Earth911 Quiz #58: Endangered Species and Biodiversity

April 25, 2019 by  
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Species are going extinct at an accelerated and dangerous rate. … The post Earth911 Quiz #58: Endangered Species and Biodiversity appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Earth911 Quiz #58: Endangered Species and Biodiversity

CO2 levels just reached 410 ppm – the highest in millions of years

April 24, 2017 by  
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Remember when carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere hit a terrifying 400 parts per million (ppm)? That’s number’s old news now – concentrations just reached 410 ppm for the first time in millions of years. Last week, researchers at Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii recorded the record-breaking level, and scientists warn the rate of increase will only slow when we reduce our carbon emissions . Mauna Loa Observatory scientists just recorded the first CO2 level above 410 ppm since they began recording in 1958. Back then, the first atmospheric CO2 concentration was a mere 313 ppm . In 2013 concentrations hit 400 ppm . Last week’s reading was 410.28 ppm. Related: CO2 levels likely to stay above 400 ppm for the rest of our lives, new study shows University of Southampton professor of isotope geochemistry Gavin Foster told Climate Central, “It’s pretty depressing that it’s only a couple of years since the 400 ppm milestone was toppled. These milestones are just numbers, but they give us an opportunity to pause and take stock and act as useful yard sticks for comparisons to the geological record.” The United Kingdom Met Office put out a CO2 forecast for the first time ever earlier in 2017, and it turned out to be pretty close to reality; they predicted CO2 concentrations could breach 410 ppm in March but very likely would by April. El Niño is partly at fault for spiking levels of CO2, but more than natural factors, humans burning fossil fuels are to blame. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) atmospheric scientist Pieter Tans said, “The rate of increase will go down when emissions decrease. But carbon dioxide will still be going up, albeit more slowly. Only when emissions are cut in half will atmospheric carbon dioxide level off initially.” In a March NOAA article , Tans said the rate of CO2 growth over the last 10 years is 100 to 200 times quicker than the rate Earth saw as it transitioned out of the Ice Age, saying “This is a real shock to the atmosphere.” Via Climate Central Images via Flickr , Flickr  and Wikimedia Commons

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CO2 levels just reached 410 ppm – the highest in millions of years

Lithium-ion batteries made from recycled glass bottles store almost 4x more energy

April 24, 2017 by  
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A team of researchers at UC Riverside developed a low-cost way of turning disgarded glass bottles into lithium-ion batteries that store almost four times more energy and can last much longer than conventional batteries. This could mean significantly fewer charges for laptops, cell phones and electric cars, not to mention reducing waste. The team, led by Cengiz Ozkan, professor of mechanical engineering, and Mihri Ozkan, professor of electrical engineering at UC Riverside, asked themselves whether silicon dioxide found in waste beverage bottles would be able to provide high purity silicon nanoparticles that can be subsequently used for lithium-ion batteries. The three-step process of producing the anodes starts by crushing and grounding glass bottles into fine white powder, silicon dioxide is then converted into nanostructured silicon, followed by coating the silicon nanoparticles with carbon. Related: 94-year-old inventor of lithium-ion cells develops new battery that can store 3 times more energy According to lab test, coin cell batteries that were made using the glass bottle-based silicon anodes considerably outperformed conventional batteries and demonstrated excellent electrochemical performance. The team expect these high-performance batteries to not only extend the range of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and electric vehicles, but also provide extra power with fewer charges to laptops, cell phones, and other gadgets. Photos via University of California, Riverside

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Lithium-ion batteries made from recycled glass bottles store almost 4x more energy

Hacienda San Jose Lavista is a fairytale retreat in San Miguel Allende

April 24, 2017 by  
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Set in the hills overlooking San Miguel Allende, the striking Hacienda San Jose Lavista is a beautiful retreat surrounded by expansive vineyards, lakes, and fields of wild flowers. Designed by architects Jose Seoane Castro and Pedro Urquiza to be a romantic getaway, the idyllic hotel pays respect to traditional building practices – including using adobe as the primary building material. Looking to colonial Mexican architecture for inspiration, Castro and Urquiza used traditional adobe as a primary building material. Adobe allowed the architects to forgo common structural elements, instead creating 50-centimeter thick walls to support the building’s mass. Related:Casa Xixim is an eco-friendly, self-sustaining resort in Mexico Castro and Urquiza reportedly designed the complex to be romantic retreat. In addition to the luxury suites, a picturesque chapel sits on a small pond, creating a picture-perfect setting for weddings or baptisms. Hotel guests can also enjoy various interior and exterior patios, game rooms, a pool and plenty of private nooks that look out over the gardens. Multiple pieces of local art and traditional furniture were used in the hotel’s interior design – another nod to the area’s long artisan history. + Hacienda San Jose Lavista Images via Hacienda San Jose Lavista

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Hacienda San Jose Lavista is a fairytale retreat in San Miguel Allende

Britain sees first coal-free day since the Industrial Revolution

April 24, 2017 by  
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For the first time since Thomas Edison opened the first power station in London in 1882, Great Britain functioned without any coal-fired power plants last Friday. The milestone marks the first continuous 24-hour period without coal since the Industrial Revolution. This isn’t the first time Britain has gone without coal for a significant chunk of the day, but before this, 19 hours was the longest continuous time that coal power was able to go offline. Instead of coal, National Grid relied on a mix of 50.3% gas, 21.2% nuclear, 12.2% wind, 8.3% imports, 6.7% biomass, and 3.6% solar on Friday. While natural gas still isn’t a completely clean power source, it’s nowhere near as polluting as coal , and nuclear power , while it has very real risks, doesn’t spew greenhouse gasses into the environment. In an ideal world, a larger portion of the nation’s energy would come from renewable sources, but for now, simply ditching coal for a day is an accomplishment to celebrate. Days like this will become more and more common as time goes on – in 2016, the UK relied on coal for just 9% of its electricity needs, down from 23% in 2015. By 2025, the country’s last coal power station is slated to close as part of the government’s promises to meet its climate change commitments. Related: European electricity sector pledges no new coal plants after 2020 However, it’s important to remember that eliminating coal is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to cutting greenhouse gas emissions: the UK government (and, indeed, other governments around the world) still need to tackle the huge amount of carbon generated by other infrastructure and the country’s transportation system. Via The Guardian Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )  

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Britain sees first coal-free day since the Industrial Revolution

How oregano could save the world by reducing bovine belching

May 21, 2016 by  
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Long beloved for its distinct, powerful essence and its ability to make a pizza pop, oregano may soon have a second-shift gig that could help to combat climate change. A research team in Denmark is exploring the potential of oregano to reduce the rate at which cows are burping, an act of gaseous relief that also releases methane into the atmosphere. Methane is an exceptional potent greenhouse gas, more than 25 times more effective at trapping heat than carbon dioxide. Over a third of global methane…

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How oregano could save the world by reducing bovine belching

Who Would Steal Spot? Pet Thefts Are On The Rise

August 16, 2011 by  
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photo via flickr /CC My beloved dog, Betsy, has been taken from me on three occasions. Twice ruffians took her when she was tied outside of a café; and a well-intentioned Whole Food’s staffer took her, thinking Betsy was abandoned outside her store. I was lucky enough to get her back each time, but the same cannot be said for other victims of pet theft, the rate of which is on the rise. … Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Who Would Steal Spot? Pet Thefts Are On The Rise

Rate of Forest Loss Has Decreased, But We’re Not Out of the Woods Yet

March 29, 2010 by  
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Photo via Katabatic After years of raising awareness about the importance of preserving the planet’s forests , the last decade saw an overall drop in the rate of forest loss around the globe–though some regions of the world are still clearing forests with troubling speed. But, with the efforts taken to

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Rate of Forest Loss Has Decreased, But We’re Not Out of the Woods Yet

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