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Sea otters eat sea urchins, protect kelp forests that trap CO2 from atmosphere - but can they catch up to man-made pollution?


Smart Sea Otter Stacks Cups


Sea Otter Pup

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"Nature does nothing uselessly. " - Aristotle

Global warming? Sea otters to the rescue!
Global warming is reaching new records, ice caps continue to melt at an alarming rate, and measures taken by authorities are as rare as they are questionable. But as cute as they are, where do otters step in? Well, as I was telling you, otters like to feast on sea urchins. Sea urchins eat kelp, and kelp forests trap and store massive amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere. A kelp forest ‘guarded’ by otters can absorb as much as 12 times the amount of CO2 from the atmosphere than one without an otter population.

Published in the respectable online journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, the research that came to this conclusion didn’t go unnoticed at all, as professor Chris Wilmers from the University of California, Santa Cruz, explains: “Right now, all the climate change models and proposed methods of sequestering carbon ignore animals. But animals the world over, working in different ways to influence the carbon cycle, might actually have a large impact.” He elaborates: “If ecologists can get a better handle on what these impacts are, there might be opportunities for win-win conservations scenarios, whereby animal species are protected or enhanced, and carbon gets sequestered.”  read more »

Inspirational. "Thank you" "hand in hand" "staring at crowd" "iPhone5 countdown" "cool" "Endeavor's showtime" - Photos of Moment

sports photo soccer header
Thanks for the help
Queens Park Rangers' Ryan Nelsen (right) uses a boost from Chelsea's Fernando Torres to get the advantage on a header.

bears hand in hand

zebras in black and white photo

crowd gathering for iPhone 5
A crowd of customers counts down to 8 a.m. at the Apple Store on 5th Ave. in New York City.

white peacock in full display

white peacock in full display
Seen from the U.S. Bank Tower in downtown Los Angeles, the space shuttle Endeavor passes the Hollywood sign as the retired space shuttle makes the rounds of Los Angeles and Orange County landmarks before landing at LAX.

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*update* September 24, 2012 Endeavour: Astronauts hope shuttle will inspire future generations Of the folks assembled at the United Airlines hangar at Los Angeles International Airport last week to watch Endeavour's arrival, three had firsthand experience with the space shuttle.  read more »

"heal our planet" 82-year-old Roman Catholic nun wants to transform a project which cost more than 7.2 trillion dollars

Sister Megan Rice, 82, is one of three people arrested in a break-in at a nuclear complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn

’non-nuclear nun’ - Sister Megan Rice, Michael R. Walli, left, and Gregory I. Boertje-Obed, infiltrated a nuclear weapons site

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She has been arrested 40 or 50 times for acts of civil disobedience and once served six months in prison. In the Nevada desert, she and others knelt down to block a truck rumbling across the government’s nuclear test site, prompting the authorities to take her into custody.

Now, Sister Megan Rice, 82, a Roman Catholic nun of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, and two male companions have carried out what nuclear experts call the biggest security breach in the history of the nation’s atomic complex, making their way to the inner sanctum of the site where the United States keeps crucial nuclear bomb parts and fuel.

“Deadly force is authorized,” signs there read. “Halt!” Images of skulls emphasize the lethal danger. With flashlights and bolt cutters, the three defied barbed wire as well as armed guards, video cameras and motion sensors at the Oak Ridge nuclear reservation in Tennessee early on July 28, a Saturday. They splashed blood on the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility — a new windowless, half-billion-dollar plant encircled by enormous guard towers — and hung banners outside its walls.

“Swords into plowshares,” read one, quoting the Book of Isaiah. “Spears into pruning hooks.” The plant holds the nation’s main supply of highly enriched uranium, enough for thousands of nuclear weapons.  read more »

50yrs ago, an eternal beauty taken by darkness. What's changed- scary rising temp. of Earth; what hasn't- Monroe is still loved

Marilyn photographed for H. Maier Studios, 1944

Marilyn Monroe was born Norma Jeane Mortenson on June 1, 1926

Marilyn smiles

Marilyn photographed on the set of Something’s Got To Give, 1962

Marilyn photographed arriving back in Hollywood before a press conference in the airport lounge, February 25, 1956

News / Marilyn Monroe's Death 50 Years On: What's Changed, What Hasn't

One change is certain - the temperature of Earth has been obviously and continuously rising particularly in the last 50 years:


Data on global land-ocean temperature anomalies indicate that Earth has been warming approximately 0.36 Fahrenheit (0.2 degrees Celsius) per decade for the past 30 years. This rapid warming has brought global temperature to within about 1.8 degrees F (1 degree C) of the maximum estimated temperature during the past million years.

 read more »

Photos: bullfighter stare-down, lizard "spiderman", little girl at Olympics, 5000 ducks on a stroll, bird tugs on alligator tail

bullfighter stares down bull in Spain
An intense stare-down: Bullfighter Juan Jose Padilla kneels down in front of a bull during the last bullfight of the San Fermin festival in Pamplona, Spain.

slackliner high above the ground in Utah’s Moab Desert
Adventure-loving Andy Lewis, 26, slacklines at Fisher Towers playground in Utah's Moab Desert. The spectacular location, with towers ranging from 35 to 800 feet...

lizard looking like spiderman
Just in time for the film premiere on July 3. The Mwanza Flat Headed Agama lizard bears a striking resemblance to Spider-Man and even captures his crouching pose perfectly, albeit in Kenya rather than the Big Apple. (Let's not tell him Lizard is the villain in the latest flick.)

little girl squeezes between guards to see UK Olympic torch
A young girl squeezes between honor guard soldiers to get a glimpse of the Olympic torch on Saturday in Staffordshire, England.

farmer herding 5000 ducks on a stroll to the pond
Just 5,000 ducks out for a stroll. A farmer snarls traffic in China as he herds his huge flock three-quarters of a mile to a pond. With only the help of a colleague and long stick, the man claims he didn't lose one bird on the trip.

bird tugging on alligator tail  read more »

Sweden:Malmo shut down nuclear plants, 1st carbon-neutral neighborhood; Japan:reactor re-activated despite disaster&mass protest

The Western Harbour neighborhood in Malmö, Sweden, has led strides in sustainability.

officials in protective gear check for signs of radiation on children who are from the evacuation area near the Fukushima nuclear plant

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Västra Hamnen, also known as the City of Tomorrow, was transformed from a former shipyard in 2001 and is now home to 4,000 people.

Europe’s ‘First Carbon-Neutral Neighborhood’: Western Harbour
With a smart heating and cooling system and renewable energy, the city district of Västra Hamnen (Western Harbor), in Malmö, Sweden has established itself as the first carbon-neutral neighborhood in Europe, says Malmö mayor Ilmar Reepalu.

Västra Hamnen, also known as the City of Tomorrow, was transformed from a former shipyard in 2001 and is now home to 4,000 people.

The district uses an aquifer thermal energy storage system to store water collected during the summer 70 meters (230 feet) underground and pump it up with wind energy to heat the homes during the winter. The chilled water is then reused to cool buildings in the summer. “There’s no need for air-conditioners in the district,” Reepalu proudly told the audience at the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Forum, held during the World Cities Summit on July 2 in Singapore.  read more »

"Just the two of us": loving panda mom Shin Shin takes good care of her new baby, first panda cub born in Japan in 24 years

a tiny newborn panda cub clings to its mother, Shin Shin, at Ueno Zoo, Japan

Shin Shin rested at Ueno Zoo in Tokyo last month. The zoo announced on June 25 that Shin Shin had shown signs of pregnancy

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Ueno Zoological Gardens in Tokyo released photographs of its newborn giant panda on July 6, showing its mother breastfeeding the tiny cub.

Born to 7-year-old Shin Shin on July 5, the panda--a male--is the first born at the zoo in Taito Ward as a result of natural breeding. “Even though she is a new mother, Shin Shin takes very good care of her cub,” said Yutaka Fukuda, deputy director of the zoo. “I'm sure she will be a good mother.”  read more »

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