Environment

Researchers suggest broiler chicken is the hallmark of the Anthropocene

A team of researchers from several institutions in the U.K. and one in South Africa has come to the conclusion that the broiler chicken offers perhaps the most striking evidence of the rise of the Anthropocene. In their paper published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, the group outlines their reasons for choosing the chicken as a signal of human biosphere reconfiguration.

Scientists have begun suggesting that we are now living in a new epoch, which thehy call the Anthropocene—the age of man-made impacts on the planet. In this new effort, the researchers suggest the broiler chicken is a prime example of the changes we have wrought. They note, for example, that the broiler chicken is now by far the most populous bird on the planet—at any given moment, there are approximately 23 billion of them. The second most populous bird, by comparison, is the red-billed quelea, and there are just 1.5 billion of them.

There are so many chickens that their body mass is greater than all other birds combined. And they are not anywhere close to their initial native state—the modern broiler is unable to survive and reproduce in the wild. It has been bred to eat non-stop, allowing it to grow to a desired size in just five to nine weeks. And as it grows, its meaty parts outgrow its organs, making it impossible for many to survive to adulthood. And all these chickens are being cooked and eaten, and their bones are discarded. Billions of bones wind up in landfills where they are covered over in an oxygen-free environment, making it likely that they will, over time, become fossilized. If we do not survive due to global warming, pandemics or nuclear warfare, the researchers suggest, the next dominant life form will likely dig up our landfills and find evidence of our love for the broiler chicken.

Batterycage

Space Events

Voyager 2 Spacecraft Reaches Interstellar Space

It’s time to say goodbye to one of the most storied explorers of our age: Voyager 2 has entered interstellar space, NASA announced Dec. 10.

Voyager 2, which launched in 1977, has spent more four decades exploring our solar system, most famously becoming the only probe ever to study Neptune and Uranus during planetary flybys. Now, it has joined its predecessor Voyager 1 beyond the bounds of our sun’s influence, a milestone scientists weren’t able to precisely predict when would occur.

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Space Events

Meteor over Mexico City – Geminids

A spectacular meteor lit up the sky of Mexico City in the early hours of Sunday. The meteor is estimated to have been travelling at more than 12,000mph and could be seen hurtling through the skies over Acapulco and Mexico City’s Xochimilco neighbourhood. Although the precise size of the meteor is hard to determine, experts say its diameter is estimated to be around 500 metres.

Later this week the stunning cosmic light show known as the Geminids meteor shower is expected to reach its peak.

Space Events

Asteroid to Skim the Earth before Christmas

An asteroid measuring more than one mile in diameter will fly past the planet on a so-called Earth Close Approach, space agency NASA revealed, but thankfully the odds of it hitting Earth are minimal.

At its closest, the space rock will reach the planet within 0.01890 astronomical units (AU). One astronomical unit measures approximately 93 million miles (149.5 million km) and describes the distance between the Earth and the Sun. Asteroid SD220 will close this distance down to just 1.7 million miles (2.8 million km). This is the equivalent of 7.36 Lunar Distances (LD) or 7.36-times the distance between the Moon and Earth.

On the cosmic scale of distances, this is an incredibly close brush with the killer space rock.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43.3 degrees Celsius) in Victoria River Downs, Australia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 57.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 49.4 degrees Celsius) at Toko, Siberia.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Space Events

Asteroid Probe

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (Nasa’s) deep-space explorer Osiris-Rex flew on Monday to within 19km of its destination, a skyscraper-sized asteroid believed to hold organic compounds fundamental to life as well as the potential to collide with Earth in about 150 years.

Bennu, a rocky mass roughly a half a kilometre wide and shaped like a giant acorn, orbits the sun at roughly the same distance as Earth and is thought to be rich in carbon-based organic molecules dating back to the earliest days of the solar system. Water, another vital component to the evolution of life, may also be trapped in the asteroid’s minerals.

Scientists believe that asteroids and comets crashing into early Earth delivered organic compounds and water that seeded the planet for life, and atomic-level analysis of samples from Bennu could help prove that theory.

Scientists estimate there is a one-in-2,700 chance of the asteroid slamming catastrophically into Earth 166 years from now. That probability ranks Bennu number two on Nasa’s catalog of 72 near-Earth objects potentially capable of hitting the planet.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 109 degrees Fahrenheit (42.8 degrees Celsius) in Proserpine, Queensland, Australia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 51.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 46.1 degrees Celsius) at Oimyakon, Siberia.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 111 degrees Fahrenheit (43.9 degrees Celsius) in Dampier, Western Australia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 57.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 49.4 degrees Celsius) at Vostok, Antarctica.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Space Events

The 2018 Leonid Meteor Shower Peaks This Weekend

On Sunday morning (Nov. 18), the famous Leonid meteor shower will reach its peak, with lesser numbers expected on the preceding and following mornings. Earth will pass through the thickest part of the Leonid swarm at 7 p.m. EST (2300 GMT) on Nov. 17. But the best time to look will be during the after-midnight hours of Sunday morning, once the source the meteors appear to stream from, called the radiant, comes above the horizon for observers in North America. The meteors appear to fly away from a point located within the Sickle of Leo (hence the name “Leonids”).

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 108 degrees Fahrenheit (43.9 degrees Celsius) in Twee Riviere, South Africa.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 63.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 52.8 degrees Celsius) at Vostok, Antarctica.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Space Events

Asteroids

Three chunky asteroids will zoom by Earth this weekend, and one of them is getting closer to our planet than the moon itself.

On Saturday (Nov. 10), the near-Earth asteroid 2018 VX1 will zip within about 236,100 miles (380,000 kilometers) of Earth. That’s closer than the moon, which orbits at about 238,900 miles (384,400 km) away from the Earth. While this space rock encounter is close, it won’t pose any danger to Earth.

The other two asteroids won’t venture as close to Earth, but have still grabbed the attention of scientists. These include asteroid 2018 VS1, which will pass about 861,700 miles (1.38 million km) away from Earth — almost four times as far away from the Earth as the moon.

Nature – Images

Interesting Images

Ghostly Orange Light Envelopes Earth During Rare Airglow

An eerie, marmalade-colored light show made Earth look like a gigantic orange lollipop, prompting an astronaut aboard the International Space Station to snap a photo of it on Oct. 7.

The enveloping orange hue is known as airglow — a mesmerizing luminescence caused by chemical reactions high in Earth’s atmosphere, NASA reported. This ghostly glow usually happens when ultraviolet radiation from sunlight energizes molecules of nitrogen, oxygen, sodium and ozone in the atmosphere. These energized molecules then bump into each other and lose energy as they collide, resulting in a faint but spectacular afterglow.

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Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 108 degrees Fahrenheit (42.2 degrees Celsius) in Boulia, Queensland, Australia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 69.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.1 degrees Celsius) at Vostok, Antarctica.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43.9 degrees Celsius) in Vredendal, South Africa.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 72.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 61.7 degrees Celsius) at Vostok, Antarctica.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Nature – Images

Interesting Images

Tiny Baby Octopus Riding Ocean Trash

A baby octopus the size of a pea was hitchhiking on a piece of plastic floating in the Pacific Ocean when Hawaiian researchers spotted it and scooped up the small cephalopod.

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