Why are new rivers carving through Greenland, and can we stop them?

It's no big secret that our planet's heating up.

You can tell just by looking at the average temperatures over the last hundred years.

There's also the fact that, oh yeah, Greenland is literally melting.


Yup, that's a puddle of melted ice. Not actually a river leading to a lake. WHOOPS. GIF via New York Times.

That's why Dr. Laurence Smith and his team are getting their feet wet and hands dirty on Greenland's glaciers.

Perhaps more accurately, they are risking life and limb as they contend with frostbite and sinkholes in the cracking ice in an attempt to gather the most up-to-date and accurate on-the-ground evidence of climate change ever.

“We scientists love to sit at our computers and use climate models to make those predictions. But to really know what's happening, that kind of understanding can only come about through empirical measurements in the field," Dr. Smith, the head of the geography department at UCLA, told the New York Times (in a super-cool multimedia story that you should totally check out).

GIF via New York Times.

As the icy landmass crumbles beneath their feet, they're out there recording information on the velocity, volume, temperature, and depth of the thousands and thousands of rushing rivers of melted water that have carved their way through Greenland due to rising global temperatures.

We're talkin' 430,000 gallons of water per minute flowing off the ice and into sinkholes called moulins that lead out into the ocean.

Did I mention that if the entire Greenland ice sheet melts, they're currently predicting that it could cause the sea to rise by a whopping 20 feet? 'Cause that's fun.

GIF via New York Times.

Until now, most climate scientists have relied on computer models to predict the changing shape of the world.

The physical evidence of climate change right outside is pretty hard to deny. But scientists have spent the last few decades trying to come up with computer calculations to predict exactly what will happen if our rate of carbon consumption continues.

430,000 gallons of water per minute is flowing off the ice and into the ocean.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of factors involved in climate conditions. As a result, these theoretical models have not perfectly predicted the future — a fact which those who reject mainstream climate science love to use as justification for their willful ignorance.

Case in point: Just this past year, when the overall sea level rose a whole one-quarter of a millimeter less than predicted.

To recap: Sea levels are in fact still rising, and the world is in fact heating up overall. But climate change isn't real because something something margin of error and science uh-huh OK sure.

GIF from "Easy A."

While these new calculations won't stop what's happening, they'll at least help us prepare for what we're about to face.

For example, if we can predict with greater accuracy (like, less than a quarter-of-a-millimeter off) just how much the water levels are going to rise in the years to come, we can enact a plan to build seawalls or other structures to stop flooding and save our coastal cities ( like that same quaint New England one that I call home ahhhhhhhhh).

GIF via New York Times.

But preventive treatment to stop the effects of climate change also means taking action to end the damage that we're doing right now. It's no use wasting taxpayer dollars on research that we ourselves are rendering useless to plan for a future that we won't live to see.

In the meantime, you can check out this stunning drone video of Greenland's melting glaciers — just as long as you promise to remind yourself that the beautiful sparkling landscape is neither natural nor good.

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Natural Resources Defense Council
Rice University

A plaque marking the death of a glacier comes with a haunting message to future generations.

The former Okjökull glacier in western Iceland is the first to lose its status as a glacier due to climate change. Known now as simply "Ok," the once sprawling ice sheet has melted to about seven percent of what it was a century ago and was declared no longer a glacier in 2014.

Scientists predict that in the next 200 years, if the climate crisis is not mitigated, the rest of Iceland's 400 glaciers will meet the same fate.

Next month, the land that Ok once covered will be marked with a memorial plaque. Researchers from Rice University in Houston, Texas, Icelandic author Andri Snær Magnason, and geologist Oddur Sigurðsson—who first declared the glacier's lost status—will unveil the plaque in a public ceremony on August 18.

The plaque's text begins, "A letter to the future," then reads:

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Planet
Photo by Raul Varzar on Unsplash

A quarter of domestic cats have had their claws removed. Even though it might make the owners lives a little easier, the procedure can be incredibly painful for the animals and has been described as "barbaric."

Most of Europe and Canada have banned cat declawing (onychectomy), as well as several U.S. cities, but New York just became the first state to do so. Now, any vet who declaws a cat in the there will face a fine of $1,000, unless the procedure is medically necessary.

"Declawing is a cruel and painful procedure that can create physical and behavioral problems for helpless animals, and today it stops," New York GovernorAndrew Cuomo saidin a statement, per USA Today.

Some people get their cat declawed to stop their furniture and flesh from being destroyed. However, declawing a cat isn't the best way to stop a cat from scratching. In fact, it's probably the worst. "If a person has an issue with a cat scratching, well, first of all, I'd advise them don't get a cat because that is the very nature of a cat. But, secondly, there are ways to change cats' behavior. Get scratching posts. There are vinyl sheathes that could be placed on the nails," Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal said. Rosenthal sponsored the bill and is a cat owner, herself. "[T]here's many ways to address that behavior." None of the ways you address the problem should include taking it's claws off.

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Cities
Alie Ward

Your dinner plate shouldn't shame you for eating off of it. But that's exactly what a set being sold at Macy's did.

The retailer has since removed the dinnerware from their concept shop, Story, after facing social media backlash for the "toxic message" they were sending.

The plates, made by Pourtions, have circles on them to indicate what a proper portion should look like, along with "helpful — and hilarious — visual cues" to keep people from "overindulging."

There are serval different styles, with one version labeling the largest portion as "mom jeans," the medium portion as "favorite jeans," and the smallest portion as "skinny jeans."

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Well Being

In today's installment of the perils of being a woman, a 21-year-old woman shared her experience being "slut-shamed" by her nurse practitioner during a visit to urgent care for an STD check.

The woman recently had sex with someone she had only just met, and it was her first time hooking up with someone she had not "developed deep connections with."

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Well Being