Satellite movie shows clouds of carbon monoxide drifting over South America.
- The Amazon fires were captured by the AIRS camera on the Aqua satellite.
- A movie clip released by NASA shows a huge cloud of CO drifting across the continent.
- Fortunately, carbon monoxide at this altitude has little effect on air quality.
Here are just two of the practical and philosophical crises surrounding biodiversity breakdown.
- A loss of biodiversity limits the ways we can use biodiversity to make our world better. Hockfield reminds us that biodiversity is a "bank account" of natural assistance.
- For example, it is key in producing better crops to feed growing populations. How will we double food productivity (which we must do to survive) when we lose the wild plants we crossbreed agricultural crops with?
- There is much more to lose than this bank account, however. It is a deep philosophical dilemma that humans have and will continue to wipe out organisms that have struggled their way into existence over the course of 5 billion years.
2018's winter was particularly harsh on U.S. honeybees. What's causing bee populations to plummet, and what can we do about it?
- Since 2006, the Bee Informed Partnership has conducted a survey on U.S. beekeepers. The most recent survey shows that the 2018 winter resulted in the biggest die-off since the survey began, with a loss of 37.7 percent.
- This die-off is part of a larger trend. Bee populations have been falling for decades.
- The reasons why are multifaceted and compound on one another.
Are we witnessing evolution in real time?
- After Hurricane Maria, anole species on the island of Dominica developed super strong grips.
- This development may be one of the fasted rates of evolutionary change ever recorded.
- Climate change will likely to result in more intense hurricanes, but not all species will adapt so quickly.
One often-neglected result of climate change is ocean acidification. If this process continues, we may start to see fewer fish and more jellyfish.
- Since the beginning of the industrial era, humanity has been pumping out unprecedented levels of CO2 into the atmosphere.
- A significant portion of this CO2 is sucked back into the ocean, where it reacts with water to produce carbonic acid.
- Most species fair poorly in the newly acidic ocean. Jellyfish, however, seem to resist ocean acidification more than others.