July 22, 2013

    Photo: Jacob Cooper/Courtesy of C-Change.LA

SoCal Could Lose Two-Thirds of Snowpack

By the end of the century

Southern Californians could see their mountains lose up to two-thirds of their snow by 2100, according to a new study from the University of California Los Angeles. According to the study, funded in part by the city of L.A., the mountains in the Los Angeles region could lose about 30 to 40 percent of their snow by 2050 and about 66 percent by the end of the century.

"Climate change has become inevitable, and we're going to lose a substantial amount of snow by mid-century," said UCLA researcher Alex Hall. "But our choices matter. By the end of the century there will be stark differences in how much snowfall remains, depending on whether we begin to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions."

According to Adventure Journal, in addition to reducing traffic to Big Bear, Mountain High, and other local ski resorts, the decreased snowpack could negatively impact water supplies in the area.

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    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

German Town Under Attack From Cannabis Plants

Thousands planted by legalization activists

Activists protesting Germany’s strict anti-marijuana laws have taken to planting tens of thousands of such seeds in the small university town of Gottingen.

The seeds, which were planted last month, have begun to bloom, and now local police have their hands full trying to rip them out. Authorities say they have removed over 70 plants so far, including a set outside the police station. "Everything that looks like cannabis is torn out," said a police spokesman. But more are blossoming every day in parks, yards, and even window boxes.

The group, A Few Autonomous Flower Children (AFAFC), say they are fighting against the “demonization” of the plant. “We can’t set eyes on this useful and beautiful plant because it’s absolutely forbidden in Germany to grow it,” said a spokesman for the group. "This action is a big deal—[we] really put effort into it.

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An older athlete hitting the ball.     Photo: arek_malang/Shutterstock

Study: Happiness Peaks at age 23, 69

50s are a rough time

Blame your high expectations. According to a study from the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics to be published this week, life satisfaction peaks at 23 and 69, dipping dramatically in your 50s as life's myriad disappointments kick in.

After surveying 23,161 Germans, ages 17 to 85, researchers discovered that people in their early 20s overestimate their future happiness by 10 percent. After that, disillusionment causes a bottoming-out at around age 55. By age 68, the average person underestimates their future happiness by 4.5 percent, reducing the disappointment they face.

"People in their fifties could learn from the elderly, who generally feel less regret," researcher Hannes Schwandt told the Daily Mail. "They should try not to be frustrated by their unmet expectations because they are probably not feeling much worse than their peers," Schwandt said.

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An ocean reef.     Photo: Derek Keats

Navy Drops Bombs On Great Barrier Reef

Conservationists concerned about the ecosystem

The U.S. Navy jettisoned four unarmed bombs over the Great Barrier Reef last week, sparking concerns among Australians that the unexploded ordnance could damage the World Heritage Site's ecosystem.

Two jets on a training exercise were supposed to drop the bombs on the nearby Townshend Island bombing range, but were forced to abort the mission when it became clear that the site was not clear of civilians.

A Navy spokesperson explained that the jets were low on fuel and that they were unable to land with the bombs onboard, forcing the emergency drop.

But Australians have expressed skepticism that the military has any concern for the environment. “How can they protect the environment and bomb the reef at the same time? Get real,” Australian environmentalist Graeme Dunstan told the Associated Press.

A study last fall revealed that half of the Great Barrier Reef's coral has disappeared in the last 30 years, with a steady decline of 1.6 percent per year since 2006.

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