A Perfect Planet is an awe-inspiring exploration of Earth’s power and fragility.
Planet Earth is perfect. It orbits at the perfect distance from the sun; it tilts at just the right angle and has a decent sized moon to hold it in place. On top of that, the day-to-day workings of the planet naturally serve to nurture animals and plants.
This five part series will show how the forces of nature – weather, ocean currents, solar energy and volcanoes – drive, shape and support Earth’s great diversity of life. In doing so, it will reveal how animals are perfectly adapted to whatever the environment throws at them.
The Arctic is not a barren, frozen wasteland. It’s home to some of the most unique ecosystems in the world. More than this: it’s home to people. Those people are at the center of the controversy over drilling for oil in the Arctic. The Trump administration is now starting the formal process of selling leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil companies, according to the New York Times. The move comes after the Trump administration opened the refuge for oil drilling in August 2020. There are potentially billions of dollars in untapped oil and gas reserves in the Arctic. But, there is value in keeping the region untouched, too. The Arctic provides more than $281 billion per year in fishing, oil, mineral extraction, tourism and climate stabilization services, according to a preliminary assessment done in 2016 by environmental economist Tanya O’Garra, who worked at the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions at Columbia University at the time the research was conducted.
2020 is officially the busiest hurricane season on record and flooding is one of a storm’s most devastating consequences. FEMA estimates one inch of flood water can cause up to $25,000 in damage. The U.S. began offering nationalize flood insurance in 1968 but the program, called the NFIP, is now over $20 billion in debt. Private companies are starting to offer flood insurance as well. However, flood insurance is more complicated than it may appear. Watch the video to better understand how flood insurance works, and doesn’t work, in the U.S.
Taro, windows, replanting, and bamboo Fire Blower.
JUST WORKING SILENTLY. This place is part of my homestead. and this cabin is second home and also serves as a disaster shelter. There’s electricity. Water is brought in from a nearby spring (and is drinkable). LAMP (female dog) and YONA (female cat) are usually in the main house. Orange Tabby’s GWIN (male cat) is elusive. He came out of nowhere on the eve of one typhoon (summer 2020).
Location: Kyushu, Japan.
Kyushu, the southwesternmost of Japan’s main islands, has a mostly subtropical climate. It’s known for its active volcanoes, beaches and natural hot springs such as those at Beppu. Its city of Fukuoka is home to museums, mega-malls and Kushida-jinja, an 8th-century Shinto shrine. The city of Nagasaki’s 1945 devastation by an atomic bomb is commemorated at the Nagasaki Peace Park and Atomic Bomb Museum.
With a lack of restrictions on water use, owners of some large-scale farms in the United States are drying up underground water tables. All they have to do is buy the land to have access to as much free water as they want. In Arizona, farm owners and ranchers are digging ever deeper to irrigate their land, leaving other residents with low water reserves. Meanwhile, parts of the land have caved in, collapsing as the water is pumped up from beneath. Our France 2 colleagues report, with FRANCE 24’s James Vasina.
Alan Watson Featherstone, ecologist and founder of “Trees for Life,” describes the moment he realized he needed to help in the effort to rewild Scotland, resulting in the founding of his charity “Trees for Life” to achieve this. Tune in or stream “The Age of Nature” Wednesdays, October 14-28, 2020 at 10/9c.
Mining companies and governments will soon be allowed to extract minerals from the deep-ocean floor. These rare metals are vital for a more environmentally sustainable future on land, but at what cost to the health of the ocean?
Wildfires are a fact of life in California but extent and devastation in the American West feel dramatic this year: More than 5 million areas of uncontrolled fires lead to incredible footage on the news & reports of orange skies in Oakland or San Francisco. The 2020 fire season has broken almost every record in terms of frequency and ferocity. We analyzed several factors like climate change, housing development and fire suppression & management to see what’s behind the largest and most destructive wildfires in the state’s history and what can be done to solve the worsening problem?
On Sept. 15, 2020, Arctic sea ice reached its annual minimum extent — the second-lowest on record. This summer, temperatures soared in the Siberian Arctic, and intense fires burned through peatland. The Arctic region is warming three times faster than the rest of the planet.
Global satellite data indicate wildfires are becoming bigger and more intense. WSJ talks with NASA’s Doug Morton to understand the science behind what’s making the planet more flammable and making fires harder to control.