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“The more we nurture the planet, the better and more natural a life we'll have.”  Chris d'Lacey, Icefire
Curated by Mariaschnee
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New shark of the Caribbean

New shark of the Caribbean | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Marine wildlife researchers have found a new species of shark in the waters off the coast of the central American state of Belize. The WWF says the revelation serves as a conservation message. 
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How pitcher plants evolved to become flesh-eaters

How pitcher plants evolved to become flesh-eaters | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Carnivorous plants around the world all developed their killer habit in surprisingly similar fashion, according to a genetic study of distantly related pitcher plants from Australia, Asia and America.
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Where to Find the World's Deepest Snow (Hint: Not the Poles)

Where to Find the World's Deepest Snow (Hint: Not the Poles) | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
In this week's Maphead, Ken Jennings explores some of the deepest snow in the world, with a road running right through it.
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New study helps explain how #garbage #patches form in the world's #oceans

New study helps explain how #garbage #patches form in the world's #oceans | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
A new study on how ocean currents transport floating marine debris is helping to explain how garbage patches form in the world's oceans. Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and colleagues developed a mathematical model that simulates the motion of small spherical objects floating at the ocean surface.
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Drought identified as key to severity of West Nile virus epidemics

Drought identified as key to severity of West Nile virus epidemics | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
A study led by UC Santa Cruz researchers has found that drought dramatically increases the severity of West Nile virus epidemics in the United States, although populations affected by large outbreaks acquire immunity that limits the size of subsequent epidemics.
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Carnivores more seriously threatened by roads than previously acknowledged 

Carnivores more seriously threatened by roads than previously acknowledged  | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
The effects of roads on carnivores have obviously been underestimated in worldwide species conservation. This is the conclusion of the first comprehensive global study on this topic, which has been published in the scientific journal Global Ecology and Biogeography by an international research team from Germany and Portugal. The protection status of several species that are severely affected by roads cut through their habitat should be reconsidered, the researchers say.
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Ancient undersea landslide discovered in Australia - BBC News

Ancient undersea landslide discovered in Australia - BBC News | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Scientists say the collapse next to the Great Barrier Reef dates back more than 300,000 years.
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Scientists solve old mysteries of bird migration routes

Scientists solve old mysteries of bird migration routes | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
When cuckoos hatch, they are born as orphans. The adults leave before their infants have hatched, leaving their babies to figure out themselves how to get to Africa when insects begin to disappear in the autumn.
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These Breathtaking Drone Photos Will Blow Your Mind

The winners of the largest ariel photography competition have been announced by SkyPixel, revealing how technology is revolutionizing photographic art
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New analysis supports mangrove forests, tidal marshes and seagrass meadows as effective climate buffers

New analysis supports mangrove forests, tidal marshes and seagrass meadows as effective climate buffers | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
In the global effort to mitigate carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, all options are on the table—including help from nature. Recent research suggests that healthy, intact coastal wetland ecosystems such as mangrove forests, tidal marshes and seagrass meadows are particularly good at drawing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it for hundreds to thousands of years.
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Sharks show novel changes in their immune cancer-related genes

Sharks show novel changes in their immune cancer-related genes | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Research scientists at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) and Cornell University have been studying the genetics of great white and great hammerhead sharks, and their work brings us a few steps closer to understanding -- from a genetic sense -- why sharks exhibit some characteristics that are highly desirable by humans (specifically, rapid wound healing and possible higher resistance to cancers).
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An urban collection of modern-day micrometeorites

An urban collection of modern-day micrometeorites | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
More than 100 billion micrometeorites (MMs) fall to Earth each year. Until now, scientists believed that these particles could only be found in the cleanest environments, such as the Antarctic. In their new paper for Geology, M.J. Genge and colleagues show that, contrary to that expectation, micrometeorites can be recovered from city rooftops (for this example, primarily in Norway) and that, unlike those from the Antarctic, they are the youngest collected to date.
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Eric Larson's curator insight, January 26, 11:50 AM
Micrometeorites?
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‘What should be pristine white is littered with blue’ – Timo Lieber’s Arctic photography

‘What should be pristine white is littered with blue’ – Timo Lieber’s Arctic photography | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
His aerial shots of the lakes forming on the Arctic ice cap are a beautiful but chilling reminder of the impact of climate change
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Aerial Photos of Iceland That Look Like Abstract Paintings

Aerial Photos of Iceland That Look Like Abstract Paintings | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it

"Andre Ermolaev is a Russian photographer who takes incredible aerial and landscape photographs. In his series entitled Iceland. River., Andre shows us the beautiful environment of Iceland from above.

The rivers and streams shown, which are carrying sediment from volcanoes and glaciers give the photos the incredible colours and textures. The photographs could easily be mistaken for abstract landscape paintings."

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Can You Identify These Cities From Their Light Signatures?

Can You Identify These Cities From Their Light Signatures? | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
The light that a city emits is like its glowing fingerprint. From the orderly grid of Manhattan, to the sprawling, snaking streets…
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The Break in the Larsen Ice Shelf Is Bad for the Planet, But Huge for Science

The Break in the Larsen Ice Shelf Is Bad for the Planet, But Huge for Science | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
A big chunk of Antarctica's Larsen C ice shelf is about to break off into a new iceberg. This group of scientists is ready to capture every gruesome detail.
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Banned chemicals from the '70s found in the deepest reaches of the ocean

Banned chemicals from the '70s found in the deepest reaches of the ocean | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Crustaceans from the deepest ocean trenches found to contain ten times the level of industrial pollution than the average earthworm, scientists have shown.
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Arcella gandalfi

Arcella gandalfi | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Brazilian researchers have identified a species of thecamoeba with a carapace that resembles the wizard's hat worn by Gandalf, one of the most important characters in The Lord of the Rings, a series of novels by J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973). The new species are named Arcella gandalfi as a tribute to Tolkien's wizard.
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Growing Deltas in Atchafalaya Bay

Growing Deltas in Atchafalaya Bay | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
While the sea overtakes much of the delta plain of the Mississippi River, sediment from the Atchafalaya River is building two new deltas to the west.
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Vegetation resilient to salvage logging after severe wildfire

Vegetation resilient to salvage logging after severe wildfire | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Nearly a decade after being logged, vegetation in forested areas severely burned by California's Cone Fire in 2002 was relatively similar to areas untouched by logging equipment. The findings of a US Forest Service study shed light on how vegetation responds to severe wildfire and whether further disturbances from logging affect regrowth.
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Christian Allié's curator insight, February 5, 12:24 PM
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Additional findings include: Researchers did not find a difference in the abundance of native versus weedy non-native plants between logged and unlogged sites.
A common concern in post-fire logging is that logging equipment may serve as a source or transport for unwanted plant species. Researchers observed plant species which weren't dependent on fire-stimulated germination to be less affected by post-fire logging.
Many of these species emerge from deeply buried roots or bulbs, leading researchers to believe they were better protected from ground disturbances caused by logging machinery.
Researchers did observe, however, substantial changes in the plant community during the course of the six-year study. For example, the amount of weedy non-native plants across all research sites increased, suggesting that the plant community responded more strongly to environmental changes caused by high-intensity wildfire than disturbances from logging. [...]
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New moth in Europe: A southern hemisphere species now resident in Portugal

New moth in Europe: A southern hemisphere species now resident in Portugal | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
A fragment of DNA, also called DNA barcode, matched three other genetically identical unnamed specimens, originally collected from South Africa, in the DNA database BOLD. Further collaboration with Alexander Lvovsky, Russian Academy of Sciences, allowed the assignation of the specimens to a species name: Borkhausenia intumescens, known from South Africa. However, it did not end there. Further research into museum collections showed that in fact this species had been previously described from Argentina as Borkhausenia crimnodes, and therefore should be named as such.
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The Family Album of Wild Africa by Laurent Baheux

The Family Album of Wild Africa by Laurent Baheux | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
The Family Album of Wild Africa by Laurent Baheux.WITHIN LAURENT BAHEUX LIES A BURNING DESIRE TO PRESERVE NATURE’S PRIMITIVE SPECTACL
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Beleaguered #bees hit by #deformed_wing_virus

Beleaguered #bees hit by #deformed_wing_virus | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
A wing-deforming virus shortens the lifespan of wild honeybees already contending with a startlingly long list of existential threats, researchers said Wednesday.

Spread by microscopic mites, the microbe disrupts bees' foraging and curtails their lives, experiments confirmed for the first time.

"Deformed wing virus strongly reduced the chances for workers to survive to foraging age," scientists reported in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

It also "reduced the life expectancy and total activity span" of infected bees, they found.
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Bag-like sea creature was humans' oldest known ancestor

Bag-like sea creature was humans' oldest known ancestor | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Researchers have identified traces of what they believe is the earliest known prehistoric ancestor of humans—a microscopic, bag-like sea creature, which lived about 540 million years ago.
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Hawaii as you've never seen it before: a time-lapse of the lava flow from the Kilauea volcano

Hawaii as you've never seen it before: a time-lapse of the lava flow from the Kilauea volcano | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Take 6,000 photographs of the results of the eruption on Hawaii Island, knit them together, and add dramatic music. The result: a "you-are-there" video that puts you close to Mother Nature's majesty.
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