10 fun and fascinating facts about sharks

August 10, 2020 by  
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Sharks are the apex predators of the oceans, but they’re more than movie monsters and beach horror stories. There’s a lot that most people don’t know about sharks and plenty more that scientists are still learning about them. More than 500 species of sharks swim the ocean depths, making up a diverse and endlessly fascinating group of animals who have been hunting the waters for millions of years longer than humans have been walking around on Earth. We’re still learning Sharks are ancient creatures who inhabited the Earth at the same time as the dinosaurs . But that doesn’t mean we know everything there is to know about them. In fact, we’re still making discoveries. The megamouth shark was only discovered in 1976, and fewer than 100 of these rare sharks have ever been seen. It grows to an average of 16 feet , we think, and siphons plankton out of the water to feed. Even more recently was the discovery of the pocket shark, a 5-inch shark found in the Gulf of Mexico. It glows under the water to attract prey. Related: How your beauty routine might be killing sharks Their teeth are healthier than yours Shark teeth are totally resistant to cavities . The teeth of sharks are covered in fluoride, an enamel known as fluorapatite. This material is resistant to acid created by bacteria. Sharks also go through several sets of teeth in their lifetimes, shedding and growing new teeth periodically. An average shark mouth will see about 30,000 teeth in one lifetime. Shark teeth are much healthier than human teeth, which need constant care and maintenance. They can clone themselves Through a process that has been observed in many animals , sharks can clone themselves through parthenogenesis , a type of external fertilization. This has been seen in female sharks being kept in captivity. Sharks aren’t that dangerous Humans are a far greater danger to sharks than they are to us. Though it makes for a pretty good movie, there are fewer than 200 shark-human interactions globally every single year. Meanwhile, humans kill about 100 million sharks annually, mostly through hunting. Sharks have a variety of feeding habits. Many species of sharks are filter feeders that eat small marine life , such as clams, and many are bottom feeders who use suction to gather food. Only some species of sharks are hunters that attack seals, dolphins and other large sea creatures. They’re resilient Not only did sharks survive the extinction event that brought an end to the dinosaurs, but they’ve also survived five total mass extinction events on planet Earth. Sharks first appeared in the planet’s oceans over 400 million years ago. That makes them even older than trees. Sharks were swimming in the oceans before dinosaurs roamed the planet. They survived a mass extinction event that killed 75% of all living species on Earth , including many ocean-dwelling species. Then, they survived an event that killed 96% of all marine life on the planet. This is why sharks are often referred to as “living fossils.” The great white isn’t the biggest shark Movies have made the great white shark famous as a predator, but it’s not the biggest shark in the ocean. That honor goes to the whale shark, which grows up to 60 feet in length . Though it has the size, the whale shark doesn’t have the terrifying look that makes the great white shark so distinct. This giant of the water feeds on small fish , plankton and invertebrates. That means whale sharks don’t have those razor-sharp teeth and huge jaws that make the great white shark such a perfectly terrifying villain. By comparison, the great white shark grows up to 20 feet at most. They have a sixth sense Sharks have the same five senses as human beings — plus one more. Sharks have an organ in their snouts, ampullae of Lorenzini, that allows them to sense electrical fields in the water emitted by other fish and marine life. Lion vs. shark? In the battle of lion against shark, if such a battle was possible, sharks would win pretty easily. A lion bite is weaker than you might imagine, about 650 PSI (pound-force per square inch). A shark bite is much more powerful. In a single snap, a great white shark can produce up to 4,000 PSI. They don’t vocalize Despite what you may have seen in “Finding Nemo,” sharks definitely can’t talk, even to other fish. Sharks have no vocal cords; therefore, they make no vocal sounds whatsoever. Instead, they communicate through body language. A mega shark was once real “Jaws” isn’t just a movie, it’s reality. Well, kind of. There once was an enormous shark that swam the ocean depths. The megalodon inhabited the Earth’s oceans 20 million years ago , becoming extinct about 3.6 million years ago. This monster was the largest shark to ever swim the oceans and the largest fish the planet has ever known, up to three times the size of the longest great white shark. Sharks are truly fascinating creatures, and they have much more to fear from us than we do of them. They’ve managed to survive on a planet that’s known for being rocked by massive extinction events, living long enough to see the rise and the fall of the dinosaurs and the evolution of plant life on the planet. Now, they swim the same waters as human beings. The more you research about these hunters of the deep, the more you’ll find that learning about sharks is pretty fun. Via NOAA and WWF Images via NOAA ( 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 )

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10 fun and fascinating facts about sharks

Canada’s last Arctic ice shelf has collapsed

August 10, 2020 by  
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The Milne Ice Shelf, the largest remaining intact ice shelf in Canada, has collapsed. According to researchers studying the Milne Ice Shelf, the ice shelf collapsed in just two days at the end of July and lost about 40% of its area. This ice shelf sits at the fringe of Ellesmere Island in the northern territory of Nunavut. For the past 30 years, the Arctic has warmed twice as fast as the global rate. The Arctic’s warming reached new levels this year, causing polar ice to hit its lowest levels in 40 years. Though ice caps melting in the heat has become more frequent, this year’s record temperatures caused unprecedented melting and disintegration of bigger ice shelves. Related: Antarctica reaches record high temperature “Above normal air temperatures , offshore winds and open water in front of the ice shelf are all part of the recipe for ice shelf break up,” The Canadian Ice Service said on Twitter. The area affected by the ice shelf breaking is significantly large. According to researchers, the shelf area shrank by 80 square kilometers — an area roughly 20 square kilometers larger than New York’s Manhattan Island. “This was the largest remaining intact ice shelf, and it’s disintegrated, basically,” said Luke Copland, a glaciologist at the University of Ottawa and Milne Ice Shelf researcher. The research team lost a campsite and several instruments when the ice shelf collapsed. According to one of the researchers, Derek Mueller of Carleton University in Ottawa , the team has noticed signs of collapse while working on the ice shelf. Mueller says the team was lucky to not be on the ice shelf when it collapsed. Given that the collapse swept away an entire campsite, the team would have faced a similar fate. Researchers now warn that the Arctic can expect more ice melting if global temperatures continue to increase. This year, the Arctic experienced temperatures rising 5 degrees Celcius above the 30-year average. If global warming continues, Arctic ice could melt entirely into the sea over time. Via Huffpost Images via Pixabay

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Canada’s last Arctic ice shelf has collapsed

Amazon deforestation increased by 34% in 2019

June 12, 2020 by  
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Deforestation of the Amazon rainforest has continued to be a thorn in the side of efforts to curb global warming . According to data released by Brazil’s space research agency INPE, 10,129 square kilometers of the rainforest were cleared between August 2018 and July 2019. Initially, INPE had reported that the deforested area in the same period was 9,762 square kilometers. In a recent report by the Brazilian government, adjustments have been made and the actual size of deforested land has now been revealed to be 29% greater than originally reported and 34% more than the same time frame the year prior. These figures pose a serious threat to the rainforest , given that the rate of deforestation has increased by 34% from the previous year. Even though Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro claims to be focused on saving the largest rainforest in the world, the figures show otherwise. In just one year, forest area equal to the size of Lebanon has been cleared. Related: Climate change, deforestation lead to younger, shorter trees Although there have been efforts to control deforestation in the Amazon, the Brazilian government keeps failing to meet its targets. The new figures that were reported on Tuesday, June 8, 2020 now present the highest level of deforestation since 2008. The newly revised data by INPE should serve as a wake-up call to the Brazilian government and all parties that are working to control deforestation. The Amazon covers about 60% of Brazil and is the largest rainforest on Earth; protecting the Amazon is important not only to Brazil but to the entire world. Environmental advocates and activists are now blaming the Brazilian president for allowing loggers and ranchers to grab forested land. Although he claims to have implemented measures to control logging, Bolsonaro has encouraged Brazilians to erect developments on protected areas of the Amazon. According to monthly data released by INPE, deforestation has continued to worsen in 2020 even during COVID-19 . INPE data shows that deforestation has increased by 55% between January and April compared to a similar period in 2019. Via Reuters Image via ESA

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Amazon deforestation increased by 34% in 2019

Two ways P&G is working toward its packaging goals

May 5, 2020 by  
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Two ways P&G is working toward its packaging goals Deonna Anderson Tue, 05/05/2020 – 11:33 Procter & Gamble’s Tide laundry detergent brand first introduced in January 2019 its “Eco-Box,” which has been compared to a wine box because of its design made from paperboard with a tap for dispensing, in an effort to reduce the plastic in its packaging. In mid-May, the Eco-Boxes are becoming available for other fabric care product lines, including Tide purclean, Downy, Gain and Dreft. The initiatives are related to P&G’s current sustainability goals introduced in 2018, Ambition 2030, which include a commitment to make its packaging 100 percent recyclable or reusable by 2030.  Each business unit within P&G has its own approach, and the Eco-Box was one way P&G’s Fabric Care division set out to meet its packaging goal.  To be clear, the Eco-Box package still includes plastic — with the bag that holds the liquid detergent itself — but uses 60 percent less of it than the traditional packaging for P&G’s detergent brands. I think perfection is [figuring] out the technologies to make this so that that bag and tap are also just easy curbside recycling. “We’ve moved to a huge reduction in plastic, but [the plastic bag] not curbside-recyclable,” said Todd Cline, section head for P&G Fabric Care’s research and development team. “I think perfection is [figuring] out the technologies to make this so that that bag and tap are also just easy curbside recycling,” he continued. “But there’s just not technologies for that yet today, to create bags to hold liquids that are puncture-resistant and will survive all of the shipping.” In the meantime, P&G has a stopgap solution for collection and end-of-life processing in place. When the Tide Eco-Box launched, P&G partnered with TerraCycle to offer a recycling option for the inner bag. That program will continue, now including the full Eco-Box portfolio. Cline said P&G uses life cycle assessment (LCA) to guide its work, “particularly as it comes to sustainability,” noting that from an LCA standpoint, P&G is making a huge reduction in its carbon footprint and amount of plastic that’s going to landfills through the Eco-Box packaging effort.  “For us, that’s a technical trade-off at the start. But it’s one of those that if we waited for perfection … we would be sitting on this technology that could have a really great benefit from a sustainability standpoint, but holding it until it’s perfect,” Cline said, referring to the need to engage TerraCycle on collection.  When the new Eco-Box detergents hit the market — the products will be available online only from major U.S. retailers — Cline said they will continue to test and iterate on the packaging to improve it. All paper, no plastic In a different part of the company, P&G Beauty, the packaging strategy is likewise taking another turn away from plastic: toward all-paper packaging. Indeed, these are just two recent examples of how P&G is working to meet its 2030 goal. “This is just one of many innovations that P&G is working on to address the problem of plastic waste. This is an important step forward, and there is much more to come,” wrote Anitra Marsh, associate director of global sustainability and brand communications with P&G Beauty, by email. Two of those beauty and personal care brands are Old Spice and Secret, which will launch all-paper packaging for their aluminum-free deodorants this month at 500 Walmart stores in the U.S. “As the largest retailer in the world partnering with the largest deodorant and antiperspirant brands in the U.S., we know this new paperboard package has the potential to have significant positive impact and lay the groundwork for even broader impact,” said Jason Kloster, senior buying manager for body care and grooming at Walmart, in a press release. Marsh said P&G co-designed the all-paper deodorant packaging for its Secret and Old Spice products with consumers interested in cutting back on plastic waste. The package format contains 90 percent post-consumer recycled content and 10 percent new paper fibers. P&G developed package prototypes then shared the designs with consumers to see which options were “most appealing and easy to use.” P&G isn’t the only company trying to eliminate plastic packaging for deodorant. Across the pond in London, a company called Wild raised $621,775 in seed funding for its refillable no-plastic deodorant packaging — made from durable aluminum and bamboo pulp — after a successful pilot launch in 2019. Marsh said it took less than a year to bring P&G’s all-paper, plastic-free deodorant packaging to market. During the development process, the first package design did not pass a key recyclability test because the glue used for the label diminished the quality of the recycled paper pulp. “We quickly went back to the drawing board to find another label glue that doesn’t impede recycling, and this is what we are using now in our Old Spice and Secret paper tube packages that are launching in May,” she said. The deodorant hit the shelves May 1, and P&G will continue to evaluate the recyclability and repulpability of the packaging this summer, according to Marsh. “We are aiming for 100 percent recyclability,” she said. Pull Quote I think perfection is [figuring] out the technologies to make this so that that bag and tap are also just easy curbside recycling. Topics Circular Economy Design & Packaging Circular Packaging Packaging Recycled Paper Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Tide, Dreft and Gain detergents in eco-box packaging

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Two ways P&G is working toward its packaging goals

Earth911 Podcast: Earth Day Initiative’s John Oppermann

March 25, 2020 by  
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New York City’s Earth Day celebrations are among the largest … The post Earth911 Podcast: Earth Day Initiative’s John Oppermann appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Earth911 Podcast: Earth Day Initiative’s John Oppermann

Maven Moment: Donating Usable Eyeglasses

March 25, 2020 by  
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I got my first pair of eyeglasses when I was … The post Maven Moment: Donating Usable Eyeglasses appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Maven Moment: Donating Usable Eyeglasses

First CLT Passive House project in Boston breaks ground

February 24, 2020 by  
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Move over steel and concrete — a pioneering cross-laminated timber (CLT) project that’s set to break ground in Boston could spearhead a greater adoption of mass timber across the country. Local startup  Generate Architecture + Technologies  has teamed up with progressive developer Placetailor to lead the project — the city’s first-ever CLT Cellular Passive House Demonstration Project — and provide live/work spaces in Lower Roxbury. Developed with the startup’s Model-C system for prefabricated kit-of-parts construction, the building will forgo conventional concrete and steel materials in favor of carbon-sequestering engineered wood products. Expected to break ground in June of 2020, the CLT Passive House demonstration project will comprise five floors with 14 residential units as well as innovative and affordable co-working spaces for the local community on the ground floor. In addition to introducing low-carbon, mixed-use  programming to the neighborhood, the project will be a working prototype for Generate’s Model-C, “a replicable system for housing delivery methods designed to address climate and community.”  The Model-C system is not only designed to function at net-zero carbon levels, but is also Passive House certified and built to the new Boston Department of Neighborhood Development “Zero Emissions Standards,” which were developed with Placetailor. As a result, the demonstration project is expected to have a significantly reduced carbon footprint as compared to traditional construction. The  CLT  rooftop canopy is also engineered to make it easy to mount solar panels. Modular units, like the bathrooms, can be prefabricated offsite and then plugged into the building to reduce construction time and waste.  Related: This student housing is the largest Passive House-certified building in the Southern Hemisphere Thanks to  prefabrication  methods and the reduction of interior framing, the Model-C prototype is expected to completed by the end of 2020 and will be available for tours at the Industrial Wood-Based Construction (IWBC) conference in Boston on November 4. Generate is also exploring the possibility of applying the Model-C system to projects that range from six to 18 stories across the U.S. + Generate Images by Forbes Massie Studio

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First CLT Passive House project in Boston breaks ground

Designer Dana Cohen creates unique, recycled fabric garments

February 24, 2020 by  
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It’s no secret that the United States wastes millions of tons of textiles every year. From fast fashion to unsustainable production to consumers simply choosing to throw out clothes instead of donating them, the environmental costs of fabric waste is starting to add up — and fast. A 2015 graduate of the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, Dana Cohen is choosing ecological design methods and making waves in the sustainable fashion industry. Cohen’s first award-winning collection, Worn Again, was developed in 2015 using recycled materials. By taking discarded fabrics and shredding them into smaller monochromatic fibers, Cohen was able to create new felted textiles out of scraps that would usually be taken to the landfill. After the process was complete, the designer was left with a completely unique knit boasting a combination of colors and patterns produced by the different original fabrics. Related: The sustainable wardrobe — it’s more accessible than you think The process to create these eco-textiles combines machinery and hand work to help give each piece a one-of-a-kind look. The felting process also leaves the material extremely soft and durable. The Worn Again collection won both the Fini Leitersdorf Excellence Award for Creativity and Originality in Fashion and the Rozen Award for Design and Sustainable Technologies in 2015. In 2018, Cohen revealed the City Growth collection, which was featured in Tel Aviv Fashion Week and Vietnam International Fashion Week that same year. The collection was inspired by global urban development and the diminution of agriculture by city growth, something Cohen had seen first-hand as the daughter of a farmer. Unsurprisingly, the collection went on to also earn awards, including the Israeli Lottery Company Fashion Design Award, the “Mifal Hapais.” In 2019, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem displayed the City Grown collection as part of an exhibition on fashion statements. The designer’s mission is to help people feel good inside and out by providing exclusive and beautiful garments that have a positive impact on society while still maintaining style. Cohen’s inspirational designs prove that recycled products can be just as fashionable (if not more) than traditional clothing items. + Dana Cohen Photography by Rafi Deloya, Rotem Lebel and Ron Kedmi via Dana Cohen

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Designer Dana Cohen creates unique, recycled fabric garments

Cargill’s Ruth Kimmelshue on resilience and regeneration in our food system

February 20, 2020 by  
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Cargill’s Chief Sustainability Officer and Head of Business Operations & Supply Chain, Ruth Kimmelshue, discusses the integration of sustainability and supply chain at one of the largest agricultural companies in the world.

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Cargill’s Ruth Kimmelshue on resilience and regeneration in our food system

Engie, University of Iowa say ‘I do’ to 50-year, $1 billion+ partnership

December 12, 2019 by  
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It’s the largest public-private partnership in the Hawkeye State’s history.

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Engie, University of Iowa say ‘I do’ to 50-year, $1 billion+ partnership

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