Environment

Over 1000 to Volunteer in Coastal Cleanup Day

Over 1000 to Volunteer in Coastal Cleanup Day

To add to the cleaning efforts in California, thousands of volunteers have come up with the initiative to clean the coastal areas by lifting litter, bottles and debris near the beaches.

The initiative is a brainchild of Costa Mesa environmental group Orange County Coastkeeper. It has been sponsored by the Metropolitan Water District. The volunteers have pledged to move around 91 miles of coastline and perform the cleaning task. The purpose is to prevent the litter from entering the ocean.

This initiative was carried out last year, as well. Then, 7,053 Orange County volunteers had together collected more than 67,000 pounds of trash. The trash also included organic waste within three hours.

The cleanup exercises this Saturday will begin at 9.30am.

Pope Francis expected to speak about environment in joint session of US Congress next week

Pope Francis expected to speak about environment in joint session of US Congress

In a joint session of the US Congress coming week, Pope Francis is expected to speak about the environment and the need to fight climate change. Recently, the Pope released an encyclical on the environment entitled ‘On Care for Our Common Home’. In the encyclical, he wrote that the Earth is crying out because of the harm inflicted on her due to careless use and wrong use of the goods with which God has gifted her.

He said people have started seeing themselves as ‘lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will’.

Snowpack in California’s Sierra Nevada at 500-year low

Snowpack in California’s Sierra Nevada at 500-year low

On Monday, a paper was published in the journal Nature Climate Change, in which scientists estimated that the amount of snow in Sierra Nevada Mountains has touched the lowest mark in over past 500 years.

Senior study author Valerie Trouet, a paleoclimatologist at the University of Arizona, said they were expecting that 2015 would be extreme, but not to this extent.

The report is the latest in a number of studies done to characterize the depth of California's four-year drought and place it in a broader historic context. It has joined the growing body of research warning that global warming is going to decrease the amount of snow blanketing California mountains. If this happens, the state's available water will be reduced as its population is also increasing at a fast pace.

Researchers Discover Catalyst That Could Pave Way for Hydrogen Economy

Researchers Discover Catalyst That Could Pave Way for Hydrogen Economy

A team of scientists from the University of Wisconsin revealed they have found a cheap and efficient method of generating hydrogen. The latest catalysts discovered by them can pave way to a future 'hydrogen economy'.

The new find presented by the team is sad to work with water supply and there is no climate-altering carbon dioxide involved. The research was published in the online edition of Nature Materials.

Explaining the working of the catalysts Jin's team said they separated water into hydrogen and oxygen using the catalyst made of the abundant elements cobalt, phosphorus and sulfur. Previously hydrogen was produced by separating water with electrical power.

Photographer shares picture of an emaciated polar bear

Photographer shares picture of an emaciated polar bear

Kerstin Langenberger, a photographer and conservationist based in Germany, posted a photo in August that would soon blaze across the Internet. The shocking picture showed a thin polar bear stumbling around the top of an ice floe off the coast of Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole, which is well known for its polar bear populations.

The coat of the bear sagged from its bony frame and the photo contrasted with the image most links to this strong, symbolic mammal of the Arctic.

Air pollution could kill 6.6 million people per year by 2050, study says

Air pollution could kill 6.6 million people per year by 2050, study says

Presently, 3 million people die because of air pollution across the globe. According to a study, air pollution could kill 6.6 million people every year by 2050 if no action is taken to improve the air quality.

At present, over 3 million people die worldwide due to a lot of exposure to air pollution, which means in next 35 years deaths could double from air pollution and air pollution is likely to emerge as one of the major causes of premature deaths.

Lead author of the study, Jos Lelieveld, professor at Max Planck Institute, said, "The total number of deaths due to HIV and malaria is 2.8 million per year. That's a half a million less than the number of people who die from air pollution globally".

Mosquitoes thriving in Warming Arctic, says Study

Mosquitoes thriving in Warming Arctic, says Study

World's temperatures are continuously rising and leading to worrisome conditions like droughts, floods and hurricanes. The Arctic sea ice is melting rapidly due to rising temperatures and affecting various wildlife populations like polar bears. But climate change is happening in the favor of Arctic mosquitoes. According to a new study, mosquitoes in the region are thriving.

The study said in the rising temperatures in the Arctic, mosquito populations are emerging earlier from their ponds. Adding to that, they are growing faster and living a longer life. There are possibilities that there will be higher numbers of mosquitoes in the Arctic soon, the study suggested.

Declining Snowpack Worrisome for California: Researchers

Declining Snowpack Worrisome for California: Researchers

It has been know that California has been facing a record-long drought since 2012. Researchers said precipitation is not the only thing that is to be blamed for the Californian drought. They said declining snowpack is also a big deal in a place like California.

Soumaya Belmecheri, a paleoclimatologist at the University of Arizona along with her colleagues, used two different sets of historic tree ring records to reconstruct 500 years of climate history. They used blue oak tree rings as a proxy for winter precipitation and another from a variety of trees, as a proxy of winter temperatures.

Canadians to Plant Milkweed to Preserve Monarch Butterfly Population

Canadians to Plant Milkweed to Preserve Monarch Butterfly Population

As per experts, Monarch butterflies have started their annual fall migration from Canada to Mexico, but these large flocks of migrating butterflies are only a small fraction of the size it was a decade or ago. This is because of the eradication of milkweed from most of the Canada and the US. Now several local wildlife organizations are taking initiative to plant milkweeds.

Under a joint project of the David Suzuki Foundation and the University of Guelph, experts will also spread public awareness on the life cycle of the butterfly.

There are also some local nurseries and online seed companies that sell milkweed plants and seeds as part of the initiative. One can call the nurseries for details on the varieties they offer. They can also see advices on best places to plant milkweeds.

Arctic will have more Mosquitoes due to Climate Change: Study

Arctic will have more Mosquitoes due to Climate Change: Study

Climate is changing rapidly and rising temperatures around the globe are leading to disastrous situations like droughts, floods and hurricanes. Now, researchers have warned that rise in temperatures could affect Arctic. In the region, mosquitoes will appear in greater numbers due to climate change, said the researchers of a new study.

The study conducted by researchers from Dartmouth College suggested that with a rise of two degree Celsius in the temperatures of Arctic, the survival rate for mosquitoes will increase by over 50%. As per a report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), temperatures in Arctic are rising rapidly. If the temperatures continue to rise, it will be 2.6-4.8C higher by 2080-2100 than today’s temperatures, the report warned.

Google’s Street View arrives in Kenya to raise awareness about current plight of elephants

Google’s Street View arrives in Kenya to raise awareness about current plight

You will be able to see elephants from close through Google Maps in possibly the best Street View ever conceived. Google has collaborated with the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT), Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and Save the Elephants to launch #GoogleElephants for raising awareness regarding the current plight of elephants.

Lewa wrote on its Facebook page, “For the first time in Kenya, Google has launched its Street View technology in one of a kind partnership to raise global consciousness around elephants”. It mentioned the Street View technology is going to provide panoramic views of individual elephants and their landscapes, and also stunning imagery from Lewa.

2015 Arctic sea ice minimum extent fourth lowest on record

2015 Arctic sea ice minimum extent fourth lowest on record

NASA analysis of satellite data has suggested that 2015 Arctic sea ice minimum extent was the fourth lowest on record since the start of observations from space. As per the analysis by NASA and the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado at Boulder, the annual minimum extent was 1.70 million square miles on September 11. This year's minimum was 699,000 square miles lower as compared to the 1981-2010 average.

Burning all the world’s coal, oil and gas would melt entire Antarctic ice-sheet: Study

Burning all the world’s coal, oil and gas would melt entire Antarctic ice-sheet

The conclusion of a new scientific research, published in the journal Science Advances, has found that over the centuries, land which is presently inhabited by a billion people would be lost under water. Burning the world’s entire coal, oil and gas would melt the whole Antarctic ice-sheet, causing the oceans to rise by more than 50m.

Ricarda Winkelmann, at the Postdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, who led the research, said it is the first time they have seen that there is enough fossil fuel to melt all of Antarctica.

Nature photographer captures an emaciated polar bear in Norway's Svalbard region

Nature photographer captures an emaciated polar bear in Norway's Svalbard region

A polar bear has been found in emaciated appearance and is unlikely to survive long. It has been estimated that the female bear got injured while hunting a walrus and the wounds led to a struggle to find food. Nature photographer Kerstin Langenberger captured the animal on camera.

Langenberger said the picture has symbolized the plight of the polar bear. Based in Germany, Langenberger posted the photograph of the ‘horribly thin’ injured bear on Facebook previous month. The image has been shared over 41,000 times.

Sage-Grouse Population Might Get Halved Over Next Three Decades

Sage-Grouse Population Might Get Halved Over Next Three Decades

Scientists have issued warning saying if the growing wildfires in Great Basin will not be stopped, the population of sage-grouse will reduce to almost half over the next three decades.

The sudden decline in the population of chicken-sized birds, known for their colorful plumage and outlandish mating dance, is due to wildfires. A report by the US Geological Survey has asked the US Fish and Wildlife Service to decide whether sage-grouse need protection under the Endangered Species Act.

As per experts if the bird will be listed under the endangered species, it might harm Western states’ economies. Matt Brooks, a fire ecologist with the USGS and one of the report’s authors said in a statement that the sagebrush steppe and sagebrush ecosystem are in trouble.

2015 and 2016 to be hit by exceptionally high average temperatures

2015 and 2016 to be hit by exceptionally high average temperatures

According to top climate and weather body of Britain, global warming as a result of human activities is all set to lead to exceptionally high average temperatures in 2015 and 2016. It says natural weather phenomena like El Nino would add to it.

According to Rowan Sutton of the National Centre for Atmospheric Science that played a role in a Met Office report that was released recently, "It looks very likely that globally 2014, 2015 and 2016 will all be amongst the very warmest years ever recorded. We are seeing the effects of energy steadily accumulating in the Earth's oceans and atmosphere, caused by greenhouse gas emissions".

Video shows Dolphin battling for Life

Video shows Dolphin battling for Life

A video shows a dolphin fighting for his life. The creature is seen struggling on top of rocks in an attempt to survive. Ric O'Barry, founder of The Dolphin Project, at Taiji Cove in Japan, captured the footage.

Each year, thousands of dolphins are hunted at Taiji Cove. O'Barry regularly visits the community so as to protest against the dolphin hunt. He was seen in the Oscar-winning documentary, The Cove, which made the world aware about the small town of Taiji.

The recent video that has been captured by the environmentalist is showing a family of Risso's dolphins captured inside nets at the area, and some creatures are already making attempts to escape. One male creature is especially troubled, and could be seen swimming in the shallows close to rocks noticeably disoriented.

Emerald Ash Borer damaging ash trees through central Illinois

Emerald Ash Borer damaging ash trees through central Illinois

Emerald ash borer has destroyed many ash trees throughout central Illinois this summer. Since mid-June, Urbana Arborist Mike Brunk has found around 90 dead or mostly dead ash trees while carrying out tree inspections.

There are around 5,000 city-owned ash trees in Urbana and if the disease continues to spread like this then Brunk thinks that emerald ash borer will destroy all the trees. Brunk was of the view, “Urbana had around 480 parkway (city) ash trees at the beginning of 2015. I predict that we will lose most all of these trees within the next two years”.

First solo ship reaches North Pole

First solo ship reaches North Pole

The US Coast Guard Cutter Healy has become the first American surface ship that has reached the North Pole unaccompanied. Generally, submarines beneath the ice accompany the surface ships. The ship reached the North Pole on September 5.

According to the Coast Guard, "As the Arctic region continues to open up to development, the data gathered on board Healy during this cruise will become ever more essential to understanding how the scientific processes of the Arctic work, and how to most responsibly exercise stewardship over the region".

On August 9, Healy cruised out of Dutch Harbor and after that moved with more than 100 crewmembers and scientists on board for international study (GEOTRACES) of the geochemistry of oceans of the world.

Raw Lake Erie water sees a slight rise in Algae toxins

Raw Lake Erie water sees a slight rise in Algae toxins

Tests were carried out on the raw Lake Erie water near the city of Toledo’s water-intake crib to check the level of algae toxins. The results today showed a slight rise in the level since Tuesday. The tests have also shown that the amount of microcystin in the treated drinking water of city was still undetectable. As a result, the city’s water quality dashboard status remains at ‘watch’.

This year, no tests of the city’s treated drinking water have registered a detectable amount of toxin.

In a statement, Stacy Weber, a city spokesman, said that today, the test results from the raw lake water samples showed 1.0 parts per billion of the toxins. As compared to test held on Tuesday, revealing 0.8 ppb in the raw lake water, the present reading showed a higher toxin level.




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