World’s Coffee Under Threat
The full assessment of the world’s coffee plants shows that approximately 60% of 124 known coffee species are on the edge of extinction. More than 100 types of the coffee tree usually grow in forests including two types which are used in the coffee we drink on a daily basis. Scientists say that statistics are worrying as the wild coffee tree is critical for sustaining the coffee crop around the world.
Also, approximately one in five of the plants in the world are under threat of extinction, and a 60% figure for the coffee tree is extremely high. Dr. Aaron Davis of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew said:
“If it wasn’t for wild species we wouldn’t have as much coffee to drink in the world today,” said. Because if you look at the history of coffee cultivation, we have used wild species to make the coffee crop sustainable.”
Research published in the journal, Science Advances, found that 75 wild coffee species are considered to be under threat of extinction, while 35 are not threatened. We don’t have enough data on the remaining 14 to make any judgment if they might or might not go extinct. According to the research, 28% of wild coffee trees grow outside protected areas and only 50% are very well preserved in seed banks.
Another study published in the Global Change Biology found that wild Arabic coffee is under threat according to the official ranking. It is expected that wild Arabic coffee will be less than 50% available on the market by 2088 because of climate change alone. Ethiopia is the home for Arabic coffee where it usually grows naturally in unplanned rainforests.
Dr. Tadesse Woldemariam Gole, of the Environment and Coffee Forest Forum in Addis Ababa, said:
“Given the importance of Arabica coffee to Ethiopia, and to the world, we need to do our utmost to understand the risks facing its survival in the wild.”
The Loneliest Frog in the World Gets a Date
Rome, a frog believed to be that last of his kind in the world spend ten years in isolation at an aquarium in Bolivia. However, scientists found him Juliet after an expedition to a remote forest in Bolivia.
Five Sehuencas water frogs were found in a stream and captured with the main goal of breeding and re-introducing before letting them go back to the wilderness.
Teresa Camacho Badani, expedition leader and chief of herpetology at the Museo de Historia Natural Alcide d’Orbigny in Cochabamba City is optimistic that opposites will attract:
“Romeo is really calm and relaxed and doesn’t move a whole lot. He’s healthy and likes to eat, but he is kind of shy and slow.”
On the other side, his Juliet has a very different personality.
“She’s really energetic, she swims a lot and she eats a lot and sometimes she tries to escape.”
From five captured frogs three are males and two females. They are the first Sehuencas water frogs to be seen in the wilderness for almost a decade, despite all the previous searches in the Bolivian forests.
Romeo has been collected 10 years ago and he attracted a lot of attention in the world last year over his search for a mate, and he was even been given a dating profile.
New Horizons Probe on Course for Historic Flyby
NASA’s New Horizons probe will remain on course for a historic flyby of Ultima Thule. This will be the most distant visit to a Solar System, which is almost 6.5 billion km from the planet Earth. Mission planners decided to forego a possible trajectory change which means the probe will get to fly 3 500 km from the icy Ultima Thule’s surface to take photos and collect other data. Mission Operations Manager Alice Bowman said:
“Can we fly 3,500km from the object and get all those images centered right on to the target, and not miss anything? That’s the excitement for me; that’s the challenge.”
There are some concerns that the object might be surrounded by debris particles large enough that they could destroy the probe if it were to run into them. However, recently, the large debris was not detected and wider and safer pass will be possible. New Horizons will send images of Ultima in the upcoming days which will help with the final navigation used for the flyby.
It’s been three years after New Horizons’ historic flyby of Pluto. This will be another historic step in our exploration of the universe.