Tag: Geo-engineering


Anthropocene Exhibition

Next Nature Network will take part in the Munich Deutsches Museum one year special exhibit on the topic of the Anthropocene.

Opening on the 5th of December, the exhibition will visualize the history, present and future of the Anthropocene, as well as the deep inventions of humans into the geo- and biosphere over the last two centuries. Some Next Nature Network projects featured in the expo: Razorius Gilletus, Rayfish Shoes, Space Blanket and recipes from The In Vitro Meat Cookbook, such as Dodo Nuggets, Knitted Meat, Magic Meatballs, Meat Oyster and more.

Welcome to the Anthropocene: The Earth in Our Hands
@ Deutsches Museum, Munich, Germany
From December 5, 2014 to January 31, 2016

For information and updates visit: Deutsches Museum

Aral Sea

Anthropocene: the Shrinking of Aral Sea

The Aral Sea in Central Asia was formerly one of the four largest lakes in the world, with an area of 68.000 km2. As a consequence of a massive water diversion project to irrigate surrounding areas it is drying up. Today, not much is left.

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The Anthropocene Explosion

Biologically, there is nothing remarkable in the fact that humans are agents of ecological change and environmental upset. All species transform their surroundings. The dizzying complexity of landscapes on Earth is not just a happy accident of geology and climate, but the result of billions of years of organisms grazing, excavating, defecating, and decomposing. Nor is it unusual that certain lucky species are able to outcompete and eventually entirely displace other species. The Great American Interchange, when North American fauna crossed the newly formed isthmus of Panama to conquer South America three million years ago1 is just one among countless examples of swift, large-scale extinctions resulting from competition and predation.

What is remarkable, however, is the stunning speed of human adaptation relative to other species, and that our adaptation is self-directed. From sonar and flight to disease immunity, humans can “evolve” exquisite new traits in a single generation. The Anthropocene represents a catastrophic mismatch between the pace of human technological evolution and the genetic evolution of nearly every other species on Earth. As with many other geological epochs, the Anthropocene has been heralded with a mass extinction, one which is generally accepted to be the sixth great one to occur on Earth.2

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eternal reef

Spend Eternity As An Artificial Coral Reef

Coral reefs are suffering degradation from a number of natural and human-induced causes. American company, Eternal Reefs, had a peculiar idea to help preserve, protect, and enhance the oceans’ health.

They offer to their clients the possibility – after death – to have ashes made into a rock to form the base of an “eternal memorial reef” to provide a habitat for sea-life.

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moths flying around a streetlight

Street Lights Permanently Change the Ecology of Local Bugs

The first “modern” streetlight was lit in London’s Pall Mall in 1807. That night may also have marked the first time a moth found itself trapped in an irresistible spiral around public lighting. Ever since then, streetlights have become a fixture of life in cities and suburbs, and a deathtrap for flying insects. Researchers at the University of Exeter have recently discovered that the abundance of insect life around these lights is not just a passing assemblage, but a permanent fixture. The diversity of invertebrate ground predators and scavengers, like beetles and harvestmen, remained elevated around streetlights even during the day. These insects had figured out the benefits of living in an island of artificially high prey concentrations.

These findings indicate that streetlights affect local ecologies for a longer duration, and at a higher level in the food web, than previously thought. Given the decline of pollinators and other invertebrates in the UK and around the world, it may be important to re-examine the impact of seemingly harmless nighttime lighting.

Image via Swburdine. Thanks to Twitter user Namhenderson for the story.


A Net will Collect Debris from Outer Space

After several approaches to junk removal, Japanese space agency JAXA, came up with the idea of a 700 meters long magnetic net, that will be sent out with a special spacecraft. The mesh of the net is made of steel and aluminum wires that collect the junk thanks to electromagnetic force. Once the net is full of debris, it de-orbits and burns up in the atmosphere.

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Painting the Anthropocene

Painter Philip Govedare depicts 21st century landscapes transformed by mining, dredging, and civilization.
His paintings aim to represent the complexity and meanings of the landscapes we inhabit, showing how nature has become a subset of culture.

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Nile by Night

Old nature lid up by next nature. Our peculiar image of the week shows the river Nile by night, as seen from a satellite. Source.