The toll the people of the Earth take on their planet daily

Tuesday, 2 May, 2017

The environmental cost of one day on Earth, by Yukai Du, a London based illustrator, and motion designer. Work for Econundrum, a series hosted by US cable and satellite TV channel CNN.

Some people throw half the food they buy, uneaten. Others go through close to six hundred litres of clean water daily. The list goes on. We certainly take a toll on the planet.

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Will edible water vessels help eliminate plastic water bottle waste?

Monday, 1 May, 2017

While some people baulk at the prospect of buying bottled water, sales thereof are causing all sorts of problems for Coca-Cola’s Australian operations.

Last week the soft-drink manufacturer issued a profit downgrade, and cited increased sales of bottled water among competitors as one of the factors.

Soft drink consumption has waned in recent years, as consumers have turned towards beverages they feel are healthier, or in the case of drinks like Coke, appear to be sugar free.

Yet there are those who see no sense in buying water in a bottle, especially in places like Australia, where tap water is deemed safe to drink.

To them, buyers of bottled water are pouring perfectly good money down the drain. And then there is the issue of the waste plastic generated by this consumption.

But while people mightn’t be dissuaded from buying water in a bottle anytime soon, one company is hopeful it can eliminate some of the plastic bottle waste by-product, by selling water in sphere shaped vessels that are edible.

I don’t know if the idea will catch on, but I’ll say one thing for the edible containers, they look appealing. I hope they taste just as nice.

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Souvid Datta, London based photojournalist and filmmaker

Friday, 7 April, 2017

Photo by Souvid Datta

Souvid Datta is a photojournalist and filmmaker, who hails from Mumbai, and is now based in London, where he freelances for the Guardian.

In this photo, taken at Laltanganj, in India, it looks like a young woman is enjoying the evening air, while basking in the glow of a nearby bonfire. In fact, it is a large fire burning near a coal mine, and sending potentially toxic fumes into the air around her village.

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Animal agriculture, the primary cause of environmental destruction?

Monday, 27 February, 2017

Seven “earth-like” planets, including three that may be habitable – to some forms of life – might be orbiting Trappist 1, a dwarf star about forty light years from the Sun.

It is unlikely any of these planets are remotely similar to Earth though. The planets in the Trappist 1 solar system are not a destination we can pack up and move to, if the human race needed to, for whatever reason. Even if we were capable of travelling there, which we are not.

The message is simple. We have to look after our own planet, in order to ensure our survival.

That’s a point also made in Planet Earth – As We Eat Our Way To Extinction, a clip produced by Zeezee Branson, and Gary-TV.com, an Israeli video production company. The argument here is animal agriculture, and meat consumption, is the primary cause of environmental destruction.

Whatever your opinion there, environmental conditions continue to deteriorate on Earth. There is, quite literally, no escaping these problems, they have to be dealt with.

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Plotting the rise of Earth’s average temperature over 22,000 years

Wednesday, 14 September, 2016

A timeline of Earth’s average temperature over the last twenty-two thousand years, by xkcd.

Temperature are now, on average, five degrees Celsius warmer, than they were at the beginning of this time period.

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White Desert, Antarctica’s one and only luxury resort

Tuesday, 13 September, 2016

White Desert resort, Antarctica

White Desert is the name of Antarctica’s only luxury resort. During the summer months, you can stay in a dome-shaped fiberglass sleeping pod, that is about eight metres in diametre. And from the windows, you can take in the rugged landscape of the southernmost continent. Excursions to the South Pole can also be arranged.

The thing is, you’ll need a lazy forty-five thousand dollars. United States dollars. Though that will buy you an eight night stay. The visit to the South Pole will cost more. Worth it though, if Antarctica is somewhere you’d like to go.

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The beautiful, yet menacing, blue lakes of Antarctica

Wednesday, 24 August, 2016

Meltwater pond, Antarctica. Photo by DigitalGlobe, Inc

Thousands of quite picturesque blue lakes have been appearing on the Langhovde Glacier, in East Antarctica, since the turn of the century. In short, they are meltwater ponds that form as warm air comes into contact with the glacier’s surface. While they may be easy on the eye, they evidence the presence of global warming.

Such ponds have been observed in Greenland for sometime, where ice sheets are now melting at an alarming rate. Unfortunately, it looks like that process is going to start increasing in parts of Antarctica.

Photo by DigitalGlobe, Inc.

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A year in the life of planet Earth, as seen from one million miles

Tuesday, 26 July, 2016

Situated one million miles from Earth, permanently facing its sunlit side, the DSCOVR satellite, a weather satellite among other things, takes photos of our planet everyday. These images have been made into a timelapse video, and gives those of us on the surface, a pretty good idea of how Earth looks from space, on a day to day basis.

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Spectacular storm footage, thanks to storm chaser Mike Olbinski

Monday, 18 July, 2016

Thanks to people like Mike Olbinski, we can enjoy spectacular storm footage from the comfort of our homes. What would you rather be? A storm chaser, or a storm observer?

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Carbon dioxide count soon to reach new, unsettling, milestone

Wednesday, 11 May, 2016

The atmosphere of our planet could be confirmed as containing 400 parts of carbon dioxide per million within a matter of weeks, a level from which they may be no return, and something that is likely to see temperatures continue to rise.

While the 400 figure is in itself of no particular note, compared with 399 or 401, it was a marker likely to carry important symbolism. “People react to these things when they see thresholds crossed,” Dr Etheridge said. While the fraction may seem small, it is 0.04 per cent of the atmosphere. By comparison, a similar level of alcohol would be close to the legal driving limit in Australia. “These things act at low concentrations,” he said, noting that ozone-destroying chemicals at levels of parts per trillion were enough to damage that important component of the atmosphere.

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