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Strokes, Heart Attacks Spike on Days With Poor Air Quality

Hold Your Breath

Researchers already knew that chronic exposure to air pollution could wreak havoc on a person’s longterm health, causing serious ailments ranging from lung cancer to respiratory infection.

But now, new data out of the United Kingdom shows that air pollution can seemingly trigger heart attacks and stokes, too — bringing into focus the more immediate impacts of poor air quality.

Health Emergency

For this study, researchers from King’s College London gathered data on daily air pollution levels in nine cities in the U.K. and divided the data into “high pollution days” and “low pollution days.”

The researchers then looked at daily data on heart attacks and strokes in each city, and found that emergency services treated an average of 124 more people for heart attacks and 231 more people for strokes on high pollution days than on low.

Air Quote

King’s College plans to release its full report on the study in November, but according to Simon Stevens, National Health Service England’s chief executive, the preliminary data shows there’s no time to waste in addressing air pollution in England and beyond.

“These new figures show air pollution is now causing thousands of strokes, cardiac arrests, and asthma attacks, so it’s clear that the climate emergency is in fact also a health emergency,” he told The Guardian. “Since these avoidable deaths are happening now, not in 2025 or 2050, together we need to act now.”

READ MORE: Scores more heart attacks and strokes on high pollution days, figures show [The Guardian]

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Planet Earth

Australia Firefighters Save the Only Wild Prehistoric Wollemi Pines on Earth

Olivia Rosane, EcoWatch
Waking Times

It looks as if firefighters in Australia have succeeded in saving a secret grove of prehistoric trees belonging to a species that dates back to the time of the dinosaurs.

The Wollemi pines once grew widely across Australia from more than 100 to 60 million years ago, The Washington Post reported. But now less than 200 remain in the wild, in a national park 125 miles northwest of Sydney.

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Planet Earth

“Huge anomalies” at the edge of the earth’s core

At the edge of the Earth’s core lie two gigantic blobs of ultrahot rock — and that’s about the extent to which geologists agree about them.

NASA PHYSICAL OCEANOGRAPHY. DISTRIBUTED ACTIVE ARCHIVE CENTER

The mysterious blobs are on opposite sides of the planet, one hidden beneath Africa, the other in the middle of the Pacific Ocean – the Quanta Magazine compared the ‘massive anomalies’ to Princess Leia’s iconic hairstyle (Star Wars).

Scientists discovered the blobs decades ago by mapping the interior of the planet, but have not learned much since.

Some ideas

There are two main schools of thought regarding the blobs, according to Quanta. The first camp holds that they’re merely massive clusters of hot plumes.

The other argues that the blobs — so big that they would drown the planet’s surface in a lava ocean over 60 miles deep — are their own distinct entity and not just a particularly warm region of the core.

Recent evidence supports the second camp: Quanta reports that scientists found traces of unique, ancient rocks and isotopes in magma that’s flowed upward from the blobs — materials nearly as old as the Earth itself and not found elsewhere on the planet.

Persistent Mystery

Still, great mystery still surrounds the deeply-buried hotspots. One theory is that they could be fragments of a Mars-sized object that crashed into the Earth.

University of Maryland seismologist Vedran Lekić told Quanta

It would be like having an object in the sky, and asking, ‘Is that the moon?’ And people are like, no. ‘Is that the sun?’ No. ‘What is it?’ We don’t know.

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Planet Earth

Global warming is now visible! The sea has swallowed two islands in Indonesia

Two uninhabited islands in the Indonesian South Sumatra province has completely disappeared underwater as a result of rising sea levels caused by global warming. This was reported today by the Straits Times, quoting data from the local environmental forum, TASS reported.

“Betet and Gundul Islands are now 1-3 meters below sea level,” said NGO leader Khairul Sobri.

“Unless emergency action is taken in relation to global warming, four more islands within the province are at risk of extinction,” the expert warned.

He noted that one of these islands, Salah Namao, is still habitable, though since the 1990s, locals have gradually begun to abandon it, main reason being the sea levels rise. According to him, the already extinct Betet Island had previously a national nature reserve, recognized by UNESCO.

Indonesia is located in the world’s largest archipelago with nearly 18 thousand islands.

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