Watermelon Snow Is A Glacier's Enemy

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Watermelon Snow Is A Glacier's Enemy

Watermelon snow sounds like it would be harmless -- and maybe even cute. In reality, it's the opposite. Watermelon snow, also known as snow algae, pink snow, red snow, and blood snow, is a species of algae called Chlamydomonas nivalis. This algae is accelerating the rate at which glaciers in the Arctic are melting. It is sweet-smelling, pink-tinted, and thrives in snow. But the most dangerous part about watermelon snow is that is decreases the reflectivity (known as albedo) of snow. Without a high albedo, snow reflects less sunlight, thus absorbing more heat and melting faster. We've collected some awesome videos on this topic. Watch them now to learn more.

Reducing The Meat You Eat Has Big Benefits For The Planet

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Reducing The Meat You Eat Has Big Benefits For The Planet

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has predicted that our meat consumption will increase by as much as 15% by 2050. Which is bad news: some figures estimate that animal agriculture is responsible for half of global greenhouse gases. With that big of a role in the causes for global warming, cutting back on eating meat has got to make an impact. And according to a study from Oxford University, it will: if everyone in the world followed World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for meat consumption, we could cut greenhouse gas emissions by 29% by 2050. What's more, 5.1 million lives could be saved by reducing illnesses like heart disease and cancer, and $21 trillion could be saved in healthcare and other related costs. Those guidelines call for a maximum of 10.5 ounces (300 grams) of red meat per week -- that's about three Big Macs -- which is about half what the average American ate in 2012.

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Key Facts to Know

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    When its effects and byproducts are combined, animal agriculture accounts for about half of global greenhouse-gas emissions. 0:00

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    Every second, another acre of the world's rainforests are cleared, often to make room for livestock. 1:11

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    For every one pound of fish caught, five pounds of unintended marine species are caught with it and discarded. 2:07

Climate Change Has Killed Off A Mammal Species

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Climate Change Has Killed Off A Mammal Species

Meet the Bramble Cay melomys. Or rather, say goodbye. This rodent has become what is likely the first mammal species to go extinct due to climate change. The Bramble Cay melomys lived on a single island called Bramble Cay which sat just off the coast of Australia in the Great Barrier Reef. Scientists reported in June of 2016 that the mousey creature has disappeared off its home island for good. It was last seen in 2009 by fisherman, but failed attempts to trap the rodent in 2014 have led scientists to believe that climate change has wiped out the species. Because Bramble Cay only sits about three meters above sea level, the rising waters are likely what caused the species' demise. We've collected some awesome videos on this topic. Watch them now to learn more.

Climate Change Is Creating Grizzly-Polar Bear Hybrids

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Climate Change Is Creating Grizzly-Polar Bear Hybrids

It's becoming more and more common: a hunter shoots what he thinks is a polar bear, only to discover it doesn't look quite right, with brown paws, huge claws, and a head the shape of a grizzly bear's. As climate change makes Arctic temperatures milder, grizzlies are moving north. At the same time, polar bears who have lost their icy habitats are moving south. When they meet in the middle, they often breed, creating these unusual looking hybrids, which are called either grolar bears or pizzly bears. But these are nothing like mules, a common hybrid animal that's known to be sterile. Scientists know that grolars are fertile because they've found the offspring of one: a bear shot by hunters in 2010 turned out to be the result of a union between a grolar bear and a brown bear.

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from SciShow

Key Facts to Know

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    It's not true that if two animals can breed and produce fertile offspring, then they're the same species. Polar bears and grizzly bears are definitely not the same species. 1:25

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    We know that grolar bears are fertile, because in 2010, hunters shot a bear that was the offspring of a grolar bear and a brown bear. 1:52

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    The northern range of the grizzly bear has been increasing as temperatures get more mild, and as the ice melts, polar bears have been forced onto land. 2:07

Cow Burps Are Helping To Cause Climate Change

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Cow Burps Are Helping To Cause Climate Change

Cows and other livestock produce methane, a prevalent greenhouse gas, as they digest their food. Pound for pound, methane has more than 25 times the impact of carbon dioxide on climate change. In 2006, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations found that "the livestock sector generates more greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalent - 18 percent - than transport." Farmers are currently trying to cut down on the amount of methane that cows produce through various methods, including dietary changes.

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Key Facts to Know

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    Pound for pound, methane is about 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide in terms of its impact on climate change. 0:16

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    A cow's diet can affect the amount of methane the cow produces. 1:07

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    Reducing a cow's methane output is beneficial for farmers as well, as it can boost the cow's milk production. 2:25