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Showing posts from December, 2016

United States flood risk is basically a wash thanks to changing weather patterns

A University of Iowa study has found that the risk of flooding is changing in the United States and varies regionally. The threat of moderate flooding is increasing generally in the northern US (red areas) and decreasing in the southern US (blue areas), while some regions remain mostly unchanged (gray areas). The findings come from comparing river heights at 2,042 locations with NASA satellite information showing the amount of water in the ground. The study was published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. Via American Geophysical Union

Wildebeest Calf & Baby Hyena Try To Be Friends, Not Knowing They Are Natural Born Enemies

Neo doesn't recognize those strange looking ears. Short grass hides a lot if you're not tall. The hyena junior is a baby himself, equally curious about the strange smell and shape coming closer. They have no knowledge of each other so there's no aggression or fear. Their relationship as predator and prey hasn't been defined yet.

How the World Became Obese

Geographical distribution of termites

Countries by percentage arable land

Change in forest cover, 1990 - 2015

Global solar irradiation: How the potential for solar energy varies across the world?

Global Surface Explorer

The European Commission's Joint Research Centre developed this new water dataset in the framework of the Copernicus Programme. This maps the location and temporal distribution of water surfaces at the global scale over the past 32 years and provides statistics on the extent and change of those water surfaces. The dataset, produced from Landsat imagery (courtesy USGS and NASA), will support applications including water resource management, climate modelling, biodiversity conservation and food security.

Americans believe climate change connected to location & local weather

A new study finds local weather may play an important role in Americans’ belief in climate change. Source: Michelle Gilmore Via pnas.org

Annual net change in forest area (1990 - 2015)

According to the Brazilian state environmental research institute INPE, the Amazon rainforest has lost nearly 8,000 square kilometers between August 2015 and July 2016 - that's more than five times the area of London. While still on the topic of impressive numbers, the rate of Amazon deforestation in 2016 has increased 29 percent compared to 2015 - and this is the greatest reported forest loss since 2008. On the bright side: the current deforestation level still represents a reduction of 71 percent compared to 2004. Via dw.com

Ecological Footprint by Country

The ecological footprint measure how much nature it takes to support people. It is an ecological accounting system. It contrasts how much biologically productive area people use for their consumption to how much biologically productive area is available. More specifically, the ecological footprint is the biologically productive area needed to provide for everything people use: fruits and vegetables, fish, wood, fibers, absorption of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel use, and space for buildings and roads. Biocapacity is the productive area that can regenerate what people demand from nature. Footprint and biocapacity can be compared at the individual, regional, national or global scale. Ecological footprint analysis is widely applied around the Earth as an indicator of environmental sustainability.It can be used to measure and manage the use of resources throughout the economy and explore the sustainability of individual lifestyles, goods and services, organizations, industry secto

Historic U.S. Electricity Generation by State & Energy Source

Changes in the Concentration of Nitrogen Dioxide in the U.S. (2005 - 2014)

Via vividmaps.com

How to scare a horse

After many a misadventure online dating, this stallion was eager to meet a unicorn IRL, only to have his heart stomped all over for the umpteenth time.

Projected changes in annual mean temperature and annual precipitation in Europe for 2100

By reddit user: Syssleback

How much water do we use (1950 - 2015)?

In the map below, U.S. State size (area) is scaled proportionally to State freshwater use. Via usgs.gov

100 million years from now

During the Industrial Revolution our species numbered 1 billion for the first time, accelerating until around 1950, when population growth and human consumption explode. The Great Acceleration. This era of unprecedented economic change and consumption would be unmistakable in the rocks. Our waste contains materials never before seen on Earth. Every year, we pump out a mass of plastic equal to the weight of all humans on Earth. And not just plastics, also glass and bricks. Although they’re made from raw minerals, they’re modified by heat into forms both long-lasting and notably organized. Consider aluminum, it was essentially unknown in its pure elemental form before the 19th century, yet since 1950 we’ve produced enough for every human alive to make a stack of cans half a kilometer high. Enough concrete has been produced to pave all of earth, and half of that since just 1995. All of this stuff would mark the most new minerals created since oxygen first built up in our atmosphere

Roadless areas in the world

80% of land but only 7% of patches larger than 100 Square Kilometers. Via sciencemag.org

Yosemite Wilderness after a snowstorm

Via Reddit user DScottyDotty

Incredible Tiny Earthship

Tiny Earthship at the Terra Perma eco-resort in Harrington, Quebec, Canada. It's basically a form of passive solar home that allows you to heat your home and keep it cool just by controlling the energy from the sun. There's one main wall in this Earthship and it's built in a U-shape using recycled tires that are filled with earth and then they piled on a bunch of earth on so that the wall and that huge mound that they created form a thermal mass that can absorb energy from the sun and what that's meant to do is create an indoor temperature that's stable all year round. Huge south facing windows that let the sun in during the winter and then an overhanging roof to block the sun during the summer. This tiny earth ship has a lot of really interesting sustainable features and it's a beautiful structure.

CO2 Emissions Damage Depletion by Country

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a colorless and odorless gas that is vital to life on Earth. This naturally occurring chemical compound is made up of a carbon atom covalently double bonded to two oxygen atoms. Carbon dioxide exists in Earth's atmosphere as a trace gas at a concentration of about 0.04 percent by volume. Natural sources include volcanoes, hot springs and geysers, and it is freed from carbonate rocks by dissolution in water and acids. Carbon dioxide is produced by all aerobic organisms when they metabolize carbohydrates and lipids to produce energy by respiration. It is returned to water via the gills of fish and to the air via the lungs of air-breathing land animals, including humans. Carbon dioxide is produced during the processes of decay of organic materials and the fermentation of sugars in bread, beer and winemaking. Ozone depletion describes two distinct but related phenomena observed since the late 1970s: a steady decline of about four percent in the total amo

Global temperature increase (1880 - 2015)

The warming has not been equal over the planet, but the upward trend globally averaged temperature reveals that more territories are warming than cooling. This process clearly shows the graph created by the Reddit user datashown . According to NOAA's Annual Climate Report , the united land and ocean temperature has grown at an average rate of 0.08°ะก (0.13°F) per decade since 1880; but, the average rate of increase since 1981 (0.18°C or 0.32°F) has been more than twice that rate. Related post: -  Global Land and Sea Temperature Anomalies (1880 - 2016)

Year of climate departure for world cities

The global mean year of climate departure is 2047. The mean for the tropics (shown in the hatch area) is 2038, compared to 2053 for all other latitudes. Areas in the tropics are projected to experience unprecedented climates first within the next decade. Under a business-as-usual scenario, the index shows the average location on Earth will experience a radically different climate by 2047. Under an alternate scenario with greenhouse gas emissions stabilization, the global mean climate departure will be 2069. The overarching global effect of climate change on biodiversity will occur not only as a result of the largest absolute changes at the poles, but also, perhaps more urgently, from small but rapid changes in the tropics. Via hawaii.edu  & nature.org

The Velvet Worm's slime cannon Is nature's most strangest weapon

Biology and physics meet to create one of the world's strangest weapons. Velvet worms have been around for five hundred million years eve before dinosaurs were here.

The polar vortex has returned to North America

A huge expanse of cold, Arctic air is sweeping through parts of Canada and the U.S.  Subzero temperatures are expected across the Upper Midwest today & tomorrow. By Thursday morning, Minnesota, Wisconsin, parts of the Dakotas, and Chicago are set to feel wind chills colder than -20 degrees F (-29 degrees C). Records for cold temperatures are also expected in northern Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia. Parts of Canada are also bracing for the big chill, including Manitoba and Ontario. New England and parts of the US East Coast can expect the cold temperatures to hit hard on Thursday and Friday, with wind chills ending up in the -10 to -25 degrees F range. Much of North America forecasted to be colder than Mars. Cold front forecast for December 17-18 in the U.S. east coast showing a dramatic temperature contrast. Via NASA , gizmodo.com & vividmaps.com

Live CO2 emissions of the European electricity production

This map shows in real-time where your electricity comes from and how much CO2 was emitted to produce it.

Arctic Report Card (2016)

"The Arctic shows continuing changes during 2016. Annual average surface air temperature over land was 6.3 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than at the start of the twentieth century, warming at twice the rate of the global temperatures. Part of the extreme was due to especially warm air coming from the south during the winter. Arctic minimum sea ice extent at the end of summer was tied with 2007 for the second lowest amount during the satellite record starting in 1979, at 33% below the long-term average. The Arctic ice pack remains young and thin, and is more vulnerable to summer melting than the thicker, stronger ice pack of the 1980s. With less ice cover, there is more solar heating throughout much of the Arctic Ocean and adjacent seas. As more light penetrates into the ocean, ocean photosynthesis increases, resulting in changes at the base of the ocean food chain. The Arctic Ocean is especially prone to ocean acidification due to water temperatures that are colder than those

NASA's new global view of carbon dioxide

A new supercomputer project reveals how carbon dioxide moves around the globe. Combining data from the OCO-2 satellite with a high-resolution weather model gives an unpreccedented 3D view of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere. This advanced view is a step toward answering critica questions about carbon dioxide and Earth's climate future.

The major causes of death in the 20th Century

Massive five sigma global sea ice crash (Dec 2016)

How we became more than 7 billion

- Modern humans evolved in Africa about 200,000 years ago. - About 100,000 years ago, we began migrating across the globe. - About 45,000 yerar ago, our population remained low - probably less than 1 million people. - With the advent of farmint, growth picked up (15,ooo). - By AD 1, world population reached approximately 170 million people. If current trends continue, global population will peak at 11 billion around 2100 (Growth is slowing because average fertility rates are falling in nearly every country 1950: 50 babies/woman - 2100: 2 babies/woman). It took 200,000 years for our population to reach 1 billion. And only 200 years to reach 7 billion. As our population has grown, so has our use of Earth's resources. Choises we make today: family planning, reduced consumption, population controls, habitat protection. Choices we make today affect the future of our species - and all life on Earth.

Rooftop solar panels in United States

Each tiny square in Map below represents enough home rooftop solar to power ~3,000 homes. (Three thousand homes is roughly the number of homes in a small town with a population of less than 10,000 people.) The map shows the states that currently have roughly enough residential solar to power ~3,000 homes or more. You can mouse over each state for more details. Each tiny square in map below represents enough home rooftop solar to power ~80,000 homes. (Eighty thousand homes is roughly the number of homes in a single midsize US city, such as Irvine, CA or Salt Lake City, UT.) This map shows the states that currently have roughly enough residential solar to power ~80,000 homes or more. How much energy could be generated by rooftop solar panels in each state, if installed on all suitable roofs? E ach tiny square in map below represents enough residential solar to power ~80,000 homes. Residential rooftops could provide around 25 percent of all the electric demand in the conti

Global Land & Sea Temperature Anomalies (1880 - 2016)

Global and hemispheric anomalies are with respect to the 20th century average, measured each year for January to September. Via graphiq.com

Municipal solid waste

The world's cities currently generate around 1.3 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste a year, or 1.2 kg per city-dweller per day, nearly half of which comes from OECD countries. That is predicted to rise to 2.2 billion tonnes by 2025, or 1.4kg per person. The Bank estimates China's urbanites will throw away 1.4 billion tonnes in 2025, up from 520 m tonnes today. By contrast, America's urban rubbish pile will increase from 620m tonnes to 700 m tonnes. Via economist.com

Invertebrates at Risk

Invertebrates are animals that neither possess nor develop a vertebral column, derived from the notochord. This includes all animals apart from the subphylum Vertebrata. Familiar examples of invertebrates include insects; crabs, lobsters and their kin; snails, clams, octopuses and their kin; starfish, sea-urchins and their kin; and worms. The majority of animal species are invertebrates; one estimate puts the figure at 97%. Many invertebrate taxa have a greater number and variety of species than the entire subphylum of Vertebrata. Some of the so-called invertebrates, such as the Chaetognatha, Hemichordata, Tunicata and Cephalochordata are more closely related to the vertebrates than to other invertebrates. This makes the term "invertebrate" paraphyletic and hence almost meaningless for taxonomic purposes. Invertebrates can be classified into several main categories, some of which are taxonomically obsolescent or debatable, but still used as terms of convenience.    

How Far Away Can You Get From Everybody Else?

Tristan da Cunha is the most remote place in the world that is actually inhabited by people. The tiny island has a tiny population of just 264 people, and while you're there the closest other population of humans will be located two thousand kilometers away on the island of st. Helena, which itself is quite remote. The nearest continent to you would be Africa, which would be a staggering 2400 kilometers away. There is no airport on the island, so the only way to or from is by boat, and boats only come from South Africa about eight or nine times in an entire year. If you really want off the island then you better have your own boat and even then the shortest journey to the nearest airport on Ascension Island would take you seven days to reach.

America's remarkable renewable energy explosion

In the first quarter of this year, it made up about 15% of total electricity output. Solar alone now powers the equivalent of 6 million homes. Texas leads the nation in wind power because it has lots of wind resources and because the cost of wind power has been reduced by about 50% since 2008. Via fastcoexist.com

Thousands of invisible oil spills are destroing the Gulf of Mexico

Each red dot above represents an oil spill between 2005 and today. There are about 30,000 oil spills per year in U.S. waters nationally. Via www.wired.com

The Southeast Is Becoming A Wildfire Hotspot

The US Drought Monitor shows that 24.2 million people in its Southeast region live in drought-affected areas, in addition to the millions living in drought in Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas and Mississippi.2 According to the Southeast Regional Climate Center, the interior Southeast has received less than 15 inches of rainfall since the spring; depending on the area, that’s 30 percent to 70 percent of the normal precipitation recorded this time of year, based on data from 2002 to 2015. Via fivethirtyeight.com

Arctic sea ice at record lows

In November, the sea ice extent averaged 9.08 million square kilometers (3.52 million square miles) - the lowest November extent in the satellite record. Via NASA

Forest distribution in Europe

Related post: - Europe is greener now than 100 years ago

Fatal bear & wolf attacks in Norway

Thriving 23-Year-Old Permaculture Food Forest

A food forest is a permanent planting. So you want to set it up just like a forest system. The big trees and the middle-size trees, the bottom layer and the ground layer. They work together, some plants take up some minerals and give others back and another one does something else. It’s really lovely to put them together and create a forest system that’s for birds and insects and for us. We’ve got 480 different species of plants at last count and that doesn’t include the 80 different types of apples and the 60 different types of gooseberries. Growing out in the forest garden there, aside from the native trees, which I’ve used as a framework or a platform for building everything else – and those provide me with shelter from the wind and also nest sites for the birds, and the birds are a really important player in the management of the garden. In the second layer down to that we have our fruit tree layer, which is our heritage apples and pears and plums, and nectarines and peaches,

Urban forest maps

London Tree Map This map has been created using tree data made available by London's local authorities and Transport for London. The map shows the locations and species information for over 700,000 trees. The majority of the data is for street trees but also includes some park trees. It’s estimated that there are over eight million trees in London, so the map is only a partial illustration of London's trees. New York City Street Tree Map The New York City Street Tree Map brings New York City’s urban forest to your fingertips. For the first time, you have access to information about every street tree in New York City. Learn about the trees that make up our city’s urban forest, mark trees as favorites and share them with your friends, and record and share all of your caretaking and tree stewardship activities. New York City street trees by species New York City's urban forest provides numerous environmental and social benefits, and street trees compose roughly one

Six months of drought in the Amercan Southeast

Drought intensity and frequency from June - November of 2016. Via esri.com

A Feather stars

A Feather stars swimming off the coast of Bali. These peculiar aquatic creatures are aptly called feather stars. They are filter feeders that use their fancy arms to gather food particles.

100 years of sea level rise

Arctic sea ice thickness (Cartogram)

Maximum over winter months (October 2015 to March 2016) Author Benjamin Hennig While sea ice melts over the summer months, the winter period is crucial to building up the sea ice cover . The cartogram distorts the Arctic Ocean by the total thickness of sea ice aggregated over the last winter. It shows the thickness of sea ice over the last northern hemisphere winter period, between the months of October 2015 and March 2016. Data used in this cartogram was measured by the CryoSat-2 satellite operated by the European Space Agency. CryoSat-2 is a sensor specialising in measuring the changes in the polar ice cover in both the Arctic and Antarctic region. Via geographical.co.uk

Number of Bird Species by U.S. County

Reddit user: buttfuck_warbler