In this week's Newsletter: Antarctic ice shelf crack grows 17 miles in 2 months, what's a climatarian (and are you one), where the trees in the continental US are  and much more!
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17 Miles in 2 Months: Alarming Crack in Antarctic Ice Shelf Grows

You've probably never heard of the Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctica, but this projection off the Antarctic peninsula has a large crack, more than 2 miles wide in some places, that has advanced to within 20 miles of the nearest edge. What that means is that sometime in the very near future, Larsen C will crack, and a huge iceberg, one of the largest ever recorded, will float out into the Southern Pacific Ocean.

However, that alone is not so much the problem; as big as it is, the iceberg would only affect sea level rise minimally. The greater concern is that losing a large part of Larsen C may make the glaciers behind it much more vulnerable to shifting and melting.

The Larsen A and Larsen B ice shelves both collapsed years ago (A in 1995 and B in 2002) but they were both much smaller chunks of ice. If Larsen C's collapse compromises the main points that hold up the ice shelf, and the glaciers start disappearing into the sea, that would cause much bigger increases in sea levels- increases that could have long term effects as far away as NYC.

You can read more from the New York Times online here.

Are You a Climatarian?

Of all the silly food words that have been coined recently, "climatarian", which appeared on the NY Times' list of the top food-related words of 2015, might actually describe something that you may be doing already.

If you base many or most of your food decisions on factors like travel miles, seasonality, waste and CO2 footprint, you could start calling yourself a climatarian.

Apparently the word is not new; Audubon magazine used the term in a headline all the way back in 2009. No one knows yet whether the term will stick or "go mainstream" but you can read more about its history and possible future on Grist.org here.

NASA Map Shows All the "Aboveground Woody Biomass" in the Continental US

Trees are beautiful, inspiring and useful. Major producers of life-giving oxygen, they are correspondingly great carbon sinks, sequestering as much as 45 percent of the carbon stored on land.

Now the NASA Earth Observatory has published this very interesting map of where the trees are, across the continental US. The map has been developed as part of an attempt to figure out how well today's forests sequester carbon compared to the forests of long ago, and whether where the trees were made a difference in how much carbon they can capture. To do this, researchers needed to examine satellite footage, radar, computer models and a whole lot of ground-based data. In the end, what the map really shows is the concentration of biomass that actually stores the carbon.

Forests in the U.S. were mapped down to a scale of 30 meters, or roughly 10 computer display pixels for every hectare of land (4 pixels per acre). They divided the country into 66 mapping zones and ended up mapping 265 million segments of the American land surface. The researchers estimate that their mapping database includes measurements of about five million trees.

You can learn more about the creation of this map and other attempts to measure Earth's forests in Seeing Forests for the Trees and the Carbon: 
Mapping the World’s Forests in Three Dimensions.
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Upcoming Events at Solar One

2/24
Final Fridays Film Series: Bag It the Movie: Is Your Life Too Plastic?
Solar 1, 24-20 FDR Drive Service Road East south of 23rd St at the East River, 6:30pm, $10 donation includes popcorn and 1 drink
Space is limited but seats are still available. RSVP to dina@solar1.org.

Other Events


2/11
City Growers Education Conference
PS 20, 225 Adelphi Street bet Willoughbuy & Dekalb Aves, Brooklyn, 9am, $15+

2/13
Lighting Codes and Regulations
Building Energy Exchange, 31 Chambers Street, Suite 609, bet Centre & Elk Sts, Manhattan, 9-11am, $30+

2/14
Green Light: LED Lighting- Evaluation & Selection
Building Energy Exchange, 31 Chambers Street, Suite 609, bet Centre & Elk Sts, Manhattan, 9-10:30am, $30+

Green Light: Advanced Controls- Types & Functions
Building Energy Exchange, 31 Chambers Street, Suite 609, bet Centre & Elk Sts, Manhattan, 11am-12:30pm, $30+

Green Light: Lighting Retrofits- Strategies & Applications
Building Energy Exchange, 31 Chambers Street, Suite 609, bet Centre & Elk Sts, Manhattan, 1:30-3pm, $30+

2/16
Community Meeting for Future Planning of Asser Levy and Murphy Brothers Playgrounds
Manhattan VA Medical Center Atrium, 423 East 23rd Street bet 1st Ave & Ave C, Manhattan, 6:30-8:30pm, free
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