The Blue Files | Episode 16
[As featured in Episode 16]
Most Wanted Lost Species
An adorable, tiny mammal with a long nose and big spectacled eyes has been “rediscovered” after more than half a century. The Somali sengi, which resembles a field mouse with an elongated snout, has not been seen since 1973. The tiny creatures are related to elephants, aardvarks and manatees. Everything known about the obscure mini mammal came from 39 individual specimens that were collected decades, even centuries ago and are now stored in museums, according to a statement from Global Wildlife Conservation.
It turns out locals knew of their elusive existence all along. So after doing interviews and analysing possible dung piles, researchers set up over 1,200 traps across the rugged lands of Djibouti in the Horn of Africa. In total, they found 12 Somali sengis, and have recommended that the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species now be updated.
If you are wondering what lured the mysterious animal – peanut butter, oatmeal and yeast did the trick.
It Really is “Death Valley”
Death Valley was the hottest place on Earth on Sunday, August 16, 2020. If verified, it could be the hottest temperature recorded in the world since 1913.
The hottest, driest and lowest national park in California and Nevada recorded a preliminary high temperature of 130 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). The all-time high of 134 degrees, reported over 100 years ago, was also recorded in Death Valley.
An intense heatwave that has triggered power outages and wildfires across the American Southwest has also delivered what could be the hottest temperature in the world since 1913.
Usually, the West and Southwestern US experience the North American monsoon during this time of year, said Daniel Berc, from the National Weather Service in Las Vegas. The monsoon hasn’t developed as it typically does, so instead of heavy rainfall Death Valley is getting hotter under high pressure.
The National Weather Service (NWS) measurement is now in the process of being verified.
Passed The Point of No Return
Scientists have made the unfortunate declaration that Greenland’s Melting Ice Sheet Has ‘Passed The Point of No Return.’
Annual snowfall that normally replenishes Greenland’s glaciers can no longer keep pace with the ice melt, according to researchers at Ohio State University. Greenland’s ice is the world’s largest single contributor to sea-level rise. Experts say, at the current melt rate, an additional 2.75 inches or 6.9 cm will be added to global sea level in the next 80 years.
In Episode 2, of the Big Blue Marble, we spoke with Martin Stendel, Climate Scientist at the Danish Meteorological Institute. Stendel highlighted the ice sheet loss of 55 billion tons of water over just 5 days due to a heat wave in 2019. Episode 2, Greenland is Melting and the World Should Be Worried is available on our website at bigbluemarble.earth.