Big data helps scientists watch ocean plastic gyres form

February 26, 2018 by  
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Researchers tracked hundreds of buoys deployed in the Gulf of Mexico. The findings may help scientists pinpoint areas for plastic or oil-spill cleanup.

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Big data helps scientists watch ocean plastic gyres form

The science behind Tyson’s meaty new sustainability agenda

February 26, 2018 by  
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The company’s first CSO, on the job for less than a year, is moving quickly to tackle greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption and food waste.

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The science behind Tyson’s meaty new sustainability agenda

VIDEO: 60,000-year-old preserved underwater forest discovered in the Gulf of Mexico

September 27, 2017 by  
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When Hurricane Ivan formed in 2004, it did more than devastate regions of the Caribbean and the United States’ coast. According to the new documentary “ The Underwater Forest ,” it also unearthed a fossilized forest of cypress trees which grew more than 50,000 years ago. Located 60 feet below the surface in the Gulf of Mexico , the underwater forest features trees which have intact bark and are still leaking sap. Journalist Ben Raines discovered the underwater forest after conversing with fishermen who reported “unusual” activity in the area. The preserved forest is expected to have been buried by sediment, which protected it from decomposition, as a result of the last ice age which occurred approximately 60,000 years ago. After Hurricane Ivan uncovered the forest, it transformed into a flourishing ecosystem. Said Professor Kristine DeLong, an LSU Department of Geography & Anthropology Associate, “Everything is in place in that ecosystem . It’s just been buried and preserved through time.” The trees were prevented from decomposing due to the presence of thick mud. Without oxygen , decomposition could not occur in the underwater environment. However, the Category 4 hurricane — which had 140-mile per hour winds and 98-foot-tall waves — changed that in 2004. Related: Report: meat industry responsible for largest-ever ‘dead zone’ in the Gulf of Mexico Raines worked with scientists from Louisiana State University and the University of Southern Mississippi for the first samples and subsequent investigations. Using advanced sonar machines, the researchers discovered additional trees which are still buried approximately 10 feet below the sediment. The experts also used radio-carbon dating to discern the forests’ approximate age. Reportedly, the trees show signs of “stress events.” This indicates that the trees experienced a rapid decrease in growth, followed by a quick increase, then a swift, final growth decline. The experts agree that the trees soon after died around the same time. Due to pollution — which includes run-off and oil spills — the Gulf of Mexico is becoming more toxic every year. This newly-discovered ecosystem could provide a glimpse of the future of the Gulf coast, say the researchers. “It’s pretty rapid change, geologically speaking,” said paleontologist Martin Becker of William Paterson University. “We’re looking at 60 feet of seawater where a forest used to be. I’m looking at a lot of development, of people’s shore homes and condominiums, etc. The forest is predicting the future, and maybe a pretty unpleasant one.” + The Underwater Forest Via AL , Daily Mail Images via The Underwater Forest/Ben Raines

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VIDEO: 60,000-year-old preserved underwater forest discovered in the Gulf of Mexico

Dubai firm wants to tow icebergs from Antarctica for fresh water

May 18, 2017 by  
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As global temperatures increase due to global warming , ice caps and glaciers continue to melt at an increasing pace. While this reality disturbs some, it is being regarded as positive news by the National Advisor Bureau Limited, based in Dubai, India. This is because the firm seeks to harvest icebergs in the southern Indian ocean and tow them 5,700 miles (9,200 kilometers) away to the Gulf, where they could be melted and sold to local businesses or marketed as a tourist attraction. However ambitious, the Dubai firm faces many challenges in its ambition, including opposition from environmental activists . Phys reports that to accomplish the task of harvesting icebergs, the firm would send ships to Heard Island, an Australian nature reserve , and steer between massive icebergs the size of cities in search of truck-sized chunks. Then, the smaller icebergs would be secured to boats with nets and dragged thousands of miles back to the intended destination. Managing director of the company, Abdullah al-Shehi, believes that the icebergs would not melt significantly during the voyage as the majority of an iceberg’s mass is underwater. Al-Shehi is largely excited about the payday that could await someone who successfully transports an iceberg capable of holding 20 billion gallons of fresh water to the Gulf’s region water. This is because in Norway, for instance, one distillery sells 750 ml bottles of melted Arctic iceberg for $100 each. However, ice sourced from Antarctica is the driest in the world, therefore, yields much less water. If all the permits required are obtained, harvesting will begin in 2019. According to Robert Brears, the founder of Mitidaption, the project would require an initial investment of at least $500 million. Additionally, the firm faces a variety of obstacles. For one, Australia strictly limits access in order to preserve the diverse ecosystem of migratory birds, penguins, seals and fish. This could be disrupted by large ships. Additionally, Antarctica is subject to global treaties that mandate strict environmental regulations and ban mining and military activities. Said Christopher Readinger, head of the Antarctic team at the U.S. National Ice Center, “There are thousands and thousands of icebergs drifting around and they can move without warning. Storms down there can be really brutal, and there’s really not anyone that can help.” Environmentalists are also offering staunch resistant to the Dubai firm’s plan, as they argue there is a simpler method to address climate change in the Middle East. Examples given include drip-irrigation, fixing leaks and water conservations. Hoda Baraka, spokeswoman for the climate advocacy group 350.org , said , “This region is the heartland of the global oil industry, it will be at the forefront of experiencing these massive, insane heat waves, and there’s only one way to avoid this—reducing emissions and keeping all fossil fuels in the ground.” Related: 70-mile crack in Antarctic ice shelf could create Delaware-sized iceberg Because the project is “an exceptionally futile and expensive way” to combat climate change and “seems to run counter to all ideas of climate change adaptation,” says Charlotte Streck, director of the consultancy firm Climate Focus, the Dubai firm is unlikely to receive financing from green investment groups. Via Phys Images via Pixabay

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Dubai firm wants to tow icebergs from Antarctica for fresh water

Hand-forged jewelry pays tribute to Gulf Coast fishermen

December 4, 2016 by  
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Though many may not realize it, the oyster industry in parts of the Gulf Coast has all but collapsed in recent years due to drought, oil spills, and a water rights struggle that spans three states. That’s why New Orleans-based designer Ashley Lyons is crafting a handmade line of jewelry that pays tribute to traditional fishing communities and hopes to help preserve their way of life.

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Hand-forged jewelry pays tribute to Gulf Coast fishermen

Sustainability On An Island

January 20, 2016 by  
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Most beachfront tourist destinations aren’t necessarily known for sustainability or being environmentally friendly. If they are, it’s usually because the location is protected wilderness. However, on the Gulf shores of Florida, there is a tiny…

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Sustainability On An Island

BP to pay record $21 billion in settlement for Deepwater Horizon oil spill

October 7, 2015 by  
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The reckoning has finally come for British Petroleum’s massive 2010 oil spill off the Gulf Coast, with a court settlement of nearly $21 billion related to the disaster. The Washington Examiner reports that the money will be split up and used to fund various projects to help address the environmental disaster, including: a $5.5 billion penalty for civil claims under the Clean Water Act, $7.1 billion in claims under the Oil Pollution Act, $1 billion for early restoration work, $4.9 billion for the five Gulf states, and $1 billion for local governments. “Once approved by the court, this agreement will launch one of the largest environmental restoration efforts the world has ever seen,” Lynch said. Read the rest of BP to pay record $21 billion in settlement for Deepwater Horizon oil spill

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BP to pay record $21 billion in settlement for Deepwater Horizon oil spill

Five years later: Deepwater Horizon disaster leaves oil and dispersants lingering in the Gulf

April 21, 2015 by  
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As we mark the fifth anniversary of the explosion that rocked the Deepwater Horizon rig, claiming 11 lives and sparking a 87 day-long, 200-million-gallon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, studies continue to reveal the devastating impact of the oil—and dispersants used in clean up—on marine life. Recent reports show that the dispersants were more damaging to corals than the oil itself, and continue to diminish shellfish and sea turtle populations, while large questions loom over the ongoing unexplained deaths of dolphins along the Gulf Coast. And, as the NRDC points out, it will take years, if not decades longer to fully understand the effects of the disaster. Read the rest of Five years later: Deepwater Horizon disaster leaves oil and dispersants lingering in the Gulf Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bird death oil , deepwater horizon , Dolphin Deaths , dolphin gulf of mexico , environmental disaster , gulf of mexico , macondo well , oil drilling , oil droplets , oil gulf of mexico , oil slick , oil spill , sea bed , sea floor , tar mat

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Five years later: Deepwater Horizon disaster leaves oil and dispersants lingering in the Gulf

Masdar Helps Oman Prepare for the Post-Oil Era With the Gulf’s First Wind Farm

October 22, 2014 by  
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The Sultanate of Oman is building the largest wind farm in the Gulf States region. The $125 million, 50-megawatt project is a joint development between Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, Masdar , and Oman’s Rural Areas Electricity Company (RAECO). Estimated to generate enough clean electricity to power 16,000 homes and mitigate 110,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, the project is also remarkable for the language used to promote it: the Gulf States are looking to a low-carbon, post-oil future . Read the rest of Masdar Helps Oman Prepare for the Post-Oil Era With the Gulf’s First Wind Farm Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “wind power” , “wind turbine” , Masdar , oman , post-oil future , renewable energy , uae , united arab emirates , wind farm

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Masdar Helps Oman Prepare for the Post-Oil Era With the Gulf’s First Wind Farm

Modular Foodlab on Wheels for Those Who Appreciate Flexibility in the Kitchen

October 22, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Modular Foodlab on Wheels for Those Who Appreciate Flexibility in the Kitchen Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Concordia Taste , Foodlab modular kitchen , green kitchen , mobile furniture , modular furniture , modular kitchen , siemens , Studio Rygalik , transformable furniture , wooden modules

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