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globalbriefs Humpback Holler: Why Whales Leap High


Humpback whales are famous for their prodigious leaps from the water. A recent paper published in Marine Mammal Science proposes that breaching the surface and making a big splash serves as an acoustic telegram to communicate with far-off pods. The phenomenon may be compared to a distant drumbeat, which probably carries farther than the whales’ signature songs. Former University of Queensland marine biologist Ailbhe S. Kavanagh, Ph.D., and


her colleagues observed 76 humpback groups off the coast of Australia for 200 hours between 2010 and 2011 and found that breaching is much more common when pods are at least 2.5 miles apart, with more local slapping of fins and flukes when fellow whales are nearby.


Landfill Eulogy Sweden Dumps its Dumps


Landfills generate environmental problems such as the greenhouse gas methane that warms the atmo- sphere and toxic chemicals from household cleaning products that pollute soil and groundwater. Instal- lations are smelly, noisy and can breed disease-transmitting vermin, as well as harm wildlife. Recycling helps cut the volume of waste, but the bulk of all trash continues to fill these dumps. Sweden produces about the


same amount of waste as other European nations, but less than 1 percent of its household refuse ends up in landfills. Thirty-two waste-to- energy (WTE) plants that have been operating across the country for years incinerate more than 2 million tons of trash annually—almost 50 percent of all waste. The country still recycles, but


anything else normally ends up in the WTE incinerators, creating steam to generate electricity distributed on the grid. This system heats close to a million homes and powers more than a quarter-million, thus reducing Sweden’s reliance on fossil fuels. Sweden also helps to clean up other countries in the European Union by importing their trash and burning it. Because specific products contain materials that cannot be recycled or incinerated, some landfills are still necessary.


YOUTH & FAMILY MINISTRY Learn more at unitytriangle.org/ministries/youthandfamily


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