At first glance, the adult lanternfly is a beautiful spectacle with spotted, bright red wings and a little bumble bee-esque body. But as the species continues its trek across the U.S., federal and state officials have a unified message: If you come across the insect, kill it.
The lanternfly is an invasive species from China that wreaks havoc on agriculture. They aren’t physically harmful to humans, but they threaten everything from oak, walnut and poplar trees to grapes, almonds and fruit orchards. It was first detected in the U.S. in Pennsylvania in 2014, but it has now spread to at least nine states, primarily in the Northeast. Growing numbers have been spotted in New York City this summer.
By Riley Black
APRIL 28, 2021 2:00PM
Pumpkin toadlets look exactly like what their name suggests. Less than half an inch-long, these tiny, orange frogs hop around the sweltering forests along Brazil’s Atlantic coast. But how many species of these frogs are there? The question isn’t just important to biology, but for conservationists seeking to preserve unique rainforest amphibians.
To researchers, pumpkin toadlets belong to the genus Brachycephalus. Determining how many Brachycephalus species exist, however, isn’t easy. As many as 36 have been named, but researchers sometimes disagree on which species are valid or which species a particular population of frogs should be assigned to. Different populations of these frogs look very similar to each other, not to mention that their genetic makeup only varies slightly.
— Read on www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/biologists-discover-new-species-glowing-pumpkin-toadlet-180977610/
Glaciers are melting faster, losing 31% more snow and ice per year than they did 15 years earlier, according to three-dimensional satellite measurements of all the world’s mountain glaciers.
Scientists blame human-caused climate change.
Using 20 years of recently declassified satellite data, scientists calculated that the world’s 220,000 mountain glaciers are losing more than 328 billion tons (298 billion metric tons) of ice and snow per year since 2015, according to a study in Wednesday’s journal Nature. That’s enough melt flowing into the world’s rising oceans to put Switzerland under almost 24 feet (7.2 meters) of water each year.
President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to ban new oil and gas leasing on America’s federal public lands and waters on Day One of his administration.
Nearly a quarter of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions come from public lands due to coal mining and oil and gas drilling. We can’t keep leasing public lands to the fossil fuel industry and have any chance of reducing emissions or seriously confronting the climate crisis.
And due to Trump’s executive orders of undermining the Environmental Protection Act, along with the Water Protection Act. Big companies such as BP and Keystone, are free to muddy our waters with chemicals. Whilst also spewing poisonous gases into our ozone layer.
Just because Biden pledged to halt and undo Trump’s actions doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll DO. Let’s make him keep his words. By using our voices and signature.
As rising global temperatures continue to melt the ice in Antarctica, scientists predict that we’ll face serious problems in the coming decades — from rising sea levels to devastating storms to temperatures rising even faster because there’s less ice to reflect heat.
Now, it turns out all those problems could be even worse than scientists predicted, according to research published in the journal Climate Dynamics. Existing models tended to predict ice melt based on average conditions over time, but accounting for fluctuating extremes paints a far more dire picture.
Climate models need to represent how chaotic weather patterns can be, study author and Penn State climate researcher Chris Forest argued in a press release. Accounting for those fluctuations, Forest’s work shows that the Antarctic ice sheet could retreat 20 years sooner than expected.
Factoring that in, the melting ice could raise the sea level by an additional 2.7 to 4.3 inches on top of the 10.6 to 14.9 inches that simpler models predict by the year 2100.
“We know ice sheets are melting as global temperatures increase, but uncertainties remain about how much and how fast that will happen,” Forest said in the release.
Amazon is the largest retailer in the world. We are all happy and grateful to have them especially when you don’t have the time or patience to go around shopping all the things you need. But unfortunately every time you order, tons of single use plastic arrives with your products.
Let’s ask the company to reduce the amount of plastic used and avoid it when it is not necessary.
Let’s ask them to stop using the plastic, bubble bags and switch to more eco friendly solutions.
We cannot afford to keep polluting our planet at this rate and everyone but especially large corporations have the moral obligation to lead by example.
This is why we need to keep plastic out of the oceans and upcycle/recycle and reuse everything, in order to keep the carbon footprint prints low and or nonexistent. Not to mention it will keep plastic from hurting our animal life.
Skulls and a nearly complete skeleton offer our best look yet at a shark that lived about 360 million years ago.
By Tim Vernimmen
Shark teeth are among the most commonly found fossils around the world, yet the cartilage-based skeletons of their owners were rarely preserved. As a result, researchers have no idea what many early sharks looked like, even if they were once very abundant.
That’s why paleontologists working in the eastern Anti-Atlas Mountains of Morocco were stunned to find several skulls and an almost complete skeleton from two species of Phoebodus, a primitive shark genus that, until now, was known only from its three-cusped teeth. Described this week in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the fossils reveal that Phoebodus had an eel-like body and a long snout, which makes it look a lot like the frilled shark that still roams the deep sea today. (Explore our interactive showcasing the sizes of the world’s sharks.)
And while these two animals are only distantly related, the teeth of Phoebodus and those of the frilled shark look really similar as well, suggesting that their feeding modes didn’t differ drastically.
“Many modern sharks have serrated teeth that allow them to cut up their prey before ingesting the pieces,” says study coauthor Christian Klug of the University of Zurich. By contrast, the cone-shaped, inward-pointing teeth of Phoebodus and the frilled shark are only good for capturing prey and then swallowing it whole.
The fossilized Phoebodus remains were found in a layer estimated to be about 360 to 370 million years old, in what used to be a shallow sea basin. When the sharks died there, the limited water circulation and low oxygen levels created an environment in which their bodies were largely left alone by bacteria, scavengers, and currents, preserving them for posterity.
The resulting fossils are damaged by sediments and time, but Klug and his team were able to CT scan some of the material they recovered from the Moroccan mountains to get an even better picture of what these primitive sharks looked like during the Late Devonian period.
The quantity of data that is emerging from studies such as this is staggering,” says John Maisey, a paleontologist with the American Museum of Natural History who was not part of the study team. “We are experiencing a renaissance of anatomy.”
The scans revealed some striking similarities to the frilled shark, not just in body shape, but in the teeth as well, which offers some clues to how the more ancient predators might have hunted. (Find out why great white sharks may be responsible for the extinction of the Megalodon.)
“The frilled shark is a specialized predator, with the ability to suddenly burst forward to catch its prey,” says David Ebert, a modern shark expert at the Pacific Shark Research Center who has studied the frilled shark for decades. “The inward-pointing teeth then help to make sure the prey can only go one way: into its throat. Maybe Phoebodus did something similar.”
Because the reclusive frilled shark is so rarely observed, however, there are many outstanding questions about the way it feeds. So, for a better understanding of how Phoebodus may have gotten its food, the researchers also looked at another unrelated species with a surprisingly similar skull, jaw, and teeth, a large freshwater fish called the alligator gar. Like Phoebodus, the alligator gar has long jaws and a flat skull, which limit its bite force. Yet there are also benefits to having a head like that, says Justin Lemberg of the University of Chicago, who has studied the gars’ feeding behavior.
They hunt in open water, where they don’t have the luxury of choosing which direction their next meal will come from. And flat heads and long jaws are great for snapping sideways at prey.”
Physics of feeding
While it may seem unusual to compare the feeding strategies of species as different as sharks and gars, such analyses are often among the best ways paleontologists have to reconstruct how extinct animals behaved, Lemberg says.
A toxic blue-green algae that is potentially lethal to dogs has been found in three New York City park ponds––the latest place it’s cropped up after leaving a trail of sick and dead pets across North Carolina, Texas and Georgia.
According to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, the blue-green algae was found in two Central Park ponds and another pond in Prospect Park.
Blue-green algae, also known as Cyanobacteria, is a microorganism that is caused by high nutrients, stagnant water, high temperatures and low oxygen, according to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.
“Algae is a natural occurrence that blooms heavily in warm weather and sunlight. Most urban ponds have water high in nutrients like phosphorus, which encourage algae growth,” a statement said. “Most algae are harmless and are important parts of aquatic ecosystems, but blooms that produce blue-green algae (BGA) can be toxic.”
BlackRock, the world’s largest investment firm, has more money invested in the fossil fuel and agribusiness industries – the biggest drivers of climate change – than any other company in the world. That means that BlackRock’s portfolio constitutes a huge liability for putting the planet on a path towards runaway climate change — in fact, BlackRock contributes more to climate change than almost any other company on Earth.
The Amazon rainforest and its Indigenous inhabitants are under acute threat from BlackRock, taking advantage of Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro’s removal of environmental barriers to economic activities in the Amazon.
And now they will have even more access to deforestation and destruction.
Bolsonaro has advocated for the opening of new areas of the Amazon rainforest to agriculture and industry. As a result, BlackRock announced plans to expand its operations in Brazil after Bolsonaro was elected. Moves like this signal strong support for Bolsonaro, whose toxic rhetoric is inspiring violence against indigenous communities in the Amazon and beyond.
As one of the largest investors in Brazil’s agribusiness industry, BlackRock could use its financial clout to curb, not encourage, further forest destruction. It must divest from companies that continue these horrendous practices.
Join us in this fight to protect the Amazon and curb climate change!