Day 1: 2016’s hottest Earth news

The passing of an old year into a new year is always a great time to review what happened to determine what we will take with us in the future. Another year around the sun for Earth means another year of milestones for life on Earth. These are my picks of some of the Earth’s most memorable moments in 2016.

  •  The New York Times compiled a list of their favorite climate change articles. The topics include our track record of the “hottest years on record”, how to counter climate change denial by ‘being nice’, a heart-warming story about a small English town whose goal is to reduce their carbon footprint collectively, and the beautiful mission of NASA Earth, which monitors the changes our planet has been undergoing.
  • The PAN-STARRS project at the University of Hawaii has released the world’s largest digital sky survey in December, 2016. Aside from creating a breath-taking photograph of the night sky, which was taken over 4 years and would measure a mile and a half if printed out in full resolution, the data is entirely available to the public.
  • PanSTARRS Sky Survey

    This view of the entire sky visible from Hawai’i by the Pan-STARRS1 Observatory is the result of half a million exposures, each about 45 seconds in length, taken over a period of 4 years. The shape comes from making a map of the celestial sphere, like a map of the Earth, but leaving out the southern quarter. The disk of the Milky Way looks like an arc, and the dust lanes show up as redish brown filaments. The backgound is made up of billions of faint stars and galaxies. If printed at full resolution, the image would be 1.5 miles long, and you would have to get close and squint to see the detail. Credit: Danny Farrow, Pan-STARRS1 Science Consortium and Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestial Physics

  • Leonardo DiCaprio released a documentary this year showing how the Earth has changed under our influence and what can be done to stop it. While this may be old knowledge for the weathered scientist, the rise in celebrities (Mark Ruffalo, Shailene Woodley) protesting against climate change is helping the public to understand the seriousness of this issue. A great deal of lawmakers still deny climate change.
  • The protest at the Standing Rock Sioux preserve, which started in 2014 against the construction of a pipeline near a Native American water source, has gained a more prominent spotlight in the media in 2016. Because of all the attention this protest has received this year, the number of protesters swelled and the cause gained a victory by the end of 2016 when the Army declared that they would seek an alternative route for the pipeline.

Here’s to a happy 2017 where we learn from our mistakes in the past, help each other overcome difficulties, and strive to make this planet a better place for all. Cheers!

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