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102 Million Trees Have Died in California's Drought
November 25, 2016 02:42 PM - EcoWatch via , Care2
California’s six years of drought has left 102 million dead trees across 7.7 million acres of forest in its wake, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) announced following an aerial survey. If that is not horrendous enough, 62 million trees died in the year 2016 alone—an increase of more than 100 percent compared to 2015.
“The scale of die-off in California is unprecedented in our modern history,” Randy Moore, a forester for the U.S. Forest Service, told the Los Angeles Times, adding that trees are dying “at a rate much quicker than we thought.”
Why do seabirds eat plastic?
November 15, 2016 07:27 AM - s.e. smith, Care2
Heartbreaking stories of seabirds eating plastic — and the accompanying horrible images— are everywhere, but now scientists are an important question: Why do seabirds eat plastic in the first place? And why are some more likely to have bellies full of plastic than others?
The answer, it turns out, lies in a compound called dimethyl sulfide, or DMS, which emits a “chemical scream” that some birds associate with food. When seabirds find chunks of plastic bobbing in the water, they gobble them up, not realizing that they’ve just consumed something very dangerous.
Seeing Fewer Butterflies? Blame Extreme Weather
November 3, 2016 07:42 PM - Kevin Mathews, Care2
Have you noticed fewer butterflies floating this year? Researchers in the UK think they know the culprit for the population decline: extreme weather conditions.
Bees Are Declared Endangered for the First Time in the U.S.
October 7, 2016 07:09 AM - Alicia Graefi, Care2
For the first time in history, a group of bees in the U.S. will be protected under the Endangered Species Act, following a recent announcement from wildlife officials.
The group of bees, who are commonly known as yellow-faced bees because of the markings on their faces, are endemic only to the Hawaiian islands. While there are dozens of species, scientists identified several of them who are at risk of extinction and have been calling for their protection for years.
5 Species Most Likely to Survive a Climate Change Disaster
September 30, 2016 06:59 AM - Beth Buczynski, Care2
Survival of the fittest. This basic tenet of evolution explains why the dodo bird no longer exists and why humans have opposable thumbs.
Adaptation is key to survival, no matter how many fingers you’ve got. The ability to adjust to whatever conditions Mother Earth sends our way determines whether obstacles lead to extinction or to a new generation.
Human-accelerated climate change is a disaster waiting to happen. We’ve already seen the superstorms and drought it can create. Although we can work to slow climate change, there’s no way to stop it completely. This reality means adaptation will once again become the most important strategy for survival.
One thing’s for sure: the Earth will continue to exist as it has for eons. The question is, what will be left behind to inhabit it?
Below are five species known for their resilience and ability to survive in adverse conditions. They are the most likely to survive a climate change disaster. Spoiler: humans don’t make the list.
Millions of Trees are Dying Across the US
September 26, 2016 06:53 AM - Julie Rodriguez, Care2
Throughout the U.S., trees are dying at an astonishing rate. The reasons for the die-off vary from location to location — drought, disease, insects and wildfires – but the root cause in many of these cases is the same: climate change.
The epidemic is even threatening the oldest white oak tree in America, a 600-year-old giant in New Jersey that predates Columbus’ visit to the Americas.
A Cruise Ship Just Sailed the Northwest Passage, Thanks to Climate Change
September 23, 2016 07:07 AM - s.e. smith, Care2
The Northwest Passage originated as an unattainable and lethal legend when Europeans arrived in the Americas and longed for an easy sea route across North America. Now, a cruise ship has successfully traversed the route in only a month.
It wasn’t until 1906 that Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen successfully — but with extreme difficulty — navigated what had, until then, been a theoretical journey. In the years since, heavily fortified ships with icebreakers could only make it through the floes of the Arctic in summer, when sea ice was at its lowest.
Now, a massive 14-deck cruise ship has completed the journey that was a pipe dream just over one hundred years ago — and it’s raising a lot of concerns.
You Could Be Eating Endangered Fish Without Even Realizing It
September 20, 2016 07:19 AM - Julie Rodriguez, Care2
When you go out for sushi or visit a seafood restaurant, how sure can you be that you’re really getting what you’ve ordered? Last week, Oceana released some shocking findings: Around the world, an average of one in five samples of seafood is mislabeled.
The report examined 25,000 samples worldwide and reviewed more than 200 published studies from 55 different countries. Every continent was represented apart from Antarctica. The mislabeling was present in every part of the seafood supply chain, including retail, wholesale, distribution, import/export, packaging, processing, and landing.
That’s bad news for many reasons – mislabeling makes dining dangerous for consumers (not all of these species are considered suitable for human consumption), and difficult for people who are trying to avoid mercury exposure or who simply want to dine more sustainably. In most cases, cheap fish were being passed off as more expensive varieties.
Air Pollution: The Billion Dollar Industry
September 13, 2016 07:21 AM - Steve Williams, Care2
The World Bank has released a new report highlighting the fact that air pollution costs world governments billions upon billions every year and ranks among the leading causes of death worldwide.
The estimates — drawn from a number of sources, including the World Health Organization’s most recently completed data sets compiled in 2013 — can for the first time begin to examine the overall welfare cost of air pollution.
Study Discovers Air Pollution Particles in the Human Brain
September 9, 2016 07:21 AM - Julie Rodriguez, Care2
A new study from Lancaster University has discovered toxic nanoparticles from air pollution in large quantities in human brains. The researchers examined brain tissue from 37 people aged between 3 and 92 years old in the U.K. and Mexico. Magnetite, a type of iron oxide, was found in massive quantities in the samples – millions of particles per gram of brain tissue.