Valuable wetlands are disappearing 3 times faster than forests, new study warns

September 28, 2018 by  
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Wetlands around the world are disappearing at an alarming rate. New research shows that these valuable ecosystems are vanishing at a rate three times that of forests . Unless significant changes are made, the disappearance of wetlands could cause severe damage around the globe. The Global Wetland Outlook , which was completed by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, found that more than a third of the wetlands on Earth have disappeared over a 45-year period. The pace that wetlands are vanishing jumped significantly after the year 2000, and regions all over the planet were impacted equally. Unfortunately, there is a handful of reasons why wetlands are diminishing around the world. This includes climate change , urbanization, human population growth and variable consumption patterns, all of which have contributed to the way land is used. Related: Natural wetland in India filters 198 million gallons of wastewater a day with zero chemicals There are several different types of wetlands found on Earth, including marshes, lakes, peatlands and rivers. Lagoons, coral reefs , mangroves and estuaries also fall into the wetland category. In total, wetlands take up more than 12.1 million square kilometers, an area larger than Greenland. Wetlands are crucial, because they provide almost all of the world’s access to freshwater — something that is key to survival. Humans also use wetlands for hydropower and medicines. From an environmental perspective, wetlands help retain carbon and regulate global warming . They also serve as the ecosystems for 40 percent of living species on Earth, providing food, water, breeding spaces and raw materials for these animals to live. If the wetlands keep vanishing at the current rate, many species will go as well. “The Global Wetland Outlook is a wake-up call — not only on the steep rate of loss of the world’s wetlands but also on the critical services they provide. Without them, the global agenda on sustainable development will not be achieved,” said Martha Rojas Urrego, Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. “We need urgent collective action to reverse trends on wetland loss and degradation and secure both the future of wetlands and our own survival at the same time.” With wetlands in danger of disappearing, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands has pledged to make saving these regions a top priority. The parties involved with the group have targeted 2,300 sites for protection and hope to expand that to include more wetlands around the globe. + Ramsar Convention on Wetlands Image via Jeanethe Falvey / EPA

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Valuable wetlands are disappearing 3 times faster than forests, new study warns

An updated Scandinavian summer cottage weaves Japanese influences throughout

July 18, 2018 by  
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There are few better places to spend a Scandinavian summer than in a breezy cottage by the water. One stellar example is the Summer House completed by Swedish architecture firm Kod Arkitekter in the northern Stockholm archipelago. Located on an island and surrounded by the forest and sea, this home makes the most of its idyllic surroundings with a design that maximizes indoor-outdoor living and combines Scandinavian cottage traditions with Japanese minimalism. Built of timber to reference the surrounding forest, the Summer House comprises a renovated old cottage and a new addition. The clients asked Kod Arkitekter to save and update the cottage — a 65-square-meter structure — and seamlessly integrate it into the extension , a long volume that stretches perpendicular to the existing building. To connect the two buildings, the architects clad both volumes in vertical stained strips of lumber and also topped the house with a dark roofing material. The roof extends over the outdoor patio so that it can be enjoyed rain or shine. Related: Timber-clad waterfront house in Norway epitomizes modern Scandinavian design “With its elongated shape, window setting and the location of the rooms and the patios , the design maximizes the outlook on the water and the unspoiled nature,” explained Kod Arkitekter of the 210-square-meter cottage. “In addition to the Scandinavian traditions, the house draws inspiration from Japan , in an interpretation where simplicity, wood and the relationship with the surrounding nature are at the heart of the architecture.” To mitigate the sloping site, the west end of the T-shaped house is partially elevated on steel posts. The private rooms can be found in the home’s north and south wings. The common areas are located in the west wing, which faces views of the water. Framed by large windows, the communal spaces connect to the outdoors for an indoor-outdoor living experience. + Kod Arkitekter Images via Måns Berg

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An updated Scandinavian summer cottage weaves Japanese influences throughout

The number of electric vehicles on the streets could triple in two years

May 30, 2018 by  
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Good news for the planet: the electric vehicle (EV) industry hit a new record last year, with more than one million EVs sold, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). The result? There are now over three million electric vehicles on roads worldwide. And if that weren’t good enough news,  Bloomberg has reported  that the number of EVs traveling the streets could triple in just two years. The IEA just released their Global EV Outlook 2018 report, and it contains some exciting news for the electric vehicle industry. On average, sales could climb 24 percent each year up to 2030, and by the end of this decade alone, the global EV fleet could boast 13 million vehicles. The number of electric buses increased to 370,000 from 345,000 in 2016, and there are now 250 million electric two-wheelers such as scooters or motorcycles. Related: World’s first electric road that charges moving vehicles debuts in Sweden In their press release on the report, IEA said China is still the world’s biggest electric car market; it accounted for over half of the electric cars sold in 2017, with almost 580,000 cars total. The United States followed with approximately 280,000 cars sold last year. To keep up, the world will require at least 10 more battery gigafactories , Bloomberg said. Demand for cobalt and lithium is increasing and could rise tenfold unless technological advances reduce that figure. 60 percent of cobalt in the world is mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where child labor still occurs, so battery manufacturers have been pressured to show their wares are made sustainably. Charging infrastructure is keeping pace with the electric mobility revolution, according to the IEA, which said there were nearly three million private chargers around the world at homes and workplaces in 2017. There were also 430,000 public chargers, and about one-quarter of those were fast chargers . The IEA credited electric vehicle growth largely to “government policy, including public procurement programs, financial incentives reducing the cost of purchase of EVs, tightened fuel-economy standards and regulations on the emission of local pollutants, low- and zero-emission vehicle mandates and a variety of local measures.” + Global EV Outlook 2018 + International Energy Agency Via Bloomberg Image via Wikimedia Commons

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The number of electric vehicles on the streets could triple in two years

The new solar buyer isn’t who you expect

July 13, 2015 by  
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Here’s why the “on demand” economy is brightening the outlook for solar among younger “true believers.”

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The new solar buyer isn’t who you expect

Sou Fujimoto’s Modular Outlook Tower is Cooled by Indoor Waterfalls

November 21, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Sou Fujimoto’s Modular Outlook Tower is Cooled by Indoor Waterfalls Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Cooling Mists , Doha , Indoor Waterfalls , Modular Arches , Modular Tower , Outlook Tower , Particles of Light , qatar , Sou Fujimoto , Souk Mirage , Waterfront Complex        

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Sou Fujimoto’s Modular Outlook Tower is Cooled by Indoor Waterfalls

Susana Soares’ Glass Device Uses Honey Bees to Detect Cancer

November 21, 2013 by  
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At this year’s Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven, Portuguese designer Susana Soares presented a device that can detect cancer and other diseases using honey bees . Known for their extraordinary sense of smell, bees can detect airborne molecules in the parts per trillion range and can be trained to recognize certain smells associated with diseases such as lung, skin and pancreatic cancer, as well as tuberculosis. Read the rest of Susana Soares’ Glass Device Uses Honey Bees to Detect Cancer Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bees cancer , bees diagnostics , bees diseases , bees medicine , Dutch Design Week , green design , honey bees training , pavlov’s reflex bees , portugese designers , Susana Soares bee’s , trained bees        

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Susana Soares’ Glass Device Uses Honey Bees to Detect Cancer

Rio+20: Climate Change Damage Could Cost Latin America $100 Billion Per Year

June 7, 2012 by  
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With the Rio+20 conference set to start on June 20th, a report from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has warned that if climate change continues to go unchecked, the damage costs to Latin American and Caribbean countries could total $100 billion per year by 2050 . According to the report, those costs will be a reality if average temperatures rise 2 degrees celsius from pre-industrial levels, which is looking very likely. Read the rest of Rio+20: Climate Change Damage Could Cost Latin America $100 Billion Per Year Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Caribbean climate change , Climate Change , climate change damage costs , environmental protection , fossil fuel consumption , Global Environment Outlook , inter-american development bank , latin america climate change , over population , rio+20 conference , un environment programme , UN environment report , urbanisation

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Rio+20: Climate Change Damage Could Cost Latin America $100 Billion Per Year

After 20 Years, Consumers are Finally Getting Greener

November 30, 2011 by  
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Although the outlook on most environmental issues is pretty bleak, taking stock of the progress made in the relatively short timeframe of the last two decades, it really does appear that we’ve come a long way.

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After 20 Years, Consumers are Finally Getting Greener

New Research Reaffirms the Grim Outlook for Polar Bears

November 25, 2010 by  
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Photo credit: Chi King / Creative Commons , laverrue / Creative Commons By now, it’s old news: Melting Arctic ice forces polar bears south, onto drier land and into warmer climates than they are accustomed. That the entire population will make this migration is inevitable, the question is: What will happen when they arrive? Many researchers have claimed that polar bears will simply adjust their diets to su…

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New Research Reaffirms the Grim Outlook for Polar Bears

Posters Help Send Plastiki Ship’s Message On World’s Trash Gyres (Slideshow)

June 18, 2010 by  
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Image credit: Sarah Illenberger + Tia Grazette/ Plastiki “Ever since the Industrial Revolution in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries,” David de Rothschild wrote in TreeHugger , “it seems the barometers of success and modernity within society have been measured by our interaction, or rather lack of interaction, with the natural world.” The impact of this outlook, he continues, is palpable: Masses of

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Posters Help Send Plastiki Ship’s Message On World’s Trash Gyres (Slideshow)

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