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Alaska’s thawing permafrost puts huge portions of state’s foundation at risk

A new report just issued by NOAA says September’s Arctic sea ice coverage was about 25 percent less than it was between 1981 and 2010. As America’s only Arctic state, Alaska today faces unique challenges. One of those is the loss of permafrost, the frozen earth that serves as the foundation for huge portions of the state.

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Globe had 2nd warmest year to date, 4th warmest September on record

This year, 2017, is the second-warmest year on record for the entire globe, NOAA said. Nine of the 10 warmest January-September global temperatures have occurred since 2005, with 1998 as the only exception. September saw a number of weather anomalies across the globe.

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There’s still time to save the Great Barrier Reef from dying

great-barrier-reef

Two major bleaching events have wracked the Great Barrier Reef over the last two years, leaving chunks of it dead.

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Three people die as Storm Ophelia batters Ireland and Britain

The Irish prime minister, Leo Varadkar, described Ophelia’s impact as a “national emergency.” He said it was the worst storm in Ireland in 50 years.

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Sand becomes “increasingly scarce and expensive”

News, Sand Mining
Oct
16

A symposium taking place at Dutch Design Week later this month will discuss the rapid depletion of the world’s sand reserves, which could leave supplies of the high-quality sand used in the glass industry exhausted within 20 years.

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Hurricane Ophelia strengthens to major Category 3 storm, barreling toward Ireland

News
Oct
14

Hurricane Ophelia has been upgraded to a Category 3 storm, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said late Saturday morning. Ophelia is now the farthest east an Atlantic major hurricane has existed on record.

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Penguin catastrophe leaves thousands of chicks dead with only two survivors

A penguin colony in Antarctica has suffered a massive breeding failure, with only two chicks surviving the disaster. The World Wildlife Fund said unseasonably extensive amounts of sea ice around the colony in East Antarctica had forced the adult penguins to travel further than normal to forage for food.

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Hurricane Ophelia: what a tropical storm is doing in Europe?

Category 2 hurricane Ophelia is on a path that could eventually take it over Ireland by early next week as an extratropical storm. Ophelia’s destination isn’t unprecedented, but the storm is still raising eyebrows…

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How a worldwide sand shortage could impact the design world

News, Sand Mining
Oct
12

Later this month, Dutch Design Week will host a symposium entitled “The Abundance and Scarcity of Sand.” Notable speakers include geologist and author Michael Welland, as well as Denis Delestrac, whose 2013 documentary, Sand Wars, showcased the lengths that contractors and smugglers alike will go to hoard and sell a commodity second only to freshwater, in terms of consumption.

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    Quick sand, dirty Money; South Africa

    December 6th, 2017

    Mining has already cut coastal sand supply by as much as 70 percent in the municipality of Ethekwini, which includes Durban. Each year, miners dig up more than 400,000 cubic meters of sand from Durban’s rivers, enough to fill 160 Olympic swimming pools. This sand would normally be deposited on beaches and help offset coastal erosion. At current mining rates, Durban’s beaches are predicted to contract, on average, by more than a meter each year.

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    Bottles Become Sand at Globally Recognized Ranch at Laguna Beach

    December 4th, 2017

    According to General Manager Kurt Bjorkman, the resort is the first property in the continental United States to use a GL Sand Machine that turns beer and wine bottles into sand that can be used to replenish the sand in bunkers on the resort’s golf course or the sand at the nearby beach.

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    Could we run out of sand? Because we are going through it fast

    November 28th, 2017

    On parts of the shoreline in the Moroccan beach town of Tangier, something is amiss. Though the ocean is there — its waves lapping, crashing and roaring as they have since time immemorial — it is not a place for long days of lazing on soft sand. Because there isn’t any.

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    Sand miners are stripping bare Moroccan beaches; By Ghalia Kadiri / Le Monde

    November 24th, 2017

    Legal and illegal sand miners are competing in the race to provide sand for use in the construction industry. The traffic is such that entire beaches are disappearing.

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    The global resource shortage you have never heard about

    November 20th, 2017

    If someone were to ask you to name the most-extracted materials on Earth, you might answer with fossil fuels or biomass. However, by weight, the answer is actually sand and gravel.

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    More exploration approved at Icy Cape, Alaska

    November 18th, 2017

    A long stretch of beach at Icy Cape near Yakutat holds the possibility of massive mineral deposit that could produce millions in mining revenue for the Alaska Mental Health Land Trust.

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    Hong Kong’s Government Is Spending Billions Taking Land from the Sea

    November 14th, 2017

    Through expensive, time intensive, and complicated land reclamation projects, Hong Kong is continually extending out and into the water, where there wasn’t land before.

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    Line drawn on sand sales: EBay removes listings for sand purportedly from Hawaii beaches

    November 6th, 2017

    EBay has removed numerous listings advertising the sale of sand purported to be from Hawaii beaches, including iconic Papakolea Beach — also known as Green Sands Beach — after the Tribune-Herald inquired about the sand sales.

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