2017 was the hottest year on record for Earth’s oceans

January 29, 2018 by  
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Last year was the hottest year on record for Earth’s oceans , according to two scientists at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (IAP/CAS). The increase in ocean heat led to a 1.7-millimeter global sea level rise – and other consequences like “declining ocean oxygen, bleaching of coral reefs, and melting sea ice and ice shelves.” The ocean absorbs over 90 percent of the planet’s “residual heat related to global warming ,” according to the researchers, Lijing Cheng and Jiang Zhu, whose work recently came out as an early online release in the journal Advances in Atmospheric Sciences . While they said the increase in ocean heat content for last year happened in most of the world’s regions, the Atlantic and Southern Oceans displayed more warming than the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Related: Rising ocean temperatures are cooking the Great Barrier Reef to death According to National Geographic , the two scrutinized ocean temperature data from multiple institutions, including the United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Scientists started gathering the data during the 1950’s – and in the late 1990’s, ocean temperatures started to take off, per the publication. The IAP ocean analysis reveals “the last five years have been the five warmest years in the ocean.” National Geographic pointed out people visiting the beach probably wouldn’t notice the temperature rise, but a warming ocean could still have damaging impacts. Sea ice coverage and thickness have both taken a hit. And the window to save Earth’s coral reefs is closing quickly . The researchers said in their paper, “The global ocean heat content record robustly represents the signature of global warming…The human greenhouse gas footprint continues to impact the Earth system.” + Advances in Atmospheric Sciences Via Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences , The Guardian and National Geographic Images via Deposit Photos ,  Ant Rozetzky on Unsplash and Tim Lautensack on Unsplash

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2017 was the hottest year on record for Earth’s oceans

You can now buy your own Elon Musk ‘Boring Company’ flamethrower

January 29, 2018 by  
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Winter got you down? Tired of snow and ice that just won’t quit? Perhaps some shooting flames will ease your winter woes. Elon Musk ‘s The Boring Company recently announced that aspiring pyromaniacal customers can preorder a company-branded flamethrower for the cool price of $500. Described on the company’s website as “the world’s safest flamethrower,” the latest device presented by Elon Musk is the end result of a pledge that Musk made this past December, in which he promised to start selling flamethrowers if The Boring Company sold 50,000 hats. Now that the hat milestone has been reached, Musk has kept his word – and he’s already sold $4 million worth. Don’t do this. Also, I want to be clear that a flamethrower is a super terrible idea. Definitely don’t buy one. Unless you like fun. A post shared by Elon Musk (@elonmusk) on Jan 27, 2018 at 5:29pm PST Technically, The Boring Company’s flamethrower is not what it claims to be. A real flamethrower, such as the ones infamously used during World War II , is capable of shooting intense flames up to fifty feet. Agricultural flamethrowers, used for controlled burns, are also capable of throwing fire over a distance. In contrast, The Boring Company’s flamethrower is more akin to an oversized lighter or crème brûlée torch in terms of range. Related: Elon Musk wins $50 million bet by installing world’s largest lithium-ion battery in under 100 days When the zombie apocalypse happens, you’ll be glad you bought a flamethrower. Works against hordes of the undead or your money back! — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 28, 2018 Musk has humorously advertised the flamethrower as being “sentient.” He has similarly explained that the flamethrower’s safe word is “ cryptocurrency ” and that each flamethrower comes with a free blockchain. For safety’s sake, The Boring Company is also selling an admittedly overpriced fire extinguisher, with company branding of course, for $30. The Company also promises that “aspiring flamethrower aficionados will be sent a terms and conditions rhyme for review and acceptance” before they are granted the gift of fire. Whether The Boring Company intends to incorporate flamethrower technology into its tunnel-building efforts remains to be seen. Via AutoBlog and CNBC Images via The Boring Company and Elon Musk/Instagram

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You can now buy your own Elon Musk ‘Boring Company’ flamethrower

Rising ocean temperatures are cooking the Great Barrier Reef to death

April 10, 2017 by  
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Australia’s Great Barrier Reef offers dramatic evidence of the reality of climate change . Scientists have found an astonishing two-thirds of the reef undergoing mass coral bleaching as warmer ocean temperatures are basically boiling them to death. James Kerry, a scientist with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies , told CNN when ocean temperatures are hot for long periods of time, corals don’t simply bleach but “cook and they die very quickly.” 2016 saw a bleaching event that was the worst coral die-off we’ve ever recorded, and now a 2017 event makes matters worse. ARC Centre director Terry Hughes said the impact of back-to-back bleaching sprawls across 900 miles; only the southern third of the Great Barrier Reef is unharmed. It’s the second time in only 12 months scientists have recorded mass bleaching in the reef after aerial surveys. Related: Great Barrier Reef bleaching is the “worst coral die-off” in recorded history And 2017’s bleaching can’t be explained away by El Niño . Hughes said the bleaching “is caused by record-breaking temperatures driven by global warming .” The Great Barrier Reef has experienced severe bleaching in 1998, 2002, and now 2016 and 2017, according to scientists. Kerry said bleached corals don’t always die, but take at least a decade to make a full recovery, so with back-to-back bleaching they expect coral loss. Tropical Cyclone Debbie didn’t help either. The storm may have left damage in its wake when it hit part of the Great Barrier Reef at the end of March. Hughes said in a statement, “Clearly the reef is struggling with multiple impacts. Without a doubt the most pressing of these is global warming. As temperatures continue to rise the corals will experience more and more of these events: one degree Celsius of warming so far has already caused four events in the past 19 years. Ultimately we need to cut carbon emissions , and the window to do so is rapidly closing.” Via the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and CNN Images via Bette Willis and Ed Roberts/ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies

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Rising ocean temperatures are cooking the Great Barrier Reef to death

No, the Great Barrier Reef isnt dead – but it is damaged

October 17, 2016 by  
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Last week, social media users from around the world were shocked and horrified to find the Great Barrier Reef had been “declared dead” in a viral symbolic obituary from Outside Magazine. There was only one problem: the premise of the article isn’t actually true, and scientists have been scrambling to correct the record in the following days. What is true is that the reef is struggling due to climate change, and needs urgent help if it’s going to survive. Earlier this year, a shocking 93% of the reef began experiencing a phenomenon known as “bleaching,” which occurs when warm ocean temperatures stress the reef, causing the tiny colored algae living within the coral organisms to become ejected. Without the algae, the coral eventually dies. In fact, this is what’s recently happened to about 22% of the coral on the reef. While this is the worst mass bleaching event on record, the majority of the reef is still alive and struggling. Related: This startling video shows coral bleaching in action The viral obituary has marine scientists scrambling to correct the record. In a statement to the Huffington Post , Russell Brainard, chief of the Coral Reef Ecosystem Program at NOAA’s Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, expressed his frustration. While the article may have been a well-intentioned attempt to highlight the urgency of the situation, he worries that people will take it at face value and assume that there’s no work to be done to save what’s left of the reef. In fact, there is reason for hope: one study last year found that even after massive bleaching events, it is possible for reefs to fully recover. However, it’s a slow process that requires stable conditions to occur — something the reef may not have if bleaching events continue to occur at a faster and faster rate. Related: More than one-third of the coral is dead in parts of Great Barrier Reef If we don’t act soon to protect our oceans, we may see the world’s coral reefs perish for real. The driving cause of coral mass bleaching events is climate change , and if global temperatures continue to rise, we will reach a point at which coral simply can’t survive. That’s why it’s so important to vote for candidates with a strong environmental record, write to our representatives, and do what we can to reduce our individual carbon footprint . Via Slashdot Images via Wikipedia and Oregon State University

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No, the Great Barrier Reef isnt dead – but it is damaged

2014 is on Track to be the Hottest Year in Recorded History

October 20, 2014 by  
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It’s happened again: new data from both NASA and NOAA show that, for the 355th month in a row , September 2014 was hotter than the 20th Century average for the month. Moreover, since September 2014 is the warmest on record, chances are further increased that 2014 will eclipse 2010 as the hottest year in recorded history. Read the rest of 2014 is on Track to be the Hottest Year in Recorded History Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Climate Change , El Niño , giss , global warming , hottest month , nasa , NCDC , NOAA , ocean temperatures , september , temperature records , warmest month

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2014 is on Track to be the Hottest Year in Recorded History

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