Sea snails are dissolving, and fish are getting lost — all thanks to greenhouse gases.
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The Wilderness Society

This is Lil' Dipper, and he's scared to swim in soda.

Hey there, lil buddy!


If things keep going the way they are, we're going to make Lil' Dipper's worst fear come true.

It sounds like a joke, but it's not. As we focus on combating climate change, there's a question we need to ask ourselves: Would we like for our oceans to be sparkling or still?

We've got a big problem called ocean acidification.

The huge amount of CO2 we produce is polluting the air and affecting our planet's climate. Most of us have heard that the oceans are getting warmer, but there's more to it than that, and it's called ocean acidification.

A video by Grist explains that what's happening to our oceans is a lot like one of those homemade soda machines. It works by squirting a cartridge of CO2 into the water, adding the acidity needed to make soda.

Deliciously terrifying. All GIFs and images via Grist/YouTube.

We're basically doing this to the ocean — only on a much larger scale.

Over the couple of centuries we've spent filling the air with CO2, the oceans have absorbed a quarter of those emissions. As a result, their average pH has dropped from 8.2 to 8.1.

That doesn't seem that serious, but the pH scale is logarithmic, not linear.

So that means even this one-tenth drop in pH is a nearly 30% increase in acidity. Yikes.

What about the ocean life?

This has consequences for the ocean's plants and creatures. Ocean acidification is stressing out some species of fish, causing them to get lost easily and have more trouble finding food.

It also makes it difficult for certain ocean lifeforms to grow their shells. So instead of doing this:

They do this:

Coral reefs, the backbones of many ocean ecosystems, are particularly in danger from this effect. As coral polyps struggle to grow their exoskeletons, reefs stop growing or even begin to shrink, depleting a source of food and shelter for the numerous species that depend on them.

So what can we do about it?

There's one particularly promising solution to stop ocean acidification: pump less CO2 into the air.

Yep. Whether we like it or not, we don't have a better alternative than cutting the CO2 emissions causing the problem in the first place. Our next best ideas are planting seagrass meadows or straight up dropping Alka-Seltzer in the ocean.


I'm not even joking.

If we're going to stop this, we also need to keep Big Oil from drilling in fragile environments for more fossil fuels.

The Wilderness Society is fighting to keep BP out of the Great Australian Bight, a rich underwater ecosystem that has greater diversity of marine life than the Great Barrier Reef.

They have a petition you can sign to save this habitat from more damage.

(Lil' Dipper would sign, but he only has fins.)

Watch the full video on ocean acidification by Grist:

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

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Image is a representation of the grandfather, not the anonymous subject of the story.

Eight years a go, a grandfather in Michigan wrote a powerful letter to his daughter after she kicked out her son out of the house for being gay. It's so perfectly written that it crops up on social media every so often.

The letter is beautiful because it's written by a man who may not be with the times, but his heart is in the right place.

It first appeared on the Facebook page FCKH8 and a representative told Gawker that the letter was given to them by Chad, the 16-year-old boy referenced in the letter.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."