There’s a lot of stuff under all that ice at the poles. It’s been sealed up for thousands to millions of years. Polar amplification, a feedback loop where the melting ice accelerates its own demise, is rapidly thawing the Artic. That’s bad enough. Now, there’s more reasons to worry:
U.S. government scientists on Monday revealed that the permafrost also contains large volumes of mercury, a toxic element humans have already been pumping into the air by burning coal. There are 32 million gallons worth of mercury, or the equivalent of 50 Olympic swimming pools, trapped in the permafrost, the scientists wrote in a study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. For context, that’s “twice as much mercury as the rest of all soils, the atmosphere, and ocean combined,” they wrote.
Mercury is one of the most toxic substances widely used in ordinary, everyday goods. It can kill, maim, and drive people insane along the way. It was once used in a particularly unsafe way to make felt for items like hats, and this is why many believe it gave rise to the phrase “mad as a hatter.”
Race is a fluid concept. What we see today is mostly just the endpoints of various expansions, mergers, and die offs that happened to occur right before the modern world fixed things into place, for now.
Yes, the Falcon Heavy went up this week with a Tesla Roadster on board headed for the vicinity of Mars. We interviewed Elon Musk about SpaceX—back when it was barely cool—and his plans for the future of space travel, right here.
It’s a record bad flu season. Which is why this is unusually bad medical advice from a public figure who probably knows better:
A Texas-based evangelist with ties to President Donald Trump came under fire this week after video re-surfaced of her telling followers that they don’t need to get a flu shot because “Jesus himself gave us the flu shot.”