A version of this story appeared in CNN’s science bulletin Wonder Theory. To get it delivered to your inbox, sign up for free here. CNN—The ocean may be our best hope in the fight against the climate crisis, but it needs our help. Due to its vast expanse, the ocean is able to capture at least 25% of the carbon dioxide released by humans into the atmosphere. The underwater world below the waves can trap carbon for thousands or even millions of years. This “blue carbon” is much more efficient than the carbon captured by plants and trees. But such an impressive capability cannot be expected to continue without protecting the sea itself, experts on CNN’s Earth Appeal said on Thursday. Scientists suggest stopping fishing and mining in large areas of the ocean, restoring ecosystems like coral reefs and preventing pollution from entering waterways. If the warming ocean in its current state is able to do its part to save the planet, a healthier ocean could have an even bigger impact, experts say. The ocean is full of hope. Just ask the Queen of the Deep herself, Sylvia Earle. The 87-year-old oceanographer has spent much of his life exploring the ocean and still holds the world record for deepest free-walking on the seabed. “Every time I go in the water, I see things I’ve never seen before,” she said. Its Mission Blue program, which supports ocean research and restoration, has identified more than 140 marine areas around the world that are critical to revitalizing the ocean. Referred to as Hope Spots, these special sites are guarded by local communities and institutions. Gray nurse sharks may look menacing with their ragged, needle-like teeth, but a 16-year-old marine ecologist from Port Macquarie in Australia would disagree. “They are so docile and curious,” said Shalise Leesfield, who works to protect critically endangered species. “They’re like the Labradors of the sea.” The slow-moving sharks, which feed on stingrays, sea urchins and other bottom dwellers, still inhabit Fish Rock, a colorful, coral-filled underwater cave offshore of South West Rocks, 40 miles up the coast from his home. . Thanks to Leesfield, the cave ecosystem has been named Hope Spot. It aims to establish a sanctuary zone to ensure that sharks, which are largely harmless to humans, can continue to reproduce and survive. Here is the sun, and it is happy to see you. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory has captured what appears to be a smile on our star from its vantage point in space. Some social media users thought it looked like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from ‘Ghostbusters’, but the dark spots are actually called coronal holes. These holes in the surface of the sun can release powerful currents of solar wind, or charged particles, which can reach Earth. And it’s something we could see more of as the sun’s activity ramps up before it hits solar maximum in 2025. Meanwhile, astronomers have spotted a ‘planet killer’ asteroid lurking in the shine from the sun, and it has the potential to cross paths with Earth in the future. The space rock is the largest potentially dangerous asteroid discovered in the past eight years. “Compostable plastic” is not as planet-friendly as it seems. Bags, cups, plates and cutlery touted as biodegradable alternatives to harmful single-use plastic items are unregulated – and a new study has found that 60% of products labeled as compostable do not fully decompose. Instead, keep reusable containers handy, like mugs or bottles for drinks on the go. And if you see two versions of the same product with different packaging, opt for cardboard rather than plastic. Want more ideas on how to minimize your role in the climate crisis and reduce your eco-anxiety? Sign up for CNN’s limited series of Life, But Greener newsletters. The strange tale of an ancient creature was just beginning when, in 1818, fossil collector Mary Anning unearthed an unusual specimen in southwest England. She found the first complete skeleton of a prehistoric marine reptile named ichthyosaur, and her discovery helped spark a fledgling field called paleontology. But the fossil was destroyed in a World War II bombing. A chance discovery by two researchers revealed two unknown plaster casts of the skeleton hidden in the vaults of the museum – one in the United States and the other in Germany. The casts, which preserve precious details of a priceless fossil once thought to be lost forever, date back to a time two decades before the word dinosaur was even used. These intriguing stories will capture your interest: — The eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai submarine volcano in January threw a huge plume of ash and water so high it reached the third layer of the atmosphere earthly. – Incredibly rare archaeological evidence unearthed in Finland has revealed that a child may have rested alongside a dog 8,000 years ago in a Stone Age burial site. – The South Taurids meteor shower will send bright fireballs across the night sky this weekend. Here’s everything you need to know about how to watch. Not all news on the site expresses the views of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
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