Animalia · Photographics

Animals Benefiting from Climate Change

Mosquito If there’s one creature who’s climate change gain is our loss, it’s mosquitoes. No longer restricted to strictly tropical environments, mosquitoes have spread as warmer temperatures have crept into environments they had never previously been. More mosquitoes means higher potential to spread diseases, including malaria, West Nile virus and dengue fever. This greater risk of disease is not only bad news for humans, but also some animals, including certain bird species, who had previously been unexposed to these pests. In fact, even some of the world’s largest creatures are not immune to the disease transmitted by these tiny insects. Last month, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society revealed that two whales kept in captivity died as a result of diseases carried by mosquitoes.

Jellyfish Acidifying oceans and warmer waters might be encouraging swells in populations of jellyfish around the world. Although the notion that jellyfish are benefiting from climate change has been subject to debate, studies have shown that coastal jellyfish populations are generally on the rise. More jellyfish would be bad news for any species that relied on the oceans for its food supply, including humans. Jellyfish can essentially reorder the food web by eating the same plankton that would otherwise be consumed by fish, restricting the transfer of energy on the food chain since predators tend to avoid them. The increase in jellyfish populations could also lead to an ecological disaster by resulting in an increase in carbon beyond what oceans can cope with, according to a report from The Guardian. When jellyfish die, they break down into biomass with considerably higher levels of carbon than their vertebrate counterparts. Bacteria that thrive on decaying organisms cannot absorb carbon as well and instead breathe it out into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.

Gray Nurse Shark Worldwide, around one third of oceanic shark species are at risk of extinction, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). These animals are primarily at risk as a result of human intervention, particularly the overfishing of sharks for their fins. But there is one species of shark that may stand to benefit from man-made climate change, the Australian gray nurse shark. Like many shark species, gray nurse shark populations have been under pressure. This species could disappear entirely by 2050. However, thanks for warmer waters surrounding Australia, two separate populations of this nurse shark on each side of the continent may reunite for the first time in 100,000 years.

Text and Images via Discovery. Click HERE to see more.

Bio · Digital Media · Performativity · Sonic/Musical · Technology

BOTANICUS INTERACTICUS: Interactive Plant Technology

As Disney Research explains: “This instrumentation of living plants is simple, non-invasive, and does not damage the plants: it requires only a single wire placed anywhere in the plant soil. Botanicus Interacticus allows for rich and expressive interaction with plants. It allows to use such gestures as sliding fingers on the stem of the orchid, detecting touch and grasp location, tracking proximity between human and a plant, and estimating the amount of touch contact, among others.

In Botanicus Interacticus we also deconstruct the electrical properties of plants and replicate them using standard electrical components. This allows the design of a broad variety of biologically inspired artificial plants that behave nearly the same as their biological counterparts. From the point of view of our technology there is no difference between real and artificial.

Botanicus Interacticus technology can be used to design highly interactive responsive environments based on plants, developing new forms of organic, living interaction devices as well as creating organic ambient and pervasive interfaces.”

Text and Image via Disney Research

Earthly/Geo/Astro · Human-ities · Vital-Edible-Health

The Water Atlas: Traditional knowledge to combat desertification

“In this beautifully illustrated work, Pietro Laureano shares with us the fruits of more than a quarter of a century of careful observation of traditional knowledge and techniques applied to urban settlements and landscape resources management in all regions of the world. The book introduces us to very sophisticated, thousand-year-old, capacities developed by local communities and civilizations around the world, amongst which water harvesting techniques, recycling of organic wastes and used waters for soil fertility conservation or, in more general terms, the ecosystemic approach to town planning, are anything but new! The volume is also the most convincing illustration of the fact that, whereas modern technological solutions rely on separation and specialization and for most of the time imply the mobilization of external resources, traditional knowledge, which by its very nature applies the principle of integration and uses internal renewable inputs, has proved over time to be effective in the daily struggle of civilizations against adverse environments and, more recently, against desertification.”–Howard Moore, Director Unesco Regional Bureau for
Science in Europe (ROSTE)

Download PDF HERE

Evolution of Water Supply Through the Millennia