Over the past 30 years, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has experienced a 50 percent loss in coral. Though part of the decline is being attributed to the warmer ocean temperatures caused by climate change, about half of the damage is due to the proliferation of the crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS). The deadly predators can devour as much as 53 square feet (five square meters) of live coral annually.
Kids News - Green Articles
Burying time capsules for future civilizations is not a new concept. However, the one hidden underground near the Polish Polar Station in Hornsund, Spitsbergen, in the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago, is a little unique. Instead of detailed documents to showcase our progress and knowledge, the capsule contains objects, which the creators believe will be easier for future historians to interpret.
Before astronauts embark on a mission to Mars, it is imperative for scientists to know everything they can about the impact of long-term space travel on the human body. Previous studies have shown that extended exposure to microgravity causes muscles and bones to weaken, deteriorates vision, and, in some cases, even alters the astronaut’s DNA. Now, there is evidence that spending a long time in space could also permanently change the brain’s structure.
Antarctica’s Weddell Sea in the Southern Hemisphere is usually an uninterrupted sheet of ice during the frigid winter months of June, July and August. That is why the appearance of a massive area of open water, or polynya, in the middle of the sea is baffling scientists worldwide. First observed as a small hole in the winter of 2016, the polynya now extends an astounding 80,000 square kilometers, or about as big as the US state of Maine.
Hurricane Maria, which tore through Puerto Rico in late September, knocked down 95 percent of the island’s cell towers and electric poles. While cellular telephone and utility companies have been frantically trying to restore the services, approximately 80% of Puerto Rico still has no wireless service or electricity.
Sea spiders, which have inhabited Earth for over 500 million years, are fascinating creatures. The marine arthropods, which range in size from a millimeter long to as big as a dinner plate, have eight jointed legs that convene around a tiny body. Since their torsos are so small, they use their legs to conduct normal body functions such as digestion and reproduction. Now, it seems the creatures also have a unique breathing mechanism.
Earlier this year, National Geographic released a list of the world’s 21 most beautiful beaches. High among them, especially for sea-shell lovers, is Shell Beach. Located in the Shark Bay World Heritage Area in Western Australia, it is home to a 37-mile (60 km) stretch of white cockle shells.
Wildlife filmmakers know to expect the unexpected when observing animals in their natural habitat. For a PBS Nature film crew trying to stealthily capture footage of Arctic foxes in the freezing Arctic tundra that meant losing a hidden camera to the curious animals.