If not the Great Wall, it seems China’s main attraction is its everlasting devotion to the giant panda. The home of the Forbidden City has even built a solar farm inspired by the peaceful bamboo-munchers. Now hoping to increase populations, China is funding a national park dedicated to the slow-reproducing bears.
Plans for the park – which would cover 27,134 sq km – were first put forward early last year by the ruling Communist Party and the State Council, China’s cabinet.
If the 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) proves enough, the Giant Panda National Park will dwarf Yellowstone by three times. With over 80% of the world’s pandas situated in Sichuan, 2018 is the perfect year for a get-together. Getting them to breed? We’ll leave it up to luck.
Giant pandas have a notoriously low reproductive rate, a key factor – along with habitat loss – in their status as “vulnerable” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of threatened species.
We get it, guys. Dating around can be unsettling — but perhaps not for the greater good.
If NASA’s planetary protection officer fails to defend the world from aliens, there are two other planets to run to. With the potential of a not-so-friendly E.T. on everyone’s mind, internal threats don’t seem possible. However, NASA now has its eyes set on defusing a Yellowstone super volcano, which could see the end of an entire continent.
An enormous pool of magma sits high in the Earth’s crust. It’s been calculated to contain about 60 billion cubic miles of molten rock.
For scale, if the Yellowstone were to erupt, it would bury much of the United States under a blanket of ash and lava. Not to mention it’d drastically alter the world’s climate for at least a few centuries. Yellowstone isn’t going to erupt anytime soon, but NASA is eager to take some precautionary measures.
NASA scientists propose drilling a 5-mile-deep hole into the hydrothermal water below and to the sides of the magma chamber. These fluids… already drain some 60 to 70 percent of the heat from the magma chamber below.
Yes, NASA’s genius solution is a giant hole and some cold water, which will cost them $3.5 billion. It may sound rudimentary, but if it means we aren’t going to meet an ashy demise, I’m all for it!