Photo: joakant

Photo: joakant

The Ocean: Life and livelihoods

The ocean covers over 70% of the planet. It is our life source, supporting humanity’s sustenance and that of every other organism on earth. The ocean produces at least 50% of the planet’s oxygen, it is home to most of earth’s biodiversity, and is the main source of protein for more than a billion people around the world. Not to mention, the ocean is key to our economy with an estimated 40 million people being employed by ocean-based industries by 2030.

Even though all its benefits, the ocean is now in need of support.

With 90% of big fish populations depleted, and 50% of coral reefs destroyed, we are taking more from the ocean than can be replenished. To protect and preserve the ocean and all it sustains, we must create a new balance, rooted in true understanding of the ocean and how humanity relates to it. We must build a connection to the ocean that is inclusive, innovative, and informed by lessons from the past.

From: https://www.un.org/en/observances/oceans-day

Photo: Jonatan Pie

Photo: Jonatan Pie

Photo: Jonatan Pie

Photo: Noel_Bauza

Photo: Noel_Bauza

An aurora, sometimes referred to as polar lights (aurora polaris), northern lights (aurora borealis), or southern lights (aurora australis), is a natural light display in the Earth's sky, predominantly seen in high-latitude regions (around the Arctic and Antarctic).

Auroras are the result of disturbances in the magnetosphere caused by solar wind. These disturbances are sometimes strong enough to alter the trajectories of charged particles in both solar wind and magnetospheric plasma. These particles, mainly electrons and protons, precipitate into the upper atmosphere. The resulting ionization and excitation of atmospheric constituents emit light of varying color and complexity.

Alps

Photo: Pixel2013

Hallstatt, Austria, Alps

Photo: Julius_Silver

Berchtesgaden, Alps, Germany

Photo: FelixMittermeier

Matterhorn, Alps, Switzerland

Photo: klausdie

Mont Blanc, Alps

Photo: laurentgraphiste

The Alps

are the highest and most extensive mountain range system that lies entirely in Europe, and stretch approximately 1,200 km (750 mi) across eight Alpine countries (from west to east): France, Switzerland, Monaco, Italy, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, and Slovenia.

The highest peak in the Alps is Mont Blanc at 4810 metres (15,782 feet). Mont Blanc (French) or Monte Blanco (Italian) means White Mountain.

The mountain itself attracts many visitors from all over the world as it is the tallest mountain in the Alps. The town next to Mont Blanc, Chamonix, was the site of the first ever Winter Olympics.

Tourism, which began in the 19th century in a modest way, became, after World War II, a mass phenomenon. Thus, the Alps are a summer and winter playground for millions of European urban dwellers and annually attract tourists from around the world. Because of this enormous human impact on a fragile physical and ecological environment, the Alps are likely the most threatened mountain system in the world.