‘It’s Like a Clark Kent Hair Swoosh.’ Here’s What We Know About the Extra Tail on Narwhal the ‘Unicorn’ Puppy’s Head

Turns out the “tail” on Narwhal the “unicorn” puppy’s head is basically just there so we can all fawn over it. If you haven’t yet had the privilege of seeing the photos and videos of Narwhal making their way around the web, then allow us to introduce you to the now-internet famous pup.

Narwhal became a near instant viral star this week after the Twitter account WeRateDogs tweeted out a series of pictures showcasing the extra appendage growing out of his forehead. The Wednesday tweet has since garnered over 603,000 likes and nearly 129,000 retweets, and soon after its posting, celebrities like Zach Braff were also tweeting about how about adorable Narwhal was.

This is Narwhal. He was born with an extra tail on his forehead. It hasn’t wagged yet but he’s working on it. 14/10 always read the instructions before assembling your puppy pic.twitter.com/ge8B0KlLa3

— WeRateDogs® (@dog_rates) November 13, 2019

I NEED HIM. https://t.co/nGqNH0gW8H

— Zach Braff (@zachbraff) November 13, 2019

Rochelle Steffen, the founder and owner of Mac’s Mission, the special needs dog rescue that took Narwhal in on Nov. 8, says the face tail serves no real function and doesn’t affect his everyday life.

“It’s like a Clark Kent hair swoosh. It’s not in his way at all. It just stays right in between his eyes and has a little bit of a curl under,” she tells TIME. “For the most part, he doesn’t even understand that he has it. He just goes around and does what he’s going to do and doesn’t care.”

However, Steffen says that the vet who examined Narwhal’s face tail told her there is a scientific explanation for its existence — but it may be difficult to identify. “We had the discussion the day we did the x-rays,” Steffen says. “There’s the possibility that he absorbed a twin because they do that in the womb. Or it could just be a random extra part that formed on him without anybody understanding why. [The vet] said figuring out the cause is probably pretty impossible.”

Courtesy Mac’s Mission

Steffen previously shared on Facebook that the vet had concluded the extra tail, which isn’t connected to anything, is harmless in its current state. Although it doesn’t wag like a normal dog tail.

“Dr. Heuring said there is no real reason at this time …read more

Source:: Time – Science


‘He Was Definitely Ahead of His Time.’ Robert Irwin Speaks About Climate Change And His Father’s Legacy

On Thursday, 15-year-old Robert Irwin, the son of late conservationist Steve Irwin, spoke about the danger of climate change and his father’s legacy.

“The amazing thing with our dad was that he was talking about climate change and the effects that it had kind of before it was as popular as it is now,” Irwin tells TIME. “He was definitely ahead of his time.”

Irwin says the threat of climate change will only grow large as time goes on. “Right now is what’s going to affect the generations’ to come,” he explains. “We see in Australia even back home some of the effects on our native life and habitat at the moment.”

“We definitely have to act quickly,” he adds.

Irwin also spoke about how social media can be a powerful tool to spread this message, although people need to be careful about how they use it. “For Bindi and myself, it’s always been a kind of platform to spread a positive message,” he says. “I think it can really be used to kind of unite people, and these days pretty much everybody has social media to a certain extent.”

“I think it can be a really good way of reaching out and spreading a message to so many people so quickly,” he explains.

Irwin and his sister Bindi have amassed a huge follow on Instagram, and in 2018, the Irwins debut the reality-TV series “Crikey! It’s the Irwins,” which airs on Animal Planet.

This year Irwin was chosen for the TIME 100 Next list, an expansion of the TIME 100 franchise that spotlights 100 rising stars who are shaping the future of their fields— from business to entertainment, sports, politics and beyond.

…read more

Source:: Time – Science


Countries Are Falling Far Short on Action to Tackle Climate Change As Fossil Fuel Use Increases, Says Energy Report

Countries’ plans to tackle climate change fall far short of what’s necessary to prevent temperatures from rising to an unsafe level that governments have vowed to prevent, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA). The use of fossil fuels, in particular is continuing to expand globally, putting the world on a dangerous track for increased emissions.

At the heart of the IEA’s annual outlook is energy demand: a measure of how much energy we use to heat our homes, drive our cars and power our factories and, by extension, a measure of our emissions of climate-change causing pollutants. Global energy demand grew by 2.3% in 2018 last year, the largest since 2010, according to the report. And, under policies currently in place, the use of climate-change causing fossil fuels including coal, oil and natural gas will continue to expand in the coming years at a rate of 1.3% per year through 2040.

“The environmental implications of these patterns of energy use are stark,” the report warns. “And a groundswell of initiatives and pressure to mitigate these impacts has yet to make a decisive mark on the data.”

Implementing the plans that countries have already announced changes the outlook. But, while those plans represent an improvement, they still leave energy demand growing 1% annually. In this scenario, the deployment of renewables would grow dramatically but so would the use of natural gas. Importantly, oil and coal would remain significant parts of energy use.

The report uses the target of keeping temperature rise “well below 2°C” as its benchmark for its “sustainable development” scenario. Nearly 200 countries unanimously agreed to that target in the 2015 negotiations that yielded the Paris Agreement. But, while the landmark Paris deal sets global targets, it requires countries to develop their own voluntary commitments to reduce emissions, and countries are falling short.

Since then, scientists have warned that temperatures have already risen 1°C since the Industrial Revolution and that if they rise even half a degree more the world face dramatic consequences including the loss of the world’s coral reefs, climate-induced mass migration and severe threats to the global economy.

The IEA’s “sustainable development” scenario — a potential pathway rather than a recommendation — suggests that energy demand should fall in the coming years to …read more

Source:: Time – Science