Here are some noteworthy environmental links folks are Digging today:
— Scientists in New Zealand have unearthed the bones of a Haast's eagle, the largest eagle that ever lived. The birds, weighing up to 33 pounds, hunted moa
, the wingless New Zealand birds that resembled ostriches. Haast's eagles went extinct about 700 years ago, and while bones had been found before, these are the first found near a former human settlement.
— The blistering cold weather
that's crippled the Northern Plains, Midwest and Great Lakes this week is now hitting the East Coast. Temperatures are expected to plunge past zero in New York and throughout the Northeast, and into single digits as far south as Georgia.
— A Minnesotan takes a spray bottle of kettle-heated water outside to show how it's affected by subzero temperatures.
— Solar cells, while reducing the need for fossil fuels, carry their own wasteful baggage, such as plastics, silicon and dangerous chemicals that end up contaminating soil and groundwater when they're dumped. A recent report suggests companies take back and recycle solar cells they sold after their 25-year lifespans, until less destructive manufacturing processes can be found.
— While the Lower 48 gets a taste of a brutal Alaska winter, that state has seen nearly 100-degree temperature changes in some places this week, from 60 below zero to the 40s. The rapid snow melt, which is now refreezing, is wreaking havoc with even the snow-savvy Alaskan drivers.