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Humans Just Killed Off These 12 Animals, And You Didn’t Even Notice

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For thousands of years, the Bramble Cay melomys, a small, mouse-like rodent, eked out a living on a tiny coral island in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. It was the reef’s only endemic mammal species, and survived on the few plants that grew on its island home.

But as climate change expedited sea level rise and increased storm surges that flooded the low-lying island, the Bramble Cay melomys and its food supply was severely threatened. In June, after years of fruitless searching, scientists announced that they could no longer find any trace of the rodent. 

The melomys was posthumously bestowed the ignominious title of the first mammal to go extinct because of human-induced global warming. “Sadly,” WWF-Australia spokesperson Darren Grover told The New York Times, “it won’t be the last.” 

Scientists say the planet is currently on the precipice of the sixth mass extinction, an event that could see the wiping out of at least 75 percent of the Earth’s species. The current extinction rate is at least 100 times higher than normal, according to a 2015 study. Humans have triggered an extinction episode “unparalleled for 65 million years,” the researchers said. 

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University of Queensland

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Click link below for article, photos and slideshow:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/extinctions-10-years_us_585243abe4b0732b82fef55f

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Earth Has Entered First ‘Mass Extinction’ Since Dinosaurs, Study Warns

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Huffpost Green

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The Earth has entered its sixth mass extinction phase, a new study warns, and the time we have to avoid dramatic consequences is rapidly running out.

Vertebrates — which include mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish — are disappearing at a rate 114 times faster than normal, according the study published Friday in the journal Science Advances. The study, led by Stanford, Princeton and the University of California-Berkeley, stated the number of vertebrate species that have gone extinct in the last century normally take 800 to 10,000 years to disappear under natural extinction rates.

“These estimates reveal an exceptionally rapid loss of biodiversity over the last few centuries, indicating that a sixth mass extinction is already under way,” the researchers wrote. The last such extinction was 65 million years ago, The Telegraph noted, when dinosaurs were wiped off the face of the planet.

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!!!!!BN2015-6-26MassExtinction1Are Humans Responsible For Earth’s First ‘Mass Extinction’ Since Dinosaurs?

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Click link below for story, video and slidseshow:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/22/earth-extinction-phase_n_7629330.html

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Earth Tectonic Plate Simulation Reveals Our Planet Has Changed A LOT In 200 Million Years

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Huffpost Science

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Just how much has Earth changed since its Pangea days? You might be surprised.

Of course, our planet hasn’t always had seven continents. Deep in our planet’s geological past, Earth’s crust was just one giant supercontinent called Pangea, which broke apart into separate land masses around 200 million years ago.

Now scientists have detailed the remarkable transformation of our planet’s surface in a new, eye-popping computer model — which provides tantalizing insight into how the land on Earth breaks apart and skitters about.

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!!!!!EarthtectonicPlates1Earth’s tectonic plates

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Click link below for story and slideshow:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/27/earth-tectonic-plates-video_n_6956254.html?utm_hp_ref=science

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Spectacular photos and they tell us were it is

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RECEIVED THESE PHOTOGRAPHS IN A EMAIL FROM A FRIEND
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Beautiful Photographs

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Click link below for photographs (you must click each picture to move to the next one):

Spectacular_photos_for you

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Historic! Europe’s Philae Probe Lands on Comet 317 Million Miles Away

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After a suspense-packed, seven-hour descent, the European Space Agency’s Philae lander made an unprecedented touchdown on the surface of a comet Wednesday — marking the high point of a $1.3 billion, 10-year mission.

Cheers erupted as the confirming signals were received at the European Space Operations Center in Darmstadt, Germany, at 11:03 a.m. ET. The signals took 28 minutes to travel at the speed of light over the 317 million miles (510 million kilometers) between Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and Earth.

 “It is sitting on the surface,” reported Stefan Ulamec, Philae lander manager at the DLR German Aerospace Center. “Philae is talking to us — we are on the comet!”
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If Every Human On Earth Suddenly Vanished, Something Like This Might Happen

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Huffpost Science

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What would Earth be like if all humans suddenly disappeared?

It’s a creepy thought, for sure. And according to a new video from the YouTube series Earth Unplugged, the end of humanity would spell the slow demise of manmade structures and cause cats and dogs to de-evolve into creatures more akin to their feral ancestors.

Think “I Am Legend” without the zombies.

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YouTube series Earth Unplugged
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Political Favoritism Is So Apparent It Can Even Be Seen From Space, Study Shows

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Huffpost Science

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Political favoritism can quite literally be seen from space, according to a new study that finds the home regions of leaders become brighter at night after the person comes to power.

 The findings apply mostly to countries with weak political institutions and limited public education. One prominent example was Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) during the reign of Mobuto Sese Seko. Mobuto, who was president between 1971 and 1997, was born near the small town of Gbadolite. While he was in power, the town flourished.

 “Mobuto built a huge palace complex costing millions of dollars, luxury guesthouses, an airport capable of handling Concords, and had the country’s best supply of water, electricity and medical services,” study researcher Paul Raschky, an economist at Monash University in Australia, said in a statement. Years of satellite data reveal Gbadolite as initially dark at night, brightening under Mobuto and quickly fading again after the authoritarian ruler’s exile and death.

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POLITICAL FAVORITISM

In this image, snapped from the International Space Station on Jan. 30, 2014, while South Korea (lower right) and China (upper left) are aglow in lights, poverty-stricken North Korea is really in the dark. | NASA Earth Observatory
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If The Earth Stopped Spinning, Some Really Bad Things Would Happen

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Huffpost Science

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Sometimes it's easy to forget that the Earth and everything on it are rotating. But it's a good thing that our planet keeps spinning, because if it suddenly stopped it would unleash a torrent of catastrophes.

Just listen to what Michael Stevens has to say in this new installment of his Vsauce YouTube series.

"First of all, you would gain weight," Stevens says, a reference to the fact the Earth's rotation slightly offsets the effect of gravity. "But that would be the least of your worries."

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Wringing a Wet Towel in Orbit

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Wringing a Wet Towel in Space…

What happens if you wring out a wet towel while floating in space?

The water shouldn’t fall towards the floor because while orbiting the Earth, free falling objects will appear to float. But will the water fly out from the towel, or what.?? The answer may surprise you…

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Physicists May Have Found New Way To Turn Earth’s Radiation Into Energy

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Huffpost Science

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Our planet is warm. Outer space is cold. Can we take that heat difference and turn it into electricity?

Physicists at Harvard University may have found a way to do just that. They’ve proposed in a new study how to harvest the Earth’s thermal infrared radiation, and convert it into direct-current (DC) power.

“It’s not at all obvious, at first, how you would generate DC power by emitting infrared light in free space toward the cold,” study co-author Dr. Federico Capasso, a professor of applied physics and senior research fellow in electrical engineering at the university, said in a written statement. “To generate power by emitting, not by absorbing light, that’s weird. It makes sense physically once you think about it, but it’s highly counterintuitive. We’re talking about the use of physics at the nanoscale for a completely new application.”

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Physicists at Harvard University may have found a new way to capture the Earth’s radiation and turn it into energy. | Ozgurmulazimoglu | Flickr
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