In 2001, New York City had over 1,000 outdated subway cars on its hands. When they were first introduced in 1959, the old Redbird trains were gorgeous machines, but after four decades of service, it was time for the battered cars to be permanently retired. But rather than take them to a slag heap to be salvaged for scrap or crushed into little metal cubes, the city took 619 of the cars, stripped them of their windows and oily undercarriages, steam cleaned them, and then hauled the 20,000 pound metal boxes down to Delaware on a freighter ship. Then they dumped them all into the sea.
African Silt Travels to the Reefs of the Bahamas: Desertification of both the Sahara and the Sahel on the African continent is causing silt to travel westward, settling on and slowly choking the reefs of Grand Cay island. The limestone reefs date back to the Jurassic Period.
Valley of 10,000 Smokes, Alaska, U.S.: In 1912, the Novarupta volcano erupted, spewing 100 times more ash than Mount St. Helens did in its unforgettable 1980 eruption, and covering 40 square miles of the glacial valley in 700 feet of ash.
Melting Glaciers, Iceland: Land that had been covered in ice since before 1550 is now being revealed. Melting glacial ice is freeing volcanic magma from deep below the ground, and as ice sheets continue to shrink, scientists believe that we will see more eruptions in Alaska, Patagonia, and Antarctica.
A high-flying cable car system called Mi Teleférico now connects El Alto, the world’s highest and Bolivia’s second largest city, with La Paz, the capital that sits in the canyon below. The $234 million project’s first line opened at the end of May, offering an affordable route for the 85 to 90 percent of the population that relies on public transportation. Before Mi Teleférico, the only way to travel between the two cities was the winding, congestion-ridden La Paz-El Alto Highway.