With another year on the horizon, millions of people on social media are partaking in a viral new craze. It's called the #10YearChallenge, and the dare is simple: share two photos of yourself taken a decade apart and laugh at the contrast.

It was all fun and games - until we involved the environment.

Even though it can be fun to reflect on how much we change - or don't change - as individuals, it's way more terrifying to realise how much the face of our planet has been altered in just ten years.

Greenpeace was one of the first environmental organisations to poop all over the party, sharing a photograph of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.

With a new Brazilian president promising to harvest even more of this region's precious resources, a reminder of our current destruction is pertinent, albeit discouraging.

"That which took nature hundreds of thousands of years to create, humans have destroyed in less than ten," the post reads.
Antarctica’s ice is melting more than six times faster than it did in the 1980s, according to a new study published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In the study, glaciologists from the University of California, Irvine, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Netherlands' Utrecht University used aerial photographs, satellite measurements and computer models to determine how fast the ice on southernmost continent and the site of the South Pole has been melting since 1979 in 176 of Antarctica's geologic structural basins, where ice drains into the Southern Ocean.
As representatives gather in Poland for talks on climate change, we look at how hot the world has got and what can we can all do to tackle global warming.

New research has connected hundreds of mummified penguin carcasses to two disastrous weather events thought to be influenced by climate change. The study, which was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeosciences, warns that these events might foreshadow what's to come if the Earth continues to get hotter. A team of Chinese and Australian researchers found the mummified Adélie penguins under a remarkably thick layer of sediment in Long Peninsula, East Antarctica, which usually has a dry climate. Then, using radiocarbon dating, the scientists found that most of the mummified carcasses were from two specific incidents that affected breeding colonies from 750 and 200 years ago.


If you aren't fond of spiders, this scene will sound like a nightmare. A 300-metre-long (1,000-foot) field of spiderweb has sprung up in western Greece in the town of Aitoliko. As you can see in the video below, its covering everything from trees to shrubs near a lagoon on the shores of the town. The spiders are likely from the genus Tetragnatha, which are commonly known as stretch spiders due to their stretched-looking, elongated bodies. They live in many areas around the world, including the US and Europe, and they commonly build their webs near watery habitats. Some species can even walk on water.

On Saturday, engineers plan to tow a gigantic floating boom out of San Francisco Bay, past Alcatraz prison, and to the open ocean. It is destined to begin cleaning up the mountains of plastic rubbish circulating in the Pacific. But is this the right way to do it?

The idea of the project, called The Ocean Cleanup, is to collect plastic passively. As waves lap against the boom, the buoyant rubbish fragments should collect against it. Any drifting animals such as jelly fish, should be washed underneath.
The ‘de-extinction’ of vanished wild animals, from the woolly mammoth to the Pyrenean ibex, raises deep questions about our relationship to nature
The USDA Forest Service reveals that cities and communities are losing 175,000 acres of tree cover annually, while pavement, roads, and buildings are increasing.
Researchers say it’s a crucial step towards cheaper and more environmentally-friendly energy storage
New science sheds more light on recent controversy over how much the large carnivores are being impacted by melting sea ice.

Polar Bears Really Are Starving Because of Global Warming, Study Shows
New science sheds more light on recent controversy over how much the large carnivores are being impacted by melting sea ice.

By Stephen Leahy

Millions have seen the heart-wrenching video of a polar bear clinging to life, its white hair limply covering its thin, bony frame. Shot by Paul Nicklen and Cristina Mittermeier of the nonprofit group Sea Legacy, and published on National Geographic in early December, the video ignited a firestorm of debate about what scientists know, and don’t know, about the impacts of global warming on polar bears. Without examining the bear in the video—thought to have died—it’s impossible to know for sure what ailed that individual, but now scientists have published new
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findings that shed more light on the risk to the species overall.
Reef protection, despite official advice recommending against the projects, or repeatedly finding them to be failing.

The contracts include millions of dollars for tourism operators to cull out-of-control coral-eating crown of thorns starfish. Funds continue to be distributed, despite researchers employed to evaluate the program repeatedly finding it to have failed, and potentially having made the problem worse.

It also includes $2.2m spent on an unusual project involving giant fans installed on a small part of the reef to cool water down to prevent bleaching. Documents obtained by the Guardian reveal the government’s independent expert panel recommended against the project proceeding, finding the justification relied on claims that were “a major departure from reality” and that the fans could accidentally kill nearby coral.
Scientists have a new, narrower estimate of "climate sensitivity," a measure of how much the climate could warm in response to the release of greenhouse gases.

The new study, published in Nature, refines this estimate to 2.8°C, with a corresponding range of 2.2 to 3.4°C. If correct, the new estimates could reduce the uncertainty surrounding climate sensitivity by 60 percent.

The narrower range suggests that global temperature rise is "going to shoot over 1.5°C" above pre-industrial levels, the lead author told Carbon Brief, but "we might be able to avoid 2°C." Meeting either limit will likely require negative emissions technologies that can remove CO2 from the atmosphere, he said.
A team of divers in eastern Mexico have discovered what’s believed to be the longest underwater cave in the world, just three miles west of the white sand beaches of Tulum.

The findings confirm that the vast, 164-mile-long Sistema Sac Actun, a waterlogged system of natural sinkholes, or cenotes, is actually connected to the nearby 52-mile-long Dos Ojos system, bringing the total length of the caves to a winding 216 miles. That’s more than the combined height of 24 Mount Everests stacked on top of one another. The warren of caves also stretches downward, to a depth of more than 332 feet, making parts of it deeper than London’s Big Ben is tall.
The utility in question is Xcel Energy, Colorado’s biggest, which serves 3.3 million electricity customers in the upper Midwest, Colorado, and New Mexico.

In 2016, Xcel released its Colorado Energy Proposal, which was news in itself. The utility proposed to shut down two coal plants in the state and replace their output with roughly 700 MW of solar, 1 GW of wind, and 700 MW of natural gas by 2023. That would put Xcel’s Colorado energy mix at roughly 55 percent renewables.
We are destroying the world’s biodiversity. Yet debate has erupted over just what this means for the planet – and us.

Just over 250 million years ago, the planet suffered what may be described as its greatest holocaust: ninety-six percent of marine genera (plural of genus) and seventy percent of land vertebrate vanished for good. Even insects suffered a mass extinction – the only time before or since. Entire classes of animals – like trilobites – went out like a match in the wind.
In a study published this weekend in the journal Environmental International, a team of researchers from the University of Exeter found that regular surfers and bodyboarders are four times as likely as normal beach-goers to harbor bacteria with high likelihoods of antibiotic resistance. This is because surfers typically swallow ten times more seawater during a surf session than sea swimmers.
The pollution-beleaguered country plans to increase forest coverage to 23 percent of its total landmass by the end of the decade.

In addition to the abundance of trees, the government has enacted an “ecological red line” program, reports Stanway, a plan that will require provinces and regions to restrict “irrational development” and limit building near rivers, forests and national parks. Fifteen provinces have already created plans, with the other 16 provinces to follow suit this year.
Australians love cooking with gas, but what if you could make your own supply, using leftover food waste? It may be time for more households to embrace home biogas – and stop paying gas bills.

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