Notes from a rare planet: Why it feels like a polar winter in normally much warmer places

Why it feels like a polar winter (Discovery News)

  • “Severe winter in the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes are the result of a breakdown in the normal patterns of air pressure, winds, and the loss of sea ice in the Arctic.”

100% renewable energy by 2050? @WWF thinks so, with a report to back it up (WWF)

  • “It demonstrates that by 2050, power, transport, industrial and domestic energy needs could be met overwhelmingly from renewable sources vastly reducing anxieties over energy security, pollution and not least, catastrophic climate change.”

Can ‘water footprinting’ help cut the 500 liters of H2O needed to produce a carton of OJ? (Mongabay)

  • “Anyone who’s ever squeezed a whole bag of oranges into a single glass of juice knows (at least intuitively) that a whole lot of water goes into that one little refreshing gulp – but would you believe 518 liters of water for just one carton of juice?”

Lower-jaw teeth in frogs re-evolved after an absence of 200 million years, challenging evolutionary thinking (National Geographic)

  • “Of the more than 6,000 species of frogs, only one, a South American marsupial tree frog called Gastrotheca guentheri, has teeth on both its upper and lower jaws. Most frogs have only tiny upper-jaw teeth. A new analysis of the frog family tree reveals that the common ancestor of frogs, which long had lower-jaw teeth, lost them more than 230 million years ago before eventually going extinct.”

Attacks on Clean Air Protections put Latinos (and others) in danger (NRDC)

  • “In 2006, 26.6% of Hispanics lived in counties that violated 24-hour standards for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) – the greatest percentage of any ethnic group. (Source: CDC 2011)”
  • “That same year, 48.4% of Hispanics lived in counties that frequently violated 8-hour ground-level ozone standards. (Source: CDC 2011)”