Mercury making its way into global drinking water thanks to global warming
Once the permafrost thaws, it's the beginning of the end for the aquatic food chain.
According to a recently released report from the journal Geophysical Research Letters, There are about 15 million gallons trapped underneath permafrost in the Northern Hemisphere, mostly under the Alaskan, Canadian, and Russian regions of the Arctic Circle. As global warming increases temperatures across the globe, this permafrost will melt and free huge amounts of mercury into the ocean and waterways of the world. Fifteen million gallons is nearly twice as much as the Exxon-Valdez oil spill.
While the amount might sound alarming, it's worth a reminder that there are about 326 million cubic miles of water. To put that roughly, if all the world's ocean water was a basketball, 150 million gallons would be about the size of a head of a pin.
The real danger, though, is what that amount of mercury could do to the food chain. Salmon would be immediately affected, and would quickly carry toxic (if not immediately lethal) amounts of mercury. Any increase in mercury intake would carry with it sharply increased risks of certain types of cancers.
Jonathan Zimmerman explains why teachers should invite, not censor, tough classroom debates.
- During times of war or national crisis in the U.S., school boards and officials are much more wary about allowing teachers and kids to say what they think.
- If our teachers avoid controversial questions in the classroom, kids won't get the experience they need to know how to engage with difficult questions and with criticism.
- Jonathan Zimmerman argues that controversial issues should be taught in schools as they naturally arise. Otherwise kids will learn from TV news what politics looks like – which is more often a rant than a healthy debate.
Controversial map names CEOs of 100 companies producing 71 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.
- Just 100 companies produce 71 percent of the world's greenhouse gases.
- This map lists their names and locations, and their CEOs.
- The climate crisis may be too complex for these 100 people to solve, but naming and shaming them is a good start.
It marks another milestone in SpaceX's long-standing effort to make spaceflight cheaper.
- SpaceX launched Falcon Heavy into space early Tuesday morning.
- A part of its nosecone – known as a fairing – descended back to Earth using special parachutes.
- A net-outfitted boat in the Atlantic Ocean successfully caught the reusable fairing, likely saving the company millions of dollars.
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