Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Increasing acidification of the oceans is threatening populations of mussels

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World populations of mussels can be threatened as climate change are making the oceans increasingly acidic. A new research has revealed that the mussels that form in acidic waters have more fragile shells.

The increase of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere makes the oceans more acidic and causes a reduction of the concentration of minerals that the mussels need to develop their shells, indicate the scientists at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, who published the study in the journal of the Royal Society Interface.

The study further concluded that the mussels may have a built-in biological defense mechanism that drives the development of shells when water temperatures rise by about 2 degrees Celsius.

"What we discovered in the course of the investigation is that the highest levels of acidity in their habitats have a negative impact on the ability of mussels to develop their shells", indicate the researchers in a statement, quoting the Guardian.

Foto: The Original Happy Snapper/Creative Commons

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Africa's largest wind farm will supply 1.5 million homes

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The largest wind farm in the African continent, the Tarfaya Energy Project, began to produce energy from the Atlantic coast south of Morocco. About 8,900 acres, the 131 wind turbines must prevent the emission of 990,000 tons of carbon dioxide every year.

The project began construction in 2013 and was recently completed, being a partnership between GDF Suez and Nareva Holding. With a cost of about €452 million, the Tarfaya farm should produce enough energy to power 1.5 million homes in Morocco.

Each of the 131 turbines have the capacity to produce 2.3 megawatts of electricity, for a combined total of 15% of the goal of wind power that the Government of Morocco wants to have implemented in 2020, writes the Inhabitat. Over the next five years, the Moroccan Government has plans to install other wind farms to generate 2,000 megawatts of electricity that will be distributed by the national electricity grid. When these projects are completed, 42% of electrical capacity of Morocco will come from renewable sources.

Foto: jacilluch/Creative Commons

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Monday, January 5, 2015

Tourism in Antarctica is putting in jeopardy penguins

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About 10,000 people travel every year to the Antarctic, for tourism or research, and bring something more than cameras. According to a team of scientists led by Wray Grimaldi, the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, were found several infectious agents in the penguins-bacteria such as salmonella and e. Coli, virus as West Nile or Avipoxvirus have been found in captive penguins since 1947-what is jeopardising the fragile local biodiversity.

"The effects of the growth of the tourism industry and the presence of researchers will have consequences. The Penguins are highly susceptible to infectious diseases, "explained the New Scientist Grimaldi.

The scientist explains that outbreaks of these bacteria and virus have killed thousands of penguins over the years. The boots of tourists and researchers are one of the main vectors of transmission.

Another theory for this puts migrant animals the cause of these outbreaks, once the milder climate have attracted biodiversity never before seen in this region.

Foto: David Stanley/Creative Commons

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Divorce makes men fatter

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There's a cliché that says marriage leads men to increase the weight, a fact which is confirmed by several studies. However, according to a study by Ohio State University, in the United States, the divorce also helps men to get fatter. That is, from the moment when a man marries, the more likely it is to win some weight: want to stay in the marriage or divorce.

The study, cited by NYMag, analyzed more than 10,000 people in the two years following the marriage or divorce â€" the first data was collected in 1979.

So, 63% of the men gained weight after the divorce, when compared with men who remained married; the chances of women gain weight in post-divorce however are only half of these.

"This study proves that marriage is associated with all kinds of health benefits for men, while the divorce is especially bad in terms of health," says the New Yorker magazine.

On the other hand, the risk of heart attack, stroke and suicide also increases after the divorce. IE: from that moment on, for man, it takes a special care with their diet.

Foto: Jason Rogers/Creative Commons

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Pay to see an exhibition of Earth and grass?

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Per Kristian Nygard, a Norwegian artist, managed to bring literally the nature inside an enclosed space and managed to fill a gallery in Oslo with a mound of dirt and grass.

Installing flows from the showroom to the entrance hall. Called "Not Red But Green", the installation plays with the notion of unlikely environments, the intuitive human responses and the relationship between architecture and nature.

Works by Per Kristian Nygard tend to explore the possibilities of space and in this last installation the aim was to create the experience of "enter a space where everything is bad but that appears to be fine," cites the Inhabitat.

To build the facility was a wooden structure used to create the valleys and mountains of work. Subsequently, the structure was covered with plastic sheets on which was deposited layer of dirt impregnated with grass seed. Along the exhibition the seeds were germinating creating now looks like a green landscape trapped inside four walls.

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Sunday, January 4, 2015

What if you could rent your bicycle to a stranger?

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In Copenhagen, Denmark, it is possible to rent the bike to a stranger. The Cyclister, Danish startup, wants to help cyclists to rent your bikes to total strangers. So, intends to release soon a smartphone app to make the service more effective.

The company launched its service in the city of Copenhagen for more than six weeks and already has an online database with approximately 300 bikes. The cost for renting a bike is approximately $ 15 (€ 12), according to the co-founder of Cyclister David Paag.

"The Denmark is the perfect place to start. Is the capital of the bikes in the world and 25 percent of tourists actually rent a bicycle in the city, "says Paag, quoted by PC World Magazine and quoted by my aggregator well-being.

So far, the Cyclister managed to attract a small number of people willing to rent your bikes to other inhabitants or tourists in the city, so the rental companies in town offer most bikes available in the database of the company.

The company is now looking for investors to help expand and improve the service, including developing a mobile application to make the rental process more effective and "an obvious need," according to Paag.

The Cyclister will have to compete with bike rental programs supported by municipalities and companies in major cities. But Paag ensures that Cyclister will compete with rental services already available, by offering a wider range of bikes, including cargo bikes, racing and mountain bikes.

The aim of the company is to provide 5 million bicycles in Denmark in February 2015.

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Saturday, January 3, 2015

Pope will ask Catholics to combat climate change

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Next March, the Pope should disclose an edict where Francisco will ask Catholics around the world to combat climate change. The document will be the first of its kind issued by a Pope and will be directed to approximately 1.2 billion Catholics.

The document, according to the Guardian, writes should be disclosed after a visit to Tacloban City â€" the Philippine city devastated by a typhoon in 2012 â€" which is scheduled for next March.

An encyclical like this is rare in the history of the Catholic Church, and the Pope's message must have a stamp of urgency and seriousness. The Pope is expected to ask the world community of Catholics not only to fight climate change in the name of science but also make this claim in a moral obligation for believers. The edict, which should take between 50 to 60 pages will be distributed to 5,000 bishops and 400,000 priests around the world.

It is estimated that this Pope's message can reach more individuals than any other message on the same subject issued by political groups or environmentalists. Is still on the agenda of the Pope speak on the same topic at the UN General Assembly in September, which will take place in New York.

Foto: Catholic Church/Creative Commons

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