How London's Trees Are Fighting Climate Change

iStock
iStock

A slew of health benefits are associated with being around trees. They have been known to reduce people's stress and improve overall mental health, and according to one 2015 study, a walk in the woods can make you feel seven years younger.

They also do a great deal of good for the environment by mitigating air pollution and absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. These benefits aren’t just felt in rural areas, either. A new study by researchers at University College London found that the trees in the London borough of Camden store as much carbon per hectare as rainforests, Fast Company reports.

A tree’s ability to soak up carbon dioxide during photosynthesis is especially useful when the tree is in an urban area, where industrial activity—and the burning of fossil fuels—tends to be more prevalent. For the study, published in the journal Carbon Balance and Management, the researchers used laser scanning methods to take their own carbon readings of trees from the ground as well as the air, and then compared their findings with publicly available Lidar (light detection and ranging) data from the UK Environment Agency. They were then able to estimate the biomass of 85,000 trees in Camden, where the university is based.

They determined that Camden had a median carbon density of around 55 tons of carbon per hectare (t/ha). Greener areas of the borough, like Highgate Cemetery, had a carbon density of 380 t/ha—levels that are typically seen in tropical rainforests. For comparison, major cities in the U.S. have carbon densities of 7.7, and in China the figure is 21.3.

So what exactly does this mean? Trees could theoretically help offset global warming by removing carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) from the air and storing it as biomass, thereby cooling the atmosphere. However, some climate scientists argue that it’s more complicated than that, and any impact felt by tree-planting initiatives today may not be seen for decades. Still, with all of the other benefits trees offer, planting a seed or two couldn't hurt.

[h/t Fast Company]

This Gorgeous Vintage Edition of Clue Sets the Perfect Mood for a Murder Mystery

WS Game Company
WS Game Company

Everyone should have a few good board games lying around the house for official game nights with family and friends and to kill some time on the occasional rainy day. But if your collection leaves a lot to be desired, you can class-up your selection with this great deal on the Vintage Bookshelf Edition of Clue for $40.

A brief history of Clue

'Clue' Vintage Bookshelf Edition.
WS Game Company.

Originally titled Murder!, Clue was created by a musician named Anthony Pratt in Birmingham, England, in 1943, and he filed a patent for it in 1944. He sold the game to Waddington's in the UK a few years later, and they changed the name to Cluedo in 1949 (that name was a mix between the words clue and Ludo, which was a 19th-century game.) That same year, the game was licensed to Parker Brothers in the United States, where it was published as Clue. Since then, there have been numerous special editions and spinoffs of the original game, not to mention books and a television series based on it. Most notably, though, was the cult classic 1985 film Clue, which featured Eileen Brennan, Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn, Christopher Lloyd, Michael McKean, Martin Mull, and Lesley Ann Warren.

As you probably know, every game of Clue begins with the revelation of a murder. The object of the game is to be the first person to deduce who did it, with what weapon, and where. To achieve that end, each player assumes the role of one of the suspects and moves strategically around the board collecting clues.

With its emphasis on logic and critical thinking—in addition to some old-fashioned luck—Clue is a masterpiece that has stood the test of time and evolved with each decade, with special versions of the game hitting shelves recently based on The Office, Rick and Morty, and Star Wars.

Clue Vintage Bookshelf Edition

'Clue' Vintage Library Edition.
WS Game Company

The Vintage Bookshelf Edition of Clue is the work of the WS Game Company, a licensee of Hasbro, and all the design elements are inspired by the aesthetic of the 1949 original. The game features a vintage-looking game board, cards, wood movers, die-cast weapons, six pencils, an ivory-colored die, an envelope, and a pad of “detective notes.” And, of course, everything folds up and stores inside a beautiful cloth-bound book box that you can store right on the shelf in your living room.

Clue Vintage Bookshelf Edition is a limited-release item, and right now you can get it for $40.

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A Bald Eagle Nest With Eggs Has Been Spotted on Cape Cod for the First Time Since 1905

6381380/iStock via Getty Images
6381380/iStock via Getty Images

America's bald eagle population has made an incredible comeback in recent decades, and evidence of this can be seen on Cape Cod. As Boston.com reports, a bald eagle nest with a baby chick has been spotted on the Cape for the first time in more than a century.

The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife spotted the nest in Barnstable, Massachusetts. It's one of more than 70 eagle's nests that have popped up around the state this year, with others being documenting in Concord, Medford, and Northampton. Any eagle nest with eggs is considered active, and according to a photo snapped by a Mass Audubon Long Pasture volunteer, the Cape Cod site has already hatched a chick.

A bald eagle nest with eggs was last recorded on Cape Cod in 1905. In the years that followed, hunting, habitat loss, and insecticides like DDT decimated their numbers, resulting in the birds' addition to the Endangered Species List.

Thanks to conservation efforts and the ban of DDT, this trend has been reversed. Their numbers have grown from to just 471 nesting pairs in the lower 48 states in 1963 to nearly 10,000 today. The species is no longer considered endangered, and as the new Cape Cod nest shows, the birds are beginning to show up in places they haven't been seen in a lifetime.

If you're curious to see if bald eagles live your neighborhood, their nests are easy to spot. The average bald eagle nest is 2- to 4-feet deep and 4- to 5-feet wide—the largest of any North American bird.

[h/t Boston.com]