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NASA made an adorable video explaining climate change. l think a lot of people will FINALLY get it.

You've probably *heard* that the earth is warming. But how do scientists actually *know* it's happening?

NASA made an adorable video explaining climate change. l think a lot of people will FINALLY get it.

Here's your Hot Planet 101, courtesy of NASA. Take a minute to watch it, then we'll see how it's affecting life on earth right now.

If the symptoms of planetary fever are shrinking glaciers, rising sea levels, hotter heat waves, stronger hurricanes, and shifting plant and animal ranges, it's worth asking: Is that stuff really happening? Well, let's take them on one at a time.


1. Are the glaciers shrinking?

"The collapse of the Larsen [Ice Shelf] appears to have been due to a series of warm summers on the Antarctic Peninsula, which culminated with an exceptionally warm summer in 2002. Significant surface melting due to warm air temperatures created melt ponds that acted like wedges; they deepened the crevasses and eventually caused the shelf to splinter." — NASA Earth Observatory

Yo, this ice shelf the size of Rhode Island disintegrated in four months.

NASA's scientists estimate that the Larsen Ice Shelf Complex shed 2 to 4 billion metric tonnes into the ocean per year in 1996 and 2000. But in 2006, that increased a startling 10 times to 22 to 40 billion tonnes lost.

2. Are plants and animal ranges shifting?

Plants and animals get cues from the world around them. They know when to go dormant, where to grow, and when to reproduce by the temperature patterns around them.

As weather patterns change, those same cues lead them to live and breed in new areas. It might sound harmless, but scientists are concerned. Not every species is welcome in its new haunt.

An invasive species is any organism that is not native to an area and poses a threat to plants or wildlife native to the area. Usually, an invasive species is brought to an area by humans (sometimes by accident and sometimes intentionally to adorable and horrible effects).

But climate change is transforming the temperature trend lines across the United States, and species like the kudzu that normally stay in warmer climes are taking notice and slowly creeping their way north.


Many species that live in colder climates are simply migrating north as their stomping grounds become too warm for them. For some species, this is a gradual change, but for others, it's astonishingly fast ( the comma butterfly's habitat has shifted north nearly 7 miles annually over the last 20 years).

But this cutie pie (above — OMG, look at those ears!) lives in the mountains of the western U.S. The America pika can't fly to a new mountain range like a bird or butterfly. And because it can die from overheating in just hours, it can't hop to another zone either. It may just be doomed to slowly lose its habitat completely to warming.

3. Are sea levels rising?

Increases in sea level have tracked strongly with human activity. We started burning fossil fuel during the Industrial Revolution (1760-1850), and our use of coal, oil, and natural gas has increased every year. Sea levels, in response to steadily warming temperatures, also rose steadily.

Unfortunately, the sea level projections don't look like a straight line. It looks like an upward sloping curve. Sea levels aren't increasing at the same rate every year — that rate is increasing.

At present, sea levels are projected to rise by as much as 3 feet by 2100.

With the planet's ice reserves falling into the oceans faster than humanity has ever seen, the excess water has to go somewhere. 1.6 million people live in the islands scattered across the Pacific (3 million, if you count Hawaii), and they are all in danger of slowly losing their homelands.

But rising sea levels won't just affect faceless people of nations you've never heard of that you don't pronounce correctly (like Kiribati).

Ever heard that saying "A rising tide lifts all boats"? Let's revise that: "A rising tide sinks all coastal communities."

Nearly 40% of Americans live in a coastal county.


Rising sea levels could make significant portions of New York City unlivable.

4. Have recent heat waves been more intense?


Heat waves — unusually long periods of unusually hot weather — have become more frequent in the last 30 years.

The heat patterns that have emerged in the last 30 years have been shared across the globe. (I see you eyeing that big spike in the middle, but the extreme heat and drought that created the Dust Bowl was an anomaly almost exclusively experienced by North America.)

Global temperature has been rising since the end of the Industrial Revolution; there's no question about it.

Dark blue indicates areas cooler than average. Dark red indicates areas warmer than average.

"Most of this warming has occurred since the 1970s, with the 20 warmest years having occurred since 1981 and with all 10 of the warmest years occurring in the past 12 years." — NASA Global Climate

It seems Earth's hottest days are ahead of it.

5. Have recent storms been more intense?

Damn skippy. In the 23-year period from 1980 to 2003, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recorded 58 weather related disasters that cost at or over a billion dollars in damages.

"But yesterday it was unseasonably cold, and there's a massive blizzard in the Northeast."

Well, weather and climate are different. Weather is an event. Climate is a pattern of events. Any one of these years is an example of a weather event, but the red line is climate pattern (warming, obvi).

It's time to take our medicine. Let's change the way we treat the planet so we can keep on having it.


Live green. Save your world.

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Amazon

Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

Even as millions of Americans celebrated the inauguration of President Joe Biden this week, the nation also mourned the fact that, for the first time in modern history, the United States did not have a peaceful transition of power.

With the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, when pro-Trump insurrectionists attempted to stop the constitutional process of counting electoral votes and where terrorists threatened to kill lawmakers and the vice president for not keeping Trump in power, our long and proud tradition was broken. And although presidential power was ultimately transferred without incident on January 20, the presence of 20,000 National Guard troops around the Capitol reminded us of the threat that still lingers.

First Lady Jill Biden showed up today with cookies in hand for a group of National Guard troops at the Capitol to thank them for keeping her family safe. The homemade chocolate chip cookies were a small token of appreciation, but one that came from the heart of a mother whose son had served as well.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.