Five Ways Forests Benefit Human Health

Have you ever spent the whole day inside sitting in school or work feeling exhausted, but when you walk outside into the sun and fresh air, you instantly feel better? There’s an actual scientific term for this feeling. Biophilia is a word for human’s innate draw to the natural environment. However, nature and forests in particular do much more for human health than just...

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Armadillos roll into Western North Carolina

Flexible bands of skin on its back hold the hard pieces of its roly-poly shell together. Scales cover much of its body, interrupted by the shaggy, grey hair that covers its belly. Deserving a spot alongside the platypus as one of the world’s strangest mammals, the latest arrival to the Tar Heel State is doing its part to keep the Asheville area weird. Since May 17, the...

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How can I teach my students about climate change?

The good news about young brains — as anyone who’s been even passively absorbing climate news over the past year probably knows — is that the Teens Are Pretty On It. Seattle-based climate activist Jamie Margolin launched the nonprofit Zero Hour when she was yet to hit voting age. The International Youth Climate Strike, which took place in over 130 countries this past...

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Yes, the Amazon wildfires are bad, but how bad?

Brazil has recorded over 75,000 individual forest fires in 2019 so far, showing an 85 per cent increase when compared to the first eight months of 2018. The impact on the Amazon has been catastrophic. In July, an area the size of Manhattan was obliterated every single day. And this destruction will undoubtedly have grave consequences for the entire planet. The Amazon...

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The Greenland ice sheet is in the throes of one of its greatest melting events ever recorded

The same heat dome that roasted Europe and broke national temperature records in five countries last week has shifted to Greenland, where it is causing one of the biggest melt events ever observed on the fragile ice sheet. By some measures, the ice melt is more extreme than during a benchmark record event in July 2012, according to scientists analyzing the latest data....

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Here’s how hot your hometown will feel by mid-century

Residents of Harris County, Texas are no stranger to heat. The swampy Houston metro area averages nearly 40 days per year with temperatures in the 100 degrees F or higher range. But, according to a pair of papers published this week, if nothing is done about climate change, many more U.S. cities could be feeling a similar kind of heat. A new report released by the Union...

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Projecting Climate Change Effects on Outdoor Recreation

Cool temperatures enjoyed by hikers might rise enough that people decide to stay inside instead. The culprit – climate change – will cause higher temperatures and uneven intensification of both drought and rainfall. As a result, outdoor recreation trends could change markedly. A study by the University of Georgia and the U.S. Forest Service examined this relationship....

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Restoring forests may be one of our most powerful weapons in fighting climate change

Allowing the earth’s forests to recover could cancel out a significant amount of humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to new research. The worldwide assessment of current and potential forestation estimates that letting saplings regrow on land where forests have been cleared would increase global forested area by one-third and remove 205 billion metric tons of...

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Himalayan glacier melting doubled since 2000, spy satellites show

The melting of Himalayan glaciers has doubled since the turn of the century, with more than a quarter of all ice lost over the last four decades, scientists have revealed. The accelerating losses indicate a “devastating” future for the region, upon which a billion people depend for regular water. The scientists combined declassified US spy satellite images from the...

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The one sure way to convince a climate denier

Back in 2007, South Carolina Congressman Bob Inglis rebelled against the Republican party and his conservative state: He told the world that climate change was real, that it was caused by humans, and that his party would “get hammered” if they didn’t step up and do something about it. Then, unlike other Republicans who gave the issue lip service at the time, he actually...

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Plastics are sealing the planet’s fate

It’s impossible to imagine modern life without plastics. From the moment the day begins, we are using plastic. It’s in our toothbrushes, our shower curtains and our phones. We use it on the way to work in bus seats, car dashboards, and bicycle helmets. We see it at lunch in takeout containers and disposable utensils. Whether you’re in your living room controlling the TV...

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Study finds 96% of national parks have hazardous air quality

Millions of tourists will head out into America’s national parks this summer in search of fresh mountain air. But according to a new report they should instead expect dangerous levels of pollution; roughly 96% of the nation’s parks are struggling with significant air quality issues. The report, released by the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), found that...

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‘Doomsday vault’ threatened by climate change

The site of the so-called ‘Doomsday vault’, designed to safeguard millions of the world’s most genetically important seeds from nuclear war, asteroid strikes and other disasters, is at threat from climate change, a new report has warned. Longyearbyen, the Arctic home of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, faces potentially devastating avalanches, rockfalls,...

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Three decades after the Exxon Valdez oil spill, Alaska’s coast faces an even bigger threat

For three days in March 1989, the oil — at least 11 million gallons of it, though some say much more — had lain like a still pool around the ship, virtually untouched by cleanup efforts. Now the storm clawed the oil across the sound’s tracery of rocky islands, into their infinite crevices, and ultimately over more than 1,000 miles of rich coastal wilderness. The story...

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This map shows you what your city will feel like in 2080

What will your city feel like in the year 2080? If you’re a frequent traveler in these United States, you might already know. A study in the science journal Nature Communications breaks down future warming by drawing parallels for 540 North American urban areas. In 60 years, New York could feel like today’s Arkansas. Chicago is on a crash course for Kansas City. San...

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World’s Driest Desert Floods as Extreme Weather Hits Chile

The world’s driest desert is flooding and some of the planet’s wettest woodlands are burning. Welcome to summer in Chile. Rains high up in the Andes Mountains have led to torrents of water pouring into the Atacama desert below, sweeping away houses and roads. Meanwhile in the south, blistering temperatures have fueled forest fires, leading the government to declare some...

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Don’t mean to alarm you, but there’s a big hole in the world’s most important glacier

Civilization’s most important glacier has revealed another worrying surprise to scientists. The Thwaites Glacier, the largest outflow channel of the vulnerable West Antarctic Ice Sheet, now has a gigantic subterranean hole. The hollowed-out section is two-thirds the size of Manhattan and 1,000 feet tall — big enough to have contained 14 billion tons of ice, according to...

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Let’s say you wanted to escape climate change. Where should you go?

So you want to escape climate change. That’s a reasonable impulse — climate change rivals nuclear war for the greatest threat to human life in the history of our species’ existence. Every survival instinct we’ve cultivated to date should, understandably, make us want to get away from it. Let’s start by evaluating regions of the U.S. based on the basics of what we expect...

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The continental U.S. has warmed 1.8 degrees in a century. Seas are 9 inches higher. Here is what climate change looks like.

Michael Golden has hunted elk on this mountain in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley his entire life. It’s a tradition he shared with his father. But his son is growing up in a starkly different environment. Montana has warmed 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit since 1950, considerably more than the United States as a whole. That added heat is contributing to raging forest fires and bark...

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Climate Change Is Already Driving Mass Human Migration Around the Globe

Given the oversized role that migration plays in our current political discourse, you’d think there would be more emphasis on the one factor military and security experts believe will affect future migration patterns more than any other: climate change. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), a nonpartisan agency that analyzes and audits federal policy to ensure...

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Ice loss from Antarctica has sextupled since the 1970s, new research finds

Antarctic glaciers have been melting at an accelerating pace over the past four decades thanks to an influx of warm ocean water – a startling new finding that researchers say could mean sea levels are poised to rise more quickly than predicted in coming decades. The Antarctic lost 40 billion tons of melting ice to the ocean each year from 1979 to 1989. That figure...

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Oceans Are Warming Faster Than Predicted

Up to 90 percent of the warming caused by human carbon emissions is absorbed by the world’s oceans, scientists estimate. And researchers increasingly agree that the oceans are warming faster than previously thought. Multiple studies in the past few years have found that previous estimates from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change may be too low. A new review of...

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Ten Grim Climate Scenarios If Global Temperatures Continue to Rise

The summer of 2018 was intense: deadly wildfires, persistent drought, killer floods and record-breaking heat. Although scientists exercise great care before linking individual weather events to climate change, the rise in global temperatures caused by human activities has been found to increase the severity, likelihood and duration of such conditions. Globally, 2018 is...

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Vanishing Nutrients. It’s a hazard of climate change you probably haven’t heard of.

  Is it possible to starve yourself of nutrients while simultaneously gaining weight? It turns out the answer is yes. According to a growing body of research, rising carbon dioxide levels are making our food less nutritious, robbing key crops of vitamins essential to human development. Studies have shown that crops as varied as wheat, maize, soybeans and field...

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19 of 20 World Leaders Just Pledged to Fight Climate Change. Trump Was the Lone Holdout.

It is telling that on two of the most contentious topics at the Buenos Aires Group of 20 meeting, the United States eventually joined 19 other world leaders on trade, but when it comes to climate change, President Donald Trump remained firmly alone in his belief that it is a hoax. Trump was the only holdout. While the communiqué affirms support for the Paris climate...

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What climate change will do to America, region by region

Look, at this point, even the most stubborn among us know that climate change is coming for us. We really don’t have much time until the climate plagues we’re already getting previews of — mega-wildfires, rising sea-levels, superstorm after superstorm — start increasing in frequency. The 4th National Climate Assessment says all that and much more is on its way. Here’s...

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Climate report details deep hits to the Southwest

Climate change is here. It’s human-caused. And it’s going to deliver a blow to American prosperity. Already hard-hit by drought, wildfires and declining water supplies, the southwestern United States will continue to face those challenges — and new ones. That’s the message from a federal report released over the holiday weekend about climate change and its impact on the...

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Government climate report warns of worsening US disasters

As California’s catastrophic wildfires recede and people rebuild after two hurricanes, a massive new federal report warns that these types of extreme weather disasters are worsening in the United States. The White House report quietly issued the Friday after Thanksgiving also frequently contradicts President Donald Trump. The National Climate Assessment was written long...

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Climate change: Warming gas concentrations at new record high

Concentrations of key gases in the atmosphere that are driving up global temperatures reached a new high in 2017. In their annual greenhouse gas bulletin, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) says there is no sign of reversal in this rising trend. Carbon dioxide levels reached 405 parts per million (ppm) in 2017, a level not seen in 3-5 million years. Researchers...

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In stunning loss, 83% of Santa Monica Mountains federal parkland burned in Woolsey fire

The Woolsey fire burned about 83% of national park land in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, a stunning loss of a cherished open space area for Southern California. The Santa Monica Mountains, which stretch from Hollywood Hills to Point Mugu in Ventura County, have long offered Southern Californians a respite from the city below with the range’s array...

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Startling new research finds large buildup of heat in the oceans, suggesting a faster rate of global warming

The world’s oceans have been soaking up far more excess heat in recent decades than scientists realized, suggesting that Earth could be set to warm even faster than predicted in the years ahead, according to new research published Wednesday. Over the past quarter-century, the Earth’s oceans have retained 60 percent more heat each year than scientists previously had...

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’Hyperalarming’ study shows massive insect loss

Insects around the world are in a crisis, according to a small but growing number of long-term studies showing dramatic declines in invertebrate populations. A new report suggests that the problem is more widespread than scientists realized. Huge numbers of bugs have been lost in a pristine national forest in Puerto Rico, the study found, and the forest’s insect-eating...

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