Wildfires in Siberia are emitting enough carbon to harm the entire planet

May 16, 2018 by  
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Wildfires are raging in Russia and Siberia , and they could have drastic consequences for the entire planet. Blazes burning in the Amur region since the start of 2018 have damaged an area around six times bigger than during the same time period in 2017, according to Greenpeace — and they have released nearly twice the annual carbon emissions of Moscow in a single month. This spring, dry, warm conditions in Siberia have readied the area for wildfires, according to Earther — and in May, the fires have picked up in a big way. Local farmers sometimes light fires in Siberia to replenish soil nutrients or clear land, but winds can cause the fires to blaze out of control. And more of the #AmurOblast wildfires? #Russia ?? 09 May 2018 #Copernicus #Sentinel -2B?? Album with even more and full-size images here: https://t.co/j0NIs2BNuS #wildfire #????????????????? pic.twitter.com/ddvP1jdKTE — Pierre Markuse (@Pierre_Markuse) May 12, 2018 Related: NASA map shows how climate change has set the world on fire Following a winter with little snow and strong winds, areas in Siberia that were forests just a few decades ago have succumbed to intense wildfires. And these out-of-control fires aren’t just bad news for locals, but for people all over the Earth: experts estimate that the Amur fire has released around 110 megatons of carbon dioxide . According to Greenpeace, “Each wildfire heats up the planet. At the scale we’re seeing in Amur, that’s a large amount of CO2, and a major setback in efforts to meet Paris Climate Agreement goals.” Soot from the wildfires also doesn’t bode well for the planet. Wind can carry black carbon to Arctic ice and snow, impairing their reflective properties, which “increases the amount of solar radiation absorbed by the surface” and “accelerates the melting of snow and ice,” Greenpeace said. Humans are responsible for as much as 90 percent of wildfires — but this means they can also prevent them, by taking steps like completely extinguishing cigarettes or bonfires and never leaving fires unattended. Via Greenpeace and Earther Images via Depositphotos (1)

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Wildfires in Siberia are emitting enough carbon to harm the entire planet

Scientists just detected helium in an exoplanet’s atmosphere for the first time

May 3, 2018 by  
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For the first time, researchers have identified the presence of helium within the atmosphere of a planet beyond our solar system, offering yet another glimpse into the weather patterns of exoplanets. This discovery is particularly notable for the methods used to detect helium, demonstrating that it is possible to identify the atmospheric composition of some exoplanets with current technology. Although scientists have long expected to find helium on large exoplanets, its presence on planet WASP-107b has now been confirmed, thanks to a technique that involves analysis of the light spectrum of the upper levels of the planet’s atmosphere. “We hope to use this technique with the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope,” said lead researcher Jessica Spake in a statement. “For example, to learn what kind of planets have large envelopes of hydrogen and helium, and how long planets can hold on to their atmospheres . By measuring infrared light, we can see further out into space than if we were using ultraviolet light .” Related: The Earth-like planets orbiting this star could hold 250 times more water than Earth An ultra-low-density planet, WASP-107b is roughly equivalent to the size of Jupiter but only has 12 percent of that planet’s mass. WASP-107, the star around which WASP-107b orbits every six days, is so powerful that it is gradually dissolving the exoplanet’s atmosphere. As a result, WASP-107b leaves a comet-like trail of helium in its wake. “The helium we detected extends far out to space as a tenuous cloud surrounding the planet,” explained study co-author Tom Evans in a statement . “If smaller, Earth-sized planets have similar helium clouds, this new technique offers an exciting means to study their upper atmospheres in the very near future.” Via Space.com and Nature Images via Nature / EngineHouseVFX and ESA/Hubble, NASA, M. Kornmesser

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Scientists just detected helium in an exoplanet’s atmosphere for the first time

Scientists pledge to sequence the DNA of all 1.5 million known species on Earth

April 25, 2018 by  
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You may have heard of the Human Genome Project, but an international group of researchers has recently announced plans to go one step further. The Earth BioGenome Project is a massive effort to sequence the DNA of every single one of the 1.5 million species on Earth – and it will officially be the largest genome sequencing project ever undertaken. Ultimately, scientists hope that it will help us understand and protect the plants, animals, and fungi that call our planet home. Researchers announced their ambitious plans this week at the World Economic Forum , writing that “increasing our understanding of Earth’s biodiversity and responsibly stewarding its resources are among the most crucial scientific and social challenges of the new millennium. These challenges require fundamental new knowledge of the organization, evolution, functions, and interactions among millions of the planet’s organisms.” Related: Atacama ‘alien’ skeleton’s identity revealed by genetic testing So far, we’ve sequenced just 0.2 percent (about 2,500) of the eukaryotic species on Earth, so we have a long way to go to before reaching the 1.5 million known species – and that doesn’t even take into account the estimated 10 to 15 million undiscovered ones. The entire project is estimated to take about 10 years and $4.7 billion to complete. While that may sound like a ton of money, sequencing a genome is just a fraction of the cost that it used to be. In fact, today sequencing a new species costs just $30,000, compared to the $2.7 billion it cost to sequence the first human genome. Once completed, the data will be made available as part of the public domain. Via Gizmodo Image via Nikola Jovanovic and Deposit Photos

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Scientists pledge to sequence the DNA of all 1.5 million known species on Earth

Q&A: Author Talks Simple Tips to Protect the Planet

April 3, 2018 by  
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The author of a new book about protecting the planet … The post Q&A: Author Talks Simple Tips to Protect the Planet appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Q&A: Author Talks Simple Tips to Protect the Planet

Planet parade to dazzle stargazers this week here’s what you need to know

March 7, 2018 by  
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Mercury , Venus , Mars , Jupiter , and Saturn : those are the planets stargazers in the Northern Hemisphere will be able to glimpse this week during what The Weather Channel called a planet parade. While you won’t be able to spot them all at the same time, you could snag views of Mercury and Venus after sunset and Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn before dawn — read on to find out how. March is an excellent month for “catching all five bright planets,” according to EarthSky . They define bright planet as one in our solar system that can be viewed without an optical aid “and that’s been watched since time immemorial.” Whoa! Cool. In March 2018, you can see all 5 bright planets. https://t.co/kwFqw9Gzhk Look west after sunset for Mercury and Venus. Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are up before dawn. #Mercury #Venus #Jupiter #Mars #Saturn #visibleplanets pic.twitter.com/oyss7rrvb2 — EarthSky (@earthskyscience) March 2, 2018 Related: Google maps the solar system for armchair space travelers Catch Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn before dawn; according to EarthSky, Jupiter should rise around one hour after midnight, and Mars and Saturn appear closer to dawn. The planets have slightly varying rising times depending on where you are on Earth ; EarthSky recommends a few sky almanacs accessible here . The Weather Channel said people in the Rocky Mountains and areas in the South will have the best opportunity for viewing on Wednesday morning. On Thursday morning, the South and areas in the West will be the best locations. If you’re in the Northeast, you might be out of luck; Winter Storm Quinn could obstruct the view, according to meteorologist Chris Dolce. See all 5 bright planets in March https://t.co/Tol9xs2C3L You can't see them simultaneously. But, especially from the Northern Hemisphere, March 2018 is a great month for catching all 5 bright planets either after sunset, or before dawn. pic.twitter.com/tE7rkvHOYs — EarthSky (@earthskyscience) March 2, 2018 Mercury and Venus will appear close together in the first few weeks of March, and you can catch them in the west after sunset. Venus is around “12 times brighter than Mercury,” so EarthSky recommends searching for Venus if you’re having trouble finding our solar system’s smallest planet. If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, don’t worry! You’ll get your shot at spotting the five planets in April. Via EarthSky and The Weather Channel Images via Greg Rakozy on Unsplash and Paul VanDerWerf on Flickr

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Planet parade to dazzle stargazers this week here’s what you need to know

Sustainable solutions: collaborating for climate change

February 16, 2018 by  
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In today’s political environment, the mantle of climate leadership has been passed to the private sector. Supply chains are the new frontier of sustainability and accelerating this transformation can’t wait. Today, nearly half of all American Fortune 500 companies have stepped up to set climate targets, generating huge results for the planet and the bottom line – more than $3.7 billion in savings for corporations last year alone.

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Sustainable solutions: collaborating for climate change

IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad dies at the age of 91

January 29, 2018 by  
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IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad died over the weekend at the age of 91. Kamprad founded the global behemoth in 1943, when he was just 18 years old. Though he became one of the richest people on the planet, he lived frugally, buying used clothes , eating lunch at his own stores and even moving from country to country in order to pay lower taxes. Kamprad stepped down from the company in 2013, after helping to build IKEA into a $44 billion company . The founder of IKEA and one of the greatest entrepreneurs of the 20th century, Ingvar Kamprad, has passed away at the age of 91. A post shared by IKEA Today (@ikeatoday) on Jan 28, 2018 at 2:26am PST IKEA is arguably one of the most important design companies in the world, providing contemporary furnishings at an affordable price point to homes across the planet and changing the way we shop for furniture. Kamprad founded IKEA as a small mail order company and then moved to retail in the 40s. IKEA’s first store opened in Almhult, Sweden in 1958. Today, there are 411 IKEA stores in countries ranging from Saudia Arabia to Slovakia and beyond. Related: IKEA’s billionaire founder only buys used clothes – because they’re cheaper Kamprad was obsessed with innovation and affordability, which helped him build IKEA into the furniture giant that it is today. That frugality seeped into his personal life, as well. He was known to pocket salt and pepper packets from restaurants, bought his clothing at flea markets and recycled his tea bags. Kamprad’s life hasn’t been without controversy. He has received criticism for dodging Swedish taxes, and was a Nazi sympathizer in his youth, a decision that he called the “greatest mistake of his life”. Via Dezeen images via Wikimedia and Deposit Photos

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IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad dies at the age of 91

Our solar system is now tied with Kepler-90 for number of planets circling a star

December 21, 2017 by  
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Eight planets circle our sun (sorry, Pluto ), but our solar system is no longer unique in that number. NASA recently announced the discovery of an eighth planet circling the star Kepler-90, tying our solar system with that one for most number of planets around one star. Machine learning from Google helped researchers discover Kepler-90i, a rocky, hot planet that orbits Kepler-90 every 14.4 days. Scientists drew on data from NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope to make the exciting discovery: there’s a star system out there with the same number of planets as our own. Kepler-90 is around 2,545 light-years away from Earth, and has eight planets circling it. There probably isn’t life – at least as we know it – on Kepler-90i; the planet’s surface is around 800 degrees Fahrenheit. Related: Kepler data reveals 20 potential habitable worlds “The Kepler-90 star system is like a mini version of our solar system. You have small planets inside and big planets outside, but everything is scrunched in much closer,” said Andrew Vanderburg, astronomer and NASA Sagan Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin , in a statement. The space telescope measures the dip in brightness of stars when planets orbit in front, according to a YouTube video from NASA’s Ames Research Center. So Vanderburg and software engineer Christopher Shallue of Google Brain trained computers to spot signals of small planets to uncover the presence of Kepler-90i. The two also found a sixth planet in the Kepler-80 system: Kepler-80g, which is Earth-sized. They aim to apply their neural network to the over 150,000 stars in Kepler’s full set. The Astronomical Journal accepted their research for publication. Jessie Dotson, Kepler project scientist at the Ames Research Center, said, “New ways of looking at the data – such as this early-stage research to apply machine learning algorithms – promises to continue to yield significant advances in our understanding of planetary systems around other stars . I’m sure there are more firsts in the data waiting for people to find them.” Via NASA Images via NASA/Wendy Stenzel and NASA’s Ames Research Center on YouTube

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Our solar system is now tied with Kepler-90 for number of planets circling a star

7 Laundry Hacks That Save Time, Money and the Planet

December 6, 2017 by  
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Laundry is a drain on the modern green household. It … The post 7 Laundry Hacks That Save Time, Money and the Planet appeared first on Earth911.com.

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7 Laundry Hacks That Save Time, Money and the Planet

Biomimicry vs. biophilia: A primer

October 27, 2017 by  
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Nature’s technology inspires human-made innovations in everything from Blue Planet cement to the office of Cookfox Architects.

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Biomimicry vs. biophilia: A primer

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