OK, so this photo has nothing to do with climate change (trust us, we tried). But we loved it so much we just had to share. A Little Owl is almost perfectly camouflaged among the ceramic insulators on a telegraph pole in Dobrogea, Romania. Wildlife photographer Mircea Costina only spotted the owl after another bird gave its position away.
Credit: Mircea Costina/Rex Features
Climate skeptics sometimes insist that putting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere can’t be pollution because CO2 is necessary to life. It’s a seriously bizarre argument: water is also necessary to life, but you can die if you drink too much of it. Decades of research by hundreds of scientists have made it absolutely clear that carbon dioxide generated by fossil-fuel burning traps excess heat, with disruptive effects we’ve already begun to see.
That’s why the Environmental Protection Agency ruled in 2009 that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases such as methane and nitrous oxide “threaten the public welfare of current and future generations,” and that the agency could therefore regulate them under the Clean Air Act. That ruling was upheld by the Supreme Court and reaffirmed last year, but despite its authority to do so, the EPA hasn’t actually come out with any limits on heat-trapping gases.
Coal power plant (NIPSCO) in Michigan City, IN. Credit: Donna's Eye/flickr.
That's about to change. Tuesday, the EPA released new regulations that will require new power plants to emit no more than 1,000 lb. of carbon dioxide for each megawatt of electricity they generate — the first such regulations ever imposed. Existing or already-approved plants are exempt, but since coal-fired power plants generate around 1,800 lbs. of CO2 per megawatt, this pretty much means that no more coal plants will be built unless they use some form of carbon capture and storage. Since that technology won’t be commercially available for years, though, and...
Przewalksi horses are nearly extinct in the wild from loss of habitat, water sources and hunting. As part of a plan by the Prague Zoo to help preserve the breed, Przewalski horses will continue to be reintroduced into Mongolian, their homeland. It is believed that most wild horses descend from domesticated horses that escaped into the wild and adapted to those conditions. But Przewalski horses have never been domesticated and are considered the only true wild horse.
Credit: Zsolt Czegledi/European Pressphoto Agency
The cherry blossoms are a huge draw for tourists in Washington, D.C. with its National Cherry Blossom Festival that signifies the beginning of spring. The festival began on March 20. However, the unusually high temperatures caused the cherry blossoms and tulips to bloom much earlier than the usual spring equinox arrival, with the trees at peak flowers this week. In fact, all around the country, Spring has sprung early.
Cherry Blossoms in D.C. on March 19, 2012. Credit: afagen/flickr
A green gecko sits on a palm at Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve in the Praslin Island in Seychelles. Conservationists fear that some rare species of the fragile island ecosystem, like the giant tortoise, are at risk due to climate change-related impacts on their habitat, such as shifts in rainfall patterns, severe storms, and sea level rise.
Credit: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images