Trees were supposed to be the urban jungle's salvation. After all, trees provide sweet, beautiful shade which helps cool the metropolis, a place prone to overheating thanks to a proliferation of surfaces like asphalt and concrete. And by pumping oxygen into the air—the same oxygen humans need to breathe— while also filtering out harmful air pollution, trees were supposed to help the eighty percent of Americans who live in urban areas breathe easy. But a new study out today in the journal Environmental Science & Technology has found that planting trees while doing nothing about underlying air pollution is a bit like putting spinach on your double bacon donut burger: you're still going to die of a heart attack.
Location is everything, for both homeowners and dinosaurs. When you're buying a house, it's better for your long term happiness to find a neighborhood you like that's close to work instead of having that extra living room. And when you're a Cretaceous period dinosaur, it's better for your long term survival to have a giant asteroid hit in the middle of the ocean instead of just off the coast of Mexico.
Big Bird is eight feet, two inches tall. That's big. The ostrich, the largest living bird is bigger, topping out around nine feet tall. But neither fictional nor factual birds can hold a candle to a new species of bird-like dinosaur called Beibeilong sinensis, which was likely around 26 feet long and weighed about 3 tons when fully-grown.
The common lizard, as its name suggests, is common. Its range begins to the west in Ireland and stretches as far east as Japan, with an expanse that reaches as far north as the Arctic Circle and as far South as northern Italy. With so much of its range unoccupied by humans it's no surprise that Zootoca vivipara is a species of "least concern". But humans don't actually have to encroach upon the common lizard's habitat to cause the critter harm. We just have to turn up the heat.
Morteratsch glacier, like many others, is shrinking. A popular tourist and skiing destination in the Swiss Alps, this large river of ice is losing about 115 feet per year, and the locals are not happy about it. So they commissioned a team of Swiss and Dutch researchers to try to do something about it. Their plan: spraying artificial snow to stop the glacier from melting.