Black Friday for the Environment

As with most things in the US, Black Friday is pretty divided. People either love it (And will camp out for the deals) or hate it and post on social media.

And this year, in wake of the election and asking “what can I do” Patagonia decided to put their money where their mouth is.

They pledged to donate all proceeds to grass roots environmental organization. Then they generated a record breaking 10 million dollars in profits (5x the projected amount).

And Patagonia STILL plan to donate it all to environmental organizations. Patagonia did not specify which groups, but they have a list of groups that have previously received grants.

Read about it here! 

TELLURIDE, CO - JULY 7, 2014: A Patagonia store is among the several shops catering to outdoor enthusiasts in Telluride, Colorado. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)

TELLURIDE, CO – JULY 7, 2014: A Patagonia store is among the several shops catering to outdoor enthusiasts in Telluride, Colorado. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)

The Arctic waters are refusing to freeze

Like a petulant teenager, the Arctic and Antarctic ice is refusing to freeze. After record high temperatures this summer, and bolstered by persistent warm weather from the South, the sea ice that melted this summer is not refreezing.

This has all sorts of implications for weather patterns and low lying areas, all of which you can read about over at the Guardian!

Polar bear (Ursus maritimus) close-up, Svalbard, Norway.

The Sound of Climate Change

Ecologist Lauren Oakes has been looking at effect of yellow-cedar decline on the Alexander Archipelago in Alaska.

During her work, she has glimpsed the future of the forest and wants to communicate what she has seen. Here at NiB we are all about finding new and inventive ways to communicate science, usually through blog posts.

But Lauren Oakes has collaborated with Nik Sawe, a Stanford Ph.D. student who is experimenting with “data sonification” or the translation of information into sound. What has resulted is the sound of climate change.

Read about it over at the Atlantic!

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The trees are dying

In Hawaii trees are dying at an alarming rate due to an unknown and uncharacterised disease.

Since 2010 66 million trees have been killed in the Sierra Nevadas due to an invasive pathogen called Sudden Oak Death.

In Montana Bark beetles and mountain pine beetles are killing trees at a rate 10 times higher than normal.

These are a few but not exhaustive examples. Want a better summary of the trials facing our american forests? Read about it over at the Guardian.

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Snails are going extinct

Given that I studied an abundant snail during my PhD (actually, Potamopyrgus antipodarum is invasive throughout most of the world), this headline was alarming to me.

But like many uncharismatic microfauna, snails are declining in record number across a number of different habitats.

Read about it over at Scientific America, and save the snails!

The endangered Powelliphanta augusta snail of New Zealand Credit: Alan Liefting

The endangered Powelliphanta augusta snail of New Zealand Credit: Alan Liefting

New Zealand takes a stand against feral predators

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Have you seen a kiwi? Not the fruit, or the person (people from New Zealand call themselves kiwis) but the ground dwelling bird. They are horribly impractical. Their eggs take up a third of their body. They fly, they don’t run particularly fast, they aren’t clever, but they are adorable, and they have spent a long time living on this planet.

And they are rapidly going extinct in the wild due to introduced feral predators.

But New Zealand has gone nuclear on these pests, and recently vowed to eliminate all invasive predators by 2050.

Read about how they are going to accomplish this ambitious task over at the New York Times.

The kiwi egg before laying. That's how much of its body cavity is taken up by egg.

The kiwi egg before laying. That’s how much of its body cavity is taken up by egg.