Coral reefs are one of the most diverse and important ecosystems on Earth. Not only do they provide food and habitats for the fish and seafood we eat, but they also shelter many other organisms that are crucial for ocean food chains. Experts estimate they contribute about $30 billion USD to the global economy annually, through tourism, fisheries, and coastal protection. Unfortunately, warming ocean waters, acidification, and over-fishing are killing the beautiful reefs at unprecedented levels
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Polish explorer Krzysztof Starnawski’s fascination with the Hranická Propast, or Hranice Abyss, an underwater cave in the Czech Republic, began in 1999. The diver, who once held the record for the deepest dive (283-meters) with a closed circuit rebreather, says the cave’s limestone unusual formation led him to suspect that it was a lot deeper than his dives had taken him.
The first clue that the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season would be an active one came in January, when Alex, a Category 1 hurricane, arrived six months before the season’s official June 1st start date. Since then, there have been 13 named storms and three hurricanes. However, none have been as devastating as Hurricane Matthew, which has left a trail of destruction all the way from Haiti to North Carolina.
Here is some exciting news for those living in the Western Hemisphere — today, September 30, marks the emergence of the black moon. While that may sound sinister and is even dubbed apocalyptic by some; it is just the moniker given to the second new moon in a month. And like all new moons, this one too will be invisible to the naked eye.
September is usually a month when the atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) are at their lowest levels in the northern hemisphere. That’s because plants suck up a lot of the gas as they grow during the summer. But this year, the level of the greenhouse gas has remained stubbornly above the symbolic “red line” of 400 parts per million. This has caused scientists to predict that CO2 levels will not return to environment-friendly levels "ever again for the indefinite future.”
On September 10, 2016, a meteorite weighing more than 30-tons (68,000 pounds) was unearthed in Argentina’s Campo del Cielo (Spanish for “Field of Heaven”) region. The space rock that is amongst the largest intact meteorites discovered thus far, is believed to be part of a massive meteor that disintegrated as it entered Earth's atmosphere approximately 4,000 — 6,000 years ago.
Monday, August 8, was Earth Overshoot Day. Calculated annually by the environmental advocacy group, Global Footprint Network, it is the day when humanity has consumed all the natural resources — produce, meat, fish, water, and wood — that our planet can regenerate in a single year. This means that for the rest of 2016, we will be using natural resources that are impossible to replace.
Water, or rather the lack of it, is one of the most pressing issues of our times. Unprecedented droughts and growing populations have left many countries struggling to keep up with demand. Given that agriculture is the largest single user of freshwater, providing farmers with new conservation techniques would go a long way in alleviating our water woes. It turns out that a “miracle” powder has been helping drought-stricken Mexican farmers do exactly that for over a decade!