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Posts Tagged "climate change"

@ScientificAmerican

Earth Day E-Book Examines The Future of Energy: Earth, Wind and Fire

Scientific American E-Book: The Future of Energy: Earth, Wind and Fire

Since the Industrial Revolution our civilization has depended on fossil fuels to generate energy—first it was coal; then petroleum. But there are two problems: the first is that petroleum isn’t an infinite resource; and the second is that burning coal and oil puts billions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, trapping heat. Temperatures [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

Storm Warnings: Climate Change and Extreme Weather–The Latest E-Book from SA

Storm Warnings -- ebook cover

Scientific American launched its e-Book program this summer, starting with The Science of Sports: Winning in the Olympics. Each month, we add new titles selected from the most relevant issues facing science today. For November, we turn our attention to our immediate environment. Hurricanes. Blizzards. Flooding. Drought. If extreme weather events like these seem to be [...]

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Brainwaves

How the Antarctic Icefish Lost Its Red Blood Cells But Survived Anyway

In 1928, a biologist named Ditlef Rustad caught an unusual fish off the coast of Bouvet Island in the Antarctic. The “white crocodile fish,” as Rustad named it, had large eyes, a long toothed snout and diaphanous fins stretched across fans of slender quills. It was scaleless and eerily pale, as white as snow in [...]

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Budding Scientist

Why America’s Kids Need New Standards for Science Education

Earlier today, a group of scientists, educators and policymakers released the newest draft of the Next Generation Science Standards, which lay out ambitious expectations for what elementary, middle and high school students should learn at each grade level. These guidelines affect virtually every child enrolled in public school, and advocates say they will revolutionize STEM [...]

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Cross-Check

Green Analysts Respond to Cross-Check Concerns about Warming, War and Hawkish U.S. Policies

Photo: Meditate.com, http://www.mediate.com/mobile/article.cfm?id=5042.

For a professional blowhard, there is no worse fate than being ignored. So I’m always—well, almost always—delighted when my posts get pushback, especially from people who are smart, well-informed and thoughtful. In my last post, “Hawkish U.S. Policies Pose Bigger Threat to Peace Than Climate Change,” I complained that discussions of how global warming might [...]

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Cross-Check

Hawkish U.S. Policies Pose Bigger Threat to Peace Than Climate Change

Hawkish U.S. policies are far more of a threat to world peace than global warming, if recent history is any guide.

In a previous post, I poked my nose into the debate over whether climate change will precipitate more conflict. I offered a half dozen objections to predictions that more warming means more war. One objection was that “many people making decisions that lead to large-scale violence—politicians, generals, warlords, drug kingpins and so on—work indoors in [...]

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Cross-Check

Greens Should Stop Claiming More Warming Means More War

War deaths have plummeted since 1950, according to data compiled by the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)...

“There’s a surprisingly strong link between climate change and violence.” That’s the headline of a recent article by journalist Chris Mooney in The Washington Post. As fossil-fuel emissions push temperatures higher, we can “expect more wars, civil unrest, and strife, and also more violent crime in general,” Mooney says. But the evidence for this alarming [...]

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Cross-Check

Should Global-Warming Activists Lie to Defend Their Cause?

6a01116837a6c2970c0147e18e35bb970b-500wi

When, if ever, is lying justified? I talked about this conundrum this week in a freshmen humanities class, in which we were reading Immanuel Kant on morality. Kant proposed that we judge the rightness or wrongness of an act, such as breaking a promise, by considering what happens if everyone does it. If you don’t [...]

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Culturing Science

Warming Gives Us One More Month of Flowers in the Rockies

Few-flowered shooting star (Dodecatheon pulchellum) has had its whole schedule pushed 12 days earlier—first, peak, and last blooms. Photo by Thayne Tuason. CC BY-NC 2.0

No matter the temperature, I don’t consider it to be really spring until I spot the first spring beauties of the year. These sweet whitish/pinkish mid-Atlantic florets (Claytonia virginica) are among the first to stretch out of the mud and leaf litter to add a spritely touch to an otherwise brown woodscape. When I see [...]

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Culturing Science

How One Little Molecule Influences Earth’s Climate

phytoplankton-small

A seemingly humdrum little molecule has found itself responsible for not just one but two positive feedback loops, one moderating climate and the other gathering animals across the food web.

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Culturing Science

Age of Miracles: What If Climate Change Were Sped Up?

"Age of Miracles" using the slowing of the earth's rotation as a stand-in for climate change.

Sometimes it frustrates me that we feel the effects of climate change so slowly, if at all. It’s not that I’m an apocalypse-monger, dreaming of mass hysteria induced by floods and droughts, shortages of food and fuel. Rather, I worry about people’s incredible ability to acclimate: to let changes go unnoticed, as long as they’re [...]

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Expeditions

Extreme Ice Survey: Antarctic Time-Lapses

Neko Harbor, Andvord Bay. 1st installation of Extreme Ice Survey cameras on the 2014 Lindblad Expeditions Trip to Antarctica.  2 cameras installed looking across the glacier at Neko Harbor.  The landing is on a beach and small rock knoll of a Gentoo Penguin Colony.  Across the bay is Bagshawe Glacier, a large tidewater glacier pouring off the interior of the peninsula. (Image courtesy of Extreme Ice Survey)

Editors Note: Members of the Extreme Ice Survey team are returning to South Georgia Island and the Antarctic Peninsula to maintain time-lapse camera systems. These cameras have been patiently snapping a photo every hour of every day since they were installed and are part of a much larger project that includes 38 time-lapse cameras spread [...]

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Expeditions

Climbing Mount Everest: Black Soot on White Snow

Smog in the air, even at 17,000 feet, near Mount Everest base camp.

Editor’s Note: This is the fifth and final post in a series by geologist Ulyana Horodyskyj. She climbed several peaks in the Himalaya Mountains to try to determine how airborne particles such as dust and soot that settle on massive glaciers alter how snow and ice melt, which could affect climate change as well as [...]

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Expeditions

Climbing Mount Everest: Risking Life and Limb for Science

The author and Jake St. Pierre on the Himlung icefall. Steep slopes and warming snow make climbing slow and dangerous.

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth post in a series by Ulyana Horodyskyj, a geologist who is trying to determine how airborne particles such as soot that settle on massive glaciers affect how fast the ice melts. In mid-April she and her team of scientists, volunteers and Sherpas were nearly at base camp on Mount [...]

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Expeditions

Climbing Mount Everest: My Search for Dirty Snow

Editor’s note: This April, geologist and Ph.D. candidate Ulyana Horodyskyj will be climbing Mount Everest to determine how much soot is settling on snow at the top of mammoth glaciers, which could slow their growth at the top, even as they melt at much lower elevations. She will post updates to this blog as she [...]

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Expeditions

An Intrepid Look at Winter with Climate Scientist and Adventurer Felicity Aston

Felicity Aston is a British adventurer, climate scientist and STEM advocate, who in 2012 became the first woman to ski solo across Antarctica. At 23, Felicity left the UK to spend three years living and working in the Antarctic as a meteorologist with the British Antarctic Survey at Rothera Research Station. On her return, she was part of [...]

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Expeditions

You wanted to know: what are these phytoplankton?

First, thanks to everyone for asking such fabulous questions. I’m going to try to get to them all, but you’re an inquisitive bunch so I might have to miss a few. I’ve also found that they group into a couple of different general topics – so I’ll try to do them in clusters…like this post! [...]

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Expeditions

ICESCAPE scientists reach ‘Station 100′ and re-don mustang suits, hard hats and steel-toed boots

white board with plans on it

Editor’s Note: Haley Smith Kingsland is an Earth systems master’s student at Stanford University specializing in science communication. For five weeks she’s in the land of no sunsets participating in ICESCAPE, a NASA-sponsored research cruise to investigate the effects of climate change on the Chukchi and Bering seas. This is her fourth blog post for [...]

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Expeditions

ICESCAPE analyzes chlorophyll in algae: “The most important measurements of the whole cruise”

try of tiny plastic test tubes full of seawater samples

Editor’s Note: Haley Smith Kingsland is an Earth systems master’s student at Stanford University specializing in science communication. For five weeks she’s in the land of no sunsets participating in ICESCAPE, a NASA-sponsored research cruise to investigate the effects of climate change on the Chukchi and Bering seas. This is her third blog post for [...]

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Expeditions

ICESCAPE scientists scan Arctic seas for melt ponds, “frazil,” “grease” and “pancake”

Haley Smith Kingsland in the Arctic

Editor’s Note: Haley Smith Kingsland is an Earth systems master’s student at Stanford University specializing in science communication. For five weeks she’s in the land of no sunsets participating in ICESCAPE, a NASA-sponsored research cruise to investigate the effects of climate change on the Chukchi and Bering seas. This is her second blog post for [...]

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Expeditions

Icebreaker Healy sets forth on ICESCAPE

haley-in-arctic

Editor’s Note: Haley Smith Kingsland is an Earth systems master’s student at Stanford University specializing in science communication. For five weeks she’s in the land of no sunsets participating in ICESCAPE, a NASA-sponsored research cruise to investigate the effects of climate change on the Chukchi and Bering seas. This is her first blog post for [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Mysterious Flying Squirrel Could Get Endangered Species Protection

San Bernardino flying squirrel

The squirrels gliding amid the mountains east of Los Angeles have been, for the most part, flying under the scientific radar. There has never been a single scientific paper published specifically about the San Bernardino flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus californicus), even though hundreds of papers about squirrels in general are published every year. Despite this [...]

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Extinction Countdown

This Rare White Possum Could Soon Be a Ghostly Memory

white lemuroid ringtail possum

A ghost lives in the Daintree Rainforest in northeastern Queensland, Australia. There, on a single mountain range located 1,100 meters above sea level, scientists have recently found what may be the last few white lemuroid ringtail possums (Hemibelideus lemuroides), a species that was all but wiped out by a heat wave in 2005. They may [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Climate Change Could Wipe Out the World’s Smallest Kangaroo [Video]

musky rat kangaroo

Scientists in Australia have warned that we’d better get hopping and slow down climate change if we want to prevent the world’s smallest kangaroo from going extinct. The musky rat-kangaroo (Hypsiprymnodon moschatus), which reaches just 35 centimeters in length, lives in a tiny stretch of tropical rainforest on Australia’s northeastern coast. According to researchers from [...]

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Extinction Countdown

14 New Species of Endangered “Dancing” Frogs Discovered in India [Video]

dancing frog

Say “Hello, my baby. Hello, my darling…” to 14 newly described frog species that kick and dance like Michigan J. Frog from the classic Warner Brothers animated cartoon, One Froggy Evening. These “dancing” frogs don’t sing, however—the males of these various species all kick and stretch their legs to their sides as a visual cue [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Blue-Footed Boobies Have Stopped Breeding—But Why?

Blue-footed-boobie_featured

One of the most delightful bird species of the Galápagos has almost completely stopped breeding there. According to a new study published this week in the journal Avian Conservation and Ecology, blue-footed boobies (Sula nebouxii) have seen a population drop of more than 50 percent over the past two decades. A series of surveys from [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Lion Tamarins versus Climate Change

golden lion tamarin

Ecologically speaking, humans maintain a pretty broad niche. We can adapt to live just about anywhere. Most other species aren’t that lucky. Take the four species of lion tamarins, for example. These small, endangered monkeys of the genus Leontopithecus rely on very narrow niches of habitat in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, areas that already face [...]

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Extinction Countdown

How Will Climate Change Affect Mountain Gorillas?

mountain gorilla vermeer sq

When you live on the top of a mountain, you don’t have many places to run if the environment of that mountain habitat changes. Look at the American pika, for example. These tiny, rabbit-like mammals have evolved to live in cold, high-elevation habitats and die if exposed to temperatures above 25 degrees Celsius. Unfortunately climate [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Dig This: Decline of Australian Digging Mammals Impacts Entire Ecosystems

bandicoot

How much soil would a bandicoot dig if a bandicoot could dig soil? Quite a lot, it turns out. The southern brown bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus) weighs just 1.4 kilograms, but over the course of a year this tiny digging marsupial can excavate more than 3.9 metric tons of soil as it builds its nests and [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Piping Plovers in Migration: Foraging for Their Lives

piping plover

Is invisibility overrated? For many species, the ability to camouflage themselves against their natural habitat provides safety from predators and other unwanted eyes. But in some ways, the opposite effect happens for the rare birds known as piping plovers (Charadrius melodus). They might actually be in better shape if more eyes saw them. Well, human [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Climate Change Could Wipe Out Amazing Baobab Trees in Madagascar

baobab

The Ewe people of Togo, Africa, have a proverb: “Wisdom is like a baobab tree; no one individual can embrace it.” The proverb refers to the massive trees of the genus Adansonia that can live thousands of years, reach 30 meters into the sky and achieve trunk diameters of 10 meters or more. One baobab [...]

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Food Matters

Cultivating Reform: Planting The Seeds For Healing The Food System

Travis

In late October, the Yale Rudd Center got a visit from Olivier De Schutter, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Right To Food. He began his talk, Reforming the Food Systems: Making the Transition Succeed,  by painting a bleak picture. There are three areas in which our food systems are failing us, De Schutter said: ecological limits, social [...]

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Guest Blog

Whistleblower Who Exposed White House Tampering with Climate Science Dies

Rick Piltz passed away last Saturday. He spent decades working in the federal government and state government in Texas, and was a prominent whistleblower during the Bush administration. He later founded Climate Science Watch. I first met Rick Piltz after reading a 2005 New York Times story exposing a concerted effort by the Bush White [...]

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Guest Blog

Scientists Team Up to Talk about Climate Change

People's Climate March, New York City. (South Bend Voice via Flickr)

As many as 400,000 people voiced their concern about climate change during the People’s Climate March in New York City on September 21. Held just before the United Nations Climate Summit, the march was one of many events held around the world. It was the largest climate march in history and gave the impression that [...]

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Guest Blog

In Indonesia, a Worrying Silence on Climate Change

Resilient coral. A colony of table coral that broke down, recovered and is now growing into other direction.

Dive into the limpid waters off Indonesia’s resort island of Bali and you’ll spot the beginnings of an environmental success story. Older reefs are recovering from the devastating coral bleaching of 1998 and 2009. New corals are now taking hold. On shore, local fishermen also see improvement. There are, at long last, more and bigger [...]

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Guest Blog

In Africa, Climate Change Wages War on Bodies, Not Just Lands

Dr. Kassahun Desalegn and patient

While the African Union concentrates on strategies to mitigate the devastating financial effects climate change is having on Africans, I worry instead about its impact on our bodies. As a doctor working in my native Ethiopia, I see the results of our warming planet, not just in the dry earth or the torrential skies, but [...]

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Guest Blog

Stick to the Science

Editor’s note: The following is a response by climatologist Michael E. Mann to a Q&A article that appeared in the June 2011 issue of Scientific American, which became available to readers in May. Last month, Scientific American ran a disappointing interview by Michael Lemonick of controversial retired University of California, Berkeley, physics professor Richard Muller.  [...]

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Guest Blog

To catch a fallen sea angel: A mighty mollusk detects ocean acidification

  "What’s more," snapped the Lorax. (His dander was up.) "Let me say a few words about Gluppity-Glupp. Your machine chugs on, day and night without stop making Gluppity-Glupp. Also Schloppity-Schlopp. And what do you do with this leftover goo?… I’ll show you. You dirty old Once-ler man, you! "You’re glumping the pond where the [...]

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Life, Unbounded

The Unstoppable Extinction And Fermi’s Paradox

Really, this is what I evolved into? (Images used: Stephen Ausmus, USDA ARS, Matt Martyniuk)

There has been a lot of discussion recently about the evidence that we are currently within a period of mass extinction, the kind of event that will show up in the fossil record a few million years from now as a clear discontinuity, a radical change in the diversity of life on the planet. This [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Humans Bring On Many Changes, Most Are Far From Painless

What happens in Vegas apparently spreads from Vegas....

From atmospheric changes, to timelapse imagery from Google Earth…our planetary presence is hard to miss. This past week has seen the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in Earth’s atmosphere reach a level of 400 parts-per-million, a value the planet hasn’t seen since several million years ago. To put this into some kind of context let’s [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

Hurricanes, Poverty, and Neglected Infections

This week, the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, is always a time for me for reflection on poverty and justice in America. Katrina brought focus to our country’s disparities and the response—or lack thereof—to disasters. And now, ironically on the anniversary of Katrina, Hurricane Isaac struck New Orleans again. Even prior to the Hurricane, in 2005, [...]

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Observations

Climate Preparedness Index Reveals Rich–Poor Gap

Alpaca (Wikimedia)

High in the Peruvian Andes 8,000 alpacas died during a particularly harsh period of cold in the summer of 2004. For the herders who raise and shear these long-haired beasts for a living, it was a huge loss amounting to one fifth of all the alpacas living in that region of the highlands. Since then [...]

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Observations

Acid Maps Reveal Worst of Climate Change

global-ocean-ph-map-february-2005

Much of the change in climate change is happening to the ocean. It’s not just the extra heat hiding within the waves. The seven seas also absorb a big share of the carbon dioxide released by burning the fossilized sunshine known as coal, natural gas and oil. All those billions and billions of CO2 molecules [...]

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Observations

29 Bullets Tell All about Climate Challenge

melting ice cream

The results are in. Yesterday the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released it final report crystallizing 13 months of work by more than 800 scientists. The “synthesis report” gives a no-nonsense assessment of how the climate is changing, what is causing the change, the impacts the changes will have on us and the [...]

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Observations

Clean Coal Era Begins

boundary-dam-power-plant

On October 2, the Boundary Dam power plant in Saskatchewan became the first full-sized coal-fired boiler to capture the copious carbon dioxide that had previously billowed from its smokestack, preventing the greenhouse gas from entering the atmosphere. On the resulting invisible stream of hot smoke ride the hopes of combating climate change while still burning [...]

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Observations

Fracking Woes Stem from Oil Addiction, Not Hydraulic Fracturing

fracking-in-pennsylvania

Flaming tap water comes from bad wells, and not the drinking-water kind. Folks who live closest to natural gas wells in Pennsylvania suffer ill health. And the uptick in earthquakes in parts of Colorado and New Mexico is entirely human-induced. All of these problems are associated with fracking, yet none of them have anything to [...]

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Observations

Did Climate Shocks Shape Human Evolution? [Video]

In a video, noted scientists debate the connections between ancient climate changes and the emergence of modern human traits.

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Observations

Flip-Flop Summer Caused by Strange Jet Stream

jetstream2

By now, if you live in the northeastern U.S. you have heard or even said the following:  “This summer has been so cool. I love it.” Or: “This summer has been so cool. I hate it.” Yet if you live in Oregon or Washington, you’ve heard the opposite: “It’s been so hot this year!” Maybe [...]

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Observations

Google Maps Dives Underwater with “Street View”

Credit: WIkimedia Commons

Google has taken its ‘street view’ maps to a whole new level—namely, the ocean’s depths. Already, scientists have collected 400,000 panoramic photos of coral reefs and other marine marvels off the coast of Australia and in the Caribbean, some of which viewers can access on Google Maps. This week, U.S. government scientists will dive the [...]

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Observations

Google’s Cars Sniff Out Natural Gas Leaks to Deliver Cleaner Air

google-street-view-car

Of all the things to be leaking methane on Staten Island in New York City—corroded gas pipes, sewers, the Fresh Kills dump—who would have suspected the mail truck? But as I circled a Staten Island neighborhood in a specially equipped Google car, it was a parked mail truck that proved to be sending the biggest [...]

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Observations

Hard Road Ahead for Solar Freakin’ Roadways

solar-road-panels

Take a solar panel. Surround it with light-emitting diodes attached to a microprocessor and, in northern climes at least, some kind of heater. Sheath all of that with the 100-year-old technology known as tempered glass. Voila: the basic building block of what has been dubbed by its creators, electrical engineer Scott Brusaw and his wife [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

Will Climate Change Bring an Invasion of the Octopuses—Or Halt It?

Climate change is bad news for many species. Environments are changing more rapidly than plants and animals can adapt to—or move out of—them. Octopuses, however, reproduce so quickly (and multitudinously) and have such short generation times, they are generally well primed to adapt and move.  The common Sydney octopus (Octopus tetricus), for one, is expanding [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

DNA Finds New Octopus Species Hiding in Plain Sight

octopus

Describing a new species for science is not quite as easy as it was in the days of 17th- or 18th-century naturalists. But that just means we have to look a little more closely. Such as, into an organism’s DNA. And rather than hunting through the dense jungles for years, scientists can, with a little [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

8 Awesome Octopus Facts for World Oceans Day

octopus facts world oceans day

Octopuses are amazing. In honor of World Oceans Day, here are eight facts about these incredible creatures. 8. Octopuses are masters of camouflage. However, research suggests that octopuses don’t try to blend into their entire environment—to look like coral, sand and seaweed all at once. A study published last year  found that octopuses, instead, picked [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

Antarctic Ice Sheet Collapse Recorded in Octopus DNA

western ice sheet antarctica

Octopuses have made themselves at home in most of the world’s oceans—from the warmest of tropical seas to the deep, dark reaches around hydrothermal vents. Antarctic species, such as Turquet’s octopuses (Pareledone turqueti), even live slow, quiet lives near the South Pole. But these retiring creatures offer a rare opportunity to help understand how this [...]

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Plugged In

Corporations Should Mean What They Say on Sustainability

EcoNoticeSmall

Nowadays, it seems like every big company promotes an image of sustainability. A common example is the now-ubiquitous hotel-bathroom notice invoking images of ocean animals or pastoral scenery in an effort to convince guests to reuse their towels for the sake of the environment. While notices of this kind do have the potential to save [...]

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Plugged In

Map Monday: Will Global Warming Drown Your Hometown?

Istanbul after GIS modeling of climate change. Image courtesy of #DrownYourTown

You may recently have read about climate change and North Carolina for all the wrong reasons, entailing laws designed to forbid the mentioning of the term “climate change” as well as outright banning measurements of sea-level rise. At the heart of this drama, is elevation mapping technology applied to climate change to better understand future [...]

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Plugged In

Did Congestion Charging Just Go Viral?

Congestion charging point in Stockholm. Image courtesy of Transport Styrelsen.

What is congestion charging? Congestion charging or pricing is the practice of setting up cordon tolls around the city on a large-scale to charge entrants for entering during peak hours. Ideally, this is done in an automatic fashion with cameras registering your license plate and directly billing you. This is different from low emissions zones, [...]

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Plugged In

The Importance of Debating Energy Policies—Not Technologies

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) documents the source of all U.S. primary energy use, and then approximates to which sector energy from each source flows. (Source: EIA)

As a researcher working in the area of energy technology and policy, I often find myself drawn into debates surrounding certain energy technologies, and what role they should play in the future energy system. People are quick to list the specific benefits or drawbacks of one technology over another: “Wind energy is fine at the [...]

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Plugged In

Fuel/Cost Savings of Improving Fuel Economy from 12->15 mpg = 30->60 mpg

Fuel economy is not as straight-forward as you might think. Image courtesy: fragallo

Consumer tip-of-the-day: increasing efficiency of fuel economy on a miles-per-gallon scale is not linear, as more miles-per-gallon (mpg) are initially better for your wallet and the planet than you might expect, and eventually trail off with diminishing returns. Last week, a friend pointed out a good blog post by Nicholas Chase and the Energy Information [...]

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Plugged In

Battleship Barcelona: When Child-Like Simplicity Saves the Day

Barcelona's new bus system is based on its century-old grid pattern streets. Copyright: Tali Trigg.

I am one of those people who always thought Barcelona would be my favorite city in the world. I visited several times, and though the weather, design, and food leave you wanting little else, there was always something about the sheer number of tourists (besides myself) and traffic that put me off the whole experience. [...]

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Plugged In

If Climate Change Was Not Real…

A Scarlet Ibis Water Bird in the once-receding Amazon rainforest. Courtesy: Brandon Hoover.

… there would be a lot of other environmental issues to deal with. This is no big revelation, but it’s a question I’ve been pondering recently: What is the state of the world, not counting climate change? Or rather, what if we managed to reduce CO2 emissions to necessary levels, what would our focus be on [...]

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Plugged In

Map Monday: 50+ Shades of Air Pollution

One-fourth of the world is breathing unsafe air. Courtesy of Hsu et al/The Atlantic

In today’s installment of Map Monday, I wanted to focus on air pollution as mapped by Hsu et al and The Atlantic. Go to this link to see the full interactive map, which details air pollution by country and city. Below, I have copied in a global snapshot with some perhaps unsurprising shades of pollution [...]

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Plugged In

Clean Power Plan includes focus on climate, health, and security

1024px-grand_junction_trip_92007_098

On Monday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officially released their highly anticipated rule for carbon emissions reductions in existing power plants. The numerous statements released by the EPA and White House revealed three themes – climate change, public health, and energy security. According to the EPA’s announcement: “At the direction of President Obama and [...]

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Plugged In

New Greenhouse Gas Rule Will Benefit Both Climate and Health

coalplant

Tomorrow, President Obama is expected to announce a major step in U.S. carbon regulation. Using executive authority, the President will issue a new rule to limit carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants in the United States. This ruling could have many other benefits, including reducing soot, smog, and early-deaths due to repiratory and other [...]

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Roots of Unity

Joint Math Meetings Wrap-Up

I wrote a few blog posts while I was at the Joint Mathematics Meetings back in January, but now you can read some more comprehensive coverage of the meetings at the American Mathematical Society website. In addition to AMS staff members, there were three of us former AAAS-AMS Mass Media Fellows in the press room, [...]

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Symbiartic

Science Merit Badges

ScienceMeritBadges-01

I was only in the Girl Scouts for a few years, but I really like the idea of merit badges: you do a task, master a skill, learn something new, and you get a physical token of your achievement to display on a sash. I wish I was still earning badges for things like getting [...]

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Symbiartic

Start 2014 in Style With These ScienceArt Exhibits

13-055FEATURE

All in all, 2013 was a bang-up year for science art. It seems the genre is gaining ground as more and more exhibits tackle the fascinating possibilities that exist at the intersection of science and art. 2014 seems to be continuing the trend with a wide array of notably longer exhibits. Enjoy! EXHIBITS: NORTHEAST REGION [...]

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Symbiartic

SciArt on the Scene in Nov/Dec. 2013

13-049FEATURE

Ahhh, fall. Time to look for more indoor activities. And aren’t you lucky? Here’s a list of sciart exhibits that will warm your heart while you warm your toes. EXHIBITS: NORTHEAST REGION CLIMATE CHANGE IN OUR WORLD: Photographs by Gary Braasch October 16, 2013 – July 6, 2014 Museum of Science 1 Science Park Boston, [...]

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Symbiartic

I Heart Copepods. You should, too.

11-020JellyfishFEATURE

It’s hard to believe a tiny animal like krill could exist in large enough numbers to feed an animal as massive as a whale, let alone the world’s population of whales (even if we did do our best to hunt whales to extinction in the 1800s). Likewise, it’s hard to fathom that a modest little [...]

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Talking back

Science Lesson During Sandy: Scary Pimples

Throughout Sandy, I was cooped up in my apartment in northern Manhattan with my son Benjamin, who was studying for a medical school exam on the cranial nerves. I drilled him through endless lists, ocularmotor nerve (cranial III),  hypoglossal (cranial XII), and so on. Then he volunteered a medical factoid that I had never heard [...]

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