Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel

Embed this content in your HTML


Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Channel Catalog

Channel Description:

The latest news on Environment from Business Insider

older | 1 | .... | 19 | 20 | (Page 21) | 22 | 23 | .... | 135 | newer

    0 0

    Entomophagy_Rachel Wylie

    A new report from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization said that eating insects, known as entomophagy, can reduce world hunger

    Not everyone agrees: Insect eater and researcher Tom Turpin, from Purdue University says that while insects can tasty they won't make a dent in world hunger.

    "I think the issue is not whether or not we would be willing to eat them, but whether we could produce enough to make a dent in world hunger," Turpin said. "We have spent thousands of years trying to master crop production, master animal husbandry, to produce the volume that we need to rely on something as a food source."

    Apart from the insects grown for fishing bait, pollinating crops, and zoos, Turpin has not seen any commercial production of insects and nothing on the scale large enough to feed the world population.

    "It doesn't mean would couldn't do it, but we haven't spent the time culturing insects in the way we have cultured plants and animals for that food purpose," he said.

    Insect eating also suffers from a serious image issue in Europe and the United States, and some Western attitudes toward insects have spread to other cultures, sometimes through Christian missionaries or other means.

    People also often change their eating habits throughout their lives, especially as they become wealthier.

    "It's one of those things where people say, 'oh I always had to eat that growing up,'"Turpin said. "Even in China, where larvae and pupae are commonly eaten, when some people become wealthier they seem less likely to eat those. So even in cultures that accept it, sometimes we see a change based on social status."

    The authors of the UN report theorize that insects never caught on as a food source or agricultural product because domesticated meat sources like cattle were just too useful — they also provided milk and leather for clothing in colder climates.

    Most insect consumption occurs in warmer climates, since tropical insects tend to be larger, more plentiful, and available year-round.

    Environmental threats to insect populations around the world may yet be the biggest obstacle to worldwide insect-eating. Collapsing wild bee populations and evidence of declines in other insect numbers may turn what is now a plentiful resource into a rare delicacy.

    But they are delicious.

    Beetles are the most popular six-legged snack, followed by caterpillars, then bees, wasps, and ants. People are also known to grub on grasshoppers, cicadas, termites, dragonflies, and others.

    Turpin estimates that he has eaten at least 40 different species of insects on his travels around the world and has even dished them up at the annual Bug Bowl he co-founded at Purdue.

    "When we do our demos, we cook mealworms in some kind of cooking oil or even butter, and you just stir fry them and they taste a little bit like popcorn," Turpin told Business Insider. "We mix them with vegetables and make a sort of chop suey sort of thing; we make what we call chocolate chirpy chip cookies, where we substitute cricket bits for some of the chocolate chips."Cranberry Cricket Cookies_Rachel Wylie

    It may sound gross, but insects often blend well into recipes where you might otherwise use meat, Turpin said. "If you use insects in a recipe, whatever it is, they're going to taste mostly like whatever spices you are using in the recipe, just like a lot of meat or vegetables."

    In one very elite cultural institution in Europe and America, insect-based dishes are starting to catch on: the high-end restaurant.

    "Eating insects to the North Americans and Europeans could become more like eating some types of mushrooms, it becomes a kind of specialty food item," Turpin said. "So if you go to a high-end restaurant, you can eat some things that you normally wouldn't find in a grocery store or wouldn't normally include in your diet. So I actually think that is will fit into that genre of food, a not readily available everyday food, but more of a specialty or unique food item."

    SEE ALSO: 11 Delicious Insect Dishes

    Please follow Science on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0

    Oklahoma Tornado

    The mile-wide tornado that hit Oklahoma City suburbs today is reminiscent of the the May 3, 1999 tornado that wreaked havoc in the same area — killing 46 and causing $1.1 billion in damage.

    It could even be worse.

    "There appears to be a wider damage path than the May 3 1999 tornado," Harold Brooks of the National Severe Storms Lab told Business Insider. "We know of at least 2 elementary schools that were hit."

    Recovery crews are sifting through the damage for survivors, and it will be days before we know the full extent of the deadly storm system's damage.

    "It appears to be a violent tornado... an EF4 at least," Brooks said. An EF4 is the second highest rating on the Enhanced Fujita scale, which rates tornadoes by the damage caused.

    These tornadoes are violent, and with wind speeds up to 200 miles per hour. Damage from this tornado typically results in a total loss of the affected structure, so underground shelter is needed to survive unhurt.

    The twister that ran through Moore was on the ground for 40 minutes, according to the National Weather Service.

    "There's a whole bunch of other storms that are tornadoing around the area," Brooks said, and this storm hasn't petered out yet. It could still move on and produce tornadoes over areas near Shawnee that were hit in storms yesterday.

    nws moor tornado pathsToday's tornado has already crossed paths with the path of the deadly May 3 tornado, including the town of Moore, where those elementary schools are, was also destroyed in the 1999 tornado.

    Tornadoes are pretty frequent in Oklahoma, but how disastrous they are depends on what part of town they go through, in a rural area, a tornado might not hurt anyone, but if it goes through the center of the city, there will be a lot of damage.

    "We get events of this magnitude every couple of years, and always some of the equation is what gets hit," Brooks said. "The ones yesterday would have been more deadly if they had hit about 30 miles away. They hit mostly rural areas."

    Yesterday's storm was also an EF4, but today's was much worse because it ran through the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore.

    Brooks isn't the only one worried about the potential damage from this mile-wide twister, with local meteorologists covering the story reportedly saying this could be one of the more damaging and severe tornadoes they've ever seen.

    Please follow Science on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0

    piles of dead crazy ants around a florida home

    A new invasion of circuitry-eating "crazy ants" is beginning to wreak havoc in the Southeastern US.

    "These ants, commonly called Rasberry crazy ants, probably will be the worse insect that we've ever had to deal with in this part of the United States," pest control expert Tom Rasberry, who first saw the mystery invaders, told The Texas Country Reporter.

    The ants are called crazy because of their random, nonlinear movements when looking for food, as opposed to the orderly formations of other ants who line up to transport food to the hive. 

    A new study, published in the April 2013 issue of the journal Biological Invasions, found that these crazy ants, which are formally known as tawny crazy ants and scientifically called Nylanderia fulva, are driving out the previous ant invaders, the fire ants, which sounds like a good thing, but really, these ants are much worse. 

    "When you talk to folks who live in the invaded areas, they tell you they want their fire ants back," study researcher Edward LeBrun, of the University of Texas at Austin, said in a statement. "Fire ants are in many ways very polite. They live in your yard. They form mounds and stay there, and they only interact with you if you step on their mound."

    queen crazy ant head

    The problem is that crazy ant aren't just confined to yards and forests, but often take up residence in the walls and crawl spaces of people's homes. They are attracted to electrical equipment and household appliances.

    They are probably attracted to the magnetic fields or heat from the electronics.

    When they make their way to electrical equipment, they chew through wires and electrocute themselves, which makes the release a compound that attracts other ants, in an effort to call for help. These ants can form balls that can short out systems. They also die in droves and their carcasses can cause overheating and mechanical failures.

    They've even attacked the Johnson Space Center, though NASA quickly took action to prevent any damage to their electrical systems.

    Here's a fuzzy video of the ants having taken over a computer mouse. According to YouTube user eyehatetests, who posted it:

    I came home from work to go on my computer and found a trail of ants coming from my mouse, I took the mouse outside and found out that there was a ant colony in my mouse. So I took a Ziploc bag and put it in there with a piece of tissue drenched in rubbing alcohol. Soon enough they all died and I got my mouse back.

    crazy ants in leaf litter on handNot only do they infest electronics and chew through wires, they will also have a big impact on the environment. The new study found that these crazy ants are breeding so quickly they are pushing out every other kind of ant in every area they invade, often within a year.

    The crazy ants rapidly take over new habitats — they can be 100 times as dense as all other ants combined.

    Traditional ant traps don't seem to work on these ants, and they form super colonies which can quickly re-infest anywhere that's been treated with insecticides.

    The ants started showing up in Houston and Florida in 2002 and in the last decade have spread all throughout the Gulf coast. They seem to like the moist coast line area. Luckily, they don't move too fast, about 20 to 30 meters per month.

    They also kill off other insects in the area. This biological richness is important for the ecology of the area — these insects and ants break down and help decompose the leaf litter covering the forest floor. Here's a video of just how dense these ants can get in the forest:

    Please follow Science on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0

    Climate Change, Muir Glacier melt

    Almost all scientists now agree that global climate change is caused by humans. A steadily-warming planet impacts the environment in many different ways. 

    Rising global temperatures, largely due to man-made greenhouse gases, are the source of widely-discussed observable changes to the Earth like melting glaciers, rising sea levels, warming oceans, and more extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, droughts, forest fires, and floods.

    In the pictures that follow, we take a look at how climate-change-related events have affected regions around the world, whether directly or indirectly.

    ROCKY NATIONAL PARK BEFORE: Healthy pine trees stretch for tens of millions of acres in the northwestern United States and western Canada.

    ROCKY NATIONAL PARK NOW: A hillside of dead pine trees killed by Mountain Pine Beetles shows the effects of warming temperatures in the mountain ranges. In the past, freezing temperatures reduced insect populations. The beetles are now able to survive the milder winters leading to devastating infestations.

    THE GREAT BARRIER BEFORE: Considered one of the most biologically-diverse regions in the world, Australia's Great Barrier covers around 135,000 square miles, or an area that's nearly the size of Texas. Ocean acidification and temperature increases from climate change are the reef's biggest long-term threat.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

    Please follow Science on Twitter and Facebook.

    0 0

    Burmese Python

    It was nighttime when Jason Leon pulled a record-setting Burmese python out from behind some brush on the side of the road in Florida City, located in Miami-Dade county.

    The 23-year-old was spinning around town with two other friends on all-terrain vehicles when one group member spotted the monstrous snake.

    Having owned pet snakes in the past, Leon felt confident in wrangling one of Florida's most well-known invasive species, and made a grab for the animal.

    The young man had no idea that the non-venomous snake, which kills its prey by suffocating them with its girth, would end up crushing state records, or that it would make an attempt on his life before he managed to chop its head off with a knife.

    Leon entered his nearly 10-minute battle with the wild creature when it applied its intense choke hold — which can reach pressures of 12 pounds per square inch— around both of his legs.

    8757671580_6f8702c0bd_h"I was never really worried about being strangled, more so the snake tiring me out and eventually getting free from my grip and biting me," Leon told us.

    He had no choice but to kill his attacker.  

    After decapitating the python, Leon reported his catch to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

    The 128-pound female python measured 18 feet, 8 inches, according to FWC, breaking the previous record of a python caught last August that measured 17 feet, 7 inches. That female python weighed 164 pounds and was carrying a record 87 eggs. University of Florida researchers did not discover any eggs inside Leon's python.

    Burmese pythons have been invading the Florida Everglades for at least a decade. The snakes are native to Southeast Asia, but were first discovered in the Sunshine State in 1979 and have been multiplying at an alarming rate since the 1990s. 

    The troublesome creatures eat native animals and are devastating Florida's population of raccoons, bobcats, white-tailed deer, and possums.

    In January, Florida held a statewide challenge that incentivized residents to kill pythons by offering cash prizes for the most snakes killed and the longest one brought in.

    The contest — which Leon did not partake in — was a bust. Only 68 of the estimated tens of thousands of pythons living in Florida were caught after a one-month hunt, according to the FWC.

    The duty of population control has once again been handed over to self-appointed harvesters, like Leon.

    Leon didn't get a cash reward for his capture, the commission "just said thank you," he reports, but the python hunter plans to keep the snake skin as a souvenir to hang up on his wall.

    SEE ALSO: Shocking Before And After Pictures Show How Climate Change Is Destroying The Earth

    Please follow Science on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0

    makani power bought by google

    Google confirmed to Bloomberg Businesweek today that it bought Makani Power, a company that makes airborne turbines that collect wind power and delivers it to the ground via a tethered cable.

    Makani Power will become part of Google X, Google's secret lab where it develops "moonshot" projects like the Google Glass computerized headgear and self-driving cars. Google did not disclose how much it paid for Makani Power.

    Businessweek has a full profile on Google X. You can read it here >

    Please follow SAI on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0

    Justin's Sub submerging 1

    Justin Beckerman, an 18-year-old high school student from New Jersey, built and wired a fully-functional, one-man submarine, mostly made of the lightweight, yet strong, grooved plastic usually used in piping.

    The construction feat is less than surprising to those familiar with Beckerman's talent — he's been engineering products out of various building materials since he was two years old, the teenager told Business Insider.

    Beckerman salvages every old or broken device he can find, along with donations from friends and neighbors, and occasional trips to electronics recycling facilities with his dad.

    He's built remote-controlled vacuums, miniature model jet engines, and headsets that can play DVDs. The submarine is by far the teen's biggest project to date.

    Justin's father, Ken Beckerman, says he learned early on to give his son space, support, and freedom to tinker with things: "[Justin] will tell me something is going to work, and to me it doesn't make any sense or its not possible. Instead of telling him that it can't happen or it's not real, I just let it sit ... I'm supportive in letting him do his thing, and letting him dream."

    Justin has been building things since he was a young child. His submarine drew on the knowledge he's acquired over the years. Apart from the mechanical and electrical know-how, Justin worked in some of his interest in aeronautics: He modeled some of the components in the sub off things found on airplanes.

    Aside from looking up the underwater pressure at his target depth of 30 feet, Beckerman says he did not do much research online.

    He set up a workstation in his family's basement, and even custom-built a cart to hold the sub. His many tools included a circular saw, a Sawzall, a voltmeter, and a soldering iron.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

    Please follow Science on Twitter and Facebook.

    0 0

    The 17-year cicadas are taking over the East Coast, and there's nothing we can do about it. (They've already been spotted in New York!)

    So, Animal Planet decided to embrace the unstoppable cicada invasion by filling an entire terrarium with non-biting bugs and live stream it.

    If you're one of the fortunate souls not living on the East Coast right now, take a look at what you're missing out on:

    Live video by Animal Planet L!ve

    SEE ALSO: 17-Year Cicadas Will Overrun The East Coast Any Day Now

    Please follow Science on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0

    Washington Square Park heat Wave   Vasilios Sfinarolakis

    Those complaining about the recent spate of cold weather and rain in New York will likely get their due this weekend, when the mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions are hit with a three-day heat wave.

    The upcoming hot spell will bring sweltering temperatures in the 90s to NYC, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. beginning on Wednesday and lasting through the weekend, according to AccuWeather. It will also be humid.

    heat wave for east coast

    New Yorkers should expect at least one day of hot weather from Thursday through Saturday, and perhaps consider delaying that 10-mile jog through Brooklyn until next week. 

    Please follow Science on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0

    Sulphur and mineral salt formations are seen near Dallol in the Danakil Depression, northern Ethiopia April 22, 2013.The Danakil Depression, located in Ethiopia's Danakil Desert, has been called the hottest inhabited place on the planet and dubbed "The Cruelest Place on Earth" by National Geographic.  

    The basin is home to the Afar people who withstand year-round averages temperatures of about 95 degrees Fahrenheit, although temperatures can reach as a high as 145 degrees

    The depression is about 328 feet below sea level, and features a lot of red rock, sulfur fields, and salt deposits. 

    Geologists believe that the salt was deposited gradually over time, as the nearby Red Sea periodically flooded into the region. The extreme heat in the desert vaporized the floodwaters, leaving only the salt behind.

    In the Danakil, salt means money. The entire local economy depends on mining and trading the mineral. 

    Miners use traditional methods — camel caravans, pickaxes, and rope — to cut, pack, and ferry the salt out of the harsh basin.

    It can be dangerous work, though. The heat can kill unprepared workers, and the occasional earthquake can split the ground and swallow camels.  

    The Danakil Depression is one of the lowest points on Earth that is not covered in water. Geologists believe that in 10 million years, this searing desert will once again be submerged under water.

    The brilliant green and gold colors are the result of sulfur deposits that come from underground hot springs. It looks pretty, but smells like rotten eggs.

    It's a four-day trek to the Danakil Basin, during which salt miners camp in the desert with their camels.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

    Please follow Science on Twitter and Facebook.

    0 0

    MermaidOn Sunday, Animal Planet aired a follow-up to last year's television special called "Mermaid: The Body Found."

    The two-hour documentary-style program — described by the network as "science fiction based on some real events and scientific theory"— was so convincing that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was initially overwhelmed by callers demanding to know the truth about the existence of the legendary sea creatures.

    There is no scientific evidence that mermaids exist, but the way the story is told, it is often difficult to separate fact from fiction. 

    There's been some uproar about it airing on "Animal Planet," a channel that traditionally focuses on nature and science, rather than myth and fantasy.

    Charlie Foley, the show's executive producer, creator, and writer, encourages viewers to approach the show with a sense of possibility, with the understanding that the storyline is meant to be entertaining too.  

    The mockumentary uses evolution-based theories and several real examples from nature as a springboard to weave an imaginary story about a contemporary myth, Foley said.

    Here's the story of how mermaids evolved from humans as told in the special. 

    The story picks up nine years ago, when two boys stumbled upon a mass whale beaching in Washington State. (Mass whale die-offs do happen and have been linked to NAVY sonar tests, though the video is staged.)

    Read more about Animal Planet's Mermaids > 

    Among the washed-up creatures shown in the video, the boys claimed they saw a body that was not a whale.

    Read more about Animal Planet's Mermaids > 

    That strange body was the remains of a mermaid, the movie's scientist character claims.

    Read more about Animal Planet's Mermaids > 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

    Please follow Science on Twitter and Facebook.

    0 0

    Pink Slug from Mount Kaputar in Australia

    The '80s called and they want their slug back.

    This giant fluorescent pink slug from a mountaintop in Australia was just recently identified as a variety of the species Triboniophorus aff. Graeffei.

    The pink slug of Mount Kabutar in New South Wales, Australia is rarely seen, as it is confined to this one remote area of land and only comes out at night.

    Park ranger Michael Murphy took photos of the seldom-seem fluorescent invertebrate while patrolling the remote mountaintop one recent morning, according to Australian newspaper the Syndey Morning Herald.

    Scientists believe that the slug's pink color helps camouflage it in the fallen red eucalyptus leaves lining the forest floor, where it spends much of the day hidden from sight. At night it crawls up the trees to feed on the algaes that grow on the bark.

    They can grow up to eight inches long, and can be seen early in the morning, shuffling down trees and back into their burrows.

    The slugs share a little less than 40 square miles with other odd species, including three species of cannibalistic snail.

    Pink slug up close, Mount Kaputar, Australia

    Their small patch of land has been forgotten by time. Millions of years ago much of Eastern Australia was covered in lush forests like those on Mount Kaputar. After Australia split off the larger supercontinent Gondwana, geological changes slowly dried out the continent and beat back its forests.

    Mount Kaputar was a volcano then, and geologists say one eruption about 17 million years ago created the lush green region that exists today. For millions of years it isolated the species that live there from the increasingly arid climate around it.

    The slugs are one of the species that remains from Gondwana, and is related to slugs still found in New Guinea and New Zealand, though it is the only hot pink one around.

    Here's another image:

    flourescent pink slug

    Please follow Science on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0


    In 2004, a young boy found the body of something on the shore. He knelt down to get a closer look. The body had the features of a man, but it was not human. As a friend filmed, the body suddenly sprang to life. The boys fled, but footage from the incident survived. 

    This event is not real, but it fooled a lot of people when it first aired last year on Animal Planet as part of a two-hour special called "Mermaids: The Body Found," which speculates about the existence of mermaids.

    Charlie Foley is the film's executive producer, creator, and writer. He first dreamed up the concept in 2005 and returned with a follow-up special at the end of May, "Mermaids: The New Evidence," that grabbed the network's largest audience ever — 3.6 million viewers.

    Both "Mermaids" specials are science fiction — a genre that critics argue is better fodder for fantasy network's like SyFy. The plot is carried by actors who pose as fictitious scientists and fake YouTube footage of purported mermaid sightings. Many first-time viewers were not aware that the special was a hoax until a disclaimer ran at the end of the show.

    The films are also loosely based on real historical events and a radical evolutionary idea called the "aquatic ape" theory.

    The theory reasons that many of the human traits we have today — our lack of fur, the ability to walk upright, a thick layer of fat underneath the skin — developed because our ancestors lived by the water many millions of years ago. 

    There are several attributes that make humans different from apes. Fringe scientists who support aquatic ape theory argue that those distinct features can be interpreted as a sign of our watery past. 

    Foley uses this controversial hypothesis as the catalyst for his fictional account of the genesis of mermaids.

    "If [the aquatic ape theory] is true — if humans were developing into marine animals — it would not be so hard to imagine that there is one group of humans that continued to evolve in that direction," said Foley.

    His mermaid story goes something like this:

    Around 6.5 million years ago, the eastern coast of Africa flooded over. The majority of our relatives turned inland, while a smaller group went farther out to sea. The water-drawn group became what are known in modern folklore as mermaids — mythical sea creatures that are half-human, half-fish.

    Charlie FoleyThere is no scientific evidence that mermaids exist. Foley, Animal Planet's senior vice president of development since 2011, asks his audience to detach themselves from reality for around 120 minutes and to believe that real geological circumstances — like ancient east African flooding — could have transformed humans into permanent deep sea residents.

    The transition from land animal to sea creature is not unprecedented, Foley notes. Polar bears, for example, evolved from brown bears. The white, fluffy beasts developed slightly webbed toes to help them swim and they are able to hold their breath underwater for a long time.

    The idea for Mermaids hatched from another hit show that Foley created for the nature network in the early 2000s, a science fiction special that imagined dragons as real animals.   

    "This prompted me to think of other myths and legends that had kernels of truth," said Foley.

    The magical figures have been entertaining the human imagination for thousands of years, since the time of the ancient Greeks. Mermaid stories come from fisherman's logs, early paintings, and other historical accounts. Even Italian explorer Christopher Columbus reported seeing mermaids (most likely manatees or the now-extinct Steller's sea cow) while sailing in the Dominican Republic. 

    The traditionally female character continues to hold our fascination: A town in Israel, Kiryat Yam, is currently offering a one million dollar bounty for the first person to snap a photograph of a mermaid. 

    While mermaids continue to endure in legend, Foley's fake documentary feeds into humans' innate appetite for storytelling. "We were not able to get a lot of things in the original, " Foley concedes. "But we tried very hard to [make this story] plausible." 

    SEE ALSO: Here's The Fake Documentary That May Convince You That Mermaids Are Real

    Please follow Science on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0

    Grand Canyon and Colorado River 1

    The Colorado River, which famously carved the Grand Canyon, is beautiful to behold and amazing to raft. Unfortunately, this crucial water source is also slowly going dry.

    Average annual rainfall has been falling in the southwest for the last century, while climate change, dam construction, invasive species, and population booms in desert cities like Las Vegas have caused water levels to drop by half in some places.  

    Twelve years ago, author and anthropologist Wade Davis and his friend Robert F. Kennedy Jr. rafted the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon in part to consider the river's troubled future and what we stand to lose.

    They documented the trip in a gorgeous film called Grand Canyon Adventure: River At Risk.  

    Davis respects the power of untamed nature, and believes that we can't afford to lose the connection we have to wild place. 

    Davis is an Explorer-in-Residence for National Geographic. He has come to the Grand Canyon to research a book he is writing about the Colorado River.

    Watch the whole film on Netflix > 

    His plan is to float 250 miles down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, to learn the history and study the challenges facing a river that is both a natural wonder and an important source of freshwater.

    Watch the whole film on Netflix > 

    Their trip starts when Davis and his daughter Tara board the train that will take them to the entrance to the Grand Canyon. There, they will meet their friends and begin their journey down the river.

    Watch the whole film on Netflix > 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

    Please follow Science on Twitter and Facebook.

    0 0

    Blue Lake

    Blue Lake on Australia's North Stradbroke Island has barely changed in the last 7,000 years, a scientific rarity given the impact of environmental changes and man-made global warming on freshwater ecosystems worldwide over the course of history.

    In a study published in the journal Freshwater Biology on April 26, researchers from the University of Adelaide looked at historical aerial photographs, models of annual lake discharge, water quality, and fossil samples of pollen and algae over the past 117 years to see how the lake has changed over time.

    Even though this region has experienced major shifts in climate over time — it became much drier about 4,000 years ago — the lake's depth of around 33 feet is about the same as it was 7,500 years ago. It has remained so clean that you can still see to the bottom, lead author of the study Cameron Barr said in a statement.

    "We know that there have been variations in climate in the region including North Stradbroke Island over recent decades, but during that time the depth, shoreline, and water chemistry of Blue Lake has displayed little variation,"said Barr.

    Blue Lake

    Since Blue Lake has remained relatively untouched for hundreds of centuries, it has served as a key "climate refuge" for the region's freshwater organisms, according to the study authors.

    If the lake continues to resist human-induced change, it can do the same for hundreds or thousands of more years, says Barr.

    SEE ALSO: Shocking Before And After Pictures Of How Climate Change Is Destroying The Earth

    Please follow Science on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0

    Tropical storm Andrea is the first named storm of the 2013 hurricane season, which the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts will be either above normal or possibly extremely active.

    It should hit Florida around 1:00 p.m. EDT Thursday, where there will be a tropical storm warning. The coast of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina will be under a tropical storm watch through 1:00 p.m. EDT Friday.

    It should be a post-tropical storm by the time it makes it up to the Northeast on Saturday, but watch out for heavy rain starting Friday in NYC. It most likely won't strengthen to a hurricane-force storm.

    Here's the five day path:

    tropical storm andrea

    And the wind speed probabilities:Screen shot 2013 06 05 at 6.33.14 PM

    SEE ALSO: Sandy Was The Nightmare Hurricane We've Been Expecting

    Please follow Science on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0

    e-cigarettes electronic cigarettes

    In a press conference on June 6, RJ Reynolds announced a new e-cigarette, the VUSE. It also unveiled an eco-friendly recycling program for used batteries and empty cartridges.

    The company says that at no charge they will take back the used lithium ion batteries and cartridges from the VUSE e-cigarettes as well as competitor's products.

    Reynolds is partnered with a third party electronics recycling company to dispose of the waste responsibly.

    To use the program, customers sign up on the VUSE website,, (which as of today isn't active), and every month they will receive a prepaid shipping envelope for shipping cartridges and batteries back to the company.

    This is important because lithium ion batteries can be harmful to the environment, and other e-cigarette companies have no plans in place to take care of them. If not properly disposed of the metals could seep into and contaminate waterways.

    SEE ALSO: The Incredible Cigarette* That Doesn't Cause Cancer** Is Changing The World

    Please follow Science on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0


    The South China Sea and East Indies, eastern Mediterranean, Black Sea, North Sea, and British Isles are the most dangerous seas in the world, with the greatest number of shipping accidents in the last 15 years, according to a report released by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). 

    Scientists from Southhampton Solent University, who led the study, found that cargo vessels account for nearly half of all ships lost at sea, while fishing vessels makes up close to one-quarter. 

    The accidents are linked to weather, aging and poorly-maintained ships, and a disregard for safety regulations.

    Environmental risk is also a factor. Some of the most sensitive marine environments are located in hotspot zones for shipwrecks. Oil spills are particularly damaging to ocean and coastal regions. 

    The situation is expected to get worse over the coming decades as global fleet size grows and weather patterns worsen, the report says. 

    Climate change models that show increased storm surge, changing wind and wave patterns, and extreme weather events "are likely to exacerbate the risks of foundering, defined as sinking due to rough weather, leaks, or damage not due to collision," the study authors report.

    The infographic below shows the number of accidents in the word's riskiest waters. 

    Accidents At Sea Infographic

    SEE ALSO: Shocking Before And After Pictures Of How Climate Change Is Destroying The Earth

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0

    The incredible video above is probably best watched full screen.

    It was caught by photographer Mike Olbinski on June 3, near Booker, Texas, after four years of searching for such a stunning supercell thunderstorm.

    "We chased this storm from the wrong side (north) and it took us going through hail and torrential rains to burst through on the south side," Olbinski said on his website. "And when we did…this monster cloud was hanging over Texas and rotating like something out of Close Encounters." 

    Supercells are beautiful, but are best viewed from a safe distance: They are often accompanied by hailstorms, torrential rain and even tornadoes. They can also be huge, spanning several miles.

    A supercell is a rare kind of thunderstorm with a persistently rotating updraft deep in the storm, where air is actually moving upward, according to the American Meteorological Society.

    This supercell Olbinski filmed was actually sucking rain that fell on the storms outer edges back up into the center.

    SEE ALSO: Sandy Was The Nightmare Hurricane We've Been Expecting

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0


    A 300-pound Mako shark jumped and landed in the boat of two New Jersey fisherman last week, reports. 

    Clint Simek and Capt. Tom Rostron Jr. were fishing about 35 miles off the coast of New Jersey when they hooked the 8-foot long predator. The shark began jumping out of the water on its own after it was hooked, reaching as high as 15 feet, one of the fishermen told over the telephone. 

    The shark landed in the boat on the fifth jump, but the two men were able to tie the animal down with a rope. 

    The shark "screamed" and flopped around for about two hours before it died, said one fisherman. 

    The fisherman say they plan to cut up the shark and give it to friends and family. 

    Mako sharks have long, slender bodies and swim incredibly fast. They are also known for jumping out of the ocean, possibly to search for food above the water's surface. 

    Watch the full interview below: 

    New York News | NYC Breaking News

    SEE ALSO: Here's The Fake Documentary That May Convince You That Mermaids Are Real

    Join the conversation about this story »

older | 1 | .... | 19 | 20 | (Page 21) | 22 | 23 | .... | 135 | newer