After Nuclear War, There Could Be Nuclear Winter
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With the horrors that nuclear bombs have already wrought on our planet, it's hard to imagine that the worst thing to come from an all-out nuclear war wouldn't be the blasts themselves, but the effects in the weeks, months, and years afterward. But it's true: the blasts have the potential to kill millions instantly, but the after effects would slowly snuff out billions more. The most devastating consequence of a man-made apocalypse? Nuclear winter.
Climate Change Has Killed Off A Mammal Species
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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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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.
Key Facts to Know
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
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
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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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.
from Harper Adams
Key Facts to Know
Pound for pound, methane is about 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide in terms of its impact on climate change. 0:16
A cow's diet can affect the amount of methane the cow produces. 1:07
Reducing a cow's methane output is beneficial for farmers as well, as it can boost the cow's milk production. 2:25