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Misc

Fable of the Dragon Tyrant

Fitting for Global Warming (and likely plenty of other weird stuff humans got accustomed to), but apparently the story is about death.

Categories
Misc

Volcanoes

Categories
Misc

Shifting Baseline Syndrome

“Due to short life-spans and faulty memories, humans have a poor conception of how much of the natural world has been degraded by our actions, because our ‘baseline’ shifts with every generation, and sometimes even in an individual. In essence, what we see as pristine nature would be seen by our ancestors as hopelessly degraded, and what we see as degraded, our children will view as ‘natural’.”

Source: Dense Discovery

In the US, since the first European settlers arrived, 90% of virgin or ‘old growth’ forest has been destroyed. Today’s forests could be better described as ‘tree farms’ as they do not resemble the richly biodiverse forests that once were.

Another example are whale populations: in just one century we managed to reduce whale numbers by a whopping 99%. The impact of this is hugely complex: apparently the lack of whale poop reduced the fertilising effect on ocean algae levels, permanently crashing the productivity of ocean food webs and even altering global climate.

The Twitter thread has a lot of examples.

A more current and more widely understood example is the recent, dramatic decline of the insect population. Thanks to SBS, our children will most likely never know how many bugs ended up splattered on windshields during a road trip taken just a few decades ago.

The Windscreen phenomenon.

Categories
Misc

Gecko

Source: Nerdland

Using Van Der Waals force, geckoes are able to stick to pretty much any surface, including slippery windows. Their feet have millions of tiny hairs.

Pretty damn cool — never thought about it (*) until Nerdland talked about it.

(*) Singapore has a lot of geckoes. They are considered to be pests here… But I love them… 🙂

Categories
Misc

Our global food system is the primary driver of biodiversity loss

– A new Chatham House report highlights that the global food system is the primary driver of biodiversity loss. 

– Biodiversity loss will continue to accelerate, unless we change the way we produce food. Further destruction of ecosystems and habitats will threaten our ability to sustain human populations. 

– The new report calls for an urgent reform of food systems, suggesting three interdependent actions: changing global dietary patterns, protecting and setting aside land for nature, and farming in a more nature-friendly and biodiversity-supporting way. 

– Policy makers are urged to take a system-wide approach to account for the impacts of food systems, develop global guidance for change, and translate this to national targets. 

Source: UN

We definitely need to rethink how we produce and consume food.

But also, while mostly interesting for space travel, scientist find a way to grow plants in total darkness (i.e.: without photosynthesis). This could help with vertical farming inside buildings. It’s also ~18x more efficient this way.

While we should not take that as an excuse to get rid of trees and greenery, this could maybe be used to grow in larger scale with less land usage.

Source: Nerdland