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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.
Meet a Surprising Plastic Alternative: Milk
September 1, 2016 07:07 AM - s.e. smith, Care2
What if you could have your packaging and eat it too? We’ve seen rice paper packaging on Japanese candies, but edible plastic? Thanks to researchers at the USDA, it’s not too far in the future.
And it’s not just an edible and environmentally-friendly plastic alternative; it’s actually better at keeping food fresh than petroleum-based plastics. It’ll be a few years before you see the material on shelves — don’t start chomping down just yet — but it represents a big revolution in the way we view food packaging.
Obama Creates the World's Largest Marine Reserve
August 30, 2016 07:12 AM - Steve Williams, Care2
The Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, first named a national monument by President George W. Bush in 2006, is a massively important marine nature reserve.
Designated a World Heritage site, the region surrounding the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands teems with more than 7,000 marine and land species — some of which are unique to the area, including endangered whales and sea turtles. As a result, the region has been deemed irreplaceable by scientists.
Storms in Mexico Kill Millions of Monarchs
August 29, 2016 07:06 AM - Alicia Graef, Care2
While international efforts are under way to help keep dwindling populations of monarch butterflies from disappearing, scientists are raising concerns about how severe weather and a loss of forest habitat at their wintering grounds in Mexico are affecting them.
Every year, monarchs embark on an epic multigenerational migration that takes them thousands of miles from Canada and the U.S. in search of sites in California and in Mexico. The fir trees in the southern regions offer the shelter and warmth they need to survive the winter.
Unfortunately, these vital forests in Mexico have been threatened by illegal logging, and now storms have destroyed hundreds of acres of habitat, while severe weather is believed to have killed an estimated 6.2 million of these iconic butterflies.
Smoke Waves Are the Next Climate Change Problem
August 24, 2016 07:25 AM - s.e. smith, Care2
In the hills near Los Angeles, the Blue Cut Fire just ripped through 36,000 acres, taking dozens of homes along with it, spurring a major evacuation, and even requiring temporary highway closures. But the merciless flames of the Blue Cut Fire almost pale in comparison with the flood of wildfires across the Golden State, and the West at large, in an era when the wildfire season is growing longer and more aggressive every year. Climate change is the reason why, and researchers are discovering that the cost of wildfires may be bigger than we imagined: They’re tracking deadly “smoke waves” that sweep the landscape, causing serious respiratory health problems.