Tag Archives | Nature

Great Barrier Reef Corals Eat Plastic

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These are corals on the Great Barrier Reef. Credit: Mia Hoogenboom

 

Via ScienceDaily:

Researchers in Australia have found that corals commonly found on the Great Barrier Reef will eat micro-plastic pollution.

“Corals are non-selective feeders and our results show that they can consume microplastics when the plastics are present in seawater,” says Dr Mia Hoogenboom, a Chief Investigator with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University.

“If microplastic pollution increases on the Great Barrier Reef, corals could be negatively affected as their tiny stomach-cavities become full of indigestible plastic,” Dr Hoogenboom says.

Microplastics are tiny fragments of plastic in the environment and are a widespread contaminant in marine ecosystems, particularly in inshore coral reefs.

Despite the proliferation of microplastics, their impact on marine ecosystems is poorly understood.

“Marine plastic pollution is a global problem and microplastics can have negative effects on the health of marine organisms,” says Dr Hoogenboom.

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Bigger Than Science, Bigger Than Religion

Genesis Farm. (Photo: Michael Taylor/flickr/cc)

Genesis Farm. (Photo: Michael Taylor/flickr/cc)

Richard Schiffman writes at Common Dreams:

The world as we know it is slipping away. At the current rate of destruction, tropical rainforest could be gone within as little as 40 years. The seas are being overfished to the point of exhaustion, and coral reefs are dying from ocean acidification. Biologists say that we are currently at the start of the largest mass extinction event since the disappearance of the dinosaurs. As greenhouse gases increasingly accumulate in the atmosphere, temperatures are likely to rise faster than our current ecological and agricultural systems can adapt.

It is no secret that the Earth is in trouble and that we humans are to blame. Just knowing these grim facts, however, won’t get us very far. We have to transform this knowledge into a deep passion to change course. But passion does not come primarily from the head; it is a product of the heart.

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Map shows the loudest and quietest areas in the US

National Park Service Division of Natural Sounds and Night Skies

National Park Service Division of Natural Sounds and Night Skies

Brad Plumer | @bradplumer via Vox:

Not surprisingly, cities tend to be very noisy, with background levels averaging around 50 to 60 decibels. And that’s just the average: heavy truck traffic can reach around 85 dB, while construction jackhammers can reach 95 dB if you’re standing less than 50 feet away.

By contrast, regions like Yellowstone National Park have background noise levels down at around 20 decibels, which, as Underwood reports, is about as hushed as things were before European colonization.

So who cares? For one, all the artificial noise and light that cities produce can have bizarre effects on humans and wildlife — effects we have yet to fully understand. Loud cities can interfere with the ability of owls and bats to hunt. And, because of urban noise, some male birds now have to sing at higher frequencies, making them less attractive to potential mates.

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Herbalism, Ayahuasca and Symbiotic Culture with Dan DeLion – Free Radical Media Podcast

In this installment of the Free Radical Media podcast, hosts Eric Scott Pickard and Patrick Ryan are joined by their friend and former guest, Dan DeLion. DeLion, herbalist, forager, naturalist and teacher is the founder of the organization Return to Nature. This time around, Dan discusses his new, far-ranging documentary project, “Hunting the Medicine: Stalking the Wild Spirit,” which has taken him to such places as Columbia and India. He also details his recent personal experience with Ayahuasca in a Shamanic setting, and shares his views and insight into the world of herbalism and the philosophy of living in harmony with the natural world. Dan’s website can be found here.

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Animal Sex: How Octopuses Do It

Screen shot 2015-02-03 at 1.13.13 PM

Joseph Castro Via Live Science:

Often considered the smartest invertebrates (animals without backbones) on the planet, octopuses can use tools, unscrew jar lids and tightly control their body color to match their surroundings. They use this sharp intelligence especially in situations of survival — including when they are trying to avoid getting eaten by their hungry mates.

Octopuses come in all shapes and sizes and inhabit diverse regions of the ocean. There are about 100 different species of octopuses in the genus Octopus, and at least another 150 species in other genera, said Jennifer Mather, a cephalopod expert at the University of Lethbridge in Canada. Scientists have witnessed the mating behavior of only about a dozen species, she added.

The marine animals have very short lives, generally lasting only a few years long and sometimes as short as 6 months. They spend their youth alone, eating and growing before reaching sexual maturity.

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Nature Based Healing with Susun Weed – Free Radical Media Podcast

In this episode of the Free Radical Media podcast, herbalist Susun Weed joins the crew to discuss the methods and philosophy of natural healing. The leading voice in the Wise Woman tradition of healing, Susun Weed is the author of the Wise Woman Herbalist series of books as well as an educator and lecturer. She discusses the “Three Traditions of Healing,” the philosophy of natural and “wholeistic” medicine, and the usefullness of herbal supplements in this lively episode.

Susun can be reached via her website.

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Winnebago Ice Tsunami [Video]

So, what the hell is happening here? Luckily IFL Science has the answer:

Ice shoves occur when strong winds or currents force the ice from the water’s surface to go on land. These events are also called “ice tsunamis” because of the way they come on land, but ice shoves are closer to icebergs than tsunamis in how they work.

The force from the ice shove can be powerful enough to knock over trees, houses, and docks that stand in its way.

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The Extinction of Quiet

eric snopel (CC BY-ND 2.0)

eric snopel (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Ilima Loomis writes at openDemocracy:

In 1989, ‘acoustic ecologist’ Gordon Hempton received a grant to document and record the natural sounds of the state of Washington in the USA. He identified 21 wilderness places to record—sites unsullied by the sounds of traffic, aviation, construction, and other human-made noise. Twenty-five years later, only three of those sites remain muted.

Little by little, our world is becoming louder, with the creeping spread of noise pollution infiltrating our homes, our workplaces, and even our wilderness.

Hempton, whose work for the past 30 years has been traveling the world to survey and record natural sound, says he’s seen firsthand how the hum, ping, and roar of modern life has taken over our sound-scapes. By his count, the United States has only 12 remaining truly ‘quiet places,’ which he defines as somewhere you can go for at least 15 minutes without hearing artificial sound at dawn, the hour when sound travels farthest.

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It’s Not Science Fiction, It’s Biomimicry– With Guest Dr. Michael Nosonovsky

Via Midwest Real

“In the first half of the 20th century, the prevailing idea was that humans could be masters of nature and the universe. We thought that human power was unlimited. We thought- ‘we can change rivers, we can move mountains,’ we can actually conquer nature. Then sometime in the second half of the 20th century, we made the realization that the relationship between nature and humans is actually much more complex than that.”  -Dr. Michael Nosonovsky.

ITUNES  STITCHER DOWNLOAD

IMG_6042If you love technology, congratulations! You’re living in what is, without a doubt, the most exciting time for it in human history. We’ve got self-driving cars, Oculus Rift, ubiquitous pocket-dwelling supercomputers and giant televisions in nearly every home. It’s almost enough to make you forget about ISIS, Ebola, killer asteroids and climate disaster.

Almost.

So let’s dampen the fear mongering feedback loop a bit further by jumping the technological brainwashing (I use that phrase with great affection) up a few notches.Read the rest

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