Experts estimate that Earth gets bombarded with thousands of pieces of cosmic debris each year. While most burn up in the atmosphere, a few hundred survive and hit the planet's surface annually. While the impact of the space rocks, which come hurtling down at rapid speeds, has thus far been minimal, the possibility of an asteroid landing in a densely populated area and causing severe damage cannot be ignored.
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The severe winter storm that pummeled parts of Washington, D.C. with as much as six inches of snow on February 20, 2019 had most residents scrambling for the safety and warmth of their homes. However, Smithsonian's National Zoo's giant panda Bei Bei was not among them. The adorable three-year-old had the time of his life playing in the mounds of fresh powder that helped Washington, D.C. retain its stature as the snowiest major city on the US East Coast this year.
Experts assert that if food were a country, it would rank third behind China and the US as one of the biggest greenhouse gas polluters. The reason is the ever-rising demand for meat. Livestock farming is responsible for 14.5 percent of global methane emissions. While cows are the worse offenders, pigs, sheep, and other animals contribute as well.
While any sighting of the critically-endangered leopard deserves mention, that of a black leopard is particularly newsworthy. What makes the specimen, recently captured on camera in Central Kenya by San Diego Zoo researchers and British wildlife photographer Will Burrard-Lucas, unique is that it is the first scientific documentation of such a creature in Africa in nearly a century. Prior to this, the only confirmed sighting was a 1909 photograph taken in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde has spent much of his career seeking artistic solutions to solve our environmental woes. His past projects include "Bioluminescent Trees" to light streets, a "Smog-Free Tower" to clean Beijing's polluted air, and "Gates of Light," which uses the headlamps of passing cars to illuminate the 60 floodgates of the Afsluitdijk, a major dam and causeway in the Netherlands. Now, the creative artist is hoping to use his skills to solve a pressing global issue - space junk!
With his intricately-patterned skin, bright orange underbelly, and bulging emerald eyes, Romeo, a male Sehuencas water frog, should have had no trouble finding a mate. The only problem? Until recently, the world’s most eligible amphibious bachelor was believed to be the last surviving member of his kind! Now, just in time for Valentine's Day, researchers may have found the perfect Juliet for this modern-day Romeo!
Pesky as they may be, ants are truly incredible insects. The tiny creatures can survive floods by joining together to morph into living rafts, predict earthquakes, lift up to 20 times their body weight, and even select the best tool to complete a job efficiently. Now, it appears that the elusive Dracula ant (Mystrium camillae) can snap its jaws shut at a mind-boggling speed of 90 meters per second (more than 200 miles per hour) – the fastest-known animal movement on record.
The blast of Arctic air, which has caused a once-in-a-generation deep freeze across the US Midwest, has paralyzed the region’s cities and towns. Hundreds of schools are closed, thousands of flights and trains have been grounded, and most businesses were forced to shut. Authorities are cautioning residents to stay indoors during this unprecedented chilly weather pattern, which is cold enough to freeze boiling water in midair and can result in frostbite in as little as 5 minutes. The polar vortex’s only silver lining? The beautiful sun dogs being observed at many of the affected areas.