Hundreds of massive seafloor craters are leaking methane

June 2, 2017 by  
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12,000 years ago the Barents Sea was covered with ice . Warming caused ice sheets to recede and a lot of methane was released, leading to blowouts that left the Arctic Sea floor scarred with hundreds of craters . Researchers in Norway recently found these craters, which offer a warning for the future of our world wracked by climate change – and are still leaking methane. The newly-found seafloor craters date all the way back to the end of our planet’s last Ice Age , when they were caused by explosive blowouts. Many of the Arctic Sea floor craters are huge, measuring around 0.6 miles wide. And many are not inactive, but continue to seep methane. Related: 7,000 methane gas bubbles in Siberia on the verge of exploding The ice on the Barents Sea for a time kept methane from hydrocarbon reservoirs from escaping. According to Gizmodo, the methane was stored as a hydrate in sediment, which led to pressurized conditions. Study lead author Karin Marie Andreassen of the Center for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Climate, and Environment (CAGE) explained it this way: “As the ice sheet rapidly retreated, the hydrates concentrated in mounds, and eventually started to melt, expand, and cause over-pressure. The principle is the same as in a pressure cooker: if you do not control the release of the pressure, it will continue to build up until there is a disaster in your kitchen. These mounds were over-pressured for thousands of years, and then the lid came off.” Her team found more than 100 craters between 980 and 3,280 feet wide, and hundreds more smaller craters under 980 feet wide. The also found 600 methane flares, where the gas is spewing out near the craters. Methane concerns scientists because it is 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide when it comes to trapping heat in our atmosphere. And similar geological processes as the ones that led to these Arctic Sea floor craters are still in motion around the world, so scientists think climate change could lead to more methane explosions. The journal Science published the research online this week. 10 CAGE scientists collaborated on the study with two researchers from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate . Via Gizmodo Images via Andreia Plaza Faverola/CAGE and K. Andreassen/CAGE

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Hundreds of massive seafloor craters are leaking methane

Could coffee help fight cancer?

June 2, 2017 by  
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Your morning joe could give you more than just a buzz; it might even stave off the most common form of primary liver cancer. In a new study published this week, researchers from the University of Southampton and the University of Edinburgh claimed that people who consume at least a cup or more of caffeinated coffee a day have a 20 percent lower risk of developing hepatocellular cancer than those who abstain. Heavy coffee drinkers can assert an even bigger advantage: imbibing up to five cups a day can reduce the same risk by half, scientists said. Even decaf was found to have a protective effect, if “smaller and less certain than for caffeinated coffee.” Despite coffee’s potential as a lifestyle intervention in chronic liver disease, Southampton’s Oliver Kennedy, the study’s lead author, advises some modicum of caution. Related: Edible Scoff-ee cups let you have your coffee and eat it too “We’re not suggesting that everyone should start drinking five cups of coffee a day though,” he said in a statement. “There needs to be more investigation into the potential harms of high coffee-caffeine intake, and there is evidence it should be avoided in certain groups such as pregnant women.” To reach their conclusion, the scientists analyzed data from 26 studies involving more than 2.25 million participants. Hepatocellular cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death globally, particularly in China and Southeast Asia, usually develops in people who already suffer from chronic liver disease. Experts suggest that we could see as many as 1.2 million cases by 2030. Related: Trouble brewing for coffee – half the land it needs to grow could be unfit by 2050 Previous studies have shown that increased coffee consumption can protect against liver cirrhosis , which can develop from partaking in too much alcohol. “The next step now is for researchers to investigate the effectiveness, through randomized trials, of increased coffee consumption for those at risk of liver cancer,” Kennedy said. + University of Southampton Via the Guardian Photos by Unsplash

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US states and cities say they’re sticking to the Paris Accord without Trump

June 2, 2017 by  
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President Donald Trump said he was elected to represent Pittsburgh, not Paris, as he withdrew the United States from the Paris Agreement on Thursday. Pittsburgh, however, isn’t sticking with him – at least not on climate change. The mayor of that city, along with 29 other mayors, three state governors, over 80 university presidents, and over 100 businesses have banded together to commit to the Paris Accord without the president. Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who’s helping lead the effort, said in an interview, “We’re going to do everything America would have done if it had stayed committed.” Trump’s move to yank America out of the Paris Agreement was criticized by many as abdicating American leadership on the global stage in the face of the climate change crisis. But this group of states, cities, businesses, and universities won’t leave the world to battle the crisis alone. The unnamed group is working with the United Nations to see if their submission can be added to the Paris deal. Related: BREAKING: Trump announces U.S. will withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement Other mayors include those of Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Salt Lake City. Mars and Hewlett-Packard are among the businesses involved. And presidents or chancellors of universities like Wesleyan and Emory are getting on board as well. Bloomberg said businesses, states, and cities could reach the Obama administration’s Paris goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 26 percent down from 2005 levels by 2025. California Governor Jerry Brown, Washington Governor Jay Inslee, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo formed the United States Climate Alliance immediately in the wake of Trump’s announcement, and called for other states to join in. In a statement, Brown said he doesn’t believe “fighting reality is a good strategy” and that states will step up if the president won’t lead. Even former President Barack Obama broke the silence traditionally maintained by former presidents to help ease the country’s transition into new leadership. He released a statement published by The Washington Post , saying, “…even in the absence of American leadership; even as this Administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future; I’m confident that our states, cities, and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we’ve got.” Via The New York Times Images via Fibonacci Blue on Flickr , The Climate Mayors on Twitter , and Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson

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US states and cities say they’re sticking to the Paris Accord without Trump

Muppet set designer’s Tower House is a psychedelic escape made from repurposed materials

June 2, 2017 by  
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This one-of-a-kind house near Woodstock has a history that is as unique as it is. John Kahn, the home’s creator, was friends with the late Muppet mogul Jim Henson and designed sets for the show. The secretary for the Grateful Dead also lived in the home for several years. Kahn built the Tower House over 15 years using re-purposed and locally available materials . If you want to experience the psychedelic home for yourself, you can nab the 3,518 square-foot building  for a cool $1.2 million. The Tower House sits on a wooded 5.5-acre estate located near Woodstock. In 2007, Kahn sold the house to its current owner, former secretary to the Greatful Dead, who was married to Owsley Stanley, a known 1960s music producer and sound engineer. John Kahn used repurposed materials including slate, copper, aircraft-grade aluminium and redwood, as well as local wood and bluestone to build this cylindrical structure that includes a guest house, a sauna, a large studio building and three storage buildings. Related: Small town restaurateurs transform former church into a stunning cafe The three-bedroom home looks different from practically every angle and resembles a set from a TV show. Each room in the house has a different visual theme, with artwork scattered all over the place. The eclectic use of materials was inspired by the Catskills wilderness, dotted with the artist’s sculptures . Via 6sqft Photos via Keller Williams Realty

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Muppet set designer’s Tower House is a psychedelic escape made from repurposed materials

Even More Methane Found Leaking From Arctic Seafloor

March 5, 2010 by  
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Scientists took sonar measurements to record clouds of methane bubbles rising from the seafloor. Photo: Igor Semiletov, University of Alaska More evidence is emerging that methane previously trapped in the permafrost below the Arctic sea is starting to be released into the oceans and potentially into the atmosphere.

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Even More Methane Found Leaking From Arctic Seafloor

Road Salt is Affecting Aquatic Life And Drinking Water Across North America

March 5, 2010 by  
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Mountain of road salt, Toronto.

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Road Salt is Affecting Aquatic Life And Drinking Water Across North America

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