With the Pope honing in on his climate message in his first ever visit to the U.S., and world leaders gearing up for the UN Paris climate talks, climate change and other pressing environmental issues are finally getting more attention on the worldwide stage.
People have taken to Twitter to offer their serious and not so serious ideas of how to #SaveThePlanetIn4Words. Many people were pleading "Don't Vote For Trump." Also popular was "Cancel The Kardashians Immediately." Sorry, Kourtney and Khloe.
Here are my favorite 20 best ideas:
1. By far one of the most popular solutions
#SaveThePlanetIn4Words Don't vote for Trump http://t.co/8kDwMoFtI8— Brendan McInnis (@Brendan McInnis)1443103922.0
2. Go 100 percent renewable
#SaveThePlanetIn4Words --> 100 percent clean energy. #ActOnClimate— Sierra Club (@Sierra Club)1443111094.0
3. See number 2 for additional guidance on this one
Stop Arctic oil drilling. #SaveThePlanetIn4Words http://t.co/eFF0Rug5Mo— Greenpeace USA (@Greenpeace USA)1443122704.0
4. Let's protect our oceans
Secure Marine Protected Areas #SaveThePlanetIn4Words— Marine Conservation (@Marine Conservation)1443122237.0
5. This is good for you and the planet
Walk instead. Bike instead. #SaveThePlanetIn4Words http://t.co/TWoSUprpDV— Metro Bike (@Metro Bike)1443113197.0
6. You know, they say his word is infallible
Listen to the pope! #SaveThePlanetIn4Words #PopeInDC Demand a global climate agreement: http://t.co/s53YkuAF6S http://t.co/vMx0QtCyzN— Climate Reality (@Climate Reality)1443105845.0
Give #wildlife a future. #SaveThePlanetIn4Words http://t.co/7oNAdIaJUH— AWF (@AWF)1443107614.0
How to #SaveThePlanetIn4Words: Align targets with science http://t.co/U7P2AcaVn9 http://t.co/4C1aswZUDO— CDP (@CDP)1443113024.0
Stop killing the bees #SaveThePlanetIn4Words http://t.co/7cZUr4WDWq— magna (@magna)1443103869.0
10. Save the trees
#SaveThePlanetIn4Words Say No To Deforestation http://t.co/18RT2Yb0bO— Farhan Khan Virk (@Farhan Khan Virk)1443120813.0
11. Your mom was right. Eat your veggies!
Less meat; more veggies. #SaveThePlanetIn4Words http://t.co/4BYFFCu0z5— Paul Shapiro (@Paul Shapiro)1443111184.0
12. As Pope Francis says, it's the "dung of the devil"
#SaveThePlanetIn4Words Just Stop Capitalism Now! http://t.co/pvh8pbcMvy— Carlos Latuff (@Carlos Latuff)1443111061.0
13. Something I think we can all get on board with
Clean Water, Air, Energy #SaveThePlanetIn4Words #COP21— Gary Wockner (@Gary Wockner)1443118988.0
14. Climate change affects everyone, so we all need to join together
Help Indigenous People Unite #SaveThePlanetIn4Words #COP21— Terry Odendahl (@Terry Odendahl)1443118927.0
15. Though it would technically be five words, I have to agree with you on this one
I'm really #Tempted to say- "DO AS @MarkRuffalo SAYS" on #SaveThePlanetIn4Words trend..... 🌎🌏🌍— Susmita Shahnaz (@Susmita Shahnaz)1443113503.0
16. This goes without saying, but without water we die
#SaveThePlanetIn4Words Save Glaciers, Save Water http://t.co/X5jpCCsykY— Farhan Khan Virk (@Farhan Khan Virk)1443119476.0
17. Not a bad idea
#SaveThePlanetIn4Words Bring Back The CCC. Put unemployed youth to work saving the planet. @rarey4 http://t.co/rLLd5i0vj9— Paul M. Sparrow (@Paul M. Sparrow)1443120800.0
18. Well, we know this isn't going to happen
Everybody gets a planet! #SaveThePlanetIn4Words http://t.co/B5Wsf4WPTG— Doc (@Doc)1443105047.0
19. So let's do this
Commit to climate, now! #SaveThePlanetIn4Words #COP21 http://t.co/vTPqNEVSGx— ClimateStore (@ClimateStore)1443112786.0
20. But don't forget
Keep Sharing Your Love #SaveThePlanetIn4Words #ShareTheExperience @USFWS p: Gregory Teller http://t.co/iueHWdLKOL http://t.co/EkWjioNVnG— Share the Experience (@Share the Experience)1443113677.0
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If weather is your mood, climate is your personality. That's an analogy some scientists use to help explain the difference between two words people often get mixed up.
Size Matters<p>Climates are a bit like woven tapestries. The big picture is important, no question. But so are all the seemingly minor details found inside the larger whole.</p><p><a href="https://research-information.bris.ac.uk/en/persons/tommaso-jucker" target="_blank">Tommaso Jucker</a> is an environmental scientist at the University of Bristol. In an email, Jucker says he'd define the term microclimate as "the suite of climatic conditions (temperature, rainfall, humidity, solar radiation) measured in localized areas, typically near the ground and at spatial scales that are directly relevant to ecological processes."</p><p>We'll talk about that last bit in a minute. But first, there's another criteria to discuss. According to some researchers, a microclimate — by definition — must differ from the larger area that surrounds it.</p><p><a href="https://www.cfc.umt.edu/research/paleoecologylab/publications/Davis_et_al_2019_Ecography.pdf" target="_blank">Forests</a> provide us with some great examples. "The climate near the ground in a tropical rainforest is dramatically different from the climate in the canopy 50 meters [164 feet] above," says University of Montana ecologist <a href="https://www.cfc.umt.edu/personnel/details.php?ID=1110" target="_blank">Solomon Dobrowski</a> in an email. "This vertical gradient among other factors allows for the staggering biodiversity we see in the tropics."</p><p>Likewise, scientists observed that a 2015 partial <a href="https://animals.howstuffworks.com/insects/bees-stopped-buzzing-during-2017-solar-eclipse.htm" target="_blank">solar eclipse</a> caused the air temperature of an Eastern European meadow to <a href="https://rmets.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/wea.2802" target="_blank">change more dramatically</a> than it did in a nearby forest. That's because trees provide not only shade, but their leaves also reflect solar radiation. At the same time, forests tend to reduce wind speeds.</p><p>All those factors add up. A 2019 review of 98 wooded places — spread out across five continents — found that forests are 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) <a href="https://natureecoevocommunity.nature.com/posts/47363-forests-protect-animals-and-plants-against-warming" target="_blank">cooler on average</a> than the areas outside them.</p><p>Now if you hate the cold, don't worry; there's a cozy exception to the rule. According to that same study, forests are usually 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius) warmer than the external environment during the wintertime. Pretty cool.</p>
A Bug's Life<p>When does a microclimate stop being, well, micro? In other words, is there a maximum size we should be aware of when discussing them?</p><p>Depends on who you ask. "In terms of horizontal scale, some have defined 'microclimate' as anything that is less than 100 meters [328 feet] in range," Jucker says. "I'm personally less prescriptive about this."</p><p>Instead, he says the "scale at which we want to measure [a particular] microclimate" ought to be "dictated" by the questions we're trying to answer.</p><p>"If I want to know how temperature affects the photosynthesis of a leaf, I should be measuring temperature at centimeter scale," Jucker explains. "If I want to know if and how temperature affects the habitat preference of a large, mobile mammal, it's probably more relevant to capture temperature variation across [tens to hundreds] of meters."</p><p>For instance, solitary plants have the power to generate itty-bitty microclimates. Just ask <a href="https://www.colorado.edu/geography/peter-blanken-0" target="_blank">Peter Blanken</a>, a geography professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder and the co-author of the 2016 book, "<a href="https://amzn.to/2XN6FT8" target="_blank">Microclimate and Local Climate</a>."</p>
The urban heat island effect is a good example of how microclimates work. NOAA
Microclimates on a Grand Scale<p>It's no secret that our planet is going through some rough times at the macro level. The global temperature is <a href="https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/global-temperature/" target="_blank">climbing</a>; nine out of the <a href="https://www.noaa.gov/news/2019-was-2nd-hottest-year-on-record-for-earth-say-noaa-nasa" target="_blank">10 hottest years on record</a> have occurred since 2005. And by one recent estimate, roughly 1 million species around the world are <a href="https://ipbes.net/sites/default/files/2020-02/ipbes_global_assessment_report_summary_for_policymakers_en.pdf" target="_blank">facing extinction</a> due to human activities.</p><p>"One of the big questions that ecologists and environmental scientists are trying to answer right now is how will individual species and whole ecosystems respond to rapid climate change and habitat loss," says Jucker. "...To me, [microclimates are] a key component of this research — if we don't measure and understand climate at the appropriate scale, then predicting how things will change in the future becomes a lot harder."</p><p>Developers have long understood the impact small-scale climates have on our daily lives. <a href="https://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/green-science/urban-heat-island.htm#pt0" target="_blank">Urban heat islands</a> are cities that have higher temperatures than neighboring rural areas.</p><p>Plants release vapors that can moderate local climates. But in cities, natural greenery is often scarce. To make matters worse, plenty of our roads and buildings have a bad habit of absorbing or re-emitting heat from the sun. <a href="https://www.google.com/books/edition/Microclimate_and_Local_Climate/LHUZDAAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&bsq=urban%20heat%20island" target="_blank">Vehicle emissions</a> don't exactly help the situation.</p><p>Still, it's not like Boston or Beijing are thermal monoliths. Sometimes, the documented temperatures <a href="https://e360.yale.edu/features/can-we-turn-down-the-temperature-on-urban-heat-islands" target="_blank">within a single city</a> vary by 15 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit (8.3 to 11.1 degrees Celsius).</p><p>That's where metro parks and city trees come in. They have nice cooling effects on nearby neighborhoods. "Several cities around the world have developed programs to increase urban green spaces," says Blanken. "Tree planting programs and green roof programs, have been shown to lower surface temperatures, decrease air pollution and decrease surface water runoff (urban flash-flooding) in urban areas."</p>
An "explosive" wildfire ignited in Los Angeles county Wednesday, growing to 10,000 acres in a little less than three hours.
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By Jeff Berardelli
Note: This story was originally published on August 6, 2020
If asked to recall a hurricane, odds are you'd immediately invoke memorable names like Sandy, Katrina or Harvey. You'd probably even remember something specific about the impact of the storm. But if asked to recall a heat wave, a vague recollection that it was hot during your last summer vacation may be about as specific as you can get.
<div id="ecf36" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c2dcc9d48a6cd61f247df1544539a783"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1290959314132361216" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Naming heatwaves is a good idea—making the abstract concrete, the invisible visible. Why should hurricanes and wild… https://t.co/hDWgYb79Ob</div> — Ed Maibach (@Ed Maibach)<a href="https://twitter.com/MaibachEd/statuses/1290959314132361216">1596623660.0</a></blockquote></div>
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Thailand has a total population of 5,000 elephants. But of that number, 3,000 live in captivity, carrying tourists on their backs and offering photo opportunities made for social media.
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One of the challenges of renewable power is how to store clean energy from the sun, wind and geothermal sources. Now, a new study and advances in nanotechnology have found a method that may relieve the burden on supercapacitor storage. This method turns bricks into batteries, meaning that buildings themselves may one day be used to store and generate power, Science Times reported.
Bricks are a preferred building tool for their durability and resilience against heat and frost since they do not shrink, expand or warp in a way that compromises infrastructure. They are also reusable. What was unknown, until now, is that they can be altered to store electrical energy, according to a new study published in Nature Communications.
The scientists behind the study figured out a way to modify bricks in order to use their iconic red hue, which comes from hematite, an iron oxide, to store enough electricity to power devices, Gizmodo reported. To do that, the researchers filled bricks' pores with a nanofiber made from a conducting plastic that can store an electrical charge.
The first bricks they modified stored enough of a charge to power a small light. They can be charged in just 13 minutes and hold 10,000 charges, but the challenge is getting them to hold a much larger charge, making the technology a distant proposition.
If the capacity can be increased, researchers believe bricks can be used as a cheap alternative to lithium ion batteries — the same batteries used in laptops, phones and tablets.
The first power bricks are only one percent of a lithium-ion battery, but storage capacity can be increased tenfold by adding materials like metal oxides, Julio D'Arcy, a researcher at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, who contributed to the paper and was part of the research team, told The Guardian. But only when the storage capacity is scaled up would bricks become commercially viable.
"A solar cell on the roof of your house has to store electricity somewhere and typically we use batteries," D'Arcy told The Guardian. "What we have done is provide a new 'food-for-thought' option, but we're not there yet.
"If [that can happen], this technology is way cheaper than lithium ion batteries," D'Arcy added. "It would be a different world and you would not hear the words 'lithium ion battery' again."
One of the concerns about a warming planet is the feedback loop that will emerge. That is, as the planet warms, it will melt permafrost, which will release trapped carbon and lead to more warming and more melting. Now, a new study has shown that the feedback loop won't only happen in the nether regions of the north and south, but in the tropics as well, according to a new paper in Nature.
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By Jessica Corbett
A sheriff in Florida is under fire for deciding Tuesday to ban his deputies from wearing face masks while on the job—ignoring the advice of public health experts about the safety measures that everyone should take during the coronavirus pandemic as well as the rising Covid-19 death toll in his county and state.
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<div id="79024" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="4ac086eab58b9713f2ad777c40938252"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1293578984148606977" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">This actively puts peoples' lives at risk. https://t.co/GKF0Xgjyex</div> — CAP Action (@CAP Action)<a href="https://twitter.com/CAPAction/statuses/1293578984148606977">1597248238.0</a></blockquote></div>
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