Sea stars overcome melting disease through rapid evolution

June 27, 2018 by  
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Five years ago, millions of sea stars off the west coast of North America were killed by a mysterious virus that caused the animals to lose limbs and liquefy, with several species under serious threat of extinction. Following the peak of the epidemic, described as “one of the largest marine mass mortality events on record,” scientists noticed that young ochre stars, among the species most impacted by the virus, were surviving at much higher rates. Today, the starfish have seemed to miraculously recover, and researchers may have the explanation for their salvation. A new study suggests that the animals possibly developed a genetic resistance to the still-puzzling densovirus, a threat that had been lurking in the region for decades but could have been fully activated by climate change . About 80 percent of ochre sea stars died as a result of the mysterious virus , which was disturbing for its ecological consequences and the manner with which it killed. “The sick ones tend to just fall apart in front of your eyes,” biologist Jeff Marliave told KUOW in 2013 . “An arm will actually break off and crawl away.” Scientists now believe that the massive die-off accelerated the process of natural selection. “When you’ve removed a whole bunch of them, you’ve shifted the whole genetic diversity of that population,” researcher Chris Mah told the Guardian . “In other words, to put it in human terms, if you wiped out a huge chunk of the human species, you would change the genetic makeup of humans.” Related: Underwater robots seek and kill invasive starfish Those that survived the wasting syndrome had the resistant gene, which they then passed onto their offspring. While the sea stars may have avoided a terminal fate this time, such epidemics are expected to occur with greater frequency in the future. “The concern is that marine disease, extreme environmental events and the frequency of those are on the rise,” study lead author Lauren Schiebelhut told the Guardian . “If we have too many extreme events in a row, maybe that becomes more challenging for species to respond to.” Via The Guardian Images via Jerry Kirkhart , Oregon State University and David O.

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Sea stars overcome melting disease through rapid evolution

"We are not prepared" for climate changescientists issue bleak warning

February 16, 2018 by  
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Researchers have determined that countries around the world are failing to fulfill their greenhouse gas reduction commitments under the Paris climate agreement , inevitably subjecting the world to unpredictable extreme weather. In a study published in the  journal  Science   Advances ,  scientists concluded that extreme weather, such as drought, flooding, or heat waves, will increase across 90 percent of North America, Europe and East Asia if countries maintain their current pace of climate action. “We are not prepared for today’s climate, let alone for another degree of global warming ,” study author Noah Diffenbaugh, a Stanford University professor of earth system science, told Time . The Paris Agreement aims to keep global temperature rise below 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, with an ideal goal of less than 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit. That extra 0.9 degrees will make a significant difference in how extreme weather manifests in the coming decades. The study documents the specific differences built into that temperature divergence, including the number of record warm or wet days. Following an extraordinary hurricane season in North America and a year that was once again dubbed the hottest on record, the urgency to address this challenge is clearer than ever. Related: Trump budget proposes huge cut to EPA and climate research Unfortunately, the Paris Agreement has a math problem. Each country in the agreement was encouraged to create their own pledges individually tailored to their political and economic situations. Though the goal remains less than 3.6 degrees of warming, the cumulative impact of all these pledges, if they were all fulfilled, would still result in a global temperature of 5.8 degrees Fahrenheit. Even the modest pledges made in the agreement are proving difficult to achieve. Some countries, most prominently the United States , have expressed interest in ignoring the consequences of climate change and are actively encouraging the growth of fossil fuels . In the meantime, greenhouse gas emissions continue to climb while the weather gets weirder. Via Time Images via Depositphotos (1)

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"We are not prepared" for climate changescientists issue bleak warning

300 artificial islands in Dubai, ‘The World,’ may get another chance

February 16, 2018 by  
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The World , an archipelago of 300 islands in Dubai , has sat largely vacant for around 10 years. But construction is underway once again. The Guardian’s Oliver Wainwright reported , “After a decade in limbo, The World is back – with more ambitious plans than ever before.” The World was dreamed up in 2003, with Nakheel as the master developer, and 320 million cubic meters of sand and 25 million metric tons of rock were put into place, according to The Guardian. Workers laid the last rock in the breakwater in January 2008. The development sprawls across over 5,000 hectares and stands, in the words of Wainwright, as a “mind-boggling monument to the spectacular hubris of a moment in time when anything seemed possible.” Related: Dubai’s World of Islands is Sinking Into the Sea But construction is beginning again. Josef Kleindienst, of real estate company Kleindienst , talked to The Guardian about his plans for The Heart of Europe , saying he wants to make it snow there throughout the entire year. The Kleindienst website describes The Heart of Europe as “a first of its kind, breathtaking hospitality development, spanning six of the islands on The World in Dubai, with each island taking inspiration from some of Europe’s most captivating locations.” Swiss chalets, Austrian castles, and Russian palaces are among the plans. Kleindienst told The Guardian the development will be finished in time for Expo 2020 in Dubai. Other island owners seem to have been inspired by Kleindienst, according to The Guardian. Emirati developer Seven Tides aims to finish a 100-villa resort on one of the 10 islands they own in the South America portion by the end of this year. And actress Lindsay Lohan said she’s designing an island in The World. It remains to be seen whether or not the projects will ultimately come to life. Via The Guardian Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 ) and The Heart of Europe

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300 artificial islands in Dubai, ‘The World,’ may get another chance

Green-roofed house blends beautifully into a Mediterranean landscape

February 16, 2018 by  
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Giuseppe Gurrieri Studio completed a beautiful new home for artists in Sicily complements its Mediterranean environment using natural materials and landscaping. The home, called Casa ECS, was also created with a major focus on sustainability. Powered by renewable energy, the building is topped with a green roof and built with thick earthen walls that ensure effective insulation. . Located in the town of Scicli, the 230-square-meter Casa ECS is set atop a series of terraces that gently cascade down towards the Mediterranean Sea. Olive and carbon trees grow atop the dry stone retaining walls that visually tie the structure into the landscape. Solar and wind studies informed the placement of the building for the optimization of natural daylighting and ventilation. The large roof overhang shields the interior from solar heat gain and a pool on the south side of the home also helps cool the home. The architects wrote: “The central idea focuses on the construction of a retaining wall covered with the local stone, reproducing the typical receding terrace, which generates a natural step that allowed to plan the insertion of the building into the environment, creating a noticeable continuity with the country-side view and the traditionally cultivated land.” Related: Charming Italian farmhouse hides a surprisingly modern interior in Tuscany The main living areas are arranged linearly, while two courtyards are placed to the north of the main structure. The master en suite is located in the center of the home and separates the living room on the home’s east end from the kitchen on the opposite side that also extends to a covered outdoor dining area to the north. A secondary bedroom is placed on the far west end. The use of simple natural materials throughout ties the building into the landscape. + Giuseppe Gurrieri Studio Via ArchDaily Images © Filippo Poli

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Green-roofed house blends beautifully into a Mediterranean landscape

Wind energy sets sail on the Great Lakes

January 18, 2018 by  
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Proposals to build turbines in North America’s Great Lakes have stalled in recent years — but a new initiative aims to break through the barriers.

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Wind energy sets sail on the Great Lakes

Tightening the net on illegal fishing

January 18, 2018 by  
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Although it has taken years, governments and the international community are finally acting to end this crime and mete out fitting punishments.

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Cold front turns Niagara Falls into a glorious icy wonderland

January 1, 2018 by  
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In case you hadn’t heard: It’s cold in the Eastern half of North America. So cold, in fact, that everything surrounding the Niagara Falls has frozen over, creating a mesmerizing winter wonderland. NIAGARA FALLS, ? BY AARON LYNETT #inspo #weather #snow #winter #goals #niagarafalls #canada #travel A post shared by MISC ZINE (@misc.zine) on Jan 1, 2018 at 5:23am PST The frigid temperatures east of the Rocky Mountains have been setting new records. This week, it has been -15 Fahrenheit in Niagara Falls , while Edmonton in Alberta felt like -40 degrees; that’s colder than Mars is right now. When it gets that cold, windows break, electric poles snap and most people try not to head outside, which is probably good because many cars won’t start anyway. Related: Thresher sharks die in Massachusetts – likely due to cold shock 70 Millionen Amerikaner erwarten die kälteste Silvesternacht seit Jahrzehnten – die Temperaturen werden an manchen Orten mehr als 20 Grad unter den üblichen liegen. #niagarafalls #new_year_2018 #happynewyear #winter #winterusa #ice #naturephotography #horseshoefalls #winterwonderland A post shared by tagesschau (@tagesschau) on Dec 31, 2017 at 6:35am PST Ice forms on Niagara Falls every year, and the falls last froze over in 2014 during the infamous Polar Vortex. But that doesn’t make the phenomenon any less breathtaking. If you can’t visit Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side to witness the magic yourself, check out these photos from brave visitors. Fire and ice A post shared by Kael Rebick (@punkodelish) on Dec 27, 2017 at 6:04am PST The beauty and wonder of Niagara Falls #winterwonderland #niagarafalls A post shared by Catherine McLoughlin (@cmcloughlin1) on Jan 1, 2018 at 6:57am PST Happy 2018 everyone! ?? . . . . . . . . . . #newyear #2018 #fireworks #niagarafalls #horseshoefalls #ontario #canada #niagrafallscanada #niagaraparks #canada150 #waterfall #toronto #nye #wanderlust #instatravel #instagood #instadaily #travelbug #visitcanada #just_features #visitontario #potd #photographoftheday #explorecanada #rainbow #niagaraparks #niagararegion #beautifuldestinstion #exploretocreate #passionpassport @canoncanada @cangeo @aircanada @weheart_hamilton @mycanadianphotos @urbanizercan @imagesofcanada @canada @enjoycanada @tourcanada @nikoncanada @huffpostcanada @aroundtheworldpix @earth_shotz @earthofficial @earthdecanted @earthpix @earthfocus @natgeoyourshot @natgeo @natgeotravel @natgeoadventure @natgeochannel @ig_color @splendid_ig @splendid_earth @ontariotravel @discoverontario @ontarionature @niagarafallstourismcanada @nature.geography @bbc_travel @ig_bestpicworldtravel @worldtravelscapes @ig_canada @canadiancreatives @torontoclx @welivetoexplore @we_heart_ottawa @paradise.canada @tourcanada @splendidcanada @enjoycanada @vsco @illgrammers @moodygrams @gramslayers A post shared by Tanvi Javkar Photography (@tjavkar) on Dec 31, 2017 at 11:06pm PST Still cold on New Year's Eve at Niagara Falls. This is a view of Horseshoe falls from the Behind the Falls viewpoint . . @sonyalpha #a7RIII with a @Sony 24-70/2.8 #gmaster . . #sonyalpha #sonyphotography #sonyaoi #niagarafalls #niagara #horseshoefalls #canada #ontario #travel #adventure #explore #cold #winter #tonygale #tonygalephoto #sonyimages #potd #agameoftones #sonyalphaclub #ice #frozen A post shared by Tony Gale (@tonygalephoto) on Dec 31, 2017 at 10:15am PST Via Sydney Morning Herald Lead image via Unsplash

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Cold front turns Niagara Falls into a glorious icy wonderland

Tesla to TRIPLE number of Superchargers by end of 2018

August 7, 2017 by  
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For those who are still giddy over the newly-released Tesla Model 3 , prepare for even more good news. By the end of 2018, Tesla will install three times more superchargers — the plug-in electricity pumps required to charge Tesla batteries — around the world. The news was announced during the Model 3 ’s unveiling. While debuting the Model 3 At the Tesla Factory in Fremont, California, Musk announced that the company is hoping to achieve its first affordably-priced electric vehicle. He then acknowledged that more Superchargers will be required, as the factory will be producing a total of 500,000 Model 3s — an eventual rate of 10,000 cars a week — annually. “By the end of next year, there will be three times as many Superchargers as there are today. So that should really help out a lot,” said Musk. As Inverse reports, there are presently about 6,124 Superchargers around the world. By the end of next year, there will be over 18,000 worldwide. Tesla’s CEO said, “Eventually you’ll be able to go anywhere on Earth” using the Superchargers. Related: BMW to rival the Tesla Model 3 with an all-electric 3 Series Of course, one will still be able to charge their electric vehicle in other nations even if a Supercharger isn’t available. The stations make the task easier, however. This is because Superchargers add 170 miles of range in 30 minutes. Home wall chargers, on the other hand, only add about 26 miles in the same timeframe. Supercharger stations are presently located in North America , Europe, Asia and the Middle East. 889 are presently open for business but in no time at all, thousands more will dot roadways. + Tesla Via Inverse Images via Tesla

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Tesla to TRIPLE number of Superchargers by end of 2018

The 4 Things You MUST Test for in Your Home Right Now

July 14, 2017 by  
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Editor’s Note: This post contains affiliate links, which helps fund our Recycling Directory, the most comprehensive in North America. They’re silent, odorless, invisible and potentially deadly. Discover the four home tests you must…

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Easy DIY Toy Cleaners You Can Make Today

July 6, 2017 by  
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Editor’s note: This post contains affiliate links, which helps fund our Recycling Directory, the most comprehensive in North America. Cleaning toys is something we periodically do at our house, especially if someone has been sick. Lately, I…

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