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Our News Coverage:

Carbon Dioxide Isn’t the Only Greenhouse Gas—And Certainly Is Not the Most Powerful One.
By Adam Harpaz

Carbon dioxide makes up nearly 80% of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The increase in transportation and electricity generation led to a massive increase in atmospheric CO2 since the Industrial Revolution. But it’s not the most dangerous greenhouse gas.

Global Warming Potential (GWP) measures the amount of energy one ton of gas can absorb in 100 years. The standard is carbon dioxide, which has a GWP of 1. But the atmosphere also contains methane and CFCs. Let’s take a look.

Methane makes up more than 10% of the Earth’s greenhouse gas emissions. Its GWP is 28, making it much more dangerous than carbon dioxide. It is released by agriculture and landfills.

Next are CFCs. Making up less than 3% of the annual emissions, these are often overlooked. However, their GWP can be upwards of 10,000, making them incredibly dangerous. They’re released by chemicals that deplete the ozone layer, like the ones in air conditioners or aerosol sprays.


What is Climate Change?
By Adam Harpaz

Climate Change is a long-term change in the temperature or weather. Some of these changes are natural, but we refer to climate change mainly as the change that occurs due to human activities. NASA states that 97% of scientists agree humans are causing climate change.

Human industrial activities have increased since the nineteenth century. Often, at the cost of burning fossil fuels, our society has advanced to create a technologically capable Earth, but at what price?

Many intergovernmental organizations and climate science experts agree that when the Earth's average temperature rises 1.5 degrees Celsius since the first industrialization on Earth, we will pass the "point of no return." This point would indicate that we will no longer be able to bring the Earth back to the way it was. If we cross this point, the effects will not be immediate. However, NASA says climate disasters and abnormal temperature changes will be inevitable.

The ice caps in the Earth's Poles prove the climate "tipping point" most empirically. Every 100,000 years, the "age" of the Earth cycles; this is where we cycle through ice ages or warm periods. NASA and NOAA samples of the North and South Poles provide direct data over the last 800,000 years that atmospheric carbon dioxide has never been higher. This gas plays a large role in acidifying the ocean and warming up the atmosphere.


Why is the Earth on Fire?
By Adam Harpaz

It’s a question that pretty much everyone’s asking themselves lately. Why now is the Earth igniting in so many regions globally?

Experts in environmental science remind us that global warming leads to droughts or strong winds that fuel wildfires.

Besides fire seasons, studies show that wildfires are almost always present somewhere. In the United States, fires rage nearly year-round.

Most notably in the news today are the wildfires in Canada, Greece, and Hawaii. While other wildfires continue to blaze globally, these three disasters have spread in the news almost as quickly as they did through landscapes.

Credits: Alexandros Avramidis, Nikos Gioktsidis, and Canadian Fire Forces via Reuters. John Davidson via CBC News.


Extreme Weather and Its Unforeseen Consequences for Whales
By Adam Harpaz

Many families are experiencing heat waves during this summer. Some foresee this as a mild summer compared to the upcoming years. So what does this mean for the planet?

The EPA provides evidence that heat wave seasons are getting longer every decade by 5-10 percent. More notably, in the 2000s, the seasons lasted nearly fifty-five days, while in the 2010s, the seasonal average was next to 70. The frequency of heat waves also increased with the average seasonal length.

The NOAA warns that these dramatic shifts threaten marine wildlife and cities nationwide. The rise in heat waves is warming oceans globally, risking the disruption of delicate ecosystems like coral reefs and algae blooms.  


Renewable Energy: World Wind Day
By Adam Harpaz

Renewable energy makes up our future. The recent rise in sustainable markets like electric vehicles sets the stage for renewable energy in additional parts of our lives.

Wind farms are already present in the Central United States and Europe. Still, many other countries, like South Africa, India, China, and Brazil, have received millions of dollars in wind energy investments. The World Bank Group invested upwards of $24 billion in wind farms in Brazil up until 2018.

Residential solar panels are present in many neighborhoods across North America. However, there are also many solar power stations clustered in Eastern Asia, India, and Brazil. Asia represents more than half of the solar energy produced, says Reuters.

BP says that since 2010, global renewable power outputs have risen drastically. The global rise represents the top three producers; North America, Asia, and Europe, but it also represents some other vital factors. Central and South America has grown since the mid-2010s, bringing hope to environmentalists in other countries progressing sustainably.


 How Do Whales Feed?
By Adam Harpaz

Whales are notorious for using their colossal mouths to feed. When they open their mouths, a strong suction effect is created as water rushes into the whales’ mouths. But to get close to their prey, they use a unique tactic.

Before feeding, some humpback whales use ‘kick-feeding,’ or slapping their tails against the surface of the water, to disturb the fish before moving on to feed.

Whales feed through a system called ‘Bubble Nets.’ This is when the whale blows bubbles through its blowhole around its prey to drive them to the surface, where it can swallow the prey.


The Coral Conundrum
By Dean Harpaz

Coral reefs have had major attention in the news during the last few years. Here’s a simple guide to the exact dangers that coral face, and therefore the dangers that we all face. 

Rising sea temperatures due to climate change lead to coral bleaching. When stressed, corals expel their symbiotic algae (zooxanthellae) that provide them with nutrients and their vibrant colors. Bleached corals become vulnerable, weakened, and susceptible to diseases. If the warming trend continues, entire reef ecosystems could collapse. Urgent global efforts are needed to mitigate climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Overfishing, destructive fishing methods (such as dynamite or cyanide), and the aquarium trade all harm coral reefs. Depleted fish populations disrupt the delicate balance within reef ecosystems. Removing key species affects coral health and resilience. Implementing sustainable fishing practices, protecting marine reserves, and raising awareness about responsible seafood consumption are crucial steps.



Other Whale News:


 Critically Endangered Right Whale Who Gave Birth Despite Chronic Entanglement Spotted off Cape Cod!
By The WDC

Snow Cone in April 2022 
Center for Coastal Studies, NOAA permit 18786
"Snow Cone is an adult female who was first documented in March 2021 with entangling rope on the top of her head. At that time, the trained and permitted disentanglement team from the Center for Coastal Studies removed hundreds of feet of rope from her, but some remained wrapped through her baleen.

By May, she made her way to the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Canada where she was documented and disentanglement efforts continued throughout the summer. By October, she was back in US waters south of Cape Cod where she was sighted again in November, still entangled and the wound on her head looked more concerning.

On December 3rd she was sighted by survey teams off of Georgia, and not unexpectedly, she was still entangled. However, very unexpectedly, she was sighted with a calf by her side! Surprise!." - WDC

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 These whales are on the brink. Now comes climate change - and wind power.
By The Washington Post

"With only about 300 left, the North Atlantic right whale ranks as one of the world's most endangered marine mammals. Nearly annihilated centuries ago by whalers, the slow-swimming species is said to have earned its name because it was the 'right' whale to hunt." - Washington Post

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