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The latest news on Environment from Business Insider

older | 1 | .... | 14 | 15 | (Page 16) | 17 | 18 | .... | 135 | newer

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    In the past 24 hours, Snowstorm Nemo has wreaked havoc on the Northeast.

    It left behind nearly a foot of snow in New York City, canceled thousands of flights, left hundreds of thousands of people without power, and it ruined New York Fashion Week.

    We watched Nemo from our offices in Flatiron, Manhattan, and the sudden changes from rain to snow to ice to clear blue skies were stunning.

    See these changes for yourself and watch our 24 hour time-lapse video (sped up to 90 seconds) of Nemo sweeping through New York City:

     

    Produced by William Wei

    SEE ALSO: Photos Of Manhattan Covered In Nearly A Foot Of Snow Left Behind By Nemo

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    blizzard

    The photo above of a pedestrian in Boston battling wind and snow from the major winter storm that rolled through the northeast last Friday was taken by Thomas Reuters' senior photographer Brian Snyder. 

    Poynter's Julie Moos has pointed out that the image was featured on the front pages of four major newspapers over the weekend: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The New York Post

    That's pretty bizarre.  

    Snyder took the photo in front of Boston's South Station on Feb. 8. 

    Go to Poynter for more on the story behind the photo and Snyder's background. 

    SEE ALSO: Major Blizzard Blankets The Northeast [PHOTOS]

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    For seven years, researchers used NASA's GRACE satellites, which measure Earth's gravitational pull from space, to monitor rising and falling water levels in the Middle East along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. This in turn, provided a picture of water storage changes over time.  

    A compilation of satellite images reveals that Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran lost 117 million acre feet of stored freshwater between 2003 and 2010, which is roughly equal to the amount of water in the Dead Sea, according to a press release. 

    In the visualization below, red represents drier conditions and blue represents wetter conditions. 

    There are several reasons for the recent water loss. A drought in 2007, which reduced the amount of surface water available, placed more pressure on groundwater pumping to irrigate farm land. 

    Lack of rainfall, and more frequent dry spells, is a response to climate change. On top of all this, the region's demand for freshwater is increasing. 

    The Tigris and Euphrates river basins have the second fastest rate of groundwater storage loss on Earth, after India, Jay Famiglietti, the study's principle investigator and a hydrologist and professor at UC Irvine, said in a news statement.  

    "The Middle East just does not have that much water to begin with, and it's a part of the world that will be experiencing less rainfall with climate change," said Famiglietti. "Those dry areas are getting dryer. The Middle East and the world's other arid regions need to manage available water resources as best they can."

    SEE ALSO: 'Suicidal' Antarctic Journey Reaches First Milestone

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    Monsanto corn

    The agricultural giant Monsanto has sued hundreds of small farmers in the United States in recent years in attempts to protect its patent rights on genetically engineered seeds that it produces and sells, a new report said on Tuesday.

    The study, produced jointly by the Center for Food Safety and the Save Our Seeds campaigning groups, has outlined what it says is a concerted effort by the multinational to dominate the seeds industry in the US and prevent farmers from replanting crops they have produced from Monsanto seeds.

    In its report, called Seed Giants vs US Farmers, the CFS said it had tracked numerous law suits that Monsanto had brought against farmers and found some 142 patent infringement suits against 410 farmers and 56 small businesses in more than 27 states. In total the firm has won more than $23m from its targets, the report said.

    However, one of those suits, against Indiana soybean farmer Vernon Hugh Bowman, is a potentially landmark patent case that could have wide implications for genetic engineering and who controls patents on living organisms. The CFS and SOS are both supporting Bowman in the case, which will be heard in the Supreme Court later this month.

    "Corporations did not create seeds and many are challenging the existing patent system that allows private companies to assert ownership over a resource that is vital to survival and that historically has been in the public domain," said Debbie Barker, an expert with SOS and one of the report's co-authors. Another co-author, CFS legal expert George Kimbrell, said victory in the Bowman case could help shift that balance of power back to farmers. "The great weight of history and the law is on the side of Mr Bowman and farmers in general," he said.

    The report also revealed the dominance that large firms and their genetically altered crops have in the US and global market. It found that 53% of the world's commercial seed market is controlled by just three firms – Monsanto, DuPont and Syngenta.

    Meanwhile genetically-altered commodity crops – and thus the influence of patent protection – have spread to become overwhelmingly dominant. In the US some 93% of soybeans and 86% of corn crops come from such seeds.

    The Bowman case has come about after the 75-year-old farmer bought soybeans from a grain elevator near his farm in Indiana and used them to plant a late-season second crop. He then used some of the resulting seeds to replant such crops in subsequent years. Because he bought them from a third party which put no restrictions on their use, Bowman has argued he is legally able to plant and replant them and that Monsanto's patent on the seeds' genes does not apply.

    Monsanto, which has won its case against Bowman in lower courts, vociferously disagrees. It argues that it needs its patents in order to protect its business interests and provide a motivation for spending millions of dollars on research and development of hardier, disease-resistant seeds that can boost food yields.

    On a website set up to put forward its point of view on the Bowman case, the company argues that if the supreme court rules against it, vast swathes of research and patent-reliant industries will be under threat. Strong patent protection that covers genetic innovations, and is passed on in subsequent generations of crops, is vital to preserving the motivation for developing new agricultural products, the firm insists.

    "If Bowman prevails, however, this field of research could be altered severely, as would many others in medicine, biofuels, and environmental science, as easily replicable technologies would no longer enjoy any meaningful protection under the patent laws,"the firm said in a statement.

    This article originally appeared on guardian.co.uk

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    Yu, a 25-year-old loggerhead sea turtle, lost her front limbs in a shark attack. She was found in 2008 and brought to an aquarium in Japan. Since then, scientists have been trying to fit Yu with artificial flippers so she can swim like a normal turtle. They were recently successful after designing rubber flippers attached to a black vest that slips over Yu's head.  

    Here's video from the AFP:

    SEE ALSO: 10 Animals That Were Hunted To Extinction

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    asteroid

    A meteorite that exploded in the sky over Russia Friday morning is not related to the asteroid expected to fly by Earth this afternoon, a European Space Agency spokesman told the Associated Press

    It's just a cosmic coincidence. 

    The meteorite, which exploded as it broke up in the atmosphere near the Ural mountains, caused a shockwave that shattered glass windows and injured at least 400 people.  

    The small piece of space debris hit land less than a day before asteroid 2012 DA14 is predicted to come within 17,200 miles of Earth, a record close approach for an object of this size. 

    NASA asteroid expert Don Yeomans agrees that the exploding fireball, known as a bolide, was likely not related to asteroid 2012 DA14, a 150-foot wide space rock that poses no danger to Earthlings.

    "The asteroid will travel south to north,"Yeomans told Space.com. "The bolide trail was not south to north and the separation in time between the fireball and 2012 DA14 close approach is significant."

    The meteorite could, however, be indirectly related to asteroid 2012 DA14. 

    Physics professor Michio Kaku explained on "CBS This Morning" that "asteroids occur in swarms" so "it's very possible that there's a swarm of asteroids around DA14."

    SEE ALSO: The Asteroid Nearing Earth Could Be Worth $195 Billion — Here's The Plan To Mine The Next One

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    A big meteor exploded over eastern Russia Friday morning

    A video of the 11-ton meteor hitting Earth's atmosphere, illuminating the sky with a giant glowing orange ball, is pretty amazing. 

    In the aftermath of the giant strike, a different video of a burning crater has also been making the rounds. Don't be fooled. This is actually from the "Door To Hell" in Turkmenistan.  

    The burning crater is not related to the Russian meteor. It's been burning since 1971 when a Soviet drilling rig fell into an underground natural gas pocket. Geologists set the hole on fire hoping to burn off excess gas. The crater still burns today.  

    Here's a whole gallery of images of the burning crater.

    Check out the video below:

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    Russian meteorite

    It was an incredible day for near-Earth objects, with two rare cosmic events occurring on the same day. 

    First, a tiny asteroid actually hit Earth, creating a significant explosion over eastern Russia around 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 15 in that part of the world. 

    Less than 24 hours later, a larger asteroid, 2012 DA14, passed safely above Earth at a distance of around 17,200 miles, the closest an object of that size has come to our planet since scientists began monitoring the skies. Astronomers had been tracking that asteroid for about a year and knew that it posed no danger of colliding with Earth.  

    NASA held a teleconference this afternoon to discuss both events.

    Here's what they know so far:

    The Russia meteor is estimated to have been about 50 feet in diameter, which is considered a tiny asteroid, according to meteor expert Bill Cooke. 

    The small asteroid hit the atmosphere moving at a blistering 40,000 miles per hour. That's more than twice as fast as asteroid 2012 DA12 is moving. The space rock lasted about 30 seconds in the atmosphere before breaking apart 12 to 15 miles above Earth's surface. 

    When the asteroid broke apart it produced an explosion that created a shockwave, which struck the Russian city of Chelyabinsk below.

    In order for a tiny asteroid to slow down, the atmosphere will absorb that energy and emit it as heat and light.

    "The event must have been brighter than the sun if you were there to watch it," said Paul Chodas, research scientist in NASA's Near Earth Object Program Office.

    The shockwave caused windows to break and walls to collapse, injuring hundreds of people as a result.  No injuries were caused by fragments falling from the sky. There are undoubtedly pieces of rock on the ground, but none have been verified with certainty yet.  

    The energy released by the event was 500 kilotons, according to Cooke, leaving a trail in the sky about 300 miles long. This is the largest recorded meteorite impact since the Tunguska explosion in 1908.

    Chodas said they did not detect the Russia asteroid because it came out of the daytime sky. These are nearly impossible to find ahead of time because telescopes can only spot asteroids during the night. 

    Scientists also verified that the Russia meteor is not related to asteroid 2012 DA14 in any way. They know this because asteroid 2012 DA14 is about three times bigger, at 150 feet in diameter, and it was traveling in a different direction, from south to north.  

    Fortunately both asteroids were relatively small in nature. Tiny asteroids like the one that exploded over Russia hit the Earth on average about once every 100 years, Chodas said. Although it is an incredible coincidence that both phenomenons happened on the same day.  

    The bigger threat to Earth is large asteroids, like the one that ultimately wiped out the dinosaurs. NASA, the lead agency in worldwide asteroid tracking, says it has found about 95 percent of large near-Earth asteroids, asteroids that are close enough and big enough to pose a hazard to Earth, though not necessarily headed in our planet's direction.   

    Now Watch: 5 Ways The World Is Going To End, According To The Mayan And Other Calendars

     

    SEE ALSO: EARTH SURVIVES NEAR PASSAGE OF ASTEROID

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    NYC Snow

    One week after a blizzard buried much of the Northeast, another storm system is strengthening off of the Northeast coast.  

    From the National Weather Service:

    Light snow is forecast in the Mid-Atlantic through Saturday, but much heavier snow and strong winds are expected to develop in coastal New England by Sunday.

    There is a potential for more than six inches of snow Saturday night through Sunday. 

    Wall Street Journal meteorologist Eric Holthaus tweets that whiteout conditions are possible in New England.

    The storm should not cover as big of an area or be as intense as the first blizzard of 2013, but  "it could get very nasty from Rhode Island and Cape Cod through Boston, southeastern New Hampshire, much of Maine and New Brunswick,"says AccuWeather.com meteorologist Brian Edwards

    Here's a map of the latest snow forecast from AccuWeather.com. It looks like New York City can expect up to three inches of snow. 

    Snow map

    The exact track of the storm is still uncertain at this point, so snow accumulations are subject to change.  

    We'll keep you updated with the latest. 

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    Hanford_Site_signOLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The long-delayed cleanup of the nation's most contaminated nuclear site became the subject of more bad news Friday, when Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced that a radioactive waste tank there is leaking.

    The news raises concerns about the integrity of similar tanks at south-central Washington's Hanford nuclear reservation and puts added pressure on the federal government to resolve construction problems with the plant being built to alleviate environmental and safety risks from the waste.

    The tanks, which are already long past their intended 20-year life span, hold millions of gallons of a highly radioactive stew left from decades of plutonium production for nuclear weapons.

    On Friday, the U.S. Department of Energy said liquid levels are decreasing in one of 177 underground tanks at the site. Monitoring wells near the tank have not detected higher radiation levels, but Inslee said the leak could be in the range of 150 gallons to 300 gallons over the course of a year and poses a potential long-term threat to groundwater and rivers.

    "I am alarmed about this on many levels," Inslee said at a news conference. "This raises concerns, not only about the existing leak ... but also concerning the integrity of the other single shell tanks of this age."

    Inslee said the state was assured years ago that such problems had been dealt with and he warned that spending cuts — particularly due to a budget fight in Congress — would create further risks at Hanford. Inslee said the cleanup must be a priority for the federal government.

    "We are willing to exercise our rights using the legal system at the appropriate time. That should be clear," Inslee said.

    Inslee said the state has a good partner in Energy Secretary Steven Chu but that he's concerned about whether Congress is committed to clean up the highly contaminated site.

    The tank in question contains about 447,000 gallons of sludge, a mixture of solids and liquids with a mud-like consistency. The tank, built in the 1940s, is known to have leaked in the past, but was stabilized in 1995 when all liquids that could be pumped out of it were removed.

    Inslee said the tank is the first to have been documented to be losing liquids since all Hanford tanks were stabilized in 2005. His staff said the federal government is working to assess other tanks.

    At the height of World War II, the federal government created Hanford in the remote sagebrush of eastern Washington as part of a hush-hush project to build the atomic bomb. The site ultimately produced plutonium for the world's first atomic blast and for one of two atomic bombs dropped on Japan, effectively ending the war.

    Plutonium production continued there through the Cold War. Today, Hanford is the nation's most contaminated nuclear site. Cleanup will cost billions of dollars and last decades.

    Central to that cleanup is the removal of millions of gallons of a highly toxic, radioactive stew — enough to fill dozens of Olympic-size swimming pools — from 177 aging, underground tanks. Many of those tanks have leaked over time — an estimated 1 million gallons of waste — threatening the groundwater and the neighboring Columbia River, the largest waterway in the Pacific Northwest.

    Twenty- eight of those tanks have double walls, allowing the Energy Department to pump waste from leaking single-shell tanks into them. However, there is very little space left in those double-shell tanks today.

    In addition, construction of a $12.3 billion plant to convert the waste to a safe, stable form is years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget. Technical problems have slowed the project, and several workers have filed lawsuits in recent months, claiming they were retaliated against for raising concerns about the plant's design and safety.

    "We're out of time, obviously. These tanks are starting to fail now," said Tom Carpenter of the Hanford watchdog group Hanford Challenge. "We've got a problem. This is big."

    Inslee said he would be traveling to Washington D.C. next week to discuss the problem further.

    ___

    Dininny reported from Yakima, Wash.

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    The ocean is still mysterious place, but one thing we know: The Great White shark is a fearsome predator. Why would someone willingly jump into the water with one, as we see freediver Ocean Ramsey do in the video below?

    "While swimming with sharks is certainly a thrilling experience, my attraction to purposely come face to face with sharks such as Great Whites, Tigers and others is for a different reason – advocating shark conservation," she wrote in a blog post at waterinspired.com. "Sharks are intelligent, calculated and generally very cautious about approaching humans. More importantly, sharks play a vital role in maintaining a healthy ocean ecosystem."

    The underwater video was shot with a Go Pro HD HERO2 camera. The company posted the video on YouTube with this caption:

    This year on Valentine's Day, celebrate the love we have for the natural world around us. Join freediver Ocean Ramsey as she shares a quiet moment with a Great White Shark.

    For more information on shark awareness and conservation, please visit waterinspired.com

    Here's the video:

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    manatee molestThe incriminating images show Ryan William Waterman, 21, and his two children petting a manatee calf at Taylor Creek in Fort Pierce last month, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). In one shot, Waterman is holding the calf partially out of the shallow water, and in another image, one of his young children is sitting on top of the animal as if riding it.

    While the family's actions might look playful, biologists said such contact could be deadly for a manatee calf.

    "This was a young manatee, which was likely still dependent on its mother for food and protection. Separating the two could have severe consequences for the calf," FWC manatee biologist Thomas Reinert said in a statement. [Photos: World's Cutest Baby Wild Animals]

    "The calf also appeared to be experiencing manatee cold-stress syndrome, a condition that can lead to death in extreme cases," Reinert added. "Taking the calf out of the water may have worsened its situation."

    Waterman faces charges under the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act, which makes it illegal to molest, harass or disturb manatees, classified as an endangered species in the state. His offense also violates the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, which makes it illegal to hunt or get up close to manatees as well as all other marine mammals, such as whales, seals and walruses.

    These laws, however, have not prevented some recent close encounters in Florida, perhaps due to a lack of awareness. (Waterman, in fact, told local television station WPEC-TV that he meant no harm and didn't know it was illegal to touch a manatee.)

    In December, a woman snapped pictures at Pompano Beach, on Florida's Atlantic coast, of swimmers who might have been trying to ride a sickly sperm whale. The 35-foot (10.6-meter)-long creature was reported to be flapping its tail at the time of the incident and eventually washed ashore dead.

    And last October, a woman turned herself in after photos surfaced showing her riding a manatee at Florida's Fort DeSoto Park near Tampa. At the time, reports suggested she could have faced up to 60 days in jail and a possible fine of $500 for her crime.

    There are estimated to be just 3,800 manatees in Florida, and each year, about 87 are killed by humans, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, most of them dying in boat collisions. Coastal development, which has altered and destroyed manatee habitat, also threatens the species.

    Follow LiveScience on Twitter @livescience. We're also on Facebook & Google+.

    Copyright 2013 LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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    FishLast October, three astronauts and 32 small fish were sent to the International Space Station, or ISS.  

    The astronauts included commander Kevin Ford and Russian cosmonauts Evgeny Tarelkin and Oleg Novitskiy.

    The medaka fish, a freshwater fish native to southeast Asia, were sent into space to see how microgravity impacts marine life, particularly how their skeletal system changes in a weightless environment. 

    The fish make ideal space and science candidates because they are transparent, so it's easy to see how their organs work inside.

    Once arriving on the station, the tiny fish were transferred to an Aquatic Habitat, provided by the Japanese Space Agency. 

    So how are those fish doing now? Well, most of them are dead, according to crew members aboard the ISS, who participated in a live webcast today, speaking to an audience from some 240 miles above Earth. 

    Many of the sacrificed fish were soon sent back to Earth, while others stayed on the space station.

    Those fish are now in the freezer, said astronaut Chris Hadfield from the Canadian Space Agency (Hadfield also did an "Ask Me Anything" on Reddit the other day, in which he revealed that astronauts deal with a steady threat of radiation, meteors and system failure). 

    One thing you can count on — the aquatic creatures gave their life for science. 

    SEE ALSO: Here's The Plan To Mine The Next Asteroid

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    Ian Prickett is a technician in the six-man group attempting to be the first cross Antarctica during the winter. He tweeted the photo below on Feb. 9.

    Underneath all that white is a 25-ton Caterpillar tractor that's been customized to push through all the snow. The tractor pulls a bunch of food and fuel sledges, as well as a heated living caboose for the team. 

    The crew won't start their journey proper until March 21. They arrived on the continent in early February via a polar ship to start training and setting up base camp.  

    BCuPHWGCEAAQmhy

    SEE ALSO: 'Suicidal' Antarctic Journey Reaches First Milestone

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    Researchers at Lake Tahoe have discovered a number of gigantic goldfish breeding in Lake Tahoe and they're worried it could ruin the lake's crystal-clear water, reports NBC's KCRA-3 in Sacramento.

    "You just see this bright gold and orange thing start to float up, and you think, 'What is that?' And you take a net and scoop it up and it's like, 'That's a goldfish,'" researcher Christine Naig told the TV station.

    They're finding goldfish up to a foot and a half long, and they say they're increasing common in the lake:

    gigantic goldfish in lake tahoe

    Scientists think that the goldfish got there form "aquarium dumping"— where people dump their pet fish in lakes and streams.

    They are worried that widespread goldfish breeding will lead to algae growth and muck up the famously pristine water of Lake Tahoe:

    caught goldfish at lake tahoe

    Here's the full report from KCRA:
     

    SEE ALSO: This Is What A Fish's Thoughts Look Like

    SEE ALSO: NASA Killed A Bunch Of Fish In Zero-G Experiments

    SEE ALSO: Drugs In Our Waters Are Changing The Behavior Of Fish

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    During a 48-hour period, between Feb. 19 and Feb. 20, scientists watched a massive sunspot form on the surface of the sun. 

    The spot is more than than six Earths in diameter, and could potentially be even bigger, according to NASA

    Sunspots appear when the "sun's magnetic fields rearrange and realign," the space agency writes. They are cooler than the rest of the sun. 

    The spot could result in major solar flares later this week and is associated with the sun reaching the peak of its 11-year solar cycle this year.  

    The spot refers to those bottom two black circles on the sun. 

    sunspot

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    Popular Science's Emily Elert has posted a great live stream of a Great Horned Owl, named "Mrs. Tiger" whose two eggs could hatch any second.  

    3:13 p.m. EST Mrs. Tiger just seems to be snoozing. Don't see any action yet.  

     

    4:40 p.m. EST: So it seems we're a little behind schedule. After much sleeping, the mom-to-be stood up and it looked like something was happening. There was a lot of noise too. Turns out she was just getting comfy and rearranging the eggs.  Here's a screenshot of the commotion:

    Owl

     

    6:30 p.m. EST After another bout of shuffling around, we got a glimpse of the egg!

    Shuffle shuffle shuffle:Great horned owl cam

    And here's the egg:Great horned owl cam

    She's even got a little treat stored up for later:Great horned owl cam

    Watch now!
    Live video from your Android device on Ustream

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    Ranulph FiennesExplorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the leader of an expedition to cross the Antarctic in winter, has been forced to pull out due to severe frostbite, the BBC reports.

    Fiennes, 68, and five other men arrived on Antarctica toward the end of January. They planned to begin their 2,400-mile trek across the icy continent, in temperatures that can dip as low as minus 130 degrees Fahrenheit, on March 21. If successful, it would make them the first to cross the continent in winter.

    But now the "the world's greatest living explorer" is out. His condition must be pretty serious given that he once sawed off his own frostbitten fingertips

    According to the BBC, Fiennes "was injured after an accident while skiing during a whiteout." He fell on the ice and had to take off his gloves to fix a ski binding. Temperatures were around around minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit. The decision was thus made to evacuate him.  

    “Ran has suffered an accident to his hand which effectively makes his continued participation in the expedition more of a liability than an asset,” an expedition spokesperson said, according to the Derbyshire Times

    The other five members of the expedition are expected to continue the journey.  

    The dangers of the trip were well-known from the beginning.  Before the ice team made landfall, co-leader Anton Bowring predicted that something bad will happen. Even with five years of preparation, they didn't know if their clothing would hold up in the harsh polar conditions.

    Ran will continue to support the journey through fundraising.   

    This video of crew member Ian Prickett was posted to The Coldest Journey blog on Feb. 22. It gives you a pretty good idea of the kind of inhospitable conditions the team faces. 

    SEE ALSO: 'Suicidal' Antarctic Journey Reaches First Milestone

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    Noah Wilson-RichThis is part of our series on the Sexiest Scientists Alive.

    A buzzing bee is not always something to swat at.

    Even though 30-year-old Noah Wilson-Rich was afraid of every creepy-crawly passing by when he was younger, he is now a scientist who studies bees and bee diseases.

    Bees are important not only because they pollinate flowers and crops, but also because they produce honey for our teas and beeswax, an ingredient found in products like lip balm, hand lotion and furniture polish.

    Wilson-Rich, who received his Ph.D. from Tufts University, founded Boston-based Best Bees Company in 2010. The company supports people who want to own and care for their own beehive.

    The scientist snapped some photos and explained his typical day at work.  

    Wake up time is around 7 a.m., give or take a few snooze button smacks. I organize my day during my first cup of coffee. Today is Valentine’s Day, so I’m wearing my red hoodie while conspiring how to balance my two jobs and my relationship on this special — and busy — day.



    The “Best Bees beemobile” is my ride on most days involving field work visiting beehives.



    By the time I arrive at the Best Bees Company Urban Beekeeping Laboratory around 9 a.m., two of our fabulous interns are already hard at work processing beeswax. Peggie dePasquale (left) is a student at Simmons College in Boston and Alia Marinone (right) is a student at Lesley University in Cambridge.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    lobster roll maine food

    Darden Restaurants, the owner of Red Lobster, Olive Garden, and LongHorn Steakhouse chains, announced last spring that it was investing in the world's first commercial lobster farm in Malaysia.  

    In an analyst conference today, the restaurant operator explained that it "sees global demand for lobster exceeding supply." 

    Since there isn't a limitless supply of lobsters in the wild, growing lobsters in captivity will increase the supply. The company hopes this will drive down prices for consumers and provide a buffer against the rising cost of seafood.  

    According to the Orlando Sentinel's Sandra Pedicini, Darden has partnered with a  Malaysian group on a 23,000-acre aquaculture park. 

    "After several years of research and investment in hatchery technology, we selected Malaysia as the site, as we intend to grow a species of spiny lobster known as panulirus ornatus indigenous to the region. While we’re excited about the prospects for this initiative, it will be several years (2017) before it’s operational and even longer (2029) before production is expected to reach scale,"Darden said in a 2012 report

    Spiny lobsters, also known as rock lobsters, are distinguished by their lack of claws and short spines. In comparison to true lobster (Maine lobster), it's more mild and bland.

    By 2029, the company plans to produce up to 40 million pounds of spiny lobster with annual revenue of $ 1 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal.  

    Now Watch: How This Maine Native Is Taking Over The East Coast With His Luke's Lobster Shacks

     

    SEE ALSO: This Is What The Inside Of A Great White Shark Looks Like

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