Saving Forests with AI: PAWS suggests patrol routes in Malaysia based on behavioral models. (Rimba) Environment Technology 

Saving Forests with Artificial Intelligence

By Norman Rusin The global trade in products made from illegally extracted timber is a multi-billion dollar industry. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) estimates it to be worth between $30 billion and $100 billion annually. The practice not only threatens ancient forests and critical habitats for wildlife, but also results in significant economic and environmental problems for many developing countries. Clear-cutting is known to disrupt carbon in the soil. However, forest protection agencies face limited budgets and must cover large areas, making sound investments in security resources critical. AI to…

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Climate Change, GotScience.org Environment 

Climate Change: Why Don’t We Worry More?

“If we could invent one risk that bypasses all of our psychological alarm systems, global climate change would be it,” a psychologist explains. You’ve seen the projections, read the articles about record annual temperatures, rolled your eyes at climate change deniers. You know the threat of global warming is real. At least intellectually. But are you really worried about it? Probably not as worried as you know you should be. We asked social psychologist Sander van der Linden of Princeton University why it’s so hard for our brains to perceive climate…

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A stranded humpback whale carcass in Dutch Harbor, Alaska. Humpback whales were among the Alaska marine mammals that showed exposure to algal toxins, according to new research. Photo credit: Kathy Burek-Huntington, Alaska Veterinary and Pathology Services. Animals Biology Environment 

Algal Toxins Found in Alaskan Marine Mammals

By Neha Jain @lifesciexplore Harmful algal blooms produce toxins that can be deadly to marine mammals. In the US, such toxins—unheard of 20 years ago—have caused almost half of all unusual marine mammal deaths in the last two decades, particularly among California sea lions. Now, for the first time scientists have discovered algal toxins farther north in Alaskan marine mammals; the mammals’ health can be jeopardized by these toxins. “What really surprised us was finding these toxins so widespread in Alaska, far north of where they have been previously documented…

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tiny house, off-grid living, Nice Architects Engineering Environment Technology 

Egg-Shaped Tiny House to Revolutionize Off-Grid Living

By Jonathan Trinastic @jptrinastic If you spot Nice Architects’ Ecocapsule while hiking through the woods or turning the corner from your campsite, you may think you’ve come upon an alien spacecraft or advanced military technology. Deep blue solar cells pattern its sleek surface, glistening in the sun. A curving wind turbine stretches toward the sky. This lustrous, egg-shaped capsule is no military secret, but could be a revolutionary solution to self-sufficient housing powered by renewable energy. Six months since our first coverage of the tiny house, Nice Architects is now…

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A woman in the village of Karech, in rural India, prepares a meal on a traditional three-stone hearth. Courtesy of H.S. Udaykumar and University of Iowa Environment Health 

Small Metal Stove Grate Makes Big Impact

By Kate Stone The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 2.7 billion people worldwide still rely on wood fires to cook their food, and more than 4 million die each year from illnesses connected to household air pollution caused by that method of cooking. An inexpensive metal insert for primitive cookstoves, created by a University of Iowa research team, may decrease global warming and potentially save many lives. The insert decreases wood consumption by about 60 percent, and further testing  conducted in a national lab in India found that the…

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Meltwater rivers gushing on top of the ice layers in Greenland Environment Uncategorized 

Greenland Ice Sheets Losing Ability to Absorb Meltwater

By Neha Jain Greenland Ice Sheets Losing Ability to Absorb Meltwater Sea-rise levels caused by a warmer Earth may be higher than predicted, according to a new study. Meltwater from ice sheets at the poles is often blamed for rising sea levels. Now, scientists have discovered some more grim news: Ice sheets in Greenland are losing their ability to retain meltwater, resulting in faster runoff of meltwater into the ocean. Meltwater from ice sheets does not always run off into the ocean. During summer when melting occurs, some of the…

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Mary River Turtle Animals Environment Photos 

Using the Power of Photography for Good

World-Famous Photos of Mary River Turtles Chris van Wyk enjoyed viral success with his pictures of an algae-covered “punk” Mary River turtle. Major news outlets around the world published his photos. The media attention affected decisions related to preserving the turtle’s habitat. Steven Spence, reporting for GotScience, asked Chris about the experience. The following essay is a redacted version of his communication. The Power of Photography Photography can change the world, the right photograph at the right time can change history, and, as we all have access to cameras these…

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more heat waves to come Environment 

More Heat Waves Predicted in Next 20 Years

By Kate Stone Scientists have developed a new method to more accurately measure and predict heat waves, and the results are frightening. More Heat Waves to Come The researchers have shown that heat waves are likely to increase both in severity and number during the next two decades. “Even if global mean temperatures don’t increase too much, we’ll see more extreme heat events. These will be hotter, longer, and more frequent,” explains Simone Russo from the European Commission Joint Research Centre, Ispra, Italy. The new metric is called the Heat…

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Photo by Lisa Brown via Flickr Animals Environment 

Citizen Science Informs Bird Feeder Dilemma

By Jonathan Trinastic @jptrinastic If you enjoy turkey this Thanksgiving, take a moment to think not about the bird on your plate but rather the birds outside your home. With increasing urbanization taking away more natural habitat, local wildlife is having difficulty finding food. Bird feeders have become a popular way for homeowners to help local wildlife and contribute to conservation efforts. But are these feeders, borne of good intentions, actually helping or hurting wild birds? A recent study has enlisted the help of Canadian citizens to find out. Feeding the…

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Butterflies: A worn butterfly enjoys refreshment in a garden. tentative identification: Meadow Brown; German Ochsenauge; Latin Maniola jurtina Animals Environment 

Unexpected Biodiversity in Iberian Butterflies

By Steven Spence Winged Flowers A fallen blossom returning to the bough, I thought – But no, a butterfly. (Arakida Moritake, Traditional Japanese Poetry: An Anthology) [落花枝にかへると見れば胡蝶哉 守武 落花枝にかへると見れば胡ちょかな 守武] Good News On Biodiversity This week we have encouraging data to share with you about butterflies in Europe. Biodiversity is a major concern in Europe and elsewhere. However, a recently released study of butterflies in Spain and Portugal suggests biodiversity may have been significantly underestimated. The study conducted by the Institut de Biologia Evolutiva (IBE) shows that 28% of butterfly…

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