Spanish Town Bathed In Mysterious Blood Rain

The rain inSpain is hard to ascertain, according to a scientific investigation into a recent unusual weather phenomenon in the northwest of the Iberian peninsula. Residents of the province of Zamora were somewhat perturbed when, for parts of last fall and winter, a blood-red rain fell from the sky, and while geologists have now identified the microorganism responsible for the unusual coloration, they are at a loss to explain how it got there.

In a recent paper published in the Spanish Royal Society of Natural History Journal (in Spanish), researchers explained that the red tint was caused by a freshwater microalgae called Haematococcus pluvialis. Though normally green in color, it synthesizes a red pigment called astaxanthin when under stress. According to the study, the organism is especially sensitive to variations in the intensity, quantity and quality of light, which can affect the distribution, size and morphology of its cells.

Samples were collected from the village of Ayo de Vidriales and examined at the University of Salamanca. Though researchers were quickly able to identify the microalgae, they could offer little explanation as to how it ended up in the region. Previously, H. pluvialis had been observed in bodies of water in North America and some parts of Europe, though its sudden unexpected arrival in Spain is somewhat baffling.

Unable to solve the riddle, the study closes by stating that the organisms origin can only be ascertained by first identifying its possible arrival sources, such as water or wind.Regardless of where the algae came from, local residents neednt worry too much, as not only is it not considered dangerous, but H. pluvialis extracts have even been found to improve cognitive function.

Though rare, the phenomenon of blood rain is far from unheard of, and can be caused by a range of factors. For instance, in 2010, parts of the U.K. experienced crimson downpoursafter storms caused red sand and dust to blow over from the Sahara Desert.

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I Bet This Man Has Embarrassed A Few Police Officers Who Have Tried To Arrest Him

Alright, punk, keep your hands where I can see ’em. Just what the hell do you think you’re doing to that wall? Meet an artist who has been doing something so unique, Clorox decided to sponsor him.

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The Most Physically Damaging Thing Fox News Has Ever Done

Fox News has a habit of getting loud and obnoxious, even when it don’t have the facts to back it up. Over the past 15 years, Fox has attacked a wide variety of topics. While this type of irresponsible journalism usually doesn’t cause catastrophic problems for the world, the damage Fox News did to the credibility of climate scientists and climate change research was different. It’s one thing to be shrill — it’s quite another to convince a huge percentage of the nation that the biggest problem humanity has ever faced is somehow a hoax.

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Scientists explain why we’re seeing this astonishing increase in wildfires.

When I hear about a wildfire, I usually think it’s out west somewhere.

The West has been hit by some incredibly devastating wildfires in the last several years, such as the one that hit Fort McMurray back in May or the Long Draw fire in Oregon back in 2012.

But the latest fires aren’t just out west. They’re in Alabama too.

Northern Alabama is going through an incredible drought and that’s made it really easy for fires to start and spread. As of this writing, there have been over 700 wildfires in Alabama in the last 30 days alone.

“You know it’s dry when a bush hog hitting a rock will start a fire,” CBS quoted forestry commission member Coleen Vansant as saying, although most of the fires are actually caused by people, through things like arson or debris fires.

Residents and workers have been able to fight them back, but the state’s not out of the woods yet. Fire crews from the southern part of the state are coming up north to help.

Zooming out, wildfires are on the increase across the United States.

Wildfires are four times as common now as they were in the 1970s and they burn six times as much land. This year alone, nearly 5 million acres of forests have burned in the West. That’s about the size of New Jersey. Last year, it was 9 million acres.

Fire can be a natural part of an ecosystem and some amount of regular small burns are expected from stuff like lightning strikes. But this expansion is something else. What the heck is going on?

Part of the answer might be how our climate’s changing.

I grew up in Texas and I can’t remember a single Fourth of July that was wet enough for fireworks. Anyone who lives out West knows that heat, drought, and fire go hand in hand.

So, what’s causing all that aridity? A recent report pointed at our changing climate as a major part of the problem. There were other factors, like natural changes in the weather and other human activities, but about half of the increase in fire-ready conditions came from climate change.

“A lot of people are throwing around the words climate change and fire,” said lead author John Abatzoglou in a press release. “We wanted to put some numbers on it.”

Experts think the upward trend is likely to increase, and some scientists are predicting that droughts out west could last a lot longer maybe for decades.

Addressing climate change could help head off this increase in wildfires and give us other benefits too.

Natural disasters are expensive; in 2015, the federal government spent $2 billion on firefighting. And clean energy doesn’t need to cost more than current power plants. In fact, at one point, Germany was actually paying consumers to use electricity.

The simplest and most effective thing we can all do is use our political power tovote, express that we need to address these changes. In the meantime, we can keep the people who are battling these fires in our thoughts.

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CNN lands interview with #FloodWallStreet’s ‘official spokesbear’ [photo]!/JenniferEckhart/status/514118062749282304

This #FloodWallStreet business is pretty serious. How serious?

This serious:

Polar bear on @CNN. Official spokes bear for #FloodWallStreet

— #FloodWallStreet (@FloodWallStreet) September 22, 2014


This is CNN RT @AlexJamesFitz Just watched a polar bear interviewed for CNN #FloodWallStreet

— Matthew (@Matthops82) September 22, 2014

That’s a coup for the #FloodWallStreet clowns and for CNN!

CNN interviews polar bear. Likely gets higher ratings than @piersmorgan ever did.

— Matthew (@Matthops82) September 22, 2014



Twitchy coverage of #FloodWallStreet 




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A Unique And Trendy Business Model That's Changing The Way People Shop

No business is perfect, but I really admire the ones that are constantly trying to be better. It can’t be easy to avoid the “anything to profit!” mindset in favor of “How can I leave the world a better, more sustainable place?”

Here’s how one CEO is shooting for the latter.

I promise I don’t live in a hole! I know there have been criticisms of TOMS Shoes and companies like it. But it looks like TOMS, at least, has been listening to them. Check out the CEO’s response to critics and his plan to have one-third of all shoes produced in the countries to which the company donates by the end of 2015. Jobs! Let’s hope it happens.

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A Long List Of Foods That We Might Never Get To Eat Again

To hell with gold. Start hoarding honey. The bees are dying! Not just honey — start hoarding fruits, vegetables, and nuts too. Because bees pollinate nearly a third of our agricultural food supply, their disappearance should make us all a little jumpy. Here’s a rundown of the problem and its consequences.

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Bill Nye is pulling out all the stops when he talks about climate change. It’s glorious.

Bill, Bill, Bill, Bill! Bill Nye the Science Guy!

Bill Nye is basically a living touchstone for every millennial science kid (unless you grew up watching Beakman’s World, which had fewer music videos and more giant rat costumes).

On Aug. 22, 2016, New Yorkers may have been able to catch Nye at Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Nye was there for the National Park Foundation’s #FindYourPark event, celebrating the National Park Service’s centennial on Aug. 25.

While he was there, Nye extolled the virtues of the national parks while also calling out one of their biggest threats:climate change.

Though the days of on-air experiments and catchy theme songs are now nearly two decades past, Nye has never stopped speaking out about science and reason. And one of the key features of that mission is to keep people aware of how our planet is changing.

“I just got back from Glacier National Park, and there are only a few glaciers left. And the official word is by 2030, they’ll all be gone,” Nye told The Verge in an interview. “But the park rangers I spoke with a dozen park rangers over the course of a few days no, no, five, six, seven years, certainly by 2025, all the glaciers will be gone.”

Nye has been on a hot streak lately in his fight against climate change. Here’s what he’s been up to:

Nye went on CNN to call out the link between climate change and current natural disasters.

After appearing at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Nye stopped by CNN to call out the link between climate change and flooding in Louisiana.

“For us on my side of this, this is a result of climate change,” Nye told CNN about the recent flooding in Louisiana. “It’s only going to get worse.”

Though we can’t say whether any specific weather phenomenon would or would not have happened without man-made climate changes, it’s true that experts are predicting more frequent and more severe floods, droughts, storms, and heat waves as the atmosphere changes.

He ended the interview with a little jab at CNN, whose anchors haven’t always supported the science.

Back in July, Nye teamed up with Vocativ to debunk climate myths.

Vocativ dredged up some of the most common arguments against climate change science and posed them to Nye in an entertaining if a little heavily produced video. In it he tackles questions about volcanoes, sun cycles, and even pig farts!

In April, Nye put his money where his mouth is while confronting those who reject climate science.

After a meteorologist and climate-change doubter challenged Nye in a 2015 op-ed, Nye offered to bet a total of $20,000 that 2016 would be one of the hottest years ever and that 2010-2020 would be one of the hottest decades.

Looks like he’s being proven right, by the way. 2016 is on pace to be the hottest year in recorded history.

It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Nye knows of a simple thing we can all do to help fight climate change: vote.

“Vote, that’s my message. You have to vote. Take your responsibility to vote seriously,” Nye told The Verge in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

While Nye declined to say who he thought people should vote for, he encouraged people to take the environment into account while voting this year.

Nye was the voice of science in my childhood, and he’s still a tremendous voice of reason today.

His plea for us to vote really matters this year, our elections have some of the most clearly divided candidates on climate change and science in history.

So if things like heading off greater natural disasters and preserving our natural parks matter to you, listen to Bill Nye: This is the year to do something about it.

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