How Bringing Back The Great Whale Can Limit Climate Change (VIDEO)

The oceans are huge carbon sinks for the world. Fish and whales comprise only a tiny part of their overall biomass. Nevertheless, studies have shown that fishing and whaling by humans have altered the ocean’s carbon storage and sequestration capabilities by causing a change in the food chain, or a trophic cascade. As naturalist and

What Is Climate Change? (VIDEO)

Remember the difference between weather and climate? We know what happens when the weather changes—it’s obvious. Climate is another story. Read on. When it rains, you put on a raincoat or take your umbrella when you go out. It snows: time for high boots, a heavier coat, scarf, and warm gloves. And sunny days, well,

Ebola: And Senegal Makes Five

As you may know, PlanetSave posts important health stories as well as the popular science, nature, and climate reports we’re usually known for. (In fact, we’re working toward 500 health posts over these few years!) Today we excerpt from some news that follows up our Ebola story and exclusive interview with public health expert Vince Silenzio

NASA-ESA’s Hubble Finds Zombie Star

When we think of a supernova, we usually think of a massive explosion that wipes out the entire white dwarf star (dying stellar body). However, thanks to a collaboration of research scientists from leading American astronomers and astrophysicists and the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University, we now know that isn’t always the case. In

Perpetual Source Of Recharge (cartoon)

Many thanks for this one to Michael Leunig, an astute observer of Australian society. We found his cartoon on Facebook, attributed to the The omniscient wiki tells us that Leunig is a fifth-generation Australian and a cartoonist, poet, and cultural commentator. His best known works include The Adventures of Vasco Pyjama and the Curly Flats series. He was declared an Australian Living Treasure by the National Trust

Rails-to-Trails Gains Steam With $5M For Atlanta BeltLine

Sustainable redevelopment strikes again! The Atlanta BeltLine, one of nation’s largest, widest-ranging urban redevelopment programs, will develop the Westside Trail. Plans call for a three-mile-long, 14-foot-wide concrete multi-use path in the BeltLine’s southwest corridor. As well as a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant from the US Department of Transportation, which is covering 42%

Izumo and Newly Discovered Juno Proteins Enable Fertilization

(Parts of this article reprinted from with permission of author.) Humans have long understood the connection between sexual intercourse and birth; and in 1876 two scientists independently described the entry of sperm into the egg and their combination into a single new nucleus. However, the scientific and medical communities have been at a loss

Busy Beavers—You Bet! (Video)

Beaver with a mouthful, Calgary, Canada (from John Cena video on YouTube) It has less than 8000 hits on YouTube so far, but this video of a beaver family in Canada mending their house of branches is heading for viral on Facebook for sure! If you’ve never known why these animals (Castor canadensis) are called

Los Angeles Council Unanimously Puts Off Fracking

When the hydraulic fracturing measure passed the Los Angeles City Council today, several tweeters posted photos of this meeting (source of the above: Walker Foley on twitter). The City Council of Los Angeles, second-most populous metro in the United States, voted 10-0 today to prohibit hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) and other “unconventional” deep-underground drilling methods to produce

Slow Global Warming, Improve Health, Boost Agriculture, NOW!

NASA has released a study that highlights 14 key air pollution control measures that could slow the pace of global warming, improve health, and boost agricultural production if they were implemented. This Flickr slideshow highlights key emission control strategies that could help limit the release of black carbon and methane into the atmosphere. NASA’s Drew

Climate Cooling Molecule Finally Observed

A new atmospheric molecule long suspected to exist has finally been observed and analysed by scientists. The Criegee biradicals have been implicated in several climate processes, specifically the likelihood that their existence was linked to the process by which pollutants such as nitrogen and sulphur dioxide are turned into nitrates and sulphates. In other words,

Life is Resilient

  I ran across this nice photo the other day. Not sure of the photographer. But it’s a good reminder of how resilient life is,.. and how life can pop up and grow even in the most unfriendly of circumstances (sometimes). It’s a good reminder of the beauty that can spring out of the pavement

New 7 Wonders of Nature (24 Pictures, 2 Buts..)

  If you haven’t heard the news yet, the “New7Wonders of Nature” have been announced. First some background,.. then the new 7 Wonders,.. then 2 “Buts.” So, the New7Wonders of Nature project was stated in 2007 and led by Canadian-Swiss Bernard Weber, with organizational work done by the Swiss-based New7Wonders Foundation. Through a global poll,

Top Activism & Politics Stories (Videos)

Other than the terrific piece new Planetsave writer and activist Kate Follot just wrote, here are some top activism stories of the past few days. They cover topics related to transportation, the tar sands, climate change, animals, nature, food, and more. Check them out:

Earth (Tribute Video)

This is a beautiful music video a friend on Google Reader recently shared with me. It includes some of the most beautiful photos of natural landscapes I’ve seen. And the music is beautiful as well. And they are nicely synced.

Here’s more from the YouTube page (and credits at the end as well): “Tribute video for our planet Earth. Name of used song is Melanesian Choirs: Jisas yu holem hand blong mi.”

Loss of Predators Is Our Greatest Impact

“The loss of apex consumers is arguably humankind’s most pervasive influence on the natural world,” argue the authors of a new report published in the journal Science, which looked at the decline of large predators and other ‘apex consumers’ at the top of the food chain.

{Quotes of the Week} Native American Chiefs

I was out of town last week & didn’t post a “quote of the week” — and since I ran across a couple of great ones this week, I thought I’d make up for last week by sharing both.

These are from a Native American Quotes webpage I ran across on StumbleUpon.

Human Race Faces Three Paths Forward – TED Talk {VIDEO}

medical ethicist Dr. Harvey Fineberg gives a compelling — and even a bit unsettling — talk on the evolutionary future of the Human race. Dr F presents his audience with three possible choices that we humans can make: we can stop evolving altogether, we can continue to evolve naturally, or, we can take control of our biological evolution through genetic modification and make ourselves “better”.

{Quote of the Week} Frank Lloyd Wright

Last week, I did a “quote of the day.” While I may end up getting to one quote per day, I think that one per week makes more sense for now. Here’s a great one by Frank Lloyd Wright one of my sisters shared with me recently.

Flamboyán {10 Friday Photos + 2 extra}

Delonix regia is an awesome tree that look like it’s burning. In Spanish it’s called “Flamboyán” — that seems to really fit it. Flamboyan is a breathtaking tree worth looking at for hours! There’s nothing what will explain the beauty of that tree to you — just look at it!

Earth on the Brink of Sixth Mass Extinction

Over the past 540 million years, Earth has suffered only five mass extinctions. In ultra-simplistic terms, that’s one every 108 million years, though it doesn’t really pan out like that. Past mass extinctions have been the result of catastrophic environmental calamities (a large number of them linked to CO2 emissions and climate change). Scientists from

The Search for Carbon Begins

This year sees the beginning of a decade-long project called the Deep Carbon Observatory, which will spend the next ten years searching out everything carbon-related in our world. “Twenty years ago, the idea that there was a deep underground biosphere would have been laughed at,” said Robert Hazen, a research scientist at the Carnegie Institution

Mount Etna Erupts

On the 11th of January, Mount Etna, in Sicily, Italy, Europe’s largest volcano, erupted briefly, spewing flames, ash and smoke into the atmosphere and lava down its slopes. The ESA’s Envisat MERIS captured an image of the volcano from above, a trail of smoke drifting to the east. And below is an image found on

Rainbows (10 Friday Photos)

Photo Credit: Roy via flickr Rainbows… I think they’re one of the most inspirational things that nature gives us and that, for sure, make us feel optimistic. Don’t you think that not seeing rainbows in life would be so sad? Well, I hope that it won’t happen to anyone. Enjoy the photos and choose the

Sudden Fish Kills, Bird Die-offs, and Other "Fortean" Events

Seems like you can’t swing a dead…um, strike that. It’s hard to miss the wave of news coverage of late concerning the mysterious die-offs of flocks of birds (in two Southern U.S. states). And then there’s that slightly earlier, mass fish kill (all one species), not far away, coming  just a short time before the

Research Looks at Beavers Role in River Restoration

The restoration of rivers throughout America needs to be carried out with a mind for the role played by the North American beaver, says a Kansas State University professor. Often known as ecosystem engineers, the beavers have been involved in the role and flow of rivers for centuries, long before humans crossed the land masses

Top 30 Planetsave Posts of 2010

I know, you are extremely curious to find out which posts on Planetsave got the most views in 2010. I was too. Here they are, the top 30. Did you read them all? 30. Amazon River (10 Friday Photos) People love pretty pictures, (especially of the Amazon). 29. Top Environmental Organizations in the United States (7 Green

Changing Climate in South East Australia

Despite the wonderful rains that have been falling over the past few months in my vicinity of the world, south-east Australia is likely to suffer below-average rainfall and drier conditions in the future. The findings were released in the report Climate Variability and change in south-eastern Australia, produced by the South Eastern Australian Climate Initiative

Narrowness of Ring of Fire Explained

Scientists have long wondered why the world’s most volcanic regions are thousands of kilometres long, but only a few tens of kilometres wide. One of the most obvious examples is the Ring of Fire, a ring of volcanoes that stretches from southernmost Chile, via Alaska and Japan, to New Zealand. Oxford University scientists have finally

180 Groups Push Obama to Protect America's Great Outdoors

A diverse range of historic, cultural, scientific, conservation and environmental groups united today to push President Obama to “create a bold, tangible legacy of conservation, preservation, recreation and restoration through the America’s Great Outdoors (AGO) Initiative.” While Obama has been more engaged in this topic than his predecessor, there are still some big goals many

Amazon River (10 Friday Photos)

10 beautiful and fun photos of the Amazon River. If you haven’t noticed, I love water. Every time I do a post for this 10 Friday Photos series, I seem to pick something related to water or at least include a lot of pics with water in them. Perhaps that’s why Martyna decided to do

Desert (10 Friday Photos)

Enjoy 10 beautiful photos of the desert. A lot of people think that the desert is only sand and heat. If that was true, the desert would definitely be a very boring place. The thing is to see how powerful and beautiful deserts actually are. They have survived huge periods of time and deserve a

Favorite Nature Destinations (7 Green Bloggers)

Continuing on with our 7 Green Bloggers Series, this edition is on some top green bloggers’ favorite nature destinations. The specific question I asked: “What is your favorite nature destination? (Has to be someplace you’ve been. Can be anything from a national park to your backyard to ‘the ocean’.)” Nobody said their backyard, but I did get

Fishing 17 Times Harder Than 1880s

The UK fishing fleet has to work 17 times harder today than it did in the 1880s to catch the same amount of fish. [social_buttons]Researchers from the University of York and the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) looked back through UK Government data to analyse the change in fish stocks since 1889. What they found was

Why Are There Fewer Large Trees in Yosemite?

[social_buttons] We’ve all heard the legend of Johnny Appleseed, the legendary apple tree planter of the United States. He walked across the country with his walking stick, and a bucket of seeds, just walking and planting as he went. Everywhere he went, apple trees sprouted up. And he was a hero. It is such a

Global Warming Means Shorter Lives for Cold-Blooded Animals

Cold-blooded animals have a lifespan which is exponentially related to the temperature of their environment, a new study finds. That means that as temperatures increase due to global warming, cold-blooded animals around the world will begin dying younger. Given that the vast majority of animals on Earth are cold-blooded, including the likes of amphibians, mollusks,

Freed Dolphin Attacked by Sharks, Then Euthanized

Dunham the bottlenose dolphin was attacked by sharks and euthanized this Tuesday just 3 hours after being released from Florida’s Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Experts nearby monitoring the dolphin said he was attacked by at least two different sharks, and that the wounds were life-threatening. They euthanized him immediately upon arriving at the scene.

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