This Week: Ancient water = ancient habitat?
In the News: Flying virus!
Coming Thursday: Roaches: A lot smarter than you thought!
Using at least 20 sources of data, scientists have modeled releases of carbon dioxide from Indianapolis. The new view will help cities map reductions in greenhouse warming, and help people understand that the climate warming problem belongs to everybody.
Mosquitoes spread a lot of disease, but they are not just “flying hypodermic needles.” As we rush to protect ourselves against a virus that can cause permanent brain damage, how can we understand and control the mosquitoes that spread West Nile?
A long debate about these giant ice streams has gyrated wildly. Now, satellite data show a moderate loss of mass for a recent six-year period. For inaccessible glaciers, satellites may be the best thing since the ice axe!
Researchers are finding more links to obesity, cancer, and sleep disturbances. Light blocks the release of melatonin, a hormone involved in the body clock. Wildlife scientists are finding effects on competition, predation and reproduction. Could light pollution from streets, cars and buildings drive animal evolution?
Most water pollution originates in polluted runoff. After a near-record number of beach closures, could green infrastructure convert stormwater from liability to asset? Rain gardens, rain barrels, infiltration ponds, green roofs, buffer strips all trap sediments and nutrients while reducing the load on sewer systems. Is green infrastructure oversold?
A chemical from plastics “looks” like estrogen to the body. If it makes female fish more likely to flirt with males of a different species, could endocrine disruptors cause cross-breeding, and a decline in native fish after invaders enter their rivers?
As colony collapse disorder continues to attack honeybee hives, a new study shows that a common insecticide interferes with their return flights. Although the disorder probably has many causes, agricultural chemicals have long been key suspects, and this study adds to the suspicion!
A high-pressure rock-buster caused natural gas production to explode. How does fracking work? What’s up with groundwater pollution?
The green revolution fed billions, but population keeps rising, water is short and the climate is changing. How will Africans feed themselves despite poor soil and widespread poverty? Could small projects that fit the environment and culture make farmers an engine of prosperity and a big source of food?
Was the epic 2011 heat wave in Texas due to global warming or natural variation?
If conflicts are more common near the equator, what will global warming affect do? A new study shows increases in conflict during el Niño periods — but only during the warm, dry part of the cycle, and only in places affected by these big climatic cycles.
Can we fix rivers? Dams, levees, and locks can harm rivers and wetlands. So can draining rivers dry, or encasing them in concrete. In a few places, conservationists are finding smarter ways to manage rivers and wetlands. Is a win-win solution possible for our wicked water woes?
Rivers bring water. They house amazing biodiversity. And they are being polluted, tapped, dammed and diverted at a frightening rate. What does a new study of global rivers tell us about something we can’t afford to lose?
Many of the tastiest crops can’t pollinate themselves: melons, cucumbers, strawberries, almonds, cacao. But pollinators — both native and managed — are under threat from diseases and pesticides. They aren’t finding enough to eat. Their colonies are dying. What can we do?
Buried charcoal stimulates microbes and plant growth, helping farmers on poor soil. Studies show that charcoal is stable for hundreds of years.