Earth Funny Stories

Blue Java Bananas Are A ‘Sweet Treat’ You Can Grow Yourself

Out with the old, in with the new – the new being Blue Java bananas; they have the color of turquoise and the flavor of vanilla ice cream.

With Cavendish bananas heading toward extinction, people are thrilled to discover the creamy texture and unique, sweet flavour of the Blue Java banana – and who wants boring, old yellow bananas anyway?

These bananas were first discovered and grown in Southeast Asia, but they thrive in all tropical climates, such as Hawaii or even Northern Australia.

A Banana, By Any Other Name

The Blue Java banana goes by multiple names; the ‘Ice Cream’ banana, the ‘Hawaiian’ banana, and Cenizo bananas are just a few of them. These trees are great because in addition to the delicious, unique fruit they produce, they also produce it quickly with lots of shade, as well.

The fruit is a silvery or bright blue color when it isn’t ripe, but turns to a yellow similar to Cavendish bananas when it’s ripe and ready to be devoured. Fun to eat both raw or cooked, they’re exceptionally delicious served with ice cream or frozen custard.

The Blue Java variety of bananas is tough, unlike the Cavendish which is facing the risk of extinction due to problems with cloning and rampant disease.

The Blue Java thrives most in places like Fiji, the Philippines, Hawaii, and even some of the southern states in America – all places with warmer climates.

Attempting to grow them in the midwestern United States probably wouldn’t work though the plant has a strong root system and is hardy, wind-resistant, and cold tolerant up to 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

On average, you’ll find Blue Java bananas at a length between seven and nine inches, and the trees themselves typically reach 15 to 20 feet and bloom anywhere from 15 to 24 months following planting.

Where Can They Grow?

The bananas have a pleasant aroma and flavor. Check your geographical zone, and see if you can grow them in your own climate; they do best in zones eight through ten, but they also grow in greenhouses.

A potted plant may produce bananas as soon as nine months, and if you can’t find a local specialty grocer near you that carries blue bananas, you can find them on Amazon!

The thought of Blue Java banana’s creamy, fluffy texture combined with a vanilla ice cream flavour is tempting foodies everywhere with the possibilities they offer. Those on a diet can indulge in one without even cheating!

Commenters on Reddit had a lot to say about this phenomenal fruit. User 4ftFury commented, “Totally! Bananas are actually super tough, resilient plants – I believe in you!” Nate1899 responded, “I live in Florida, just north enough that our banana trees get burnt by the freezes.

Very disappointing. This would be perfect!” User GoHomeWithBonnieJean wrote, “It’s only a matter of time before the Cavendish banana is wiped out.

The reason why bananas are the cheapest fruit in the market is that the current banana sold is based on a monoculture.” It looks like blue bananas couldn’t have arrived on the market soon enough!

Out with the old, in with the new – the new being Blue Java bananas; they have the color of turquoise and the flavor of vanilla ice cream.

With...

Cool Stories Earth Humans Are Awesome

Find Out How LEGO Has Managed To Run On 100% Renewable Energy

Not only has LEGO earned a place in the Guinness World Book of Records but achieved their goal running renewable energy a good 3 years before their initial plan.

LEGO was launched on August 10, 9132 in Billund Denmark and is the leading manufacturer of a children’s toy famously known as LEGO Building Bricks!  They completed their wind farm off the coast of Ireland which uses 258 megawatts of energy.  They constructed an enormous life-sized wind turbine made out of LEGOs to honor the occasion.

LEGO CEO, Bali Padda, said they worked very hard to leave a positive impact on the planet and they are very excited about the inauguration of the Burbo Bank Extension wind farm. This is not the first time LEGO has been involved in renewable energy.

They own approximately one-third of the German-based Borkum Riggrund I offshore wind farm and 25% of the newly-minted Burbo Bank.

The CEO said they plan to continue investing in renewable energy to help form a better future for the builders of tomorrow.  Back to the Guinness World Record, they achieved their place by historically building the largest LEGO brick turbine.

It was constructed out of more than 146,000 LEGO bricks and it took their team over 600 hours to complete, transport, and reassemble the masterpiece at the  Liverpool ONE shopping center in England.

After reassembly, the structure was measured by officials using a measuring tape and a hydraulic crane.  If you want to see this massive, magnificent LEGO wind turbine, it’s been moved to the LEGOLAND Winsor Resort in England.

It’s About The Children:

LEGO said they have gone to great lengths to promote renewable energy because it’s about the next generation being taught about the value of sustainable power.  They know their role models are children and plan to continue taking action for reducing the environmental impact as a company.

They continue looking for ways to inspire children from all over the world by engaging them in environmental and social issues.

In 2018, LEGO released its first sustainable set of plant-based bricks made from sugar cane.  A few months later, they introduced their LEGO Creator Expert toy which is a miniature version that functions as a wind turbine for children.

This amazing company with its incredible vision is well on its way to provide 100% environmentally-friendly packaging and merchandise by 2030!

Way To Go LEGO!

Not only has LEGO earned a place in the Guinness World Book of Records but achieved their goal running renewable energy a good 3 years before their...

Cool Stories Earth

Spectacular Images of the Raikoke Volcano Erupting From ISS by NASA

Sitting aboard the International Space Station (ISS) a NASA astronaut was able to capture some stunning images of the Raikoke Volcano as it erupts.

The 2,300ft crater can be clearly seen sending clouds of ash high into the atmosphere.  Located in the Kuril archipelago in the north-west Pacific the volcano had been dormant for almost 100 years before it violently erupted on June 22, sending a huge cloud of ash as far as 8 miles high.  In the images you can see the cloud rising as a column, stopping when it reaches the denser air.

Volcanologists at Michigan tech issued a statement for NASA commenting that the eruption was similar to that of another volcano in the Kurils a decade ago.  The images show a ring of white cloud at the base of the ash column indicating either that air is being drawn in, or perhaps that there is condensation caused by the magma entering the sea.

Raikoke island is quite small, so it is likely that magma flow reached the sea and the fluffy cloud at the base could be the resulting steam.

The huge ash plume has been seen drifting eastward and there are warnings in place for aircraft near the Bering Sea.  Volcanic ash often contains pieces of rock or glass which can be hazardous to aircraft.

Breaching the Stratosphere

Data obtained via satellite shows that the eruption has sent gas into the second layer of the Earth’s atmosphere.  Large amounts of sulfur dioxide in the stratosphere have been detected which NASA says indicates that this is a new injection of the gas.

The stratosphere starts at around 4.3-12 miles above the earth and it is vital to monitor ash plumes that hit this height because they have the ability to remain in the higher levels of the atmosphere for longer.

Other images of the volcano have also been released, alongside those captured by the ISS the NASA’s Terra satellite also captured the incident, as did the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Suomi satellite.

Sitting aboard the International Space Station (ISS) a NASA astronaut was able to capture some stunning images of the Raikoke Volcano as it...

Category - Earth

Earth

The Real Cause For The Ice Ages

The past three leading ice ages which happened over 540 million years ago, were followed by massive tectonic build-up all across the equator.  A team of U.S. researchers’ findings were published in the Journal of Science offering new insight into the causes of ice ages that were believed to be related to volcanic eruptions, until now.

A team from the University of California, led by Francis Macdonald, had been looking at the collision of tectonic plates that created the Himalayas.  The team discovered that when an oceanic plate pushes against a continental plate, a mountain range of rock is created.

They also discovered the two collisions that created the Himalayas happened in tropical zones near the equator.  They found both collisions were immediately followed by global atmospheric cooling.

This led to questioning if the exposure of new rock caused a chemical reaction that led to global cooling?  After examining the rate at which the rock from the oceanic plate reacted with carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, it could have removed enough of the greenhouse gas to trigger an ice age.

The team further researched if there were similar patterns in other ice ages. They traced back the cooling events from the last 540 million years and were able to match them to locations of continental collisions.  Their findings revealed that before each ice age, there were collisions in the tropics.

More Than One Reason

They believe that the combination of heat and humidity in the tropics aided in spurring a chemical reaction between calcium and magnesium found in rocks and atmospheric carbon dioxide causing gas to be sucked out of the atmosphere.  Atmospheric carbon dioxide has a warming effect on the planet, creating a barrier around the Earth.

This prevents heat from escaping back into space which means its removal led to Earth’s temperature dropping. What this means, we are presently living in an ice age that started over 2.5million years ago.  We are in an interglacial period in which the earth goes through a warming period with this ice age.

Right now, there is a zone in Indonesia in which two tectonic plates are colliding.  It’s believed this could potentially be responsible for our current ice age along with why we have a cool climate along with ice caps.

It’s believed this will end in approximately 10 million years and it is believed the Earth will return to a non-glacial climate.  Macdonald said that due to the current movements of the plates, they can project arc-continent collisions and their latitude will become more uncertain the further the projection.

With further studies, the team hopes to clarify records regarding continental collisions and be able to calculate the changes more clearly regarding carbon dioxide concentrations. Their study shows a coincidence but in order to test causality, they need a better understanding of the chemical mass balance.

Macdonald believes what they have gotten from their work is the geography in the tropics which is particularly important for the chemistry of the oceans and setting the global climate condition.

From the Laboratory of Climate and Environmental Sciences in France, William Gray said even though he was not involved in the study, the findings contributed to their understanding of what causes ice ages over a period of time – volcanic eruptions and/or the chemical breakdown of rocks.

He said it has been long debated which side of this balance is more important for driving the variations in CO2 and climate.  The results from the study by Macdonald and his colleagues suggest the changes in the level of CO2 removed from the atmosphere by the weathering of rocks could have driven variations in atmospheric CO2 and the climate over the past 500 million years.

This suggests changes in CO2 emissions from volcanoes may only play a minor role.

The past three leading ice ages which happened over 540 million years ago, were followed by massive tectonic build-up all across the equator.  A team of U.S. researchers’ findings were published in the Journal of Science offering new insight into the...

Earth

Turning CO2 Back Into Coal. Is That Even Possible?

As we know, the world has a bit of a problem with CO2 particles. While useful for things like plants, too much CO2 going into the air is simply going to get trapped. However, this then leads to problems like dirty air and a drop-off in living standards.

Science, though, might be in a position where they could finally overcome this problem. How so? A team of scientists at RMIT University, Australia, have managed to take a CO2 gas and turn it into solid carbon particles.

This would be a solution for helping to combat problems with greenhouse gases. It would be a safe solution, too, and could be the groundbreaking solution that we need to try and overcome the CO2 problem in the air.

Presently, we use a solution that captures carbon and tries to compress the CO2 into a form of a liquid, then injecting it back underground. Engineering issues and the economic cost of production, though, has seen progress halt on this move.

Now, though, it’s likely that, thanks to the work of Dr. Torben Daeneke and co. that this problem could be solved. The much more cost-effective and easily managed system developed down under could be the ideal solution to this problem.

This could become a more sustainable approach, according to Dr. Daeneke, who said: “While we can’t literally turn back time, turning carbon dioxide back into coal and burying it back in the ground is a bit like rewinding the emissions clock.

‘To date, CO2 has only been converted into a solid at extremely high temperatures, making it industrially unviable. By using liquid metals as a catalyst, we’ve shown it’s possible to turn the gas back into carbon at room temperature, in a process that’s efficient and scalable. While more research needs to be done, it’s a crucial first step to delivering solid storage of carbon.’

An important step forward in environmental sustainability

This is a huge step forward and has been a major boon for the science community. Using an electro-chemical technique developed by Dr. Dorna Esrafilzadeh, they are able to take atmospheric CO2 and turn it into a solid form of carbon.

The process itself sounds very interesting and could be an essential step forward in our ability to combat the man-made problems hurting our environment. This could be used in various ways; it could even be turned into electrodes and used in other formats. This is very interesting and could become a breakthrough moment in modern science.

Produced in the Nature Communications journal, this groundbreaking study was put together by people from the University of Munster, Nanjing University and the North Carolina State University alongside RMIT and other Australian groups.

While it might be some time until it can be used in a viable circumstance, this could be a genuinely life-changing solution to the problems we face on this planet.

As we know, the world has a bit of a problem with CO2 particles. While useful for things like plants, too much CO2 going into the air is simply going to get trapped. However, this then leads to problems like dirty air and a drop-off in living...

Earth

Second Impact Crater Found Buried Under Ice In Greenland

In November of 2018, scientists revealed that they had discovered a 19-mile wide impact crater below the ice in Northwest Greenland, called the Hiawatha impact crater.  The crater was the first of its kind, found under one of the earth’s continental ice sheets.

Scientists have now uncovered another impact crater underneath a mile of ice about one hundred miles from the Hiawatha crater, according to a study led by NASA glaciologist Joseph MacGregor that was recently released in Geophysical Research Letters.

 Joseph revealed in the study that it has become very rare to find any previously undiscovered impact craters on Earth, much less to find one buried so deeply under the ice.

This particular crater has a diameter of twenty two miles, making it even larger than its neighbor, the Hiawatha.  It’s not certain that this is, in fact, an impact crater but researchers feel confident enough in the site’s shape and geophysical makeup to categorize it as one.

If this crater was made by a falling meteorite, it will be the second of its kind to be found under ice sheets in Greenland or Antarctica.   It will be the 22nd largest impact crater currently known on Earth.

Astro-Geology

Both craters were discovered with the help of MacGregor, who stated that he was excited that new discoveries were still possible after having surveyed the earth at length from space, air and land. Prior to discovering Hiawatha, it had historically been believed that any impact craters in Greenland would have been destroyed by the moving and eroding forces of ice.

When the team discovered Hiawatha, they decided it was possible that more craters may exist under the ice. The scientific team studied the topography of the terrain under the sheets of ice in Greenland and compared them with the ice surfaces in data gathered by satellite.

One hundred and fourteen miles to the southeast of Hiawatha, they discovered a circular pattern and suspected it may have been an impact crater.  MacGregor asked himself if his research and findings could support the idea; having already discovered one crater below the ice was amazing enough, but to find two was unheard of.

Initially, MacGregor considered the idea that the circular area was a collapsed volcano, but he realized that all volcanic activity in Greenland was hundreds of miles from the site.  He was also unable to see any evidence of positive magnetic anomaly that typically accompanies volcanic sites.

In November of 2018, scientists revealed that they had discovered a 19-mile wide impact crater below the ice in Northwest Greenland, called the Hiawatha impact crater.  The crater was the first of its kind, found under one of the earth’s continental ice...

Earth

Beekeepers Are Buzzing About AI

Artificial Intelligence is a technology that promises to solve many problems, but it doesn’t seem likely that it would help preserve our honeybee population.  As unexpected as it seems, though, AI can be used to protect bees from the Varroa mite and will help beekeepers keep their hives healthy and safe for the declining honey bee population.

The Varroa mite is a tiny bloodsucking parasite that feeds on bees, both adult and young.  It will weaken the colony, resulting in deformed and weakened generations of bees.  While the parasite is not a direct cause of death for the bees, their presence will eventually lead to a complete collapse of the colony.

The mites are so tiny that they will escape detection by the naked eye.  Only a millimeter in length, the colony can be affected for a very long time before the devastating results of the infestation are noticed.

Historically, beekeepers have had to carefully pick through the leavings of the hive, collected in a flat pan under the hive itself, to find the bodies of the tiny terrors if they wanted to stop the infestation.  Beekeepers try to meticulously comb through hive dirt and waste to find Varroa mites, and it is easy to miss the tiny creatures and not realize there is a problem.

This Is Where AI Comes In

AI is far superior to the naked eye in picking up undetectable data in a noisy background, like finding dead Varroa mites in piles of hive dirt, and in fact, students in Switzerland have invented ApiZoom to do just that.

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne students have been working on ApiZoom, programming it to detect and identify the tiny mites in pictures.  Beekeepers feed the data to the application by uploading photos to the EPFL site via smart device.

The students started testing the application in 2017 and have a 90% success rate.  The ApiZoom model has been trained to thousands of images, and the success rate is similar to humans performing the same task.

On the heels of this success, according to project member Alain Bugnon, the students are planning on widely distributing the app as soon as possible.  The application will be unrolled in two phases, first a web application to be followed by a smartphone application.

By combining the findings of these two approaches, it will be possible to evaluate the degree of infestation in individual hives as well as hives across a region.  In addition, the app will be able to identify any possible mutations of the mites and any beekeeper practices that might unintentionally encourage an infestation.

An appropriate infestation response can be coordinated using the data collected from ApiZoom. Alain Bugnon is planning on releasing ApiZoom as its own company, which will speed the production and release of the software to beekeepers.

Artificial Intelligence is a technology that promises to solve many problems, but it doesn’t seem likely that it would help preserve our honeybee population.  As unexpected as it seems, though, AI can be used to protect bees from the Varroa mite and will...

Earth

Scientists’ Response To Presidential Climate Change Tweets

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine wants to clear misconceptions put out by individuals with high influence.

Quick Response

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine are looking into a “quick response capability” to confront the misinformation told to the public about climate change.

One recommendation in a report from last month which was aimed at making it easier for experts to communicate climate issues, such as the undoubtedly real problems caused by global warming, effectively, is now the strategy for independent national academies. These academies advise the government on issues of science.

They did not mention President Donald Trump in the report. But the quick-response tactics being considered are aimed at the mischaracterizations of the science of climate done by highly influential people or groups, stated the “Climate Communications Initiative Strategic Plan.”

They can make policies that would make it possible for academics to give a response to issues that pertain to climate within 48 hours.

According to the report, the National Academies might choose to respond quickly in different scenarios, like when a statement that is made to the public contains information about the climate which is scientifically incorrect and may misinform or confuse them.

Also, the National Academies may decide to control the situation by communicating quickly when there appears to be significant potential for misinformation.

This report was formed by an independent advisory committee which the academies formed a year ago to look into communication on climate science.

In a tweet he posted this week, Trump indicated to millions of his that the severe cold spells being experienced in some parts of the country disprove the presence of global warming. “What the hell is going on with Global Warming? Please come back fast, we need you,” he tweeted.

 

 

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine wants to clear misconceptions put out by individuals with high influence.

Quick Response
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine are looking into a “quick response...

Earth

Watch: Burning Tracks To Help Train Pass

The sparks are flying—literally!—in this eerily beautiful video footage of fires lit on the tracks of Chicago’s famed El train this week, meant to keep the trains running during the worst cold snap to hit the area in almost a generation.

The Arctic blast that struck Chicago on January 28th and 29th was described by the National Weather Service as “brutal, historic, and potentially life-threatening.” No kidding! We’ve heard reports that the temperatures dropped into double digits below zero—that it’s so cold, mere minutes of exposure to the air can cause frostbite to set in. That’s cold!

The footage in this video shows sections of burning railway on Chicago’s Union Pacific West Line on Monday, January 28th.

Why Are They Doing It?

Chicago’s Metra railway authority, charged with the task of keeping the trains running, and safe from pull-aparts (which can cause derailment and serious injury to passengers), no matter how unforgiving the weather might get, explained the track fires and the science behind them in an Instagram post on January 21st: .

“Pull-aparts are rail defects in which two rails separate at their connection. They occur in extreme cold when the metal shrinks and the rails literally pull apart from each other. How Metra forces make repairs is by warming the metal with fire until it expands and the two rails can be reconnected.”

By around 6:50pm local time on Tuesday the 29th, the National Weather Service in Chicago said that temperatures in Rockford, Illinois, fell below zero between 3pm and 4pm, and would most likely not rise above zero until Friday morning, at the earliest.

The temperature recorded at Chicago O’Hare Airport also reached sub-zero temperatures before 6pm, and the National Weather Service noted that the temps would stay that cold until Thursday, if not longer. The result?

This unexpectedly lovely video—all shades of blue, gray, and white, the calming tranquility of which is periodically broken by bright orange flames licking up from the train tracks.

It’s definitely hypnotizing, as fire usually is for us humans, and we’re sure that Chicago area commuters, making the long trek to work in the unforgiving cold, appreciated this little spark of visual and literal warmth to accompany them on their voyage.

It’s the little things in life, after all. Still, we’re pretty sure they’ll be even happier once the temperatures finally warm up enough that lighting the tracks on fire is no longer necessary.

The sparks are flying—literally!—in this eerily beautiful video footage of fires lit on the tracks of Chicago’s famed El train this week, meant to keep the trains running during the worst cold snap to hit the area in almost a generation.

The Arctic...

Earth

Mushrooms Could Save The Bees

Scientist suspect that mushrooms could possibly restore the population of bees.

The average human being usually has issues when it comes to bees. Bees help pollination and this helps everyone, but alternatively, they sting people. Most of the time, a bee sting is not fatal, but it isn’t exactly a pleasant experience either.

Although most people see bees as a nuisance because of their poor temper and their ability to sting, everyone knows that bees are needed for survival. This is why it’s been unsettling to hear the reports of populations of bees dying in masses. How would we survive without bees?

There are a lot of solid theories and reasons for the death of these bees, but a single man has decided to take the responsibility of finding a way to save the bees. It may be hard to believe, but the answer to the survival of bees is found easily and freely in nature. The answer lies in mushrooms.

What Causes Bees To Die?

Companies are usually blamed for the death of bees because of the pesticides they use, but there are many other reasons for the death of these bees. TIME reported in an article in 2017 that the number of bees in over 700 species of American bees was falling.

What’s more is that this isn’t just restricted to bees alone. It affects butterflies too. Bees are at about a 37 percent species loss. 9 percent of bee and butterfly populations could actually become extinct.

Dennis vanEngeldorp, an entomology professor at the University of Maryland, says that bee colonies are dying off because of Varroa mites. Varroa mites spread certain viruses that are deadly to bees, to their colonies. This wipes them out quite fast. This is a shockingly natural reason for the death of the bees, but it is still very worrying. Luckily the cure is also created by nature.

The Cure Is In Mushrooms

Paul Stamets was the first man to discover the antiviral properties of a mushroom – specifically for insects. Paul Stamets retails mushrooms and has thus has spent a lot of time with them. He spoke to Tuscaloosa News about the morning he made the discovery. He saw some bees interacting with his mushrooms.

He could see the bees sipping the droplets coming out of the mycelium. He had previously thought that the bees were in search of sugar, but he’d had a hypothesis that it may be something else.

The first person to really appreciate Stamets’s work was Steve Sheppard, an entomology professor at Washington State University. He pursued Stamets’ mushroom theory. He ran tests on bees who had been exposed to the mites, giving half of them a mushroom additive.

The test subjects who were given the mushroom additives were cured of the mite-borne viruses, proving Stamets correct.

The Plan To Save The Bees

Stamets sees bees as civilization’s canary in the coal mine. If the bees are dying, we will soon follow suit. He asks what important thing that we will lose that will lead to a catastrophic failure. He believes the rivet to be losing the bees. Over a third of the food we eat is dependent on bees.

Bees have been dying since the first breakout of these mites in 1980. Several other scientists fear that the extinction of bees could also be the extinction of the human race. The goal is to have 3D-printed mushroom mycelia extract feeder on our shelves in 2019. This extract will likely be sold by subscription.

Of course, this is dependent on people stepping forward and taking action to save the bees, so only time can tell how this will go. Would you help save the bees by buying this product? That might be dependent on of a bee has ever stung you before.

Scientist suspect that mushrooms could possibly restore the population of bees.

The average human being usually has issues when it comes to bees. Bees help pollination and this helps everyone, but alternatively, they sting people. Most of the time, a bee...

Earth

Help! Antarctica Losing Six Times More Ice Every Year

Were you to even be a minimal user of social media, you would find that the #10yearchallenge was in full swing: people posting photos of themselves 10 years ago until now. However, some people used it to make a more pertinent point – with some climate activists using it to post pictures of rapidly degrading parts of the world.

If these images resonated with you, then this might also do so: according to NASA, Antarctica is losing roughly six times more ice every single year than it was in 1979.

That’s a hell of a lot of work and ‘progress’ for a few short decades. The levels at which we are seeing ice melting should worry us all, yet little is done to try and combat the issue. These new numbers from NASA, though, should be the wake-up call that we need.

Thanks to a new study put together in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, we now know that the ice mass loss in Antarctica is accelerating at a pace we can barely keep track of.

Naturally, this is not a good thing. It’s going to cause a huge amount of issues and is only likely to get worse. This is according to Eric Rignot, the lead author on the study, who works for the University of California as well as the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who said: “That’s just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak,

“As the Antarctic ice sheet continues to melt away, we expect multi-meter sea level rise from Antarctica in the coming centuries.”

If that does not make you think that we need to act now, you have to look around to work out what the next step is.

An Assessment Which Requires Action

As the largest assessment of its kind across Antarctic ice mass this is going to provide us with a case study of what has to change. The team used all manner of imagery from NASA aircraft as well as useful satellite data collected by numerous groups.

With around 40 billion tons of ice lost per year from 1979-1990, today we see around 252 billion tons wiped off the Antarctic. That means that we are seeing, roughly, a 280% increase on the amount of ice that was lost from 1979-2001. In 16 years, we’ve done so much incredible damage.

Rignot continued, adding: “The Wilkes Land sector of East Antarctica has, overall, always been an important participant in the mass loss, even as far back as the 1980s, as our research has shown,

“This region is probably more sensitive to climate [change] than has traditionally been assumed, and that’s important to know, because it holds even more ice than West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula together.”

Is the prognosis good, though? Not according to Rignot: “As climate warming and ozone depletion send more ocean heat toward those sectors, they will continue to contribute to sea level rise from Antarctica in decades to come.” He concluded.

This is a worrying development and one which should require urgent action – worldwide. We’re beginning to see more and more information come out with regards to the severity of the climate change impact. We might not be able to stop this, but we could mitigate it: we need to act as soon as possible, though, or stories like this will become increasingly commonplace.

Were you to even be a minimal user of social media, you would find that the #10yearchallenge was in full swing: people posting photos of themselves 10 years ago until now. However, some people used it to make a more pertinent point – with some climate...

Earth Science

Billionaire to Investigate the Great Blue Hole

There are so many strange places in the world yet to be explored. One of them is the great blue hole; it was discovered in Belize, on the eastern coast of Central America. The great blue hole is now the focus of many explorers who are determined to find out what is beneath the hole.

Currently, there is a team of scientists and explorers who plan to investigate the great blue hole. They will be going on this expedition with a full crew of filmmakers who will capture the adventure and show everything the explorers discover.

The great blue hole is located at the center of the Lighthouse Reef. Its measurements indicate the great blue hole is about 100 kilometers off the eastern coast. The site is about 300 hundred meters wide and 125 meters deep from the estimations. The past reports indicate the place was formerly a limestone cave. Over the years, the water level rose, and the cave became destroyed forming the cavern now known as the great blue hole. It is currently the second largest blue hole existing in the world.

The efforts to explore the great blue hole started in 1971; the expedition was organized by Jacques Cousteau, a French diver, and explorer. Now, the team going on this new expedition include Fabien Cousteau, the son of the explorer and Richard Branson, known for his interests in exploration and adventure. The goal of this team is to map and explore the great blue hole.

The team will be using specially designed Aquatica Stingray 500 submersible watercraft to reach depths that cannot be reached by divers. With this high-tech equipment, it may be possible to see what lies beneath the great blue hole.

This adventure will be fun; there are also many benefits. The reports from this exploration will be useful in understanding the events that led to the formation of the great blue hole. There may also be useful discoveries to help us understand how the Mayan Empire which existed in the 10th century fell. The team plans to collect water samples from the bottom of the cavern as well as soil samples from the seabed. These and more findings will be analyzed to find more details about the great blue hole.

The audience has not been left out of this expedition. You can watch the preparations and some parts of the expedition on the Discovery Channel; the shows will start running in December 2018. The expedition is planned to last for about two weeks, but it may take longer. There will be video clips captured at the bottom of the great blue hole to show the world what it looks like at those depths.

The entire expedition will also be channeled towards projecting the need to preserve the aquatic habitat and its marine life. While exploring the depths of the great blue hole, efforts will be made to avoid touching or destroying the natural settings beneath the water, shipwrecks and other objects found beneath will only be photographed without physical contact.

There is a lot to reveal, considering that the great blue hole was explored many years ago. So, we look forward to the new findings.

We want to be better…So if you found a mistake in this article, please let us know

There are so many strange places in the world yet to be explored. One of them is the great blue hole; it was discovered in Belize, on the eastern coast of Central America. The great blue hole is now the focus of many explorers who are determined to find out...

Earth

Which Is Better For The Environment? Real or Fake Christmas Trees

We live in times when everyone is concerned about the environment. Every year millions of Christmas trees are purchased and set up in homes as part of the Christmas decoration. It is a long time tradition that won’t go away in a hurry.

However, in a bid to make our actions more environmental friendly many people are considering buying the fake Christmas trees because they believe these trees are more environmentally friendly. Are they really?

The fake Christmas trees are made from plastic, at least 80% of them are, these trees can add to your carbon footprint too. Now imagine millions of people buying the fake Christmas trees, it can become a disaster. We also consider the distance these synthetic Christmas trees have to be transported before reaching your doorstep. That’s a lot of exposure to the environment.

The studies infer that a fake Christmas tree measuring about 6 feet has a carbon footprint of about 40kg. This is evaluated based on the greenhouse emissions from the product. It is quite high when compared to the real trees cut and used as Christmas trees.

While we frown at the fact that so many real trees will be cut and this can affect the forests, it is such a relief to know that these trees can be recycled after Christmas. Fortunately, many communities have special arrangements to collect all used real Christmas trees for recycling after the festive period.

So, we can confidently advise you to consider buying the real Christmas trees. However, there are some things you should look out for during purchase.

First, confirm the real Christmas tree has been grown locally. This is essential because locally grown Christmas trees can be easily delivered within a short time; hence carbon footprint during delivery is reduced.

It is also important to check if it is indicated that the tree you are about to buy can be recycled. The trees are mostly chipped during recycling, so it is an environmentally friendly process.

It would help if you also considered buying a real Christmas tree because they absorb carbon dioxide from your environment and help replenish oxygen. This is a normal process with all plants and a good reason to protect our green environment.

Many artificial Christmas trees have been imported from other countries. This is why buying locally grown Christmas trees comes with peace of mind. You are certain that your tree is fresh and will add value to your environment.

From another perspective, some people claim they can keep their fake Christmas trees and reuse them many times, in the coming years. This is possible, but even if you keep the tree for as long as three or four years, there comes a time when it will be discarded, and that becomes a threat to your environment because it is made from non-biodegradable plastic.

So, this Christmas, consider buying a real Christmas tree. Fortunately, these trees can be purchased from your local stores. You can either buy the potted Christmas trees, which come in different sizes or larger versions. It is also possible to buy and erect a real Christmas tree in front of your home. Bothered about the size? No problems. Simply find the local services that have been set up to collect these trees after the festive period for recycling.

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We live in times when everyone is concerned about the environment. Every year millions of Christmas trees are purchased and set up in homes as part of the Christmas decoration. It is a long time tradition that won’t go away in a hurry.
However, in a bid to...

Animals Earth

Dog Discovers 13,000 Year Old Mammoth Bone

I spend a lot of energy commanding my dog to stop digging in the backyard. After this story, maybe I will just allow him to dig, he might find a treasure in my backyard. In this case, the little dog discovered something spectacular and of huge scientific importance.

The dog, a Labrador retriever, lived in Whidbey Island, Washington with its owner. It loved to dig, and in September, the Labrador’s efforts paid off with the discovery of a 13,000-year-old mammoth fossil. At first, it was not clear what the object was, but the scent excited the dog. It was like the dog knew it had unearthed something of a great mystery.

The object was analyzed, and it later turned out to be a mammoth tooth. The dog’s owner Kirk Lacewell was excited about the discovery, and the potential of finding more fossils in his backyard.

Lacewell confirmed he knew when the dog named Scout discovered the fossil, but at that time it looked like a piece of rock. Scout had other thoughts, he played with the discovery and did not discard it; Scout carefully left the mammoth fossil at a location it could be seen by Lacewell the next day. A closer look revealed the object had the features of a bone. Lacewell washed it and realized that he was holding something that needed to be further examined by professionals.

The pictures of the bone were sent to the scientists at the University of Washington’s Burke Museum. They examined its features and determined what it was, and its age was estimated. Lacewell had read about such discoveries before but never imagined he will be the person to make such a finding. He was in possession of a mammoth’s tooth, it was incredible.

At the Burke Museum, it was confirmed that there had been so many other fossils of woolly mammoths discovered in different parts of the Whidbey Island. This indicates that many years ago the Island was home to hundreds of these creatures. The unique composition of their bones made it possible to be preserved for many years. The woolly mammoths are thought to have gone extinct after the last Ice Age which happened about 11,000 years ago.

It is not known if Lacewell plans to sell his mammoth tooth. For now, it hangs on his living room mantle, where he and other visitors can admire the tooth. There have been so many discoveries in the area, so museums are not particularly interested in purchasing the tooth because they have so many already. However, it helps to know that neighbors and friends will not have to make a trip to the museum if they want to see what a mammoth’s tooth looks like. All it takes is a visit to Lacewell’s home.

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I spend a lot of energy commanding my dog to stop digging in the backyard. After this story, maybe I will just allow him to dig, he might find a treasure in my backyard. In this case, the little dog discovered something spectacular and of huge scientific...

Earth

A Remote Tribe Killed a US Missionary. How?

Unless you manage to basically avoid all news this week, you’ve likely seen the latest piece of untouched humanity we’re about to ruin and corrupt. The remote, previously undiscovered tribe that was located by a US Missionary, who was then killed, sparkled a huge amount of interest in the media.

While some made the reasonable point that we should leave them be, other people wanted to ride in and bother the tribe, ‘uplifting’ them – or welcoming them to the big-ass hellhole we’re doing such a fine job of building.

Not a great deal is known about them at the moment. The Sentinelese, one of the most isolated tribal groups around, have absolutely nothing to do with mainstream society. In a way, we kind of envy them. So, when the news that John Chau was killed trying to interact with them, it was quite sad to hear such actions had taken place.

However, this is a tribe that has made it clear in the past that it wishes to be left well alone. While groups such as Survival International have learned some about the tribe, they are mostly shrouded in mystery. The fear is that, with their rise to ‘stardom’, more people will try to irritate them and end up creating an international scene. Hopefully, nothing more comes of this – the world has a habit of moving on from a news story almost immediately. Let’s hope the same happens here.

Based over in the Bay of Bengal between India and Myanmar, the Sentinelese are a happy people who, as far as we know, take nothing to do with our own worlds. Indian law means you cannot go within five miles of their island in a bid to help preserve their way of life.

Avoiding extinction

Another good reason why we stay clear of them is that we could wipe them out. Given they take nothing to do with us, logic dictates that their immune systems have never really dealt with the pathogens that we would today consider harmless. As such, a simple illness we treat in minutes with over the counter remedies could wipe out their whole populace.

The risk, then, is too great. And besides, if they never asked for ‘enlightenment’ then how could anyone force it upon them?

This is a community that has supposedly lived here for over 50,000 years – we should do nothing to interrupt a way of life which has obviously done them so well. Look at what we have wiped out across ‘civilized’ society across time – perhaps we should avoid trying to be too influential in a part of the world we don’t understand. Or belong.

It’s believed anything from 15-200 people live on the island, with small bands of people staying together to survive. With large huts and more short-term shelters, they are a culture that looks pretty harmonious. Leave them to it, please. These aren’t people who deserve to be ruined by the ‘gift’ of industry and economics.

We want to be better…So if you found a mistake in this article, please let us know

Unless you manage to basically avoid all news this week, you’ve likely seen the latest piece of untouched humanity we’re about to ruin and corrupt. The remote, previously undiscovered tribe that was located by a US Missionary, who was then killed...