Watch this coagulant make dirty water drinkable

PolyGlu is used by aid workers to force impurities in water to settle at the bottom of a container, making the water safer for drinking in areas where water is scarce or polluted. Read the rest

Watch a massive haboob engulf southern Arizona towns

Jesse Watson captured this perfectly-timed footage of a massive dust cloud roiling across the Arizona desert at sunset. Read the rest

Welsh heat wave reveals ancient ruins under farm fields

The UK's Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales has published some recent aerial shots of cropmarks, ancient ruins now covered by farm fields. Unusually dry weather conditions have created a golden opportunity to see these sites from the air. Read the rest

Scott Pruitt quits EPA after corruption exposed by staffers. His resignation letter to Trump is bonkers.

President Trump's corrupt EPA chief is out. The resignation letter is nuts, and mentions God's divine providence and other creepy surreal stuff that doesn't belong. Read the rest

Coldest temperature ever recorded makes Earth "almost like another planet"

With climate change comes extreme temperatures, and scientists just recorded a new low.

Nearly 15 degrees colder than the previous record-breaking coldest temperature, which was -128 degrees in 1983 near the South Pole, the temperature in Antarctica dropped to -144 degrees Fahrenheit.

Temperatures this low make Antarctica "almost like another planet," says lead researcher Ted Scambos at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, quoted in Forbes.

Taking just a few breaths of air this cold would kill you. According to Forbes, "At that temperature, just a few breaths of air would induce hemorrhaging in your lungs and quickly lead to death."

The temperature was recorded using satellite measurements in the middle of Antarctica during the depths of winter where the sun never rises. These findings, recently published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, are close to the theoretical coldest temperature Earth can get down to.

Image: bhart9070/Pixabay Read the rest

Los Angeles cools street temperatures by painting them white

This very satisfying drone footage shows an innovative plan to reduce temperatures in Los Angeles by sealing streets with a reflective sealant. Read the rest

LA's high-tech, thoughtful water management is cause for cautious optimism about adapting to climate change

Southern California is almost totally dependent on Sierra snowpack and the Colorado River for its water, and both sources are endangered by climate change, even as SoCal's cycle of long droughts and catastrophic, torrential rains gets more extreme thanks to climate change. Read the rest

The baobabs are dying

Nine of thirteen "landmark" baobab trees across southern Africa abruptly died in recent years, reports Agence Presse-France. Climate change is blamed.

“It is definitely shocking and dramatic to experience during our lifetime the demise of so many trees with millennial ages,” said the study’s co-author Adrian Patrut of the Babeș-Bolyai University in Romania.

Read the rest

Climate change depicted as vertical stripes

Warming Stripes: (cache) average annual temperatures in England, with each year depicted as a vertical line, from left to right, covering 1772-2017. At the link, see the U.S. and Toronto. Read the rest

Watch how fog harvesters may help reduce water shortages

Scientists have been experimenting with "fog harps" in arid climates as an easy way to collect potable water from fog.

Via the paper:

Fog harvesting is a useful technique for obtaining fresh water in arid climates. The wire meshes currently utilized for fog harvesting suffer from dual constraints: coarse meshes cannot efficiently capture microscopic fog droplets, whereas fine meshes suffer from clogging issues. Here, we design and fabricate fog harvesters comprising an array of vertical wires, which we call “fog harps”. Under controlled laboratory conditions, the fog-harvesting rates for fog harps with three different wire diameters were compared to conventional meshes of equivalent dimensions. As expected for the mesh structures, the mid-sized wires exhibited the largest fog collection rate, with a drop-off in performance for the fine or coarse meshes. In contrast, the fog-harvesting rate continually increased with decreasing wire diameter for the fog harps due to efficient droplet shedding that prevented clogging. This resulted in a 3-fold enhancement in the fog-harvesting rate for the harp design compared to an equivalent mesh.

Harvesting water from fog with harps (YouTube / American Chemical Society) Read the rest

Watch divers harvest hardy "super corals" in hopes of repopulating reefs

Great Barrier Reef Legacy is one of a number of organizations racing to collect and study coral colonies that miraculously survive major bleaching events. The hope is that these "super corals" can help restore reefs decimated by environmental change. Read the rest

U.K. winter storm kills thousands of starfish

Storm Emma, a massive weather system that brought bitter cold and snow to the U.K. this past week did a lot of damage to power grids, forced the closure of schools and caused havoc for anyone looking to travel anywhere in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland (the Republic of Ireland took its share of knocks, too.) Perhaps worst of all, was the destructive effect the drastic drop in temperature had on sea life in the water surrounding the United Kingdom. This YouTube video shot at Ramsgate Beach in Kent, illustrates what a change in temperature can do to a delicate species of animal--if this isn't a prime example of why climate change is such an important issue, I don't know what is. Read the rest

If humans gave up on geoengineering after 50 years, it could be far worse than if we had done nothing at all

In Potentially dangerous consequences for biodiversity of solar geoengineering implementation and termination (published in Nature Ecology and Evolution, Sci-Hub mirror), a group of cross-institutional US climate scientists model what would happen if human embarked upon a solar geoengineering project to mitigate the greenhouse effect by aerosolizing reflective particles into the atmosphere, then gave up on the project after a mere half-century. Read the rest

Post-punk song 'Anthropogenic Climate Change Is Real' is a wake-up call to Trump

Follow the bouncing Trump head in this music video for "Anthropogenic Climate Change Is Real" by Oakland, California post-punk band You Can’t Make This Shit Up Amerika.

Written by Tennessee Mowrey and Kevin Goldberg, the song is a wake-up call to Trump and any other "fucking asshole" who doesn't believe that climate change exists.

It was co-produced by my pal Ampersand, who writes:

"I immediately felt that these spirited and pissed off millennials were giving voice not only to my feelings about our president and his policies around climate change, but potentially to millions of others as well, and that it was important that the song was out in the world."

I agree.

Give it a watch. Be forewarned, it's (rightly) sprinkled with NSFW language.

Thanks, Ampersand!

Previously: Debbie Harry and Joan Jett anchor the apocalyptic news for Blondie's 'Doom or Destiny' music video Read the rest

Ship exhaust makes ocean lightning more common and intense in shipping lanes

The American Geophysical Union reports that a long-term study of major shipping lanes indicates that ship exhaust is dramatically altering lightning patterns. It's not clear what the long-term effects might be. Read the rest

Even with climate accord, Planet Earth is burned; without it, it's cooked

NYMag's David Wallace-Wells breaks it to us ungently: the Paris Climate Accord, torn up by Trump, was already a compromise that likely condemned much of the equatorial belt to crippling heatwaves. Without it, climate change will only be worse.

Even if we meet the Paris goals of two degrees warming, cities like Karachi and Kolkata will become close to uninhabitable, annually encountering deadly heat waves like those that crippled them in 2015. At four degrees, the deadly European heat wave of 2003, which killed as many as 2,000 people a day, will be a normal summer. At six, according to an assessment focused only on effects within the U.S. from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, summer labor of any kind would become impossible in the lower Mississippi Valley, and everybody in the country east of the Rockies would be under more heat stress than anyone, anywhere, in the world today. As Joseph Romm has put it in his authoritative primer Climate Change: What Everyone Needs to Know, heat stress in New York City would exceed that of present-day Bahrain, one of the planet’s hottest spots, and the temperature in Bahrain “would induce hyperthermia in even sleeping humans.” The high-end IPCC estimate, remember, is two degrees warmer still.

Read the rest

The Balkan blobject robot at the 2073 Venice Biennale

Bruce Sterling's short story "The Beachcomber of Novi Kotor" is a monologue by a rogue Montenegran artist-roboticist, delivered at the 85th Venice Biennale, in a world where climate change has made venices out of all the world's low-lying cities, where Montenegro has been plunged into economic collapse by the precipitous departure of the neo-Czarist Russian oligarchs whose tourist trade it depended on. Read the rest

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