaky swings in many undisclosed locations, delighting residents and instilling a much-needed sense of playfulness. Sadly, San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department wants to take them down. They just installed 50 swings all over the city to inspire folks to go out and play! We even made the news! #swingbombsf #sanfrancisco Repost: @dianaleebee A post shared by Swing Bomb SF (@swingbombsf) on Feb 21, 2018 at 5:14pm PST Swing Bomb SF swept in with the goal of transforming the city into a pop-up playground . They’ve spoken anonymously to news outlets, and told SF Weekly , “We decided to create a present for the city, where it would wake up one morning and have a moment of surprise.” They installed over 50 swings around the city; the tops are hand-painted and underneath the words #SwingBombSF and a number tell people just which swing they’re playing on. Related: Hundreds of colorful swings transform a busy street in Luxembourg The anonymous crew told SF Weekly they wanted to install the swings in diverse locations; the Tenderloin and Lombard Street are a couple examples. SF Weekly reported Swing Bomb SF had engineers on the team to ensure the structural integrity of the trees for the swings. “I have spent the last day and a half feeling like I could burst into happy tears at any given moment. I am learning how awesome independent feels and I am so lucky that the people in my life encourage that in me. ?????? #Repost @platinum_runner #sanfrancisco #lombardstreet #tourist #vacation #independentwoman #freedomtour #love #happiness #adventure #californiadreaming #swingbombsf @swingbombsf A post shared by Swing Bomb SF (@swingbombsf) on Feb 22, 2018 at 9:11pm PST The SF Rec & Parks isn’t so sure. Operations manager Dennis Kern told ABC 7 , “They did not come to us for us to take a look at what they wanted to do, so that we can ascertain that this is safe.” He said without a permit, the department will have to take swings down. But Swing Bomb SF purposefully didn’t disclose the location of all the swings; they told ABC 7 it was “to create that element of surprise and joy” but it also means the Recreation and Parks Department has to find the swings before they can remove them. "We don't stop playing because we grow old…we grow old because we stop playing." #swingbombsf @swingbombsf Photo via #sambrock #sanfrancisco A post shared by Swing Bomb SF (@swingbombsf) on Feb 22, 2018 at 10:51am PST People stumbling across the swings in the city have posted gleeful pictures to Instagram. Swing Bomb SF told SF Weekly of the city, “It really nurtures this inner child, it’s a very playful community. We wanted to play into that, and make the concept of S.F. being an adult playground into a reality.” You can check out more pictures on Swing Bomb SF’s Instagram here . + Swing Bomb SF Via SF Weekly and ABC 7 Image via Depositphotos

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Playful guerrilla group unleashes 50 swings across San Francisco

3 stacked shipping containers create a diving tower in Denmark

February 26, 2018 by  
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Sweco Architects just transformed an old ferry port in Denmark into a fantastic water recreation spot. To keep the Water Sports Center Halsskov green, the architects recycled “as many materials as possible from the former port, either directly or through upcycling .” Perhaps the most distinctive element of the sports center is a jumping tower comprised of three stacked, bright yellow shipping containers . People can jump off a shipping container diving tower into the waves at the Water Sports Center Halsskov at heights of around 13, 26, and 36 feet. The stacked containers are rotated “to generate an interesting interaction between activity, shadows, and volumes,” according to Sweco Architects . Related: Abandoned Torpedo Station Transformed Into the Coolest Water Sports Venue in the Baltic Sea The shipping container diving tower isn’t the only fun visitors can have at the Water Sports Center Halsskov. People don’t have to jump in to get wet; they can also access the water via ramps, ladders, and floating platforms. There are three beach volleyball courts, trampolines, an outdoor swimming pool , and a climbing wall , according to the firm. Facility buildings, also comprised of containers, offer bathrooms and changing rooms, and they’re covered with heat-treated wood from sustainable forests for easy maintenance. LED lighting is present throughout the site to minimize energy consumption. The project “emphasizes the special raw character of the site,” according to Sweco Architects. They exposed concrete piers and preserved pieces of bulwarks and harbor fittings. They said in their design statement that benches and boundaries “consist of the former bulwarks from the ferry port.” The Water Sports Center Halsskov was completed in 2017. + Sweco Architects + Water Sports Center Halsskov by Sweco Architects Images courtesy of Mads Fredrik/Sweco Architects and Mie Marie Reindahl Clausen/Sweco Architects

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3 stacked shipping containers create a diving tower in Denmark

California’s "Butt Lady picks up 1,000,000 littered cigarette butts in 3.5 years

February 26, 2018 by  
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Cigarette butts account for an estimated 1.69 billion pounds of trash produced worldwide annually, a good number of which never even find their way into proper trash receptacles. Instead, most of them are ingested by aquatic creatures, wildlife, and pets, or simply left to languish in streets everywhere as litter. Sick and tired of seeing her town of Auburn, California marred by the toxic trash , resident Sally Dawly decided that she would make it her aim to pick up every stray butt she encountered—and keep count while at it. Incredibly, after 3.5 years, Dawly has collected over one million thoughtlessly discarded cigarette butts. “I got tired of going on my walks and seeing cigarette butts everywhere,” Dawly told her local news station. “I’m just overwhelmed and shocked that I had to pick up this many. I keep track on a daily basis of how many I pick up and I just keep going.” Related: This startup is training crows to throw away cigarette butt litter To keep count, Dawly uses a clicker. In her tackle, she also carries a broom, a pair of tongs, and a dustpan, all of which are put to good use daily. “I’ve had days where I’ve picked up 3,000 butts, in one day,” she says, “and it’s like, come on people. Don’t throw your butts, better yet, stop smoking.” The anti-littering activist picked up her first butt in October, 2014, and on  Valentine’s Day , she hit her historic milestone of 1 million cigarette butts. But she has no plans on stopping there and has already set a new goal to collect 2 million cigarette butts. Her story has also inspired countless others to join the effort to keep streets butt-free. In Auburn, cigarette receptacles have been installed outside bars and around the city, and locals consider her a bit of a local hero. As she approached 1 million butts, a number came out to cheer her on. They are also the ones who lovingly bestowed the name “Butt Lady” upon her. Via Oddity Central Lead image via Deposit Photos , others screencaps via CBS news

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California’s "Butt Lady picks up 1,000,000 littered cigarette butts in 3.5 years

Scientists puzzle over subterranean heat melting Greenland’s glaciers

January 23, 2018 by  
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Researchers have acquired evidence that heat emanating from deep below the Earth’s surface is contributing to the meltdown of Greenland’s glaciers. Though they have long suspected that a subterranean heat source was a factor in the melting glaciers, scientists were previously unable to determine the precise mechanism by which this occurred. Data gathered from Greenland’s Young Sound fjord region, a geologically active area featuring many hot springs in which temperatures can reach 140 degrees Fahrenheit, indicates that radiant heat loss is melting glaciers from the bottom up. This discovery will allow researchers to more accurately assess the stability of Greenland’s ice sheet and better predict sea level rise . The heat rising from below Greenland’s surface has loosened the lowest levels of glaciers, easing their slide into the sea. “There is no doubt that the heat from the Earth’s interior affects the movement of the ice, and we expect that a similar heat seepage takes place below a major part of the ice cap in the northeastern corner of Greenland,” wrote Søren Rysgaard, lead author of the study published in Scientific Reports . The heat source is known as a geothermal heat flux, an ancient phenomenon found throughout the planet. In Greenland, the heat percolates from below the surface up through fjords, warming deep sea temperatures that then transfer this heat to the surrounding glaciers . Related: 512-year-old Greenland shark may be the oldest living vertebrate on Earth Because geothermal heat fluxes are difficult to assess, “our results are very unique because we determined the relatively small heat flux from a decade-long warming of an almost stagnant water mass,” co-author Jørgen Bendtsen told Newsweek . Earth’s heat circulating up through the fjords of Greenland is one of several factors contributing to the melting glaciers. Rising air and sea temperature, precipitation , and the unique qualities of the ice sheet also affect the speed of glacier melting. Via Newsweek Images via Wieter Boone ,  Mikael Sejr , and  Søren Rysgaard

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Scientists puzzle over subterranean heat melting Greenland’s glaciers

Climate change is squishing the Earth and making oceans heavier

January 3, 2018 by  
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The ocean floor may be sinking under the weight of heavier oceans as a result of climate-change -induced glacier melting and sea level rise, according to a new study. Scientists at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands discovered that the deforming impact of a heavier ocean on the seafloor is too large to be accurately measured using traditional satellite altimeters. This means that measurements of sea level rise based on the assumption of a static seafloor may be inaccurate. Researchers suspected that traditional sea level measurement methods might be off. “We have had tide gauge sea level rise measurements for more than a century,” Delft University of Technology geoscientist and study Thomas Frederikse told Earther . “You put an instrument at the sea bottom and see how far sea level changes relative to the bottom. Satellites orbiting the Earth measure sea level from space . We wanted to see how large is the difference.” After modeling and analysis of new data, the team determined that, as a result of sea level rise and climate change, the ocean floor had been sinking on average by about 0.1 mm/year between 1993-2014, or 2.1 mm in total. This relatively small change can have a big impact on the accuracy, or inaccuracy, of sea level measurements if not taken into account. Related: Scientists find the Earth’s constant hum is coming from the ocean floor In their study recently published in Geophysical Research Letters , researchers determined that traditional satellite measurements are underestimating sea level rise by about four percent. Now that this disparity is known, corrections can be made. “The effect is systematic and relatively easy to account for,” wrote Frederikse and his co-authors. Over the course of the study, the researchers uncovered some unexpected impacts of heavier oceans, including a slight ocean floor rise in areas most impacted by sea ice and glaciers, such as Greenland and the Arctic. The small but significant change in our measurements of sea level is a reminder of all that we still do know about climate change and its impacts on every part of this planet. “ The Earth itself is not a rigid sphere, it’s a deforming ball,” said Frederikse, according to Earther . “With climate change, we do not only change temperature.” Via Earther Images via NASA and Frederikse, et. al.

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Climate change is squishing the Earth and making oceans heavier

Thresher sharks die in Massachusetts – likely due to cold shock

December 29, 2017 by  
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Winter is here, and it appears even marine creatures are feeling the impact. The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy responded to calls of two thresher sharks stranded on Massachusetts beaches, and said the sharks likely succumbed to cold shock. The north half of the United States is battling bitter cold with a mass of Arctic air, according to The New York Times , with meteorologists saying single-digit temperatures could be here to stay for at least another week. And even sharks are battling the frigid weather . The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy shared on their social media they were called to two thresher shark strandings near Cape Cod in Massachusetts, along with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service and the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries . The conservancy said the sharks were both male, and probably stranded because of cold shock. Related: 512-year-old Greenland shark may be the oldest living vertebrate on Earth Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries marine scientist Greg Skomal told The New York Times, “If you’ve got cold air, that’ll freeze their gills up very quickly. Those gill filaments are very sensitive and it wouldn’t take long for the shark to die.” Skomal said the thresher sharks may have been working their way south with the cooling of northerly waters, but could have gotten trapped by Cape Cod and stranded on the beach, where they may have died more rapidly because of the cold. The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, which promotes Atlantic white shark conservation through scientific research and education, gathered morphometric data and organ and tissue samples for analyzing once they thaw. They called on people to report anything strange they might see on Cape beaches, with a picture and location. If you’d like to help out the conservancy, they put together a shark stranding response kit wishlist on GOODdler; you can donate here . Via the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy Facebook and The New York Times Images via the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy Twitter

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Thresher sharks die in Massachusetts – likely due to cold shock

Hundreds of dead sharks wash up on the shores of the Persian Gulf

December 20, 2017 by  
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Officials in Iran came across a gruesome sight this week: hundreds of dead sharks washed up on shore . The cause isn’t some natural phenomenon – hunters have been illegally capturing the sharks, sawing off the fins and tossing them back into the water, where they got caught up in currents and eventually wound up on land. Hossein Delshab, an official in the city of Bushehr, told a local news agency that hundreds of dead sharks had recently washed up on the shores of Shif island, raising “an alarm about the extinction of sharks” in the area. Related: 512-year-old Greenland shark may be the oldest living vertebrate on Earth Although shark fishing has been banned in the area since 2014, high demand for their prized fins has made hunting them worth the possible fine if the poachers are caught. Violators can be fined up to $7,000. But because it is believed that shark fin can help with sexual disorders, they are a popular item in local markets. Via BBC Images via Wikipedia and Deposit Photos ( 1 , 2 )

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