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“The more we nurture the planet, the better and more natural a life we'll have.” ― Chris d'Lacey, Icefire
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A Beloved Alpha Polar Bear Near the End of His Life

A Beloved Alpha Polar Bear Near the End of His Life | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Saint Pete, as he's known by locals in nearby Churchill, Manitoba, is an elderly polar bear who's been visiting the town for decades. Possibly 25 years or older, Pete is now deteriorating physically but continues to hunt for food.
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New prehistoric bird species discovered

New prehistoric bird species discovered | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
A team of scientists at the University of Rochester has discovered a new species of bird in the Canadian Arctic. At approximately 90 million years old, the bird fossils are among the oldest avian records found in the northernmost latitude, and offer further evidence of an intense warming event during the late Cretaceous period.
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India's Fascinating Tree Root Bridges Grow Stronger Every Year

India's Fascinating Tree Root Bridges Grow Stronger Every Year | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
In the wettest place on Earth, the village of Mawsynram in Meghalaya, India are some of the most fascinating bridges you’ll ever see. These “living bridges” are formed by locals who have trained the roots of rubber trees to grow into natural bridges. They are sturdy enough to far outlast man-made wooden structure bridges. Because …
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OU, BU and Smithsonian researchers investigate ancient species in Gulf of Alaska

OU, BU and Smithsonian researchers investigate ancient species in Gulf of Alaska | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Invasive species have shaped island ecosystems and landscapes in the Gulf of Alaska, but their histories are unknown. In a study by the University of Oklahoma, Boston University and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, researchers investigated the archaeological and genetic history of the Arctic ground squirrel on Chirikof Island, Alaska. This small mammal has the ability to affect vegetation and seabirds on these islands and was introduced across much of this region as part of the historic fox farming industry.
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It's complicated: The sex life of coral

It's complicated: The sex life of coral | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Being stuck in one spot, waiting for the full moon to pass and the perfect temperature to arrive, and your choice of mate left to the tide: when you're coral, reproduction is mind-bogglingly complicated, as Dr Karl Kruszelnicki explains.
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Captive elephants help save wild cousins on forest frontline

Captive elephants help save wild cousins on forest frontline | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
The response units recruit locals to thaw suspicion and foster a sense of joint responsibility for the future of the iconic species.

"We are striving to find ways people can coexist with the elephants," Arianto said.

"If the community feels involved, then they will help protect them. These elephants not only belong to us, but to everyone."

Their diplomacy has paid off. Rangers estimate the frequency of clashes has dropped up to 80 percent since they began patrolling the area in 2015.

Farmers—once so fearful of rampaging elephants they slept in their fields at night—were now reporting their first undisturbed harvests in years, Dodot said.

"Before we were here they were constantly on guard. Now they stay at home to sleep," he told AFP.
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A Collection of Some of the Best Scenes From 'Planet Earth'

A Collection of Some of the Best Scenes From 'Planet Earth' | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
You don't have to watch the entire series to see some of its best footage.
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Life-Size Portraits of Wildlife Installed in the Destructed African Lands They Once Inhabited

Life-Size Portraits of Wildlife Installed in the Destructed African Lands They Once Inhabited | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Photographer Nick Brandt has recently released a series of powerful images that explore the deterioration of wild habitats in East Africa. The project, titled Inherit the Dust, laments the urban sprawl that is rapidly displacing the wild elephants, rhinos, and lions that used to roam freely in the area. In the past three years, Brandt has watched the …
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What satellites can tell us about how animals will fare in a changing climate

What satellites can tell us about how animals will fare in a changing climate | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
From the Arctic to the Mojave Desert, terrestrial and marine habitats are quickly changing. Satellites are particularly well-suited to observe habitat transformation and help scientists forecast what animals might do next.
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What Plants Talk About (Full Documentary)

"When we think about plants, we don't often associate a term like "behavior" with them, but experimental plant ecologist JC Cahill wants to change that. The University of Alberta professor maintains that plants do behave and lead anything but solitary and sedentary lives. What Plants Talk About teaches us all that plants are smarter and much more interactive than we thought!"

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Mountain glaciers are showing some of the strongest responses to climate change

Mountain glaciers are showing some of the strongest responses to climate change | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Mountain glaciers have long been a favorite poster child of climate change. The near-global retreat of glaciers of the last century provides some of the most iconic imagery for communicating the reality of human-driven climate change.

But the scientific basis for their retreat has been less clear. Glaciers respond slowly to any climate changes, they are susceptible to year-to-year variations in mountain weather, and some of the largest are still catching up after the end of the Little Ice Age. Scientists can connect climate change to the overall retreat of glaciers worldwide, but linking an individual glacier's retreat to climate change has remained a subject of debate.

The last report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded only that it was "likely" that a "substantial" part of mountain glacier retreat is due to human-induced climate change—a much weaker conclusion than for temperature and other things.

Now, using statistical techniques to analyze 37 mountain glaciers around the world, a University of Washington study finds that for most of them the observed retreat is more than 99 percent likely due to climate change. In the climate report's wording, it is "virtually certain" that the retreat of these mountain glaciers is due to climate change over the past century.
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Best Photographs of 2016

Best Photographs of 2016 | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Here is a gallery of National Geographic's 52 best images of the year—curated from 91 photographers, 107 stories, and 2,290,225 photographs.
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Exploring a beautiful, 23-year-old food forest in New Zealand (Video)

Exploring a beautiful, 23-year-old food forest in New Zealand (Video) | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
There are vegetable gardens. There are forest gardens. And then there are food forests. This is the latter.
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To bloom or not to bloom: That is the question

To bloom or not to bloom: That is the question | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
IBS plant scientists discover a new epigenetic mechanism that contributes to plants' decision to flower.
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Rudolph's antlers inspire next generation of unbreakable materials

Rudolph's antlers inspire next generation of unbreakable materials | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Scientists from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) have discovered the secret behind the toughness of deer antlers and how they can resist breaking during fights.
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Ocean temperatures faithfully recorded in mother-of-pearl

Ocean temperatures faithfully recorded in mother-of-pearl | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Mother-of-pearl or nacre (pronounced nay-ker), the lustrous, tough-as-nails biomineral that lines some seashells, has been shown to be a faithful record of ancient ocean temperature.
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Bacteria control levels of dangerous pollutant in seabirds

Bacteria control levels of dangerous pollutant in seabirds | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Researchers have discovered that levels of mercury in seabirds off the coast of British Columbia have remained relatively stable over the past 50 years. This might appear to be good news, but it is due to a decline in fish stocks near the surface which has forced seabirds to feed in areas where there are more bacteria which control the levels of mercury.
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Earth’s Magnetic Fields Could Track Ocean Heat, NASA Study Proposes

As Earth warms, much of the extra heat is stored in the planet’s ocean. Monitoring the magnitude of that heat content is difficult, but a surprising feature of the tides could help. Scientists at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center are developing a new way to use satellite observations of magnetic fields to measure heat stored in the ocean.
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Invasive fish threat to kelp forests

Invasive fish threat to kelp forests | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Seaweed-eating fish are becoming increasingly voracious as the ocean warms due to climate change and are responsible for the recent destruction of kelp forests off the NSW north coast near Coffs Harbour, research shows.
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Magical Photos of Winter in Finland Under the Northern Lights

Magical Photos of Winter in Finland Under the Northern Lights | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Photographer Tiina Törmänen captures Finnish Lapland's sparkling, snowy landscapes lit by starry skies and the spectacular Northern Lights
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The sea roils and life returns

The sea roils and life returns | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
The tsunami of 2011 is well remembered in Japan. Some towns have recovered, while others struggle to return to a life that once was. The same is true for ecosystems. In a new study in PLOS ONE, Japanese researchers report how the sea life in different coastal regions of Japan struck by the tsunami have flourished or faltered.
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Dinosaur colours and surroundings recreated from fossils

Dinosaur colours and surroundings recreated from fossils | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
The brown-grey world of dinosaurs has been given some colour over the years, and now a new study has taken it a step further.
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Vietnam’s forests on the upswing after years of recovery

Vietnam’s forests on the upswing after years of recovery | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Almost five decades since attacks on Vietnam’s southern forests hit its peak in 1967, Vietnam’s forests have made solid steps to recovery.
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Rapid rise in methane emissions in 10 years surprises scientists

Rapid rise in methane emissions in 10 years surprises scientists | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Methane warms planet 20 times as much as similar CO2 volumes but lack of monitoring means scientists can’t be sure of sources
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Cuba’s Underwater Jewels Are in Tourism’s Path

Cuba’s Underwater Jewels Are in Tourism’s Path | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Schools of bluestriped grunts (Haemulon sciurus) and schoolmaster snappers (Lutjanus apodus) fill the space between broad branches of elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata). Fast growing but fragile, elkhorn coral is a critically endangered species. It has virtually disappeared throughout most of the Caribbean—but populations of it remain in the Gardens of the Queen.
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