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Lake Michigan Itself Is the Greatest Asian Carp Deterrent
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For years, people have been freaking out that Asian carp are about to invade the Great Lakes.
That concern seemed more real than ever this summer after an Illinois fisherman caught a carp in June less than 10 miles from Lake Michigan — beyond the barriers designed to keep them out.
These voracious fish have already decimated Midwestern rivers. They’re filters feeders who feast on plankton — the tiny plants and critters that prop up foodchains. And they eat lots of them. Adult Asian car blogs.discovermagazine.com/...
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Scotland’s Oldest Snow Patch May Not See Another Sunrise
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Resting beneath the 1,000-foot cliffs of Scotland’s Aonach’s Beag mountain range, The Sphinx –one of the country’s proudest snowcaps—is on its deathbed.
“It’s a very sorry sight,” says Iain Cameron, a leading snow expert and arguably one of Edinburgh’s most dedicated “snow patchers,” a group of people who seek out and track the changes in the island’s coldest landmarks. These patches “tend to sit in the little gullies and corries below the peaks,” Cameron told Atlas Obscura. The Sphinx, w blogs.discovermagazine.com/...
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A Grim Future For Earth’s ‘Third Pole’
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One-third of Asia’s high mountain glaciers will melt — even if the Paris Agreement succeeds.
There’s so much ice packed into the high mountains of Asia that scientists call it Earth’s “Third Pole.” The Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau hold the largest reserves of freshwater outside the Arctic and Antarctic.
Here, thousands of glaciers form the headwaters for 10 of Asia’s largest rivers, which help supply the region with drinking water, crop irrigation and hydroelectric power. These g blogs.discovermagazine.com/...
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To Save Australia's Biodiversity, Put Kangaroo on the Menu
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In Australia, a question lingers: Do we shoot the kangaroos?
The proposition sounds a bit inhumane at first blush, after all, the kangaroo stands proudly on the Australian coat of arms. The bouncing beasts are a fixture of the outback. But in recent years, the roos have been doing quite well—in fact, too well. Their numbers have been bolstered by the extinction of natural predators and generous rainfall; there are now so many kangaroos, that one ecologist is calling for increased consumpt blogs.discovermagazine.com/...
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Ancient Asteroid Generated the Hottest Temp Ever Recorded on Earth
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When an asteroid smashes into the Earth things get pretty toasty.
A 17 mile-wide crater in Canada was home to what scientists say is the hottest temperature ever recorded in Earth's crustal rock, a whopping 4,300 degrees Fahrenheit. They didn't just stick a thermometer in there, of course, the crater is some 36 million years old. Instead, researchers from Curtin University in Australia looked to the rocks.
Embedded in the crater walls were crystals of cubic zirconia, a mineral that blogs.discovermagazine.com/...
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We're All a Little Plastic on the Inside
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You're made of water, bone, blood, muscle and fat; you're also a few parts plastic.
That is, if you prefer sea salt on your meal. Or honey, shellfish, beer or tap water. Recent studies have found microplastics, tiny shards of degraded plastic, in them all. Even the air is filled with the minuscule plastic bits.
Plastic Not-So-Fantastic
Hold off on the panic though; it's still too early for researchers to say what the effects of microplastic consumption are, although preliminary studies blogs.discovermagazine.com/...
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Tool-wielding Macaques Are Wiping Out Shellfish Populations
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The advent of tools was a big deal for humanity. It made it far easier to manipulate our environment and mold the planet to serve our own interests—from the folsom point to the iPhone X.
Some animals use tools too, like the macaques of Thailand, who have figured out that their favorite shellfish snacks are much easier to eat if they bash them open with rocks first. They've become proficient shellfish smashers, so much so that the macaques are actually threatening the existence of oysters blogs.discovermagazine.com/...
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To Study Global Warming, Researchers Heated the Ocean Themselves
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A perennial problem for climate science is that much of it lies in the realm of abstraction. Various models and forecasts compete for relevance, based on arcane statistical formulations that appear as so much gibberish to science reporters and readers alike.
Well, rest easy, weary travelers — here's a climate study that leaves the ponderous math behind in favor of a real-world simulation of warming Antarctic waters. Researchers from the British Antarctic Survey decided to see what the eff blogs.discovermagazine.com/...
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12,000 Tons of Orange Peels Bring a Jungle Back to Life
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Twenty years ago, a pasture in Costa Rica was nearly barren farmland, choked by invasive grasses. Today, it blooms anew with a rich tangle of jungle plants. The magic ingredient for this resurgence? Oranges.
In the mid-1990s, Del Oro, a newly established orange juice manufacturer in Costa Rica was looking for a way to get rid of the rinds and pulp left over after juice extraction. They planned on building an expensive processing plant, but two ecologists from the University of Pennsylvani blogs.discovermagazine.com/...
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A Russian Tanker Completes First Solo Trip Through the Arctic Ocean
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A Russian tanker ship has traversed the Arctic Ocean without the help of a separate icebreaker, marking a first for the Northern Sea Route.
The Christophe de Margerie made the journey from Norway to South Korea in 23 days carrying a shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG), opening up the frigid route to sustained shipping traffic. Ships normally travel through the Suez Canal to reach Asia from Europe, a trip that takes some 30 percent longer. The ship, which has a reinforced hull allowing blogs.discovermagazine.com/...