In a recent video filmed in Sacre-Coeur, Quebec, Mother Nature appears to be gasping for air. Even the surrounding trees are struggling to stand under the literal force of nature.
Is Earth breathing a collective sigh? To be fair, she's had a pretty rough 2018 after a string of record-breaking hurricanes, destructive wildfires and a dire warning from scientists about catastrophic climate change.
Actually it's not that dramatic at all, and it happens all the time, like in this 2015 video that was shot in Nova Scotia.
breathing earth www.youtube.com
The spectacle can be easily explained by inclement weather.
"During a rain- and wind-storm event, the ground becomes saturated, 'loosening' the soil's cohesion with the roots as the wind is blowing on a tree's crown," Mark Vanderwouw, an arborist at Shady Lane Expert Tree Care in Ontario, told The Weather Network.
"The wind is trying to 'push' the trees over, and as the force is transferred to the roots, the ground begins to 'heave.' If the winds were strong enough and lasted long enough more roots would start to break and eventually some of the trees would topple," he added.
Simply, the strong winds are moving the trees and causing the root system to lift the forest floor, making it look like the earth is breathing.
Don't be too disappointed that the earth isn't actually huffing and puffing. You might remember from biology class that trees and plants do actually respire when they take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen through photosynthesis.
Also, the bacteria and other organisms that live in soils respire, too. Interestingly, a study published in August in the journal Nature determined that as temperatures rise, Earth's soil is also "breathing" more heavily.
"Soils around the globe are responding to a warming climate, which in turn can convert more carbon into carbon dioxide which enters the atmosphere. Depending on how other components of the carbon cycle might respond due to climate warming, these soil changes can potentially contribute to even higher temperatures due to a feedback loop," said lead author Ben Bond-Lamberty of the Joint Global Change Research Institute, in a press release of the study.
Britain's Prince William interviewed famed broadcaster David Attenborough on Tuesday at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Switzerland.
During the sit-down, the 92-year-old naturalist advised the world leaders and business elite gathered in Davos this week that we must respect and protect the natural world, adding that the future of its survival—as well as humanity's survival—is in our hands.
What's more, the accounting firm predicts that another 21 million electric cars will be on the road globally over the next decade due to growing market demand for clean transportation, government subsidies, as well as bans on fossil fuel cars.
By Matthew Savoca
Plastic pollution in the world's oceans has become a global environmental crisis. Many people have seen images that seem to capture it, such as beaches carpeted with plastic trash or a seahorse gripping a cotton swab with its tail.
Greenland is melting about four times faster than it was in 2003, a new study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found, a discovery with frightening implications for the pace and extent of future sea level rise.
"We're going to see faster and faster sea level rise for the foreseeable future," study lead author and Ohio State University geodynamics professor Dr. Michael Bevis said in a press release. "Once you hit that tipping point, the only question is: How severe does it get?"
Finally, some good news about the otherwise terrible partial government shutdown. A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration cannot issue permits to conduct seismic testing during the government impasse.
The Justice Department sought to delay—or stay—a motion filed by a range of coastal cities, businesses and conservation organizations that are suing the Trump administration over offshore oil drilling, Reuters reported. The department argued that it did not have the resources it needed to work on the case due to the shutdown.
Most people have heard of the Amazon, South America's famed rainforest and hub of biological diversity. Less well known, though no less critical, is the Pantanal, the world's largest tropical wetland.
Like the Amazon, the Pantanal is ecologically important and imperiled. Located primarily in Brazil, it also stretches into neighboring Bolivia and Paraguay. Covering an area larger than England at more than 70,000 square miles, the massive wetland provides irreplaceable ecosystem services that include the regulation of floodwaters, nutrient renewal, river flow for navigability, groundwater recharge and carbon sequestration. The wetland also supports the economies of the four South American states it covers.
By Andrea Germanos
Organizers said 35,000 people marched through the streets of the German capital on Saturday to say they're "fed up" with industrial agriculture and call for a transformation to a system that instead supports the welfare of the environment, animals and rural farmers.
By Patrick Rogers
If you have ever considered making the switch to an environmentally friendly electric vehicle, don't drag your feet. Though EV prices are falling, and states are unveiling more and more public charging stations and plug-in-ready parking spots, the federal government is doing everything it can to slam the brakes on our progress away from gas-burning internal combustion engines. President Trump, likely pressured by his allies in the fossil fuel industry, has threatened to end the federal tax credits that have already helped put hundreds of thousands of EVs on the road—a move bound to harm not only our environment but our economy, too. After all, the manufacturing and sale of EVs, hybrids, and plug-in hybrids supported 197,000 jobs in 2017, according to the most recent U.S. Energy and Employment Report.