A star’s moment in the spotlight

A newly formed star lights up the surrounding clouds in this new image from ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile. Dust particles in the vast clouds that surround the star HD 97300 diffuse its light, like a car headlight in enveloping fog, and create the reflection nebula IC 2631. Although HD 97300 is in the spotlight for now, the very dust that makes it so hard to miss heralds the birth of additional future stars. —> Read More

C40 and CDP Kick Off 2016 Reporting Cycle to Help Cities Measure and Manage Their Data

Beginning today, all C40 member cities are invited to report their climate data through our reporting partner CDP. The annual reporting cycle is designed to help cities report their data in a transparent way, and better track the impact of their climate actions.

Reporting is also an important requirement for compliance with the Compact of Mayors. Within one year of committing to the Compact, a city must identify their climate risks, compile a city-wide greenhouse gas emission inventory according to the Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories (GPC), and report their data. CDP is an official reporting platform for the Compact.

Hazards infographic shows all the current and future hazards reported by C40 cities in 2015

In 2015, 92% of C40 cities disclosed their climate-related data using CDP’s online platform* and other cities are beginning to follow our lead.

“By reporting their climate data cities are playing an essential role in informing and shaping C40’s activities in our member cities, and enhancing our ability to make real impact through our networks and initiatives,” said Seth Schultz, C40’s Director of Research, Measurement and Planning. “We encourage all C40 cities to take part in this year’s reporting cycle, and we urge more cities to join the 60 C40 cities that have committed to the Compact of Mayors. Through the Compact cities are tracking their progress and accelerating more ambitious, collaborative, and sustainable local climate action.”

Cities have until the end of April to submit their data, which will then be used to provide insight and analysis to help cities track their performance and identify new areas for action. In the wake of the COP21 negotiations, participation in the reporting process is more important than ever – cities will play a large part in delivering ambitious climate action in the —> Read More

Sharks Attacked More People Than Ever Last Year

Sharks set a new record for the largest number of unprovoked attacks in a single year, according to an annual global count.

And while that may sound scary, scientists say it comes as no surprise.

Sharks plus humans equals attacks,” said George Burgess, curator of the International Shark Attack File, in a statement. “As our population continues to rapidly grow and shark populations slowly recover, we’re going to see more interactions.”

Last year, 98 unprovoked shark attacks — those that occur in a shark’s natural habitat with no human provocation — occurred worldwide, a significant jump over the previous record of 88 set in 2000, according to data from the Florida Museum of Natural History. Six of those attacks were fatal.

The United States recorded 59 attacks — 60 percent of the global total — which Burgess said was linked to the nation’s large amount of coastline and growing number of swimmers, surfers and divers. The 2015 U.S. total topped the previous record of 53 attacks in 2012 and 2000.

Unprovoked attacks also occurred in Australia (18), South Africa (8),the Indian Ocean island of Reunion (4), Spain’s Canary Islands (2) and the Galapagos Islands (2), the 2015 data shows. Brazil, Egypt, New Caledonia, Thailand and the Bahamas each reported single incidents.

As usual, Florida had the most shark attacks in the U.S., with 30, accounting for 51 percent of the national total and 30.6 percent of the global total.

Hawaii saw seven attacks last year, including the nation’s only death, a 65-year-old woman killed off the coast of Maui. Sharks killed two people in Reunion, while Australia, New Caledonia and Egypt recorded one death each.

“The six (fatal) attacks <a target="_blank" href="http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/isaf/worldwide-summary/" —> Read More

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