With Earth Day right around the corner, I thought it would be fun to summarize a few of the latest (excuse my language) WTF environmental stories I stumbled upon this week.
But don’t worry—it’s not all bad news.
1. The comings and goings of ozone holes.
Apparently the Arctic’s ozone hole is looking pretty good, thanks to the worldwide ban on ozone depleting chemicals. That’s good news! But… there’s still the hole in Antarctica. Oh, and I should mention that researchers recently discovered a new, naturally occurring hole in the atmosphere above part of the western Pacific Ocean. WTF?! Does that mean the increasing crap we put into the atmosphere will have even more of an impact on us? They’re not sure yet. But what they do know is that this newly discovered area has hardly any of the chemicals that scrub pollutants from the air. Hole-y environmental disaster waiting to happen? Let’s hope not.
2. Greenland’s ice cap… not so glacial
Greenland’s ice cap is becoming unstable. Yep. It’s melting faster than anyone had guessed. And, being the largest land mass of ice in the Northern Hemisphere, this could be problematic. Apparently it was stable until around 2003 when the ice melt started moving faster than glacial pace. Scientists say that between April 2003 and April 2012, the region was losing ice at the rate of 10 billion tons a year. WTF?!
3. Salamanders may save the day
Or at least help, as long as we don’t drive them into extinction first! This is a WTF in a good way. As in… who knew?
Tiny salamanders can literally gobble up carbon. Who knew? They eat insects that would otherwise release carbon dioxide. And they also chew up methane releasing leaf litter! They may not be able to keep up with the nearly 40 billion tons of CO2 that humans put out annually, but one tiny salamander can sequester about 178 pounds of carbon per acre during a rainy season.
Fortunately, woodland salamanders can be found all over the world so these adorable little critters could definitely prove to be environmental superstars (the Ed Begley Jr. of the amphibian world, perhaps!). More reason to keep trees and salamanders safe from destruction. (And hope for rain!)
Listen to Green Diva Meg and I talk about the latest environmental headlines on the latest Green Divas myEARTH360 Report. Never a dull moment!
Written by Green Diva Lynn (Lynn Hasselberger).