UN Climate Summit Ends With A New Pledge To Combat Climate Change

On November 13, 2021, diplomats from nearly 200 countries vowed to step up their efforts to slow global warming. The Glasgow Climate Pact, signed at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, was not as far-reaching as many had hoped. However, there was a clear consensus about the urgency to take action to prevent a catastrophic rise in global temperatures.

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Rare Tardigrade Fossil Found Trapped In Amber

Tardigrades, or water bears, are virtually indestructible. The eight-legged microscopic animals can withstand extreme temperatures, survive without food for decades, and even exist in a vacuum in space. But, despite being around for over 500 million years, they rarely appear on the fossil record. Their miniature size and lack of hard tissue make it hard for them to fossilize. Even when they do get preserved, the tiny creatures are hard to spot and often get overlooked. Over the years, only two tardigrade fossils have been found. Now, a third specimen — one of a new tardigrade species — has joined this exclusive group.

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The Frightful Truth About Halloween Pumpkins

Every October, families rush to pumpkin patches to pick out the perfect gourds. Some use them to carve spooky jack-o'-lanterns, while others place them outside their homes as decor. Unfortunately, the fascination with the colorful fruit fades once Halloween ends, and most pumpkins end up in the trash.

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The World's First Space Hotel Hopes To Welcome Visitors in 2027

Thanks to the hard work of companies like SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, and Blue Origin, space tourism is well on its way to becoming a reality. Now, California-based Orbital Assembly Corporation (OAC) envisions a chance for galactic visitors to extend their "out-of-the-world" experience by checking into a luxurious hotel in low Earth orbit.

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Oil Spill Off The Coast Of California Closes Beaches And Threatens Wildlife

A ruptured undersea oil pipeline off the coast of Huntington Beach, CA, has leaked thousands of gallons of oil into the Pacific Ocean, threatening fish and wildlife and causing numerous beach closures. The spill, caused by a 13-inch tear in a pipeline that transports crude oil from an offshore drilling platform to a pump station in Long Beach, CA, was first reported by locals on October 1, 2021. Experts are still trying to determine the amount of oil leaked before the pipeline was shut down on October 3, 2021. The estimates range anywhere from 25,000 gallons to 136,000 gallons.

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Canary Island Volcano Continues To Erupt After Two Weeks

La Palma, one of Spain's Canary Islands, has been feeling the wrath of the Cumbre Vieja volcano since September 19, 2021. The explosive volcano, which came to life shortly after 3:00 pm local time, has been spewing out large amounts of molten lava, sometimes up to 20 feet (6 meters) high. The slow-moving rivers of magma have destroyed nearly 400 homes, buried dozens of kilometers of roads, and consumed hundreds of acres of farmland.

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Adorable Video Captures Black Bear Cub's First Playground Slide Experience

The school day had just ended at Isaac Dickson Elementary School in Asheville, North Carolina. Most students had left, and the ones in the school's "supervised homework help" program were inside the campus. Fifth-grade teacher Betsie Stockslager Emry was also heading home when she noticed two playful black bears entering the empty playground. What happened next will bring a smile to your face.

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Firefighters Save Sequoia National Park's Beloved Giant Forest From Raging Wildfire

The Sequoia National Park in California's southern Sierra Nevada mountains is best known for its namesake giant sequoias. The park boasts 40 groves of the massive trees, which occur naturally only on its western slopes. But the most beloved is the Giant Forest, a collection of 2000 trees that includes half of the Earth's largest and longest-living trees. This past weekend, the ancient wonders came dangerously close to being scorched by the KNP Complex Fire. But thanks to quick-thinking firefighters, the precious grove has been saved.

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Retired Circus Elephants Move To New Home With Plenty Of Room To Explore

After years of intense public pushback, the now-shuttered Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus finally announced the retirement of their Asian elephant performers in 2016. While the decision was a resounding victory for animal lovers and activists, it raised a new issue. The mighty pachyderms were raised in captivity and lacked the skills to survive in the wild. Now, thanks to Florida-based White Oak Conservation, the animals have a new home — one where they can roam freely.

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Commonly Found North American Wildflower Turns Out To Be A Carnivore

The western false asphodel — an herb-like plant found in abundance along North America's West Coast — has been known to science since 1879. But it is only recently that researchers from the University of British Columbia discovered the innocent-looking plant's penchant for insects. The finding is particularly exciting given that this is the first new predatory plant to be discovered in 20 years.

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Rare Embryo Found Inside Prehistoric Turtle Egg

The Henan Province in central China is a treasure trove of dinosaur eggs. However, the odd-looking black orb with a blue tint, presented to Fenglu Han and Haishui Jiang by a farmer in 2018, was unlike any dinosaur egg the experts had encountered before. The paleontologists from the China University of Geosciences initially thought the egg might belong to a new species of the prehistoric giants.

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Hurricane Ida Makes Landfall In Louisiana As A Powerful Category 4 Storm

The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season began with a bang for the residents of Louisiana. On August 29, 2021, the Gulf Coast state was battered by Hurricane Ida, a powerful Category 4 storm that officials believe was the strongest to hit the area in 165 years. To make matters worse, Ida arrived on the sixteenth anniversary of the devastating Hurricane Katrina and made landfall twice.

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Eco-Friendly Technology Transforms Dryer Lint Into Energy

Clothing made from synthetic materials, such as polyester and nylon, has many positive attributes. It is cheap to produce, lasts for a long time, and is comfortable to wear. However, the fabric, made from petroleum, has one major downside. The tiny polymer strands — or what we call lint — that shed from the textiles during each laundry cycle are big contributors to plastic pollution. Now, some scientists from Lithuania have found a way to recycle the textile waste into clean energy.

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UN Climate Report Urges Immediate Action On Climate Change

On August 8, 2021, the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its first assessment of climate science since 2013. The news was not good. The report stated that this past decade was the hottest in 125,000 years and that the atmospheric carbon levels are the highest in at least 2 million years. Glaciers are melting faster than any time in over 2,000 years, and ocean levels are rising at twice the rate since 2006.

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World's Largest Iceberg Breaks Off Antarctica's Ronne Ice Shelf

Antarctica is surrounded by icebergs. However, the finger-shaped chunk of ice that recently broke loose from the western side of the Ronne Ice Shelf — one of the world's most extensive ice platforms — is worthy of a mention. Measuring approximately 105 miles (170 km) long and 15 miles (25 km) wide, it boasts a surface area of 1,660 sq miles (4,300 sq km) and is currently the world's largest iceberg.

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