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Posts Tagged "wildfires"

Life, Unbounded

A Planet on Fire


Imagine, if you will, a planet with atmosphere, oceans, rocks and life. On this planet, most chemical reactions are either slow and geophysical, or quick and biological but very localized. There is, however, an exception. Because of the particular nature of this world there is the ever-present potential for a type of chemical reaction that [...]

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Wildfires, Already out of Control, Could Increase Sixfold

wildfire Nevada

Wildfires are rampant this year. They broke out earlier than ever in California. In June, nineteen firefighters lost their lives in a hellish Arizona blaze. Last year, New Mexico had the largest wildfire in state history, and Colorado had its second largest wildfire ever. Is any of this a surprise? Unfortunately, no. As Scientific American [...]

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A Proposal to Introduce Elephants to Australia: Really?


Why not bring elephants to Australia? That’s the proposal made by biologist David Bowman of the University of Tasmania in a comment published February 2 in Nature. (Scientific American is part of Nature Publishing Group.) The pachyderms could help to polish off gamba grass, introduced from Africa to Australia in the 1930s as fodder for [...]

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Disease-Causing Compound Found in Air Clogged with Smoke from Cigarettes, Fires or Air Pollution

smoke compound health impacts

Inhaling cigarette smoke or smoggy air is clearly not great for your health. And exposure to various kinds of smoke has been associated with cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis and cataracts. Researchers have now pinpointed a compound common in disparate forms of smoke that might explain some of the frequent ills associated with it. The findings [...]

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