Niila Inga, a Sami leader in that part of Sweden that is above the Arctic Circle, has this to say about the impact of climate change on the future of his reindeer herding society: “If this climate change keeps going at this rate, I’m pretty sure...
If you’re measuring by sheer space, Chongqing is the largest city in China. Over the last few decades, it has grown so large that in 1997 its status was changed from that of a city in Sichuan province to a direct-controlled municipality; it was essentially made its own mini-province. In the latest project from Tim Franco, Metamorpolis, the Shanghai-based photographer seeks to document the 21st century mega-city, in all its gritty magnitude.
They never ate anybody — but now, some of planet Earth’s innocent vegetarians face end times. Large herbivores — elephants, hippos, rhinos and gorillas among them — are vanishing from the globe at a startling rate, with some 60 percent threatened with extinction, a team of scientists reports. The situation is so dire, according to a new study, that it threatens an “empty landscape” in some ecosystems “across much of the planet Earth.” The authors were clear: This is a big problem — and it’s a problem with us, not them.
“Growing human populations, unsustainable hunting, high densities of livestock, and habitat loss have devastating consequences for large, long-lived, slow-breeding, and, therefore, vulnerable herbivore species,” reads “Collapse of the world’s largest herbivores” in Science Advances, a publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
As if humanity’s bottomless appetite for land and meat weren’t enough, organized crime and the endless hunt for body parts from elephants and rhinos is also a major factor in Africa and southern Asia, the study said. Between 2002 and 2011 alone, the number of forest elephants in central Africa declined by 62 percent. Some 100,000 African elephants were poached between 2010 and 2012. And the western black rhinoceros in Africa was declared extinct in 2011.
“This slaughter is driven by the high retail price of rhinoceros horn, which exceeds, per unit weight, that of gold, diamonds, or cocaine,” according to the study. This slaughter and its consequences are not modest, the article said. In fact, the rate of decline is such that “ever-larger swaths of the world will soon lack many of the vital ecological services these animals provide, resulting in enormous ecological and social costs.”
Herbivores, it turns out, don’t just idle about munching on various green things. They play a vital role as “ecosystem engineers,” the paper said — expanding grasslands for plant species, dispersing seeds in manure, and, in the ultimate sacrifice, providing food for predators.
OPtion tpic The thick, slimy brown ribbons are notorious for tangling the ankles of beachgoers and rotting in pungent piles. But kelp, according to its growing fan base, could also prove potent in protecting the health of oceans -- and us.
"This video is from the BBC documentary film Earth: The Power Of The Planet. The clip is also embedded in this story map that tells the tale of Earth’s tectonic plates, their secret conspiracies, awe-inspiring exhibitions and subtle impacts on the maps and geospatial information we so often take for granted as unambiguous."
Scientists are attempting to control the weather by using lasers to create clouds, induce rain and even trigger lightning.
Professor Jean-Pierre Wolf and Dr Jerome Kasparian, both biophotonics experts at the University of Geneva, have now organised a conference at the WMO next month in an attempt to find ways of speeding up research on the topic. They said: “Ultra-short lasers launched into the atmosphere have emerged as a promising prospective tool for weather modulation and climate studies.
“Such prospects include lightning control and laser-assisted condensation.”
There is a long history of attempts by scientists to control the weather, including using techniques such as cloud seeding.
This involves spraying small particles and chemicals into the air to induce water vapour to condense into clouds.
In the 1960s the United States experimented with using silver iodide in an attempt to weaken hurricanes before they made landfall. The USSR was also claimed to have flown cloud seeding missions in an attempt to create rain clouds to protect Moscow from radioactive fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
More recently the Russian Air force has also been reported to have used bags of cement to seed clouds.
Before the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, the Chinese authorities used aircraft and rockets to release chemicals into the atmosphere.
Other countries have been reported to be experimenting with cloud seeding to prevent flooding or smog.
However, Professor Wolf, Dr Kasparian and their colleagues believe that lasers could provide an easier and more controllable method of changing the weather. They began studying lasers for their use as a way of monitoring changes in the air and detecting aerosols high in the atmosphere.
Experiments using varying pulses of near infra-red laser light and ultraviolet lasers have, however, shown that they cause water to condense. They have subsequently found the lasers induce tiny ice crystals to form, which are a crucial step in the formation of clouds and eventual rainfall.
Five years ago, between April and July 2010, over 4.9 million barrels worth of oil poured into the Gulf of Mexico. Geographical looks at how the local environment has attempted to recover from this incident
Remote Indigenous communities aren't just places to live - they are also crucial for supporting ranger programs and other projects that protect the environment in areas that might otherwise go untended.
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