2012 drought reaches proportions not seen since the ‘Dust Bowl’ era

dust-bowl-farmer

Over 50% of the U.S. is under drought conditions.

More than half of the United States is under drought conditions right now, putting 2012 in the same category with some of the worst droughts in the nation’s history. This makes 2012 the sixth worst drought on record with a 54.6 percent figure (not counting Alaska and Hawaii) in terms of area covered, behind only the brutal droughts of the mid-1950s and the “Dust Bowl” era of the 1930s. Other more recent droughts — such as 2000, 2002, and 1998 — saw a greater percentage of the country suffering from the “severe” or “extreme” drought categories. However, even by that standard, June 2012 still ranks among the top 10 worst droughts of all-time.

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Next ice age unlikely to begin for at least 1,500 years

iceage

Concentrations of carbon dioxide emissions, blamed for global warming, will linger in the atmosphere for decades even if the world stopped pumping out emissions today.

The atmosphere contains high levels of carbon dioxide emissions which means the next ice age is unlikely to begin for at least 1,500 years, an article in the journal Nature Geoscience said on Monday.

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Earth’s ‘missing’ heat may be hiding deep in oceans

oceans

The world temperature should have risen more than it did but where was the heat going?

The mystery of Earth’s missing heat may have been solved: it could lurk deep in oceans, temporarily masking the climate-warming effects of greenhouse gas emissions, researchers reported on Sunday.

 

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Northerners’ brains are bigger: study

brain

Populations in the north have evolved to cope with dull, cloudy skies and short periods of daylight.

Good news for people who are from the north: you are likely to have a bigger brain than your southern counterparts. Unfortunately, that doesn’t necessarily mean you are more intelligent than people from the south – just that you have evolved to cope with the longer winters and greyer skies in northern climates.

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Is it too late to turn the tides on rising sea levels?

risingoceans

If sea levels rose to where they were during the Last Interglacial Period, large parts of the Gulf of Mexico would be under water (red areas),

Melting ice sheets contributed much more to rising sea levels than thermal expansion of warming ocean waters during the Last Interglacial Period, a UA-led team of researchers has found. The results further suggest that ocean levels continue to rise long after warming of the atmosphere has leveled off.

 

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Lice DNA Study Shows Humans First Wore Clothes 170,000 Years Ago

David Reed

University of Florida researcher David Reed is lead investigator on a five-year study following the evolution of lice that found modern humans first began wearing clothes about 170,000 years ago.

A new University of Florida study following the evolution of lice shows modern humans started wearing clothes about 170,000 years ago, a technology which enabled them to successfully migrate out of Africa.

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‘The Ark’ – A Floating Hotel Designed to Withstand Even the Most Extreme Floods

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The Ark

Speaking to the world’s rising sea levels, Russia-based architectural firm Remistudio proposes this arch-shaped floating hotel as a refuge from even extreme floods. Called (quite appropriately) the Ark, the futuristic structure has the ability to exist autonomously on the surface of the water. Designed to be a bioclimatic building, the Ark incorporates several innovative green strategies and elements to ensure that its residents can survive aboard for months at a time. (Pics)

 

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