Country Life Today: Humans release more carbon emissions than the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs

In today's round up, we reveal that man-made carbon emissions are disrupting the Earth's carbon cycle more than the asteroid that killed most dinosaurs 66 million years ago. But there is yet hope for the planet, with Dutch inventors successfully testing a floating device that removes plastic from the ocean.

Man-made carbon emissions are having a greater impact on the planet than cataclysmic events of the past

A new study published on October 1 suggests that mankind has wreaked more havoc on the Earth’s carbon cycle than the asteroid that was responsible for killing three quarters of all animals and plants, including most dinosaurs, when it plunged into the Gulf of Mexico 66 million years ago.

Scientists believe that the amount of carbon dioxide discharged into the atmosphere every year by burning fossil fuels is at least 80 times more than the sum of the emissions released by every volcano on the planet. As a result, the legacy of Anthropocene is likely to be ‘a mass extinction from greenhouse-induced climate change on a biosphere already at tipping point caused by habitat loss.’

Full story (Live Science)

Rare white deer caught on camera

A magnificent white deer has been filmed in Cornwall last Sunday. Cornwall Live journalist Gayle McDonald spotted it roaming in a field and managed to capture the striking footage.

Although they have been previously spotted in the British countryside — not least in Cornwall in 2010 — white deer, whose fur turns a pristine snow hue because of a genetic condition called leucism, are very rare. They are easy to confuse with — but different from — albino deer in that their eyes are of a normal colour, while those of albinos are red.

Full story (Metro)

£100,000 reward offered for Blenheim’s missing golden loo

Blenheim Palace’s insurance company, Fine Art Specie Adjusters (FASA), have said that a reward of up to £100,000 could be given to anyone that comes forward with credible information that leads to the return of the golden toilet stolen from the Palace in September.

Made by artist Maurizio Cattelan, the solid gold artwork is a fully functioning toilet and its disappearance has led to a lot of prank calls — but, says FASA, they have also had one useful lead.

Full story (Swindon Advertiser)

On this day…Richard Noble sets new land speed record

On October 4, 1983, British entrepreneur Richard Noble set a new land-speed record aboard Thrust2, a jet-propelled car designed by John Ackroyd, which he drove across the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, Unites States, at up to 650.88 miles per hour. He held the record for nearly 14 years until he was bested in 1997 by Royal Air Force fighter pilot Andy Green, who broke the sound barrier, driving Thrust SSC at 714.144 miles per hour. Mr Noble will hardly have been devastated, though — after all, he was the man who developed the new record-breaking car driven by Wing Commander Green.

How mooving: a Scottish farmer rescues a calf stuck in a pipe

Dumfriesshire farmer Robert Osborne had been looking for the missing Trouble, an inquisitive three-week-old Aberdeen Angus, when he heard cries of distress coming from one of his fields. To his amazement, he discovered that the calf had managed to burrow into a two-feet underground pipe hole—and had got stuck in it.

After two and a half hours’digging, Mr Osborne and his stockman, Iain Robertson, succeeded in dragging Trouble out of trouble, as it were. The young calf was wet and a little cold but otherwise unharmed.

Full story (Country Life)

That’s a lot of tomatoes: 20 tonnes a day will come from just two greenhouses

Two giant greenhouses, set to be built in Norfolk and Suffolk and covering the same surface as 47 international football pitches, will supply up to 12% of all British tomatoes. The first one, outside Norwich, will be larger than London’s O2 Arena and will be warmed from waste heat from Anglian Water treatment facilities to keep its carbon footprint down. The second pioneering greenhouse will be in Ingham, Suffolk.

Together, the two facilities are expected to produce 20 tonnes of tomatoes every day.

Full story (Eastern Daily Press)

And finally… a plastic-eating machine looks set to reduce pollution

Dutch scientists have created a floating device that picks up plastic from the ocean. The system, which uses the force of the sea to collect debris, was successfully tested in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a stretch of the Pacific Ocean where currents push a vast amount of refuse.

The boom, which had teething problems and has been seven years in the making, has been designed to clear up an area three time the size of France when fully functional.

Full story (The Guardian)