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climate change

The U.S. Army's heat stroke training.

With temperatures rising worldwide, it's essential to know how to stay cool by reducing your body heat. It’s important to keep hydrated and wear breathable clothing, but if you want to cool off quickly, the military has a trick to reduce body temperature in minutes.

According to a CBS report, research shows that submerging your forearms and biceps in ice-cold water can help prevent overheating. That’s why the military uses arm immersion tables when training in hot weather or stationed in places where the heat is unbearable and it's impossible to get to an air-conditioned room.

"It's low-tech, it's inexpensive, it's easy to implement," Lt. Col. Dave DeGroot, who runs the Army Heat Center at Fort Moore, told CBS. "It's a bucket of water." Arm immersion tables are long, narrow troughs filled with ice-cold water that stand on four legs.

To cool down, soldiers place their hands, arms, and wrists in the cold water for 3 to 5 minutes. Then, they raise their arms above their heads. This allows cooled blood to circulate throughout the body, lowering its temperature. It also allows the water to drip down their arms, cooling their core from the outside.

Soldiers who practice the technique say that while their arms are submerged, they feel the cold water circulate throughout their body, starting in the chest and then moving to their back.

"Your car has a radiator. Well, so do we. It's our skin," DeGroot said. "Our blood is going to cool off and circulate back to the core and eventually, with several minutes of exposure, bring the core temperature down.”

Arm immersion tables cool approximately 13% of the body, enough surface area to transfer body heat to the water. According to TechLink, immersing one's arms in cold water can reduce core body temperature by 2° F in 3 to 10 minutes. Two degrees may not sound like much, but considering that the average body temperature is usually between 97 and 100 degrees, it makes a huge difference.

In severe situations where hot soldiers appear pale, wobbly, or mentally incapacitated, the military uses ice sheets to cool them down. "An ice sheet is nothing more than a simple bed sheet that we use," Fort Jackson safety specialist Vinson Washington told the U.S. Army. “We submerge these in ice, and when a casualty overheats, we wrap them in these to cool them down until we can get medical personnel on the scene."

"We put them in a human taco, basically," 1st Sgt. Brendan Cain, an Air Assault School instructor, added. In the event a soldier goes down with a heat injury, they use the sheets to "cool down the (soldier's) core temperature," then "it's an automatic call to 911."

Arm immersion tables and ice sheets work because, according to TechLink, the heat transfer of water is 25 times greater than that of air. So, to cool someone off, it’s much more effective to immerse them in water than to place them in front of a fan.

There's no need to worry if you’re looking to beat the heat and don’t have a military-grade arm immersion tank. You can make something similar by taking a large cooler filled with ice water and placing it on a table or by filling your kitchen sink with water and adding some ice.

Climate Change

Is AI ruining climate change progress? Experts are sounding the alarm.

"That's the equivalent of pouring out a bottle of water and powering a lightbulb for 15 minutes."

Everybody is using AI, it may be ruining climate change progress

Most people don't really think about the inner workings of a computer, nor do they think about how the internet works. Unless you're in the field of technology, nothing about how websites are generated or how search engines get their information is given much of a second thought.

As long as everything works as expected and loads quickly, people don't generally care to know how things happen in the mysterious cloud that is the entirety of the internet. Now that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is free for use, there's just as little thought put into the mechanics of how it works. Granted, people are worried about other implications of AI, but what signal sends what where, isn't on the radar of average internet users.

The Piedmont Environmental Council sat down with "Now This" to ring the alarm on a relatively unknown fact about the use of AI–it's detrimental to climate change.

That likely sounds dramatic. How could a program free on the internet cause ill-effect to the climate? Humans have been in a race to combat climate change globally for decades. We've been hearing about making the switch to renewable energy, using public transportation, and recycling as key ways to reduce our impact on the quickly changing climate. There has not been a public service announcement about...the internet.

Since AI is a little more involved than "just the internet," it is requiring more energy to power it.

"A lot of people think of the internet as just being in the cloud. Really it is taking up this huge space of these gigantic computers, which are data centers," Julie Bolthouse, Director of Land Use for Piedmont Environmental Council tells the outlet.

There are over 300 data centers in Northern Virginia alone, that take up over 100 million square feet and use a lot of energy.

Ann Bennett, Data Center Chair of Virginia Sierra Club explains, "artificial intelligence requires servers to run much hotter. Water cooling will be necessary and where will that water come from?"

"One ChatGPT request for example, that's the equivalent of pouring out a bottle of water and powering a lightbulb for 15 minutes. If you multiply that by billions of requests, you can start to see the cumulative impacts," shares Ashish Kapoor, Senior Policy Analyst at Piedmont Environmental Council.

Watch the entire interview below:

AI may be an interesting new piece of the internet but with our climate already reaching crisis levels according to multiple scientists, there may be a few things that need to be worked out. Hopefully as the technology evolves and environmental agencies keep an eye on the unforeseen consequences, a more sustainable system will be discovered for the continued use of AI.

All GIFs and images via Exposure Labs.

Photographer James Balog and his crew were hanging out near a glacier when their camera captured something extraordinary.

They were in Greenland, gathering footage from the time-lapse they'd positioned all around the Arctic Circle for the last several years.

They were also there to shoot scenes for a documentary. And while they were hoping to capture some cool moments on camera, no one expected a huge chunk of a glacier to snap clean off and slide into the ocean right in front of their eyes.

science, calving, glaciers

A glacier falls into the sea.


ocean swells, sea level, erosion, going green

Massive swells created by large chunks of glacier falling away.


It was the largest such event ever filmed.

For nearly an hour and 15 minutes, Balog and his crew stood by and watched as a piece of ice the size of lower Manhattan — but with ice-equivalent buildings that were two to three times taller than that — simply melted away.

geological catastrophe, earth, glacier melt

A representation demonstrating the massive size of ice that broke off into the sea.


As far as anyone knows, this was an unprecedented geological catastrophe and they caught the entire thing on tape. It won't be the last time something like this happens either.

But once upon a time, Balog was openly skeptical about that "global warming" thing.

Balog had a reputation since the early 1980s as a conservationist and environmental photographer. And for nearly 20 years, he'd scoffed at the climate change heralds shouting, "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!"

"I didn't think that humans were capable of changing the basic physics and chemistry of this entire, huge planet. It didn't seem probable, it didn't seem possible," he explained in the 2012 documentary film "Chasing Ice."

There was too much margin of error in the computer simulations, too many other pressing problems to address about our beautiful planet. As far as he was concerned, these melodramatic doomsayers were distracting from the real issues.

That was then.

Greenland, Antarctica, glacier calving

The glacier ice continues to erode away.


In fact, it wasn't until 2005 that Balog became a believer.

He was sent on a photo expedition of the Arctic by National Geographic, and that first northern trip was more than enough to see the damage for himself.

"It was about actual tangible physical evidence that was preserved in the ice cores of Greenland and Antarctica," he said in a 2012 interview with ThinkProgress. "That was really the smoking gun showing how far outside normal, natural variation the world has become. And that's when I started to really get the message that this was something consequential and serious and needed to be dealt with."

Some of that evidence may have been the fact that more Arctic landmass has melted away in the last 20 years than the previous 10,000 years.

Watch the video of the event of the glacier calving below:

This article originally appeared on 11.04.15


32 years separate this before and after of a beautiful Washington forest. Take a look.

Our relationship with our planet can be mutually beneficial if we commit ourselves to sustainability.

A return to green over decades.

Douglas Scott grew up on Washington's Olympic Peninsula in the dying shadow of the timber industry that had supported the region for decades.

"Nearly every home had a bright orange or yellow sign reading 'This home supported by timber dollars,'" Scott wrote on Outdoor Society.

While the region has also been recognized for its succulent seafood, temperate climate, and stunning natural formations, nothing shaped the community — or the physical landscape — quite like logging did.

rebuilding, Olympic Peninsula, logging

Logging repercussions felt on the Olympic Peninsula.

Olympic Peninsula, circa 1972. Photo from the Records of the Environmental Protection Agency.

The tension in the air between the loggers and the environmentalists throughout the 1980s was thicker than the trees being cut down.

"I heard from old timers in the Harbor about how environmentalists were ruining the region, and I was told by environmentalists that loggers were killing everything in sight," Scott recalled.

But to understand the full impact of deforestation on the region, it helps to take the bird's eye view.

Here's a satellite image of the Olympic Peninsula from 1984. The white region in the center are the mountaintops in Olympic National Park; you'll also notice the grey and brown areas along the western and northern coasts of the peninsula.

satellite images, deforestation, tourism

Satellite image of deforestation on the region of the Olympic Peninsula.

Screenshot via GoogleEarth Engine.

"When I moved away from the area in 1997, there wasn't much of a logging or mill economy in dozens of towns around the region," Scott said.

By that time, tourism had begun to take the place of timber as the region's major industry — which was probably helped along by the fact that the trees were slowly but surely starting to recover, enhancing the already stunning vistas that drew visitors.

Here's how the Olympic Peninsula looked by the time that Scott and his family left the area; you'll notice the western and northern coasts are just a little bit greener than they were 13 years prior...

recovery, ecology, healing

Some green coming back.

Screenshot via GoogleEarth Engine.

Those great green arbors continued their gradual recovery into the 2000s...

trees, parks, Google Earth

More forest returns to the peninsula.

Screenshot via GoogleEarth Engine.

And they're still going today.

ecosystem, timber, wood

And still more green comes back.

Screenshot via GoogleEarth Engine.

But those isolated moments don't tell the whole story of the region's recovery. It's even more remarkable when you can see it in action...

habitat, climate change, going green

Olympic Peninsula demonstrating the power of nature.

GIF via GoogleEarth Engine.

We don't always notice the world changing right before our eyes, but the decades-long view of the Olympic Peninsula shows the true power of nature.

It's not just the trees, either; according to Scott, the replenished forests have also had a positive impact on the local salmon population and other treasured natural resources.

erosion, growth, wildlife, earth

Mother Nature doing her thing.

Left photo from Records of the Environmental Protection Agency; Right, by Miguel Vieira/Flickr.

That doesn't mean we shouldn't use the natural world, of course. We still need wood, for example, but now we know there are sustainable ways to use it without recklessly damaging to the planet.

The Earth was built to take care of itself. We just need to let Mother Nature do her thing.

This article originally appeared on 12.22.16