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Climate Change: Blood Snow; Bezos Billions; Ancient Microbes, More

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Bezos Commits $10 Billion To Battle Climate Change
Today, I’m thrilled to announce I am launching the Bezos Earth Fund.⁣⁣⁣ Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet. I want to work alongside others both to amplify known ways and to explore new ways of fighting the devastating impact of climate change on this planet we all share.

Ancient Microbes Could Help Save Coastal Cities From Rising Seas
Thanks to anthropogenic climate change, sea level is rising at an alarming clip, threatening to swamp iconic metropolises like New York, Mumbai and Shanghai in the not-too-distant future. But residents of these and other vulnerable areas don’t necessarily have to flee the coming flood, according to experimental philosopher Jonathon Keats.

What is Global Warming?
The globe is heating up. Both land and oceans are warmer now than they were when record keeping began, in 1880, and temperatures are still ticking upward. This rise in heat is global warming, in a nutshell. Here are the bare numbers, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA): Between 1880 and 1980, the global annual temperature increased at a rate of 0.13 degrees Fahrenheit (0.07 degrees Celsius) per decade, on average. Since 1981, the rate of increase has sped up, to 0.32 degrees F (0.18 degrees C) per decade. This has led to an overall 3.6 degrees F (2 degrees C) increase in global average temperature today compared to the preindustrial era. In 2019, the average global temperature over land and ocean was 1.75 degrees F (0.95 degrees C) above the 20th-century average. That made 2019 the second hottest year on record, trailing only 2016.

See Record-High Temperatures Strip Antarctica of Huge Amounts of Ice
It’s easy to forget that Antarctica is technically a desert, until you see it without snow. A new pair of satellite images shared by NASA’s Earth Observatory makes that stark reality clear as ice. NASA’s Landsat-8 satellite snapped the two images of Eagle Island (a small island off Antarctica’s northwest tip) on Feb. 4 and Feb. 13, 2020, bookending a period of record high temperatures in the southernmost continent. Between the two images, a significant amount of the island’s glacial ice disappeared, revealing huge swaths of the barren brown rock underneath.

“Blood Snow” in Antarctica
It’s summer in Antarctica, which means record-high temperatures, jarring glacial melt and — in a very metal symbol of our changing climate — a bit of blood-red snow spattered across the Antarctic Peninsula.


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