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Climate Change Is Altering Our National Parks Forever
August 18, 2016 03:23 PM - Julie M. Rodriguez, Care2
If you’ve ever taken a camping trip, hiked up a forested mountain trail or simply gone bird watching in an American national park, I have bad news: climate change is increasingly putting our nation’s wilderness in danger. And with July 2016 officially declared the hottest month on the planet since recordkeeping began, matters are only poised to get worse.
Rising global temperatures and changing weather patterns are already having wide-reaching effects on these wild places. Nowhere is this more apparent than in areas that used to be thick with ice and snow.
Offshore Wind Moves a Step Closer for North Carolina
August 16, 2016 03:39 PM - Sami Grover, Care2
While we’re a long way behind countries like the UK, there seems to be a growing momentum behind US offshore wind development—suggesting we might finally get serious about the incredible potential for this increasingly competitive technology. The latest such signal is an announcement from the Department of Interior proposing a lease sale for the 122,405-Acre Kitty Hawk Wind Energy Area.
Americans are buying more bottled water than soda
August 16, 2016 07:20 AM - Llowell Williams, Care2
This year is on track to see Americans’ consumption of bottled water outpace their soda drinking for the very first time. According to Euromonitor, a market research firm, the average American will buy 27.4 gallons of bottled water, compared to 26.2 gallons of soda drinks.
Is this a good thing? It’s hard to argue that less consumption of sugary products is a bad thing. However, Americans aren’t necessarily replacing soda with water — for the most part, they are simply buying more bottled water.
Can the Alligator Gar Solve Our Asian Carp Problem?
August 10, 2016 11:54 AM - Steve Williams, Care2
The prehistoric-looking alligator gar was once driven out of its native waters, but recent reports are touting the top level predator as a possible solution to the influx of Asian carp that are devastating local fish stocks. But could reintroduction actually work?
The Associated Press reports:
But the once-reviled predator is now being seen as a valuable fish in its own right, and as a potential weapon against a more threatening intruder: the invasive Asian carp, which have swum almost unchecked toward the Great Lakes, with little more than an electric barrier to keep them at bay.
Efforts are underway to reintroduce the alligator gar to the northern part of its former range.
California Freeways to Go Greener by Generating Electricity
August 10, 2016 10:32 AM - Laura Goldman, Care2
Energy conservation is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think about freeways jammed with idling vehicles.
But in California, which has some of the most congested freeways in the country, that’s about to change. The California Energy Commission (CEC) has approved a pilot program in which piezoelectric crystals will be installed on several freeways.
Boats Are Killing Manatees in Record Numbers
August 8, 2016 07:04 AM - Alicia Graef, Care2
Manatee advocates are raising concerns about the number of these gentle giants who have been killed in Florida this year. They hope that increased vigilance and other measures will help keep this from being the worst year on record.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has already counted 71 manatees killed by boats as of July 22. The numbers are already higher than they were for the same period in 2009, which was the deadliest year on record with a total of 97 deaths.
Which island holds the greatest concentration of mammals?
July 20, 2016 07:22 AM - Jessica Ramos, Care2
In this scary time of global species extinctions and loss of biodiversity below “safe” levels, The Field Museum recently announced some good news: Luzon Island, an island the size of the Indiana in the Philippines, holds the greatest concentration of mammals. The pressing question now is will we be able to protect this rich biodiversity in time?
What Do You Know About New York Whales?
July 15, 2016 11:48 AM - Judy Molland, Care2
In case you thought wildlife in New York was pretty much limited to the squirrels and pigeons of Central Park, Howard Rosenbaum has news for you.
“In less distance out to sea than the average New Yorker’s commute home, there is likely a whale singing at this very moment,” says Rosenbaum, director of the Ocean Giants program at the New York Aquarium in Coney Island, Brooklyn.
7 Species Of Whales Spotted In New York Waters
Humpback whales (seen above) are regularly seen in the waters off the Big Apple, while fin whales inhabit the waters around the eastern tip of Long Island. Five other species, the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale and minke and sperm whales, as well as sei whales and the blue whale, the largest animal that has ever lived (seen below) have also been seen or heard in New York waters.
Why Are There Frogs With Extra Limbs and Missing Eyes in Australia?
July 15, 2016 10:32 AM - Jessica Ramos, Care2
There’s something strange happening in Queensland, Australia: the frog populations are dropping like flies and frog deformities are on the rise. One frog doctor (yes, that’s a legitimate thing) blames insecticides, particularly neonicotinoids. The problem is that no one from the academic community or government is taking these issues seriously.
Deborah Pergolotti runs the Cairns Frog Safe project — Australia’s only hospital that serves frog patients — and she’s witnessing disturbing trends. Pergolotti told the Guardian there has been a 95% decline in the Cairns frog population over the last 17 years. Coincidentally, neonicotinoids were first introduced in Australia in 1996 — just three years prior to the decline that Pergolotti cites.
At this point, Pergolotti can only speculate because no one has been looking into the toxicology. “If somebody would get around to doing the toxicology for it, then maybe we might get some proof, but nobody’s interested in the toxicology,” she tells the Guardian.
66 Million Dead Trees in California Increases Wildfire Risk
July 4, 2016 03:48 PM - Tex Dworkin, Care2
Those orange tree patches pictured aren’t harbingers of winter. They are dying or dead trees in California, most likely the result of pine beetle forest damage.
It’s hot now in much of the golden state, and as temperatures continue to rise, something else is happening: Trees are dying in unprecedented numbers.
A recent U.S. Forest Service aerial detection survey revealed a record 66 million dead trees in southern Sierra Nevada. What we’re left with is a breeding ground for wildfires in a state where wildfires are already rampant—particularly this time of year.
40 million trees died statewide from 2010 to October 2015, but an additional 26 million trees died in California since October 2015.