World’s largest dinosaur footprint found in Australia’s "Jurassic Park"

March 27, 2017 by  
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A team of researchers just discovered the world’s largest dinosaur footprint in an area they’re calling “Australia’s Jurassic Park.” The massive sauropod footprint was discovered near James Price Point in Western Australia, and it measures almost five feet nine inches long. A team of University of Queensland and James Cook University researchers ultimately recorded 21 different kinds of dinosaur tracks in rocks ranging from 127 to 140 million years old – including the only confirmed evidence that the stegosaurus once roamed the continent. The Goolarabooloo people are the traditional custodians of Walmadany near James Price Point – and they invited researchers to investigate tracks in the area. Steven Salisbury of the University of Queensland described the area as Australia’s own Jurassic Park, and he and his team spent more than 400 hours recording the footprints. https://vimeo.com/210176160 Related: 99-million-year-old dinosaur tail found immaculately preserved in amber Salisbury said there are thousands of tracks in the area, and that “150 can confidently be assigned to 21 specific track types, representing four main groups of dinosaurs.” The team found five kinds of predatory dinosaur tracks, six long-necked herbivorous sauropod tracks, four two-legged herbivorous ornithopod tracks, and six tracks from armored dinosaurs. Salisbury said, “If we went back in time 130 million years ago, we would’ve seen all these different dinosaurs walking over this coastline. It must’ve been quite a sight.” The team published their findings online in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology . Salisbury said in a statement, “Most of Australia’s dinosaur fossils come from the eastern side of the continent, and are between 115 and 90 million years old. The tracks in Broome are considerably older.” Via University of Queensland and CNN Images courtesy and copyright N. Gaunt and Steven Salisbury, et.al.

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World’s largest dinosaur footprint found in Australia’s "Jurassic Park"

Great Barrier Reef bleaching is the "worst coral die-off" in recorded history

November 30, 2016 by  
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The health of the Great Barrier Reef is widely thought to be an indicator for the state of the Earth’s marine ecosystems, and the announcement made Tuesday that the reef is currently experiencing the worst coral die-off in recorded history doesn’t bode well for the rest of our waters. The depressing conclusion was reached after evaluating data collected during more than 900 dives along the 1,400-mile reef. When coral is exposed to too much warm water, it dies, thus transforming from a vibrant display of colorful creatures to a white or greyish skeleton. Its light color is known as “coral bleaching,” and researchers are recording ever larger spans of the reef where this phenomenon is taking place. On Tuesday, Prof. Terry Hughes, director of the ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University in Queensland, said on Tuesday that around two-thirds of the shallow-water coral on the reef’s 430-mile northern stretch is now dead, but the survival rates in the middle and southern parts of the reef are much better. Related: No, the Great Barrier Reef isn’t dead – but it is damaged “The good news is that in the south, only about 1 percent of the reef’s coral has died, and the mortality rate in the middle is about 6 percent,” Hughes said. “But in the north, mortality rates are very high, and in some places where coral has survived but it has weakened, the per capita predation rate has gone through the roof.” Hughes noted that this is the third major bleaching event to hit the Great Barrier Reef, and that while some sections of the reef are still thriving, their fate remains uncertain. Increasing warming trends in ocean water currents pose higher and higher future threat to the remaining living coral, not to mention the other creatures living in and around the reef. In response to the issue, the Australian government is putting about $33.6 million into efforts to protect the reef, by improving water quality and reducing sediment runoff. Australian leaders may petition the United Nations to declare the Great Barrier Reef an “in danger” site, a move the international coalition has stopped short of in recent years. Via NYT Images via ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies

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Great Barrier Reef bleaching is the "worst coral die-off" in recorded history

Croatian freshwater aquarium by 3LHD is built right into the hillside

November 30, 2016 by  
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Designers at 3LHD transformed an abandoned campsite into a unique hillside aquarium in Karlovac, Croatia . Freshwater fish and plant life are featured at the aquarium to give the public a deeper understanding of the area’s ecosystems . The educational center and its nearby shops are located both alongside and underneath the natural hillside, covered in green grass as a sign of unity with the surrounding habitat. The Karlovac aquarium sits alongside the river Korana, where a diverse array of wildlife flourishes. 3LHD derived inspiration for the center’s design from the revered “Karlovac star”, upon which many buildings and city structures are based. Visitors can stroll through the open center of the attraction to reach the gift shop, reading room, and cafe bar, which is accessible by strategically placed, multidirectional walkways. Related: South America’s largest aquarium boasts a 650-foot underwater tunnel Once guests walk inside, they are greeted by a symbolic river exhibit that displays the full biodiversity of the area. Surface waters give way to deeper aquariums on the lower level, where species no longer flourishing in the area can be found. On the other side of the tunnel, marshlands are displayed with lilies and rushes, which eventually give way to a climactic collection of waterfalls. The entire center is an experience unlike any other aquarium – an educational story told from beginning to end. The Karlovac aquarium is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund . Scientific research facilities and fish acclimatization spaces can be found on site, proving the center’s dedication to preserving the natural state of the surrounding ecosystems. +3LHD Via World Architecture News Images via 3LHD

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Croatian freshwater aquarium by 3LHD is built right into the hillside

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

Great Barrier Reef tourist pollution may be giving turtles herpes

July 7, 2016 by  
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Pollution may be the cause of a peculiar form of herpes currently plaguing sea turtles living near the Great Barrier Reef. Researchers at James Cook University in Australia have been mapping the outbreak and found a hotspot in a small part of Cockle Bay frequented by tourists. There, more than half of the turtles exhibit symptoms of the viral disease, while it is much more rare in other parts of the Reef. Researchers think the high number of cases is linked to contamination from tourist activity. Outside of the tourist destination, less than 10 percent of the bay’s turtle population has been infected with the disease, according to researchers. The substantial difference in the number of cases has led scientists to suggest that human activity—specifically, pollution —is to blame for the illness. Researchers suspect that pollution damages the turtles’ immune system and causes an otherwise dormant disease to become life-threatening. The turtle-specific variety of the herpes disease causes fibropapillomatosis , a condition that causes tumors to grow on the outside of the body. Because of the size and number of tumors, turtles can lose mobility as well as sight, impeding their survival. Related: Green sea turtles are no longer endangered in Florida and Mexico While this outbreak is under investigation in Australia, others have cropped up elsewhere. New Scientist reports that, last year in the Florida Keys, a record number of turtles were found with the same tumors. Many healthy turtles carry the disease, but the tumorous growths are actually quite rare. Since the cases in Florida were near a popular tourist destination, similar to Australia’s Cockle Bay, the evidence is mounting that people could, inadvertently and without realizing, be threatening delicate sea turtle populations around the world. To further pinpoint the relationship, researchers at James Cook University will test the bay water for specific contaminants and look for more evidence to explain why the turtles are suffering so much from a disease that is typically harmless. Via The Verge Images via Karina Jones/James Cook University

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Great Barrier Reef tourist pollution may be giving turtles herpes

Stunning Seashore Chapel in China appears to float at high tide

July 7, 2016 by  
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Located on the beach next to China’s Bohai Sea, the Seashore Chapel serves the resort community as both a religious space and a community gathering space for public events. The chapel was created in a similar fashion to Vector Architects’ Seashore Library, a nearby concrete building completed last year at Nandaihe. Unlike its sandy-colored predecessor, the Seashore Chapel is covered in brilliant white stucco with laminated bamboo slate and glass curtain walls . The 270-square-meter Seashore Chapel is divided into two main areas. The first is a covered, sea-facing outdoor space that, as the architects describe it, connects the “religious space to the mundane life,” and is submerged by water at high tide. The second space is the elevated chapel with its steep gable roof accessed via a 30-meter-long staircase. The ascent leads visitors to a panoramic view of the sea through a large horizontal window on the east facade. Related: Elegant Japanese wedding chapel mimics curved leaves Windows are strategically placed to limit the amount of harsh light to the interior, while allowing diffused natural light to stream in and highlight the textures of the stucco walls. Hidden windows allow for natural ventilation to flow through the building. “Together with Seashore Library, [the Seashore Chapel] provides spiritual spaces at ocean front, where people can slow down their pace, experience the nature and examine their inner state,” write the architects. + Vector Architects Images via Vector Architects

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Stunning Seashore Chapel in China appears to float at high tide

Woods Bagot-Designed Cairns Institute Contributes to the Sustainable Quality of Life for Queensland

October 18, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Woods Bagot-Designed Cairns Institute Contributes to the Sustainable Quality of Life for Queensland Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , cairns institute , eco design , green architecture , Green Building , green design , james cook university , north queensland , research center , research facility , Sustainable Building , sustainable design , woods bagot        

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Woods Bagot-Designed Cairns Institute Contributes to the Sustainable Quality of Life for Queensland

Volvo’s New Battery Technology Stores Energy in an Electric Car’s Body Panels

October 18, 2013 by  
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Conventional batteries that power today’s electric cars and hybrids take up space and add a lot of extra weight to the vehicles. Volvo has just announced that it has developed a concept for lightweight structural energy storage components that could improve the energy usage of future electrified vehicles . The material, consisting of carbon fibers, nano-structured batteries and super capacitors allows the battery components to be integrated into a car’s body panels, thereby taking up less space than conventional batteries. Read the rest of Volvo’s New Battery Technology Stores Energy in an Electric Car’s Body Panels Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: battery technology , carbon fiber , carbon fiber automobile , electric cars , electric motor , green car , hybrid cars , volvo , volvo battery technology , volvo green car        

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Volvo’s New Battery Technology Stores Energy in an Electric Car’s Body Panels

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