as summer turns to autumn, decreasing levels of light begin to slow the production of chlorophyll in leaves, causing their green colour to fade. the production of carotenoids and flavonoids also begins to slow, but these pigments are broken down more slowly than chlorophyll, allowing their yellow and orange colours to be expressed. for some leaves, this time of year also sees an increase in the production of the flavonoid anthocyanin, causing those leaves with lower levels of other flavonoids or carotenoids to turn red. (see also: autumnal art)
both chinstrap and adele penguins rely on krill for food, but the krill population, which itself relies on phytoplankton found beneath icebergs, has decreased by 80 percent. as the antarctic ice continues to melt, the phytoplankton are prevented from accessing cold water nutrients found beneath the icebergs, which ends up putting populations of the penguins at risk.
there’s now strong evidence to suggest a more than 50 percent drop in the abundance of chinstraps breeding since 1986, while the adelie population northeast of the ross sea has declined by 90 percent.
(side note: the bluer ice seen here is created as air bubbles trapped in the ice are sufficiently compressed over time from accumulated snow so that they no longer interfere with the passage of light. the structure of glacial ice, different from the ice you would normally see, strongly scatters light, which, as with all ice, is blue because water absorbs photons from the red end of the visible spectrum much better than the blue end.)
The blood falls of Antarctica
In some remote regions of the antarctic there are glaciers that appear to be bleeding. This makes for a stunning visual on the bright white snow, but what is going on here?
The falls are actually the product of a subglacial lake that is seeping out from a rupture in the glacier. The red color comes from the microbes living in the dark cold lake that use iron to produce energy (think rust). Scientists think that this population of organisms have been able to evolve separately from the rest of the world for over 1.5 million years.
UC Santa Cruz glaciologist Slawek Tulaczyk studies these types of environments and says they’re great for theorizing life on other planets:
A place like this would be as close of an analog as we can find on this planet for subpermafrost life habitats on Mars.
Tulaczyk and his team drill into Antarctic ice in the hopes of finding these types of ecosystems deep below the surface.
Natural Eye Color Chart
Somewhere around D60 :D
Between A17 and A20 :-)
This is a photo of Tulip field in Northern Holland.
Tulips come in a variety of shapes and sizes as well as an array of colours; red, pink, yellow, orange purple, in fact there are 1,700 varieties of tulips!! But did you know, that about 80% of them come from the Netherlands?
Today over 3 billion tulip bulbs are cultivated in Holland, 2 billion of which are exported; with the United States of America being the top importer, taking around 1 billion a year!!
Contrary to belief, tulips are not actually native to the Netherlands, The are naturally found in high altitude areas where during the winter thick layers of snow offers them good protection from the severe cold. Given this natural liking of tulips for high places, it is all the more remarkable that the Dutch should become known for growing tulips, as the Netherlands is largely situated below sealevel and their winters are more wet than cold!
The ability to achieve such yields of tulips is a result of the soil type and climate of the region. The soils are often a sandy loam and offer good soil drainage, this ensure the bulbs do not rot from saturation. The relatively temperate climate is also a benefit giving sunlight, mild temperatures and sufficient rainfall.
For tourists there is Keukenhof (“Kitchen garden”), it is situated near Lisse, The Netherlands and is the world’s largest flower garden, with more than 7 million flower tulip bulb planted annually!
Keukenhof is open annually from the last week in March to mid-May. The best time to view the tulips is around mid-April, so basically the last couple weeks!
Photo courtesy of Allard Schlager
For more information: http://www.keukenhof.nl/