(editor's note: Rather than become disheartened by the negative news of mainstream media, I challenge you to look deeper -to find healing earth heroes in your own community. There are people all over this beautiful jewel we call Gaia working every day to correct the damage we have done. They are doing the physical clean up work, or putting the intellectual thought into solving these problems. Please join me in sending them all energies of love and support. ~All my Love, Boo)
It's a busy reporting day for Gaia! I have not one but FOUR news articles to pass along to you today:
We’ve reached A Billion Acts of Green!
For the past two years, Earth Day Network’s A Billion Acts of Green® campaign has been inspiring amazing environmental commitments from individuals, businesses, governments and civic organizations all over the globe. Their contributions have made A Billion acts of Green the largest environmental service campaign in the world.
And now, we’re proud to announce…
We’ve reached A Billion Acts of Green!
Throughout the campaign, commitments have ranged from the very small to the very large. Yeji from South Korea pledged to not use paper cups anymore, while Pearl from the United Kingdom pledged to sell her car and walk everywhere she could. We even had some fun commitments, like the guy who broke up with his girlfriend because she wouldn’t recycle. Individual commitments like these have always been the main focus of A Billion Acts of Green®, and without help from people like you, we would never be where we are today.
Pres. Obama Issues Green Schools Proclamation
Earth Day Network applauds President Barack Obama’s decision to issue a Presidential Proclamation for the 42nd anniversary of Earth Daylauding the Department of Education’s new Green Ribbon Schools program. We believe, as does the Administration, that green schools provide a solid educational and environmental foundation for our nation’s schoolchildren.
It’s no secret that America’s students deserve the knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in today’s competitive world. That’s why we believe that environmental education and green schools are so important, since they play a critical role in advancing America’s competitiveness in an increasingly complex and challenging world.
Do Urban 'Heat Islands' Hint at Trees of Future?
The "urban heat island" is a well-known phenomenon that makes large cities hotter than surrounding countryside; it is the result of solar energy being absorbed by pavement, buildings and other infrastructure, then radiated back into the air. With a warming climate, it is generally viewed as a threat to public health that needs mitigating. On the flip side, "Some organisms may thrive on urban conditions," said tree physiologist Kevin Griffin of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, who oversaw the study. Griffin said that the city's hot summer nights, while a misery for humans, are a boon to trees, allowing them to perform more of the chemical reactions needed for photosynthesis when the sun comes back up.
New York City has some 5.2 million trees and is in the midst of a campaign to plant more. "Cities are special places -- they might be laboratories for what the world will look like in coming years," said Gary Lovett, a forest ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, N.Y., some 90 miles north of Manhattan. With temperatures projected to rise, he said, "what kinds of trees are doing well there now might be related to what kinds might do well up here in a number of years."
Study Finds Surprising Arctic Methane Emission Source
The fragile and rapidly changing Arctic region is home to large reservoirs of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. As Earth's climate warms, the methane, frozen in reservoirs stored in Arctic tundra soils or marine sediments, is vulnerable to being released into the atmosphere, where it can add to global warming. Now a multi-institutional study by Eric Kort of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., has uncovered a surprising and potentially important new source of Arctic methane: the ocean itself.
So how is the methane being produced? The scientists aren't yet sure, but Kort hinted biological production from living things in Arctic surface waters may be a likely culprit. "It's possible that as large areas of sea ice melt and expose more ocean water, methane production may increase, leading to larger methane emissions," he said. He said future studies will be needed to understand the enhanced methane levels and associated emission processes and to measure their total contribution to overall Arctic methane levels.
"While the methane levels we detected weren't particularly large, the potential source region, the Arctic Ocean, is vast, so our finding could represent a noticeable new global source of methane," he added. "As Arctic sea ice cover continues to decline in a warming climate, this source of methane may well increase. It's important that we recognize the potential contribution from this source of methane to avoid falsely interpreting any changes observed in Arctic methane levels in the future."