News, World Problems

Did climate change spark the Syrian Revolution?

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The link between climate change and violent conflict has been thrown about often, but a recent study is the first to support this hypothesis with qualitative evidence. US researchers found that widespread droughts and increased temperatures amplified an already heightened state of unrest in Syria, which may have triggered the civil war still raging on today.

Animals, Climate, News

Too much of a good thing: Emperor penguins were almost killed of by the Ice Age

Emperor penguins. Image via Wiki Commons.

They like freezing conditions, but the Emperor penguins struggled during the last Ice Age, a new study concluded. In fact, if they hadn’t been able to change their breeding habits and even their genetic make-up, they might have not survived.

Animals, Biology, News

Scientists create the perfect music for cats

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We all know how therapeutic and soothing (or on the contrary, motivating) music can be; and we all know that different people like different types of music… so it seems safe to say that different animals also like different types of music. Now, a joint team of scientists and musicians believe they found how to compose the purr-fect music for animals, including monkeys and cats.

Pollution

Scientists find direct evidence that CO2 heats the Earth’s crust

CO2 pollution warms the Earth's crust - directly. Image via Pixabay.

When we’re talking about CO2 emissions and global warming, we generally mean atmospheric CO2 – where the gas is spewed and generates the greenhouse effect, warming our atmosphere and subsequently, our planet. But a new study conducted by US researchers found that CO2 actually warms the Earth’s crust directly; the more CO2 we emit, the hotter our planet will get.

News, Renewable Energy

World’s first grid-connected wave power station switched on in Australia

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The world’s first grid-connected wave power station has just been activated off the coast of Australia. Taking energy directly from the waves and sending them to the grid is a remarkable achievement which will hopefully be replicated in Australia, as well as in other parts of the world.

Animals, News, Science

The world’s most trafficked animal: the pangolin

The Cape pangolin, pictured here, could become increasingly imperiled if trade moves from Asia to Africa. Photo by: Maria Diekmann/Rare and Endangered Species Trust.

This gentle and secluded creature is called a pangolin. Bet you’ve never heard of him. It looks sort of like a walking pinecone, a dragon or a dinosaur. It’s tongue is as long as its body and can curl, then roll in a scaly ball. It’s a pretty amazing animal and it’s a shame so few people know of its existence. But more worrisome is that the pangolin might cease to existence entirely, with or without we knowing about it. Many believe it’s the most trafficked animal in the world.

Animals, Mind & Brain, News

Bees have false memories too – this might help explain how our own form

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Memories aren’t infallible – even for those with photographic memory – so, more often than not, they’ll seem fuzzy. And the older these get, the fuzzier they’re recalled. Mixing names, faces and events in your head can sometimes be embarrassing, but at least we’re not alone. Seems like bees have false memories too, according to a study made by British researchers at Queen Mary University of London. Previously, false memories had been induced in other animals, like mice, but this is the first time natural false memories have been shown to happen. Research like this might help us, in time, understand how false memories are formed and, in a more general sense, how we recall events.

Climate, Green Living, News

Ocean oscillation patterns explain global warming ‘hiatus’

climate change hiatus

One of the prime arguments climate change skeptics throw about is how surface temperatures have remained more or less constant for the past 15 years, hence there is no man-made global warming – it’s all a sham, a conspiracy to keep scientists busy with gratuitous grants and fill Al Gore’s pockets. I’ve written previously about models and observations that explain

Animals, News

Hippo ancestor was the size of an overgrown sheep

Illustration of what's believed to be  a common ancestor to hippos. (Image: Dmitry Bogdanov/Wikimedia Commons). The animal was a bit larger than a sheep.

Paleontologists have excavated and analyzed the remains of an ancient hypo ancestor in Kenya. The 28 million-year-old fossils paint a broader picture revealing the missing link between modern day hippos and the earliest ancestor who lived some 53 million years ago. As an interesting tidbit, the closest living relatives of the hippo are whales and dolphins, as revealed by previous

Green Living, News

A Vacant Lot In Wyoming Will Become One Of The World’s First Vertical Farms

In addition to 44,000 pounds of tomatoes, the greenhouse adjacent to the municipal parking garage in downtown Jackson is projected to deliver 20,000 pounds of lettuce, 44,00 pounds of herbs, 10,000 pounds of microgreens, 7,500 pounds of baby specialty greens, and 4,725 pounds of strawberries.

Building vertical farms is innovative and can have significant advantages, done properly; but building a vertical farm in the middle of a city… that’s just awesome! In downtown Jackson, Wyoming, developers are working on a vertical veggie farm which just might revolutionize urban food growing.