How Much Hotter Your Town Is Going to Get by the End of the Century

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iStock

Most of us are well aware that climate change means that the world is going to get a lot warmer in the coming years. It’s already toasty—2017 was one of the hottest years on record, and the top four hottest years have all occurred since 2014. (And 2018 is poised to knock 2014 off the list as the fourth-hottest year.)

It’s hard to picture what this means, though, other than that we’ve all been sweaty. A new interactive graphic from The New York Times makes it easy to understand, for better or for worse. It allows you to plug in your hometown and birth year to see how many average days per year the temperature has reached 90 degrees throughout your lifetime. And then it projects how many of those extra-hot days will occur each year, on average, for the rest of the century.

Say you were born in Los Angeles in 1985. That year, the LA area was projected to experience around 55 days of 90°F or higher. Today, that number has climbed to 67 days a year. By the time you reach 80 years old, there will likely be 81 to 99 of those extra-hot days.

To get a sense of how climate change will affect younger generations, consider the plight of someone born in LA in 2000. That year, LA could expect 59 days a year of 90°F weather. By the time that person reaches age 80, they can expect to see an average of up to 103 days a year of that weather. Yeesh. And it will be worse for places that already experience a lot of hot weather. Someone born in New Delhi in 2000 can expect to experience an average of up to 243 days a year of 90°F or higher weather. That’s two-thirds of the year. It will be especially awful in tropical locations. By the end of the century, Jakarta, Indonesia will be 90°F or higher for almost the entire year.

It’s hard to do the graphic justice without experiencing the interactivity for yourself, so go ahead and play with it over on the Times website. But instead of weeping, take action.

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.
Allwood/Amazon

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

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Beavers on Devon's River Otter to Become England's First Permanent Population in Centuries

Beavers were hunted to extinction in England in the 16th century, so locals were surprised to find a group of the mammals living on Devon's River Otter in 2008. Instead of moving the beavers, the Devon Wildlife Trust monitored the population to see how it would interact with the local environment. Now, as The Guardian reports, the government has deemed the beaver reintroduction program a success, meaning the species now has a permanent home in the country for the first time in centuries.

Though the North American beaver is better known, beavers are also native to Europe. Hunting reduced the Eurasian Beaver population to 1200 specimens by 1900. Their numbers have recovered in the years since, but they're still mainly limited to Scandinavia, Germany, France, Poland, and central Russia.

The beaver group currently living on the River Otter likely originated with either an accidental or unauthorized release. When local authorities discovered the beavers were breeding in 2014, they intended to relocate them to protect the local ecosystem. The Devon Wildlife Trust proposed an alternative: Allow the population to live on the river undisturbed for five years, and only remove them if they were proven to cause harm by the end of the trial.

The beavers did not hurt the environment—they actually added several benefits, according to the five-year study. The population, which now consists of 15 family groups, constructed 28 dams throughout the river system. These dams helped slow water flow during floods and contained water during droughts that would normally dry up riverbeds. The beaver-engineered habitat also allowed an increase in the number of water voles, fish, and amphibians.

When the trial officially ends on August 31, the beavers will become permanent residents of Devon in the eyes of the government. They're concentrated on the River Otter for now, but they're expected to expand beyond it, potentially starting new beaver populations in other parts of England for the first time in modern history.

[h/t The Guardian]