Earth news stories
A Paris architect has unveiled a plan for a new eco-resort preserving ecology in the Philippines while respecting the area’s unique ecosystems and indigenous cultures. Perched on the edge of a gorgeous cove, the imaginative Nautilus Eco-Resort takes inspiration from the seashell, and is built in a pleasing series of spirals that spin out into the water. Even the hotels and apartment towers themselves are seashell shaped, all of which adheres to the Fibonacci sequence, a symbol of balance and harmony.
A series of volcanic eruptions starting 17.5 million years ago formed the Columbia River Basalt Group, a complex of rock formations that was created over a few million years as lava erupted from fissures in the ground and seeped over the landscape. The eruptions deposited about 10,000 cubic miles of rock and likely released enough sulfur gas to cool the whole planet down.
Known as a polynya, this year’s hole was about 30,000 square miles at its largest, making it the biggest polynya observed in Antarctica’s Weddell Sea since the 1970s.
Sorghum was domesticated from its wild ancestor more than 5,000 years ago, according to archaeological evidence uncovered by University College London archaeologists in Sudan.
An ancient 4,800 year old Great Basin Bristlecone Pine known as the Methuselah Tree grows high in the White Mountains of eastern California. Named for the Biblical figure that lived for 969 years, the Methuselah Tree grows in Inyo National Forest’s “Forest of Ancients.” The exact location of Methuselah is kept secret to protect it against vandalism. Once thought to be the oldest living tree in the world, it was germinated before the Egyptian Pyramids were built.
What most people picture when they think of Los Angeles are its iconic palm trees. The non-native trees once flourished, but they’re now facing new challenges: climate change, fungus, and bugs. Officials plan to replace them with native trees that provide more shade and require less special care.
Athrotaxis selaginoides, known as King Billy or King William pines, are endemic to Tasmania. The trees, which are actually conifers but not pines, have been used in an eight year study by an international research team to understand the environmental history of Australia. Core sample tree ring chronology shows the growth rate of the ancient trees, which can be used to interpret the climate and other environmental influences in Tasmania.
Meaning southern lights in palawa kani, the language of Tasmanian Aboriginal people, the name Nuyina was suggested for the newest icebreaker ship still under construction by students near Perth in Western Australia. The name continues a tradition of naming Australia’s Antarctic ships after the evocative atmospheric phenomenon that produces curtains of colourful weaving lights over the frozen continent.
A cluster of California wildfires north of San Francisco have so far devoured more than 70,000 acres and killed at least 11 people, according to official reports. Though the infernos have come to be known as the “Wine Country fires,” they stand to destroy tens of millions of dollars’ worth of cannabis gardens on the outskirts of the state’s famed Emerald Triangle.
Orogeny, or orogenesis, is the building of continental mountains by plate tectonic processes that squeeze the lithosphere. It may also refer to a specific episode of orogeny during the geologic past. Even though tall mountain peaks from ancient orogenies may erode away, the exposed roots of those ancient mountains show the same orogenic structures that are detected beneath modern mountain ranges.
Egypt and South Korea are teaming up to build a large agricultural complex that’s full of renewable energy and smart greenhouses. The new city will be located in Egypt near the Mediterranean shore. With the massive growth of middle-class consumers coming into the country over the next decade, this new area will provide a wealth of sustainability.