Alaska’s sea ice has completely melted away from its shores

Like much of the arctic, Alaska has had an unbelievably hot summer. In July, the state experienced a historic heatwave, with temperatures hitting the 90’s in some parts of Alaska. Temperatures have remained above average and the waters of the interior Arctic Ocean have continued to warm. And now the latest news out of Alaska: the ice within 150 miles of land has melted. “Alaska waters are ice-free,” said Rick Thoman, a climate specialist at the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy.

This isn’t the first time Arctic sea ice has melted from Alaska’s coast. In 2017, sea ice disappeared completely during the melt season. But this year marks the earliest year on record that the sea ice has vanished. Jeremy Mathis, an Arctic researcher and board director at the National Academies of Sciences told Mashable, “I’m running out of adjectives to describe the scope of change we’re seeing.” 

Ethiopia plants more than 353 million trees in one day to combat climate change

Ethiopia set an unofficial world record last week when over 353 million trees were planted throughout the country in 12 hours. The reforestation campaign, lead by the country’s Prime Minister, planted a total of 353,633,600 tree seedlings, smashing the original goal of 200 million trees.

But the tree-planting campaign doesn’t stop there. The country’s Prime Minister tweeted that Ethiopia plans to plant 4 billion trees during the rainy season, which takes place between May and October. Less than 4 percent of Ethiopia’s land is currently covered in trees. A recent study suggests that restoring the world’s downed forests has the potential to remove two-thirds of climate change causing carbon in the atmosphere. 

Happy birthday, Smokey Bear

He hasn’t aged a bit, but despite his youthful appearance, Smokey Bear turns 75-years-old today. The furry icon of the country’s longest public service campaign was born on August 9, 1944. He was the brainchild of the U.S. Forest Service and the Ad Council during a time when federal officials worried the country’s forests could become targets during WWII. Today, Smokey still has work to do. A recent report showed that people caused 84 percent of the forest fires started between 1992 and 2012.

To celebrate the bear’s birthday, Smokey requests that the public “take a video singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to me, your pal Smokey Bear and use the hashtag #SingForSmokey.”