The world needs more kindness, especially now, and researchers at the University of California-Los Angeles are going to investigate how to bring out more of it — thanks to a new multimillion dollar grant.
The Bedari Foundation, which was established by philanthropists Jennifer and Matthew C. Harris, gave $20 million to establish the UCLA Bedari Kindness Institute, which will support research on kindness, produce opportunities to translate the research into practices and have a chief goal of empowering citizens and leaders to build more humane societies.
“Universities should always be places where we teach students to reach across lines of difference and treat one another with empathy and respect — even when we deeply disagree,” UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said in a statement. “The UCLA Bedari Kindness Institute will bring the best thinking to this vital issue and, I think, will allow us to have a real social impact on future generations.”
The new institute will take an “interdisciplinary approach” to the top of kindness by examining it through evolutionary, biological, psychological, economic, cultural and sociological perspectives.
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Gaelle, a volunteer for the French charity “Les Restos du Coeur” speaks with Yvan, a homeless man in a street of Strasbourg, France, on July 30, 2018, as a heatwave blanketed northern Europe. (Getty Images)
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“Our vision is that we will all live in a world where humanity discovers and practices the kindness that exists in all of us,” said Matthew Harris, the foundation’s co-founder and a 1984 UCLA graduate, in a press statement. “Much research is needed to understand why kindness can be so scarce in the modern world. As we seek at Bedari to bridge the divide between science and spirituality, through the establishment of the UCLA Bedari Kindness Institute we hope to educate and empower more and more people in the practice of kindness.”
Darnell Hunt, dean of the UCLA division of social sciences, praised the foundation in a statement.
“In the midst of current world politics, violence and strife, the UCLA Bedari Kindness Institute seeks to be an antidote,” Hunt said. “Rooted in serious academic work, the institute will partner and share its research on kindness broadly in accessible formats. The Bedari Foundation’s extraordinary gift is truly visionary and we are grateful for its support and leadership.”
The Bedari Foundation is a private family foundation focused primarily on helping in the areas of health, wellness, environmental conservation and community displacement. The gift is part of the Centennial Campaign for UCLA.
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Children sacrificed to the gods by the Incas could have come from different parts of the empire, according to researchers.
Researchers discovered the remains of two children laid on the top of two volcanoes, Ampato and Pitchu Pitchu, according to a report in Science in Poland.
The Incas believed that the children would become intermediaries between gods and people, according to bioarchaeologist Dagmara Socha, who works with the Center for Andean Studies at the University of Warsaw.
“The Incas considered the children pure and untouched; their status was supposed to facilitate persuading the gods to make specific decisions,” he said.
Skull of a boy from Ampato volcano, burned by lightning. Photo by D. Socha
(Photo by D. Socha)
In the case of one girl whose remains were found on Pichu Pichu, researchers observed a deliberate deformation of her head, which appeared to be elongated. This practice was used in the lowland, coastal part of the Inca empire, but not in the mountains, researchers said.
Socha believes that this may mean the girl was taken from a family living in a very distant region.
To determine the content of the mummies, which are kept frozen, scientists used X-rays.
Dagmara Socha at work. Photo by D. Socha
Science in Poland reports that numerous objects were found with the mummies, including gold pins, ritual cups, wooden objects and gold tubes.
A snake catcher in Australia has snared a huge red-bellied black snake, dubbed “Chonk” because of its sturdy appearance.
Reuters reports that the venomous 6-foot snake was caught by Bryce Lockett at a rifle range on the outskirts of Brisbane. Lockett told the news outlet that the snake slithered out of a creek system where it had been kept “well-fed” thanks to fish and frogs.
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The huge “well fed” snake.
(Snake Catchers Brisbane, Ipswich/via REUTERS)
“Red-bellied Black Snakes are one of the most frequently encountered snakes on the east coast of Australia, and are responsible for a number of bites every year,” says the Australian Museum, on its website. “Despite the number of bites received every year, very few human deaths have resulted.”
The museum explains that many of the snake’s bite victims “experience only mild or negligible” symptoms, although some end up being hospitalized.
HUGE VENOMOUS SNAKE ‘HIDING’ NEAR PLAYGROUND CAPTURED AFTER BRIEF STRUGGLE, VIDEO SHOWS
A large eastern brown snake was recently caught within 16 feet of a children’s playground in Australia.
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Earlier this year, a mutant snake with three working eyes was found in Australia’s Northern Territory.
Fox News’ Chris Ciaccia and Ann W. Schmidt contributed to this article. Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers
Researchers have discovered microbial remains in 3.5 billion-year-old rocks in Western Australia, the remnants of which may be the earliest signs of life on the planet and a find considered to be a “smoking gun.”
The scientists from the University of New South Wales discovered 3.5 billion-year-old stromatolites, ancient sedimentary rocks, that were generally believed to contain the earliest signs of life, a theory that has now been proven.
“This is an exciting discovery — for the first time, we’re able to show the world that these stromatolites are definitive evidence for the earliest life on Earth,” the study’s lead author, Dr. Raphael Baumgartner, said in a statement.
Photomicrograph of pyritized stromatolites from the 3.5 billion-year-old Dresser Formation. The stromatolites are delineated by pyrite, also known as fool’s gold. (Credit: UNSW Sydney)
LIFE ON EARTH MAY HAVE COME FROM A COLLISION WITH ANCIENT PLANET MORE THAN 4 BILLION YEARS AGO
The stromatolites, which were discovered in the Pilbara region in Western Australia, gave the researchers the closest option to finding a “smoking gun” to prove the existence of life that old.
“This represents a major advance in our knowledge of these rocks, in the science of early life investigations generally, and — more specifically — in the search for life on Mars,” Prof. Martin van Kranendonk said in the statement. “We now have a new target and new methodology to search for ancient life traces.”
The research has been published in the scientific journal, Geology.
Baumgartner and the other researchers drilled into the rock to take samples and examined them using a variety of cutting-edge tools and techniques, including high-powered electron microscopy, spectroscopy and isotope analysis.
He discovered that stromatolites are essentially composed of pyrite, often known as “fool’s gold,” along with organic matter.
“The organic matter that we found preserved within pyrite of the stromatolites is exciting — we’re looking at exceptionally preserved coherent filaments and strands that are typically remains of microbial biofilms,” Baumgartner added.
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In addition to providing clues to how life formed on Earth, they may also provide hints on whether and where it formed or existed on Mars, the researchers said.
“Understanding where life could have emerged is really important in order to understand our ancestry,” Baumgartner noted. “From there, it could help us understand where else life could have occurred — for example, where it was kick-started on other planets.”
“It is deeply satisfying that Australia’s ancient rocks and our scientific know-how is making such a significant contribution to our search for extraterrestrial life and unlocking the secrets of Mars,” said van Kranendonk.
A study published earlier this year suggested that the building blocks for life on Earth came from a galactic collision with another Mars-sized object more than 4 billion years ago.
The South Pole-Aitken basin (represented by the shades of blue at the center) stretches 1,550 miles (2,500 kilometers) across and is one of the solar system’s largest craters. The dashed circle indicates the spot where researchers found a weird material beneath the basin that contains metal. (Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/University of Arizona)
Billions of years ago, something slammed into the dark side of the moon and carved out a very, very large hole. Stretching 1,550 miles (2,500 kilometers) wide and 8 miles (13 km) deep, the South Pole-Aitken basin, as the tremendous hole is known to Earthlings, is the oldest and deepest crater on the moon, and one of the largest craters in the entire solar system.
For decades, researchers have suspected that the gargantuan basin was created by a head-on collision with a very large, very fast meteor. Such an impact would have ripped the moon’s crust apart and scattered chunks of lunar mantle across the crater’s surface, providing a rare glimpse at what the moon is really made of. (Spoiler: It’s not cheese.) That theory gained some credence earlier this year, when China’s Yutu-2 rover, which settled into the bottom of the crater aboard the Chang’e 4 lander in January, discovered traces of minerals that seemed to originate from the moon’s mantle.
Now, however, a study published Aug. 19 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters throws those results — and the crater’s origin story — into question. After analyzing the minerals in six plots of soil at the bottom of the South Pole-Aitken basin, a team of researchers argues that the crater’s composition is all crust and no mantle, suggesting that whatever impact opened the crater billions of years ago did not hit hard enough to spray the moon’s innards onto the surface.
“We are not seeing the mantle materials at the landing site as expected,” study co-author Hao Zhang, a planetary scientist at the China University of Geosciences, said in a statement. These findings all but rule out a direct collision with a high-velocity meteor and raise the question: What, if not a head-on meteor strike, created the largest crater on the moon?
Lighting up the dark side
In their new study, the researchers used a technique called reflection spectroscopy to identify specific minerals in the lunar soil based on how individual grains reflected visible and near-infrared light.
Using equipment aboard the Yutu 2 rover, the team conducted reflectance tests on six patches of soil in the first two days following Chang’e 4’s landing, venturing about 175 feet (54 meters) away from the lander. With the help of a database that identifies lunar minerals based on a variety of factors — including size, reflectance and degradation due to solar wind — the team estimated the mineral concentration in each of the plots.
A crystalline rock called plagioclase was by far the most abundant mineral in each sample, accounting for 56% to 72% of the crater’s composition, the researchers wrote. Formed as primordial oceans of lava cool, plagioclase is extremely common in the crusts of Earth and the moon alike, but it’s less abundant in their mantles. Though the team detected other minerals in the crust that are more common in the moon’s mantle, such as olivine, these rocks made up too small a fraction of the soil samples to suggest that part of the mantle had broken through the crust.
This mineral makeup complicates the theory that a giant, high-velocity meteor created the South Pole‐Aitken basin billions of years ago, as such an impact almost certainly would have scattered chunks of mantle over the lunar surface.
So, what, then, created the crater? The researchers did not speculate in the new study. However, prior research has suggested that a renegade space rock is still the culprit, but the hit may not have been so direct. A study published in 2012 in the journal Science argued that a slightly slower-moving meteor could have struck the back of the moon at an angle of about 30 degrees and resulted in an appropriately large crater that never disturbed the moon’s mantle. However, those researchers had only simulations to go on.
If nothing else, the new research suggests that there’s a lot more exploring to do in the South Pole‐Aitken basin before an answer becomes apparent. See you on the dark side of the moon.
Originally published on Live Science.
Talk about the find of a lifetime.
A metal detector enthusiast in England has stumbled upon a treasure trove of silver coins believed to be 1,000 years old and worth about $60,000.
Fifty-year-old Don Crawley, a native of Suffolk, found the 99 coins, which include pennies and half pennies, after making his first visit to a farmer’s land.
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“It was my first visit to this farmer’s land in Suffolk,” Crawley said in a Dix Noonan Web auctions press release obtained by Fox News. “After walking up an incline in the field, my Deus detector gave off a strong signal and within a short space of time I had recovered over 93 coins.”
He added that he found another six coins after the Finds Liason Officer was “called in” to investigate the site, which turned out to be an ancient Saxon church. Crawley said that he has been an amateur metal detector enthusiast for 30 years, but had never come upon a find like this.
There are 81 pennies and 18 cut half-pennies in total. DNW noted that there are two types of coins, a CRUX type and a Long Cross type, which the auction house said means they were buried between 997 and 1003 A.D.
“It is therefore possible this hoard could have been buried in AD 999 as penitence when the new millennium raised fears of a judgement day,” DNW said in its release.
After Crawley collected the hoard, the coins were taken to the British Museum where they were identified as silver pennies from the reign of King Aethelred II, who reigned over the country from 978-1016.
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“Aethelred is renowned in history as the Unrede or ‘unready’ because of the weakness of his government,” the statement adds. “Viking raids of increasing magnitude forced the King to pay tribute as Danegeld to try to stop them attacking, but to no avail.”
DNW’s Antiquities specialist Nigel Mills said in the release the hoard of coins comes from two mints, including “Melton Mowbray and a previously unrecorded mint.”
“The coin reads ‘Dreng mo Lude’ which translates as Dreng moneyer in Louth, which is in Lincolnshire,” Mills added.
DNW has given a “provisional estimate for the hoard” at $37,000-$61,000, or £30,000-£50,000.
The coins will be sold at auction on Dec. 4 and Dec. 5.
A 3,000-year-old clay container that is described as the world’s first “baby bottle” has been unearthed by researchers.
The container, found in a Bronze Age tomb in Bavaria, southern Germany, was buried along with the cremated remains of a small child, likely between the ages of 1 and 2, reports South West News Service (SWNS) a British news agency.
SWNS adds that the container was used to feed infants milk from cows, goats or sheep. It’s also possible that there were other containers used during Neolithic times as baby bottles, but there is no definitive proof.
The world’s first “baby bottle” used by our Bronze Age ancestors more than 3,000 years ago has been unveiled by scientists. (Credit: SWNS)
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“These very small, evocative, vessels give us valuable information on how and what babies were fed thousands of years ago, providing a real connection to mothers and infants in the past,” said Dr. Julie Dunne, the study’s lead author and a geochemist at the University of Bristol.
The container had a two-inch-wide bowl, as well as a narrow spout used to pour the liquids.
Researchers were able to identify traces of milk using chemical analysis inside the container, but were unable to identify the exact species.
Researchers had previously thought babies were fed by their mothers with their own breast milk. The discovery has caused them to reevaluate the way humanity has evolved over the past several thousand years.
The clay container was used to feed an infant fresh milk from cows, goats or sheep – up to 3,200 years ago. (Credit: SWNS)
“This evidence of the foodstuffs that were used to either feed or wean prehistoric infants confirms the importance of milk from domesticated animals for these early communities, and provides information on the infant-feeding behaviors that were practiced by prehistoric human groups,” Dunne pointed out.
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Two other vessels similar in nature were discovered in the graves of infants that date back between 2,800 and 2,450 years. They also contained fatty acids that were discovered by researchers.
Dunne noted that these vessels have appeared in other civilizations.
“Similar vessels, although rare, do appear in other prehistoric cultures – such as Rome and ancient Greece – across the world,” Dunne added. “Ideally, we’d like to carry out a larger geographic study and investigate whether they served the same purpose.”
The research has been published in the journal Nature.
Scientists warned this week that a portion of the massive Mont Blanc glacier is in danger of collapse, prompting Italian authorities to close off roads and evacuate certain areas.
According to a statement from municipal officials, about 250,000 cubic meters of ice are in danger of breaking away from the Planpincieux glacier on the Grandes Jorasses peak, which is part of Western Europe’s highest mountain range — the Mont Blanc massif.
“This phenomenon once again testifies that the mountain is in a phase of strong change due to climatic factors, therefore it is particularly vulnerable,” Stefano Miserocchi, mayor of the town of Courmayeur, said in a statement.
Although scientists have been monitoring the glacier for six years, Miserocchi said the rate of melting has increased significantly recently.
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The Planpincieux glacier on the Grandes Jorasses peak of the Mont Blanc massif.
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Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is in New York for the United Nations climate action summit.
“The news that part of Mont Blanc risks collapsing is a warning that should not leave us indifferent. It must shake us all and force us to mobilize,” Conte said, The Guardian reported.
According to BBC News, the entire Mont Blanc massif has 11 peaks of about 4,000 meters in France and Italy, and attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists each year.
Scientists believe that a warming climate is contributing to the melt of glaciers worldwide. In addition, a heatwave across Europe over the summer is said to have influenced melt speed.
Last week, hundreds gathered for a funeral for the Pizol glacier in Switzerland’s Glarus Alps. That glacier has lost up to 90 percent of its volume since 2006.
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In this Sept. 16, 2019 photo, the orangutan Sandra stands in her enclosure at the former city zoo now known as Eco Parque, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The solitary life of the 33-year-old orangutan with will take a turn towards the end of September when she leaves Buenos Aires for the United States, where after a quarantine period in Kansas she is expected to become the new resident of the Center for Great Apes in Florida. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Sandra shows little interest as she slowly shuffles past the structure of beams and ropes built for her to climb on inside her concrete enclosure in Argentina’s capital. Outside are tall buildings and traffic that bear no resemblance to the lush forests where orangutans naturally live.
But the unstimulating, solitary life of the 33-year-old orangutan with gentle eyes and dark-red hair will take a turn Thursday when she leaves Buenos Aires for the United States. After a quarantine period in Kansas, she is expected to become the new resident of the Center for Great Apes in Florida, a sanctuary much better suited to her needs.
“There she will be able to spend the rest of her life in a more dignified situation,” said Argentine judge Elena Liberatori, who in 2015 ruled that Sandra was legally not an animal but a non-human person who has rights, turning the orangutan who has only known limited concrete enclosures into a focus of world attention.
It has been a long journey for Sandra, who was born in a zoo in Germany and moved to Argentina a quarter century ago. She has lived most of her life in a basketball court-sized cell in the more-than-century-old Buenos Aires zoo, in conditions protested by animal rights groups as inadequate. Her release seemed possible in 2014 following a landmark court ruling that she was entitled to some legal rights enjoyed by humans and better living conditions. Then came Liberatori’s ruling. Her release seemed nearer in 2016 when the Buenos Aires zoo closed its doors and officials said that hundreds of its animals would be set free as it was transformed into an eco-park.
But Sandra’s caretakers argued that it might be better just to improve the conditions of her cage because sending her to a reserve abroad or releasing her into the wild would put her life at risk. Since Sandra is classed genetically as a hybrid orangutan — half Sumatran, half Bornean — experts fear she might not be able to adapt if sent to Indonesia, where most of the world’s wild orangutans live and there are a number of sanctuaries. Suitable facilities might be found abroad but they would need to be reviewed carefully.
Enter the sanctuary near Wauchula, Florida, whose mission is to provide a permanent home for orangutans and chimpanzees rescued or retired from the entertainment industry, research or the exotic pet trade.
“Sandra will have bigger compounds and special caregivers” in the Center for Great Apes, which is in a more forested and humid area than Argentina’s capital, said Federico Iglesias, director of the eco-park created after the closure of the Buenos Aires’ zoo.
Liberatori’s 2015 ruling was in response to a complaint by an Argentine animal rights group that Sandra was living in inadequate conditions.
“With that ruling I wanted to tell society something new, that animals are sentient beings and that the first right they have is our obligation to respect them,” she told The Associated Press.
Liberatori has a large picture of Sandra in her office. On the picture is a twig that Sandra passed through the bars of her enclosure to anyone outside willing to interact with her.
In 2017, after studying the opinions of biologists and veterinarians about a list of possible destinations for Sandra, including Brazil and Spain, Liberatori decided on the Florida sanctuary, which has 21 orangutans and 31 chimpanzees. Its best-known resident is Bubbles, late singer Michael Jackson’s chimpanzee.
Chuckie, Pebbles, Kiki, Pongo, Popi and Tango will be some of Sandra’s companions, according to the website of the center, where she will have much more freedom and space to move about — though not complete freedom since she has never experienced it and it might be dangerous for her.
In the larger compound she will be able to interact with other animals, and run and climb more freely. A system of elevated tunnels will allow her to explore the area. In the Argentine zoo, Sandra was the only member of her species.
Officials at the Florida center have told the judge they sought to arrange the transfer of Sandra to avoid any extreme change in climate: spring in Argentina and early autumn in Florida. And the Argentine eco-park has successfully sent lions and bears to sanctuaries in the United States.
Despite the assurances, Liberatori acknowledges feeling nervous about Sandra’s transfer to the United States, which will be in a ventilated metal container.
The orangutan will be inside the container for a roughly 11-hour commercial flight to the Dallas airport. From there, she will be sent by a truck on a highway to Sedgwick County Zoo in Kansas. She will be quarantined there and if her health checks out she will be sent by highway to Florida.
Her Argentine caretakers have trained her to feel comfortable inside the container and will accompany her on her voyage all the way to Florida.
“I am happy, but a bit nervous that everything goes well,” said Liberatori. “After she arrives in the sanctuary I will visit her. It is going to be a very happy moment for me.”
A damning new report from the United Nations says that the world’s oceans are undergoing drastic, accelerated change. And the risks associated with these changes to the climate are getting ever greater, threatening hundreds of millions of people and the global economy itself.
The report, issued by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), highlights the changes that are happening as a result of increased emissions from greenhouse gases, including: sea levels rising by three feet by 2100; significantly fewer fish in the oceans; stronger hurricanes; and regular flooding in coastal cities such as New York.
“Global warming has already reached 1 [degrees Celsius] above the pre-industrial level, due to past and current greenhouse gas emissions,” a press release issued in conjunction with the report said. “There is overwhelming evidence that this is resulting in profound consequences for ecosystems and people. The ocean is warmer, more acidic and less productive. Melting glaciers and ice sheets are causing sea level rise, and coastal extreme events are becoming more severe.”
FILE – In this Friday, Sept. 6, 2019 file photo, storm surge from Hurricane Dorian blocks Cedar Island off from the mainland on NC 12 in Atlantic Beach, N.C., after Hurricane Dorian passed the coast. A special United Nations-affiliated oceans and ice report released on Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2019 projects three feet of rising seas by the end of the century, much fewer fish, weakening ocean currents, even less snow and ice, and nastier hurricanes, caused by climate change. (AP Photo/Tom Copeland)
PLASTIC POLLUTION IN WORLDS’ OCEANS COULD HAVE $2.5 TRILLION IMPACT, STUDY SAYS
The report, which was worked on by more than 100 scientists from 36 countries around the world, was approved by the 195 IPCC member governments. Hoesung Lee, chair of the IPCC, said that all parts of the globe, from the highest mountains to the deepest parts of the ocean, are being affected in a faster manner.
“The open sea, the Arctic, the Antarctic and the high mountains may seem far away to many people,” Lee said in the press release. “But we depend on them and are influenced by them directly and indirectly in many ways – for weather and climate, for food and water, for energy, trade, transport, recreation and tourism, for health and wellbeing, for culture and identity.”
Six hundred seventy million people live in high mountain regions, 680 million people are in low-lying coastal zones, 4 million live “permanently” in the Arctic region and 65 million people live on small island developing states, according to the report.
“The oceans and the icy parts of the world are in big trouble and that means we’re all in big trouble too,” one of the report’s lead authors, Michael Oppenheimer, professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton University, told the Associated Press. “The changes are accelerating.”
The press release notes that “without major investments in adaptation,” rising flood risks are likely, some of which could cause “some island nations” to become uninhabitable “due to climate-related ocean and cryosphere change.”
The changes, which previous reports have said could shrink “virtually all” economies around the globe by 2100, will affect people, plants, food, societies, infrastructure, in addition to the global economy.
The oceans absorb more than 90 percent of the excess heat from carbon pollution in the air, as well as much of the carbon dioxide itself. The seas warm more slowly than the air but trap the heat longer with bigger side effects — and the report links these waters with Earth’s snow and ice, called the cryosphere, because their futures are interconnected.
“The world’s oceans and cryosphere have been taking the heat for climate change for decades. The consequences for nature and humanity are sweeping and severe,” said Ko Barrett, vice chair of the IPCC and a deputy assistant administrator for research at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in the release.
The IPCC report adds to a previous report from the U.N. that some coastal cities and those in the Arctic region will have to adopt. The previous report, published on June 25 from the United Nations Human Rights Council, warned that a potential “climate apartheid” could fracture the global population, splitting the planet between the wealthy and the rest of the world who will be “left to suffer.”
CLIMATE CHANGE WILL SHRINK ‘VIRTUALLY ALL’ ECONOMIES AROUND THE GLOBE BY 2100, STUDY WARNS
The report also notes that some of the changes to the Earth’s climate from human-induced events can no longer be stopped, such as some rise in sea levels. The report found that seas are now rising at 3.66 millimeters per year, up from a previous estimate of 3 millimeters.
FILE – This early Friday, Aug. 16, 2019 file photo shows an aerial view of large Icebergs floating as the sun rises near Kulusuk, Greenland. Greenland has been melting faster in the last decade, and this summer, it has seen two of the biggest melts on record since 2012. A special United Nations-affiliated oceans and ice report released on Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2019 projects three feet of rising seas by the end of the century, much fewer fish, weakening ocean currents, even less snow and ice, and nastier hurricanes, caused by climate change. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
Global sea-levels have risen 3.2 inches since 1993, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Other findings from the report include:
The world’s oceans have already lost 1 percent to 3 percent of the oxygen in their upper levels since 1970. As warming continues, the oceans will lose more oxygen.
From 2006 to 2015, the ice melting from Greenland, Antarctica and the world’s mountain glaciers has accelerated and is now losing 720 billion tons (653 billion metric tons) of ice a year.
Arctic June snow cover has shrunk more than half since 1967, down nearly 1 million square miles (2.5 million square kilometers).
Arctic sea ice in September, the annual minimum, is down almost 13 percent per decade since 1979. This year’s low, reported Monday, tied for the second-lowest on record. If carbon pollution continues unabated, by the end of the century there will be a 10 percent to 35 percent chance each year that sea ice will disappear in the Arctic in September.
Marine animals are likely to decrease 15 percent, and catches by fisheries, in general, are expected to decline 21 percent to 24 percent by the end of the century because of climate change.
The report is conservative in some of its projections, including the levels of ice lost in Greenland and Antarctica, NASA oceanographer Josh Willis, who was not part of the study, told the AP.
“We’re not done revising our sea level rise projections and we won’t be for a while,” Willis said, adding that a rise in sea levels of twice the IPCC projections is possible.
Despite the bleak nature of the report and it stating that some changes to the Earth’s climate can longer be stopped, all hope is not lost. It calls on governments around the world to act and take swift action in an effort to mitigate some of the devastating effects.
“If we reduce emissions sharply, consequences for people and their livelihoods will still be challenging, but potentially more manageable for those who are most vulnerable,” Lee said in the release. “We increase our ability to build resilience and there will be more benefits for sustainable development.”
“Cutting greenhouse gas emissions will limit impacts on ocean ecosystems that provide us with food, support our health and shape our cultures,” Hans-Otto Pörtner, co-chair of IPCC Working Group II, concurred. “Reducing other pressures such as pollution will further help marine life deal with changes in their environment while enabling a more resilient ocean.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.