The Cocoon: a biodegradable vessel that nurtures tree growth in harsh and arid conditions

September 23, 2016 by  
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https://vimeo.com/164734151 The Cocoon has two primary benefits to the seedlings it houses: a safe shelter from the harsh surrounding environment and an adequate water supply to develop healthy roots during its first year. The cylindrical shelter also protects seedlings from becoming lunch for small animals, as its high walls surround the tiny plant. The process results in strong adolescent trees that do not require external irrigation, and the Cocoon disintegrates into the surrounding soil as the tree’s root structure expands. Related: Growing trees from seeds: which will work and which won’t Before planting , the Cocoon looks a bit like a bundt cake pan made from cardboard, which is to say it’s pretty plain. The biodegradable shell has super powers, though. The material is made from a variety of organic materials that the Food and Drug Administration has deemed safe for the soil, and when planted, the Cocoon creates a moat-like reservoir that ensures seedlings have all the moisture they need to thrive and grow. The addition of mycorrhizal fungi , which is present in 90 percent of the world’s forests, supports the root systems’ ability to absorb moisture and also enhance the surrounding substrate by releasing enzymes that contribute vital nutrients. Land Life Company , which produces the Cocoon, has partnered with tree-planting programs in 12 countries to help bring back plant life where it has been lost, including recently launched efforts in Peru and Chile. Other programs are already up and running in North America, Mexico, Europe, Africa, and Australia. Land Life works with local nurseries to source high quality seedlings best suited to the environment in which they will be planted, for a better chance at long-term growth of strong, independent trees. Because the Cocoon is a self-contained support system that requires little maintenance, this approach is more cost effective than traditional tree planting techniques. Land Life says the Cocoon is 10 times cheaper, in fact. That means this method can plant a lot more trees for the same budget as traditional planting methods. + The Cocoon Images via Land Life Company

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The Cocoon: a biodegradable vessel that nurtures tree growth in harsh and arid conditions

Ancient marine fossils in the Transantarctic Mountains offer disturbing clues about climate change

September 23, 2016 by  
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Marine diatom fossils in the Transantarctic Mountains have long puzzled scientists. Researchers wondered how these fossilized algae ended up in the Antarctic mountains and many were divided between two leading theories. Now a new paper drawing on new data suggests both theories may be partially correct, with implications for sea level rise today. The diatoms are from the Pliocene Epoch, and date to around 2.6 million to 5.6 million years in the past. One theory suggested the diatoms may have found their way to mountain rocks when the East Antarctic Ice Sheet melted in a Pliocene warm period. When the ice reformed into glaciers , the glaciers brought the diatoms to the mountains. The other theory suggested the diatoms were actually buffeted into the mountains by wind. Related: Antarctic fossil hunters hit a 71-million-year-old jackpot Four scientists from Northern Illinois University, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Pennsylvania State University reported ” new atmospheric modeling utilizing Pliocene climate and derived Antarctic landscapes ” to unite the theories in a paper published online this week by Nature Communications . From the new data, the scientists think the East Antarctic Ice Sheet did retreat, by 300 miles, but wind still helped with the mysterious transportation of the diatoms. As the ice melted, “diatom-rich lands” were exposed to wind, which ferried the diatoms to the mountains instead of glaciers doing the job. The paper’s lead author, Reed P. Scherer of Northern Illinois University, told Popular Science, “The rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuel has now elevated the concentration to 400 parts per million , matching for the first time the levels of the warm Pliocene.” As climate change today leads to sea level rise, the fate of precarious Antarctic ice sheets becomes of greater concern. When the ice sheets melted back in the Pliocene, ocean levels could have been 75 feet higher than today’s levels – a dangerous prospect. Via Popular Science Images via Wikimedia Commons and Reed P. Scherer, Robert M. DeConto, David Pollard, and Richard B. Alley

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Ancient marine fossils in the Transantarctic Mountains offer disturbing clues about climate change

Tree Planting Robot plants and protects seedling, ensures fast reforestation

July 3, 2010 by  
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Eco Factor: Eco-friendly robot designed to plant trees. What in your opinion is the reason for rapid increase in deforestation than the replanting process? Well, in most parts of the world nearly all areas of the forestry industry are completely mechanized, while plantation is still done mainly by hands

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Tree Planting Robot plants and protects seedling, ensures fast reforestation

How can I reuse or recycle jerry cans?

May 28, 2010 by  
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We’ve had an email from Lieze: how can i recycle an old jerry can in a creative way ? Lieze doesn’t say whether it’s an old school pressed steel one or a newfangled plastic one – or whether it’s been used as a fuel container or a water one. My first thought for anything container shaped at the moment is “plant pot” (has anyone else had a scarily successful germination rate for their seedlings this year?!) but I think I’d be hesitant to use an old fuel canister for that, even if I could work out a way to make the opening bigger.

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How can I reuse or recycle jerry cans?

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