Thousands of people from all over China have been flocking to the Gu Guanyin Buddhist Temple in the Zhongnan Mountains to witness a huge, 1,400 year old Ginkgo tree beside the temple walls as it sheds its golden leaves for the arrival of autumn. The leaves began falling in mid November, creating a thick ocean of gold that washes over the temple’s ground.
Ginkgo trees are commonly referred to as “living fossils” as they have remained unchanged for more than 200 million years despite all of the drastic climate changes the region has faced. They stand as tall today as they did when dinosaurs walked the Earth.
Our oceans are very polluted and full of plastic. Roughly8 million tons of plasticis dumped into the world’s oceans every year, and according to a new study, themajority of this wastecomes from just five countries: China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. Regardless of its source,plastic pollutionhas a devastating impact on marine life.
Check out this infographic fromDIVE.in, an online scuba diving magazine, to learn how ocean pollution hurts us, too:
Hannah Herbst Awarded $25,000 and Named America’s Top Young Scientist in Nation’s Premier Middle School Science Competition for Her Prototype that Provides Power from Ocean Currents.
Herbst created an energy probe prototype offering a power source, by using untapped energy from ocean currents.
This innovation was inspired by her desire to “help her 9-year-old pen pal living in Ethiopia who lacks a reliable source of power and electricity.”
Her scientific thinking reflected the competition’s goal of applying science to everyday life, creating a “solution that will improve lives and strengthen communities around the globe.”
Bill Goodwyn, president and CEO, Discovery Education, said:
“The Young Scientist Challenge empowers students with the tools and experiences they need to apply science and their critical thinking skills to solve real-world problems.
We are proud to stand alongside 3M in their efforts to advance STEM education through this unique project-based learning opportunity that celebrates the next generation of innovators, creators, engineers and scientists. We congratulate Hannah Herbst and the rest of this year’s finalists for their innovation and the inspiration they provide middle school students everywhere.”
Dive Downbelow, Richard Swann. Photo credit: Project AWARE Foundation
Many of us know about the staggering levels of ocean pollution, but not all of us have seen a giant sponge sliced through by fishing line or have tugged back armfuls of trash lurking deep underwater.
Now, through a striking photo campaign, Beneath The Waves, from the Project AWARE Foundation—a global community of scuba divers who are working toward trash-free oceans—we get to see how our oceans are treated like trash dumps up close and personal, and why action must be taken immediately.
For the past month, divers from around the world have been uploading photos of marine debris onto Twitter, Instagram and Project AWARE’s website to bring attention and urge for solutions to this transnational issue.
Grey Whale … almost got free. Photo credit: Project AWARE Foundation
Why scuba divers? Well, few people know the scourge of ocean pollution better than they do.
“We’re citizen scientists, educators, philanthropists and advocates. We’re united together under a common passion, respect and desire to protect our ocean,” Project AWARE said in a statement from the campaign.
“Divers see firsthand the devastating impact rubbish can cause on ocean wildlife,” the foundation continued. “With more than 1 in 10 species affected by marine debris threatened with extinction, our actions to protect are more urgently needed than ever before.”
Juvenile Green turtle found in a ghost net on a beach, Alphonse Island, Seychelles. Photo credit: Project AWARE Foundation
Dead Green turtle, caught in the netting of a Fish Aggregating Device (FAD), Alphonse Island, Seychelles. Photo credit: Project AWARE Foundation
In the photos below, divers share their unique and haunting view of underwater life affected by pollution. Some of the most devastating photos are of marine life such as whales, rays and crabs trapped in discarded fishing line, bottles and other debris.