With its majestic mountains, spectacular landscapes, and pristine beaches, Ireland’s Achill Island has always been a popular European tourist destination. However, since April, the rugged 57-square mile island of just 2,600 residents has gained worldwide fame thanks to the ‘miraculous’ return of a beach that was washed away over three decades ago.
Kids News - Earth Articles
Sometime between July 10 and 12, a massive iceberg, the size of the US state of Delaware broke free from Antarctica’s Larsen C Ice Shelf. The crack that led to the separation was visible in the first images of the ice shelf captured by NASA satellites in 1963. However, the rift remained dormant for decades before suddenly spreading northwards and widening by 18 miles between 2011 and 2015 and then an additional 13 miles in 2016. As of last month, the iceberg, named A-68 by the US National Ice Center, was hanging by a thread and experts knew it was just a matter of time before it broke free.
To say that California’s redwoods are amazing is an understatement. The majestic trees that have been around for millions of years have a lifespan of up to 2,000 years and can reach heights of over 300 feet, so tall that the tops are often invisible. Over the years, researchers have been able to discover a lot about these sturdy survivors that are resistant to pests, fire, and rot, grow three to ten feet a year, and capture more human-generated carbon dioxide (CO2) than any other tree on Earth.
Though most of you are probably well into your summer break, the season does not officially begin until June 20. Called summer solstice, it is the day when the North Pole is most inclined towards the sun, allowing residents of the Northern Hemisphere, to enjoy the longest day of the year. Of course, the opposite is true for the Southern Hemisphere where residents will celebrate winter solstice and experience the shortest day (and longest night) of the year.
Some fortunate visitors to the Chicago Botanic Garden recently witnessed the rare opening of not one, but two, titan arums. Better known as corpse flowers due to their pungent odor that resembles decaying flesh, the massive plants bloom once every ten years, and that too, for only a few hours. However, that may be a good thing given that when the petals unfurl, the stench emanated is so foul that it has earned the titan arum the title of the “world's smelliest flower.”
On Tuesday, June 1, President Donald Trump fulfilled yet another campaign promise by announcing that the US was withdrawing from the 2015 Paris climate agreement. The goal of the historic pledge signed by 195 countries is to curb the use of fossil fuels to ensure that average global temperatures do not increase more than 2°C (3.6°F) above pre-industrial levels. Environmentalists believe this is a critical threshold above which the planet could experience irreversible impacts, such as an unprecedented rise in sea levels and widespread plant and animal extinction.
While U.S. President Donald Trump, who pulled out of the Paris climate agreement on June 1, is convinced global warming is a “hoax,” the deteriorating condition of the world’s coral reefs seems to suggest otherwise. Often called “rainforests of the sea,” the incredible ecosystems that occupy less than 0.1 percent of ocean’s surface are home to almost 25 percent of all marine species. Unfortunately, the rising ocean temperatures caused by global warming are wreaking havoc on these fragile organisms.
Though plastic shopping bags are incredibly cheap and useful, their disposal causes widespread pollution. That's because the non-biodegradable polyethylene takes centuries to decompose and is also detrimental to wildlife who often mistake the colorful debris for food. Now, we may have an unlikely ally to help clean up our trash – a small wax worm bred primarily for use as premium fish bait.