IPCC landmark report warns about the state of the oceans, polar ice content and the climate crisis

September 26, 2019 by  
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The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) — which is, in fact, the UN body responsible for communicating on the deteriorating climate — has officially recognized the oceans as a critical component in the climate change crisis. Warming ocean temperatures are becoming commonplace and are melting ice sheets and glaciers and contributing to rising sea levels. Additionally, the warm waters affect the ocean’s oxygen levels. As these phenomena accelerate toward a tipping point, nature’s ecosystems will be disrupted, and human society will be adversely affected. The IPCC’s announcement of its Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate — which is based on almost 7,000 peer-reviewed research articles — signals a crucial milestone. If things remain as the status quo, then ecological upheaval is imminent. Related: Even scientists are shocked by the latest UN report on climate change Our oceans comprise an important habitat that many living things, including humans, rely on for food and sustenance. Oceans also collectively absorb more than a quarter of the human-made carbon dioxide being produced, while simultaneously providing half of the oxygen created on our planet. Similarly, more than 90 percent of the heat generated via greenhouse gas emissions is likewise absorbed by our oceans. In this way, the oceans play a significant role in global climate regulation. But our climate is in dire crisis. Rising global temperatures are making oceans warmer through marine heatwaves. Warm ocean water is less likely to hold oxygen, leading to subsequent ocean acidification. Plus, warmer waters bleach coral reefs and also increase the likelihood of water chemistry disruptions, so that both bacterial and algal blooms become more common, as do red tides. Marine biodiversity is thrown off-kilter, leaving certain ocean regions devoid of life. Mass endangerment and extinctions of particular marine species becomes inevitable, and fishing yields dwindle considerably. Hence, for the 70-member coalition known as the Ocean and Climate Platform, the ocean’s sustainability comes into question. To stem the tide of climate catastrophe, the authors of the report are warning humanity and calling for policy change. If human-induced warming continues, there will come a time when the damage can no longer be healed. Immediate collaborative action is required, before it is too late, to reverse and remedy the climate crisis. + IPCC Image via Oregon State University

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IPCC landmark report warns about the state of the oceans, polar ice content and the climate crisis

The last time Earth was this hot was 125,000 years ago

January 23, 2017 by  
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Proving once more that climate change is a runaway problem, scientists just revealed that the earth is the hottest it’s been in 125,000 years. The last time global temperatures were this high, sea levels completely covered the land on which New Orleans currently sits. According to a new report in Science Magazine , today’s ocean surface temperatures are comparable to those dating back 125,000 years. Jeremy Hoffman and colleagues at Oregon State University studied chemical clues in 104 seafloor sediment samples taken from areas around the world. By comparing the samples, they were able to create a picture of what the climate actually looked like 125,000 years ago. Related; Scientists warn rapidly melting glacier in West Antarctica could cause serious global havoc Scientists regularly look to the last interglacial period to model how Earth’s rising temperature will affect sea levels. Sea levels rose 20 to 30 feet above their current levels, and the average global sea surface temperatures at that time were almost identical to the 1995 to 2014 average temperatures, according to the researchers. According to Science News, this new information will help scientists improve predictions about how our oceans will respond to climate change. + Science Magazine Via Science News Images via NPS Climate Change Response , Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade , and NASA

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The last time Earth was this hot was 125,000 years ago

Green-roofed visitor center blends into Quebecs lakeside landscape

January 23, 2017 by  
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This handsome timber building by the lake looks like a sumptuous holiday retreat, but rest assured it’s open to the public for all to enjoy. Canadian design studio Anne Carrier Architecture completed the visitor center in Quebec’s Mont Orford National Park and skillfully blends the building into the landscape using a black-stained facade and green roof . The building, known as the Bonnallie Services Center, is one of several design projects the architecture firm has completed for the national park. Located next the stunning Stukely Lake, the 430-square-meter Bonnallie Services Center embraces views of the lake and mountains beyond. The two-story building is partially embedded into the earth and is angled to maximize views and frame an outdoor amphitheater . Full-height glazing is installed on the second floor for panoramic viewing and opens up to a covered outdoor terrace with seating. Related: Visitor center disguised as a hill to welcome visitors to Denmark’s historic Kalø Castle Ruins The visitor center is clad in black-stained timber to make the building recede into the landscape. In contrast, the interior is dominated by pale cedar . In addition to a welcome center for visitors, the contemporary building comprises boat maintenance and storage facilities, kitchen, and gift shop. “Exterior and interior spaces are connected by a network of walkways, stairs, covered passages nooks that are inspired by the natural meandering of walking trails,” said the architects to Dezeen . + Anne Carrier Architecture Via Dezeen Images via Anne Carrier Architecture , by Stephane Groleau

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Green-roofed visitor center blends into Quebecs lakeside landscape

Tiny village kills thousands of dolphins for their teeth in the Solomon Islands

May 6, 2015 by  
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Between 1976 and 2013, a small village in the Solomon Islands killed 15,400 dolphins —for their teeth. Prized for use as jewelry, currency and even as bride price, the teeth fetched about $0.70 apiece in 2013, according to a report published in the journal Royal Society Open Science . Researchers from the South Pacific Whale Research Consortium, Solomon Island’s Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources and Oregon State University Marine Mammal Institute traveled to Fanalei in 2013 to investigate reports that the practice of driving and killing dolphins for their teeth had resurfaced despite an arrangement whereby Earth Island Institute would give the villagers cash in return for sparing the dolphins’ lives. In 2013 alone, this one village killed 1,600 dolphins, according to the report. The authors warn that the increasing commercial value of teeth, also used as currency, is likely to accelerate dolphin killing in the future. Via Aquila-Style Image via Shutterstock Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: conservation , dolphin teeth , dolphins , Fanalei , killing dolphins , News , Oregon State University Marine Mammal Institute , Royal Society Open Science , Solomon Island’s Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources , Solomon Islands , South Pacific Whale Research Consortium

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Tiny village kills thousands of dolphins for their teeth in the Solomon Islands

Spent Nuclear Fuel Could Be Used to Sterilize Medical Products and Foods

April 11, 2013 by  
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Photo via Shutterstock For decades, engineers have been looking for something to do with spent nuclear waste other than letting it just sit in a repository. There are 104 nuclear reactors in the country with tons of old fuel just waiting to find a purpose. Russell Goff, a masters student in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at Oregon State University and his company G-Demption LLC see the material as a way to sterilize medical equipment and foods. Holding an isotope in a patent-pending tube, he can harness the gamma rays to kill harmful bacteria. Read the rest of Spent Nuclear Fuel Could Be Used to Sterilize Medical Products and Foods Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bacteria , cobalt 60 , department of nuclear engineering , DNA , ethylene oxide , food , g-demption llc , gamma rays , medical supplies , nuclear waste , oregon state , PVC , russell goff , yucca mountain        

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Spent Nuclear Fuel Could Be Used to Sterilize Medical Products and Foods

Forecasters Predict “Above Average” Hurricane Season with More Tropical Storms Than Ever Before

April 11, 2013 by  
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Photo of Lower Manhattan © Iwan Baan The Gulf Coast and Atlantic states should brace themselves, as forecasters predict that 2013’s hurricane season may be above average. Experts at Colorado State University predict eighteen tropical storms for this season, and half are projected to be intense enough to morph into hurricanes . This forecast is six tropical storms above the average twelve per season. Read the rest of Forecasters Predict “Above Average” Hurricane Season with More Tropical Storms Than Ever Before Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: eco design , extreme weather , green design , hurricane increase , Hurricane Sandy , hurricane season , rising temperatures , sustainable design        

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Forecasters Predict “Above Average” Hurricane Season with More Tropical Storms Than Ever Before

Ancient Marine Diatoms Could be Used to Make Biofuels, Electronics and Health Foods

October 23, 2012 by  
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Diatoms photo from Shutterstock Diatoms are tiny marine life forms that have been around since the time of the dinosaurs. Now a team from Oregon State University believes that they could be used to make biofuel production from algae truly cost-effective, as they can simultaneously produce other valuable products such as semiconductors, biomedical products and even health foods . Read the rest of Ancient Marine Diatoms Could be Used to Make Biofuels, Electronics and Health Foods Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: algae biofuel , biofuel production , diatoms , Dinosaur , electronics , health foods , marine lifeforms , oregon state university

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Ancient Marine Diatoms Could be Used to Make Biofuels, Electronics and Health Foods

Four Corner Store Upcycles Old Cameras into Cool Urban Designs

October 23, 2012 by  
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Four Corner Store  recently launched this series of upcycled cameras and stands — a quirky collection of cameras that have been transformed into camera art installations. The designs, formed from old analog cameras, are created by a range of artists from Asia and the US, who clean up the salvaged items to build new vintage designs. The end result is a functional piece of art that is at once innovative and nostalgic. Read the rest of Four Corner Store Upcycles Old Cameras into Cool Urban Designs Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: darkroom army , fourcornerstore , green design , PHU , Recycled Materials , sustainable design , Upcycled Items , vintage cameras

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Four Corner Store Upcycles Old Cameras into Cool Urban Designs

OSU’s New Microbial Fuel Cell Can Generate 10-50 Times More Power From Wastewater

August 23, 2012 by  
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A team of engineers from Oregon State University has developed a breakthrough microbial fuel cell that is capable of generating 10 to 50 times more electricity from waste than other MFCs. The team hopes that their innovation will enable waste treatment plants to not only power themselves, but also sell excess electricity back to the grid. Read the rest of OSU’s New Microbial Fuel Cell Can Generate 10-50 Times More Power From Wastewater Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Biodegradable , hong liu , microbial , microbial fuel cell , oregon state university , Poo Power! , poop power , sewage plant , wastewater

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OSU’s New Microbial Fuel Cell Can Generate 10-50 Times More Power From Wastewater

Making Biofuels from West Coast Forests is a Bad Idea

October 26, 2011 by  
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Flickr / CC BY 3.0 Let’s Not Repeat the Corn Ethanol Debacle Scientists from the Oregon State University have published in Nature Climate Change the largest and most comprehensive study to date on the environmental impacts of making biofuel from West Coast forests. What they found after crunching the data isn’t very encouraging for those who would like to revive the forestry sector by turning trees into fuel…. Read the full story on TreeHugger

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