While campaigning to be the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump often referred to global warming as a “hoax” and promised Americans that, if elected, he would lift all “job-killing (climate change0 restrictions.” On Tuesday, March 29, the US leader made good on his promise with an executive order that reverses many of the regulations the Obama administration put in place to protect the environment.
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Like the rest of their species, the Southern Hemisphere humpbacks, or Megaptera novaeangliae, are not social animals. The baleen whales typically prefer to remain solo or amalgamate in small groups which disperse quickly. However, since 2011, researchers from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in Cape Town have been observing a new phenomenon off the coast of South Africa — large swarms of whales, comprising anywhere from 20 to 200 individuals. Professor Ken Findlay and his team reported seeing 22 instances of the large groups on three different occasions in 2011, 2014, and 2015.
Always wanted to help fight climate change? Then join the Earth Hour party on Saturday, March 25 by turning off all lights from 8:30 — 9:30 PM local time. This small action, taken by hundreds of millions of people around the world, will make a dent in our efforts to reverse global warming. More importantly, it will demonstrate what can be achieved if we all unite to protect our planet.
With its wide canopy of leaves, the majestic 50-feet tall manchineel tree that is native to the Caribbean, Florida, the northern coast of South America, Central America, and the Bahamas, looks particularly inviting, especially on a hot summer day. But you may be wise to heed the warning signs given that the deceptively innocuous tree holds the Guinness World Record for “the world’s most dangerous tree.”
The phrase “good things come in small packages” certainly appears to hold true when it comes to ants. The tiny creatures can survive floods by morphing into rafts, find their way home using an internalized GPS system, and even lift up to 20 times their body weight. In 2013, scientists discovered that the insects whose brains are smaller than a quarter of a small pin’s head could even use tools, a skill that was once believed to be the realm of “intelligent” species like humans, and a select number of animals. Now, researchers from the University of Szeged in Hungary have discovered that when given a choice, the clever insects even have the smarts to select the most efficient tool for the job.
After a relatively calm 2016, Europe’s most active volcano — Mount Etna in Sicily, Italy — came to life on February 27. The eruption that occurred at about 6:00 pm local time from the relatively new Southeast Crater formed by a 1978 eruption lit up the dark Sicilian skies with fountains of bright orange lava. As is characteristic of all Mount Etna ejections, the lava stream was accompanied by Strombolian eruptions. The short-lived, explosive outbursts that are caused by trapped bubbles of gas escaping through the lava can reach heights of several hundred meters, making for a spectacular show.
The steady increase in global temperatures has been particularly disastrous for the polar ice caps. Experts warn that if this trend continues, there will be no late summer ice in the Arctic region by the 2030’s. The most effective solution, of course, is to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions before it’s too late. But since that is not happening, scientists are frantically trying to come up with alternative ways to try to reverse the situation.
The about million species of insects known to humanity thus far have managed to neatly fit into one of 31 existing scientific orders. However, when George Poinar, Jr., the world’s leading expert on plant and animal life forms, found preserved in amber, saw the carcass of this 100-million-year-old insect, he knew it would require its own scientific order – an incredibly rare event.