Category Archives: Life on Earth

New Maps Show How We Changed the Earth’s Surface Over the last 25 Years

We, humans, changing the Earth – mostly (almost always) in a bad way. Just over the last 25 years, we have destroyed 10% of the Earth’s wilderness. Now, a new world map created by the University of Cincinnati geography professor Tomasz Stepinski shows how the Earth’s surface has dramatically changed between 1992 and 2015.

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We are Destroying the Earth’s Wilderness

We, humans, are destroying the Earth’s wilderness at an incredible pace. Scientists say we have destroyed 10% of Earth’s wildlife habitat in just 25 years. Since 1993, 3.3 million km2 of global wilderness areas, particularly in the Amazon basin (almost 30%) and central Africa (14%) were lost. This is almost twice of the size of Alaska!

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The Significance of Fossils in Revealing the Evolution on Earth

It’s ironic how calling a person a “monkey” or “orangutan” is considered offensive when we all know that humans are descended from these apes. Well, sometimes it is hard to find logic in the customs and practices of our society, but if you are willing to find the path of evolution that turned monkeys into the modern men, you may find the details in the fossil records.

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Scary Question: What Will Happen if Natural Resources Run Out?

On our wonderful planet, there are multiple natural resources that help make life easier. We use trees for making paper products and they provide us with oxygen. We use natural gas to heat our homes and coal to help us produce electricity. Freshwater fish are a staple in the American diet and we pump billions of barrels of oil out of the ground to fuel our automobiles.

But what happens when natural resources become scarce, or worse, when they run out?

What are the implications of such a thing? And how can we create environmental sustainability?

Here’s what you need to know.

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To find aliens, we must think of life as we don’t know it

From blob-like jellyfish to rock-like lichens, our planet teems with such diversity of life that it is difficult to recognise some organisms as even being alive. That complexity hints at the challenge of searching for life as we don’t know it – the alien biology that might have taken hold on other planets, where conditions could be unlike anything we’ve seen before. ‘The Universe is a really big place. Chances are, if we can imagine it, it’s probably out there on a planet somewhere,’ said Morgan Cable, an astrochemist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. ‘The question is, will we be able to find it?’

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Earth can be a model for detecting vegetation on exoplanets

Back in December 1990, during its flyby of Earth, NASA’s Galileo spacecraft, which studied the planet Jupiter and its moons, as well as several other Solar System bodies, pointed its instruments towards Earth, at the urging of Carl Sagan. And, it has found evidence of life on our planet. This can be a key to detect vegetation on exoplanets – which is a key to a possible intelligent extraterrestrial life.

In a paper published on Nature, researchers wrote “The Galileo spacecraft found evidence of abundant gaseous oxygen, a widely distributed surface pigment with a sharp absorption edge in the red part of the visible spectrum, and atmospheric methane in extreme thermodynamic disequilibrium. Together, these are strongly suggestive of life on Earth.”

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Largest great white sharks ever recorded

What are the biggest great white sharks ever recorded? The great white shark (scientific name: Carcharodon carcharias) is not the biggest shark (that title goes to the whale shark), but they are the largest predatory fish on Earth. According to the Guinness World Records Book, full-grown adults are average 4.3-4.6 meters (14-15 feet) in length, and generally, weigh 520-770 kg (1,150-1,700 lb). But there are many (unconfirmed) claims of huge specimens up to 10 meters (33 feet) in length. Newspapers and home photo albums are full of unconfirmed huge great white tales. And although few have been properly authenticated, there is a lot of circumstantial evidence to suggest that the largest great white sharks grow to more than 6 meters (20 feet) in length.

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