Posts

October 31, 2014

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4:29 PM | EPA must look at human health and the environment in updating ozone standards
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency might be preparing to unveil a major air pollution rule change shortly after midterm elections. The new standards would reflect the latest science relating to... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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4:25 PM | Happy Halloween
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4:11 PM | ...and then there were two
The tephritid fruit fly genus Bactrocera is very large and contains about 500 described species. One of those, the oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis, is considered a very destructive pest of fruit in all areas it occurs. It is established in numerous regions in Asia, and is often intercepted in the United States, sometimes reestablishing infestations that were previously eradicated. The species belongs to a species complex that contains almost 100 morphologically very similar taxa. […]
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3:46 PM | Taking Credit for GMO Failures
Earlier this year, the earth scientist Jon Foley wrote an article that laid out why he was skeptical about agricultural biotechnology. Among other things, he said “that GMOs have frequently failed to live up to their potential” because of the way they have been deployed: GMOs have done little to enhance the world’s food security. Mainly, […]The post Taking Credit for GMO Failures appeared first on Collide-a-Scape.
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1:00 PM | Halloween Horrors: The Ghost Bat (aka the False Vampire Bat)
Something ghostly and hungry flies the skies of northern Australia. Its massive white wings stand out against the darkness as it circles, searching for prey. When it finds something tasty this... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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3:32 AM | Sustainability, Texas style
What economists call “weak sustainability” is the notion that, as you deplete some stock of natural capital, you reinvest in some stock of replacement capital. An example might be taking some of the surplus from extracting oil and gas and investing in solar or wind energy so you’ve still got some supply of energy when ...Continue reading ‘Sustainability, Texas style’ »
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2:49 AM | The case for dumping prior appropration
The case for dumping prior appropriation, the doctrine under which the first water users have the highest priority rights –  Travis Stills: The 21st century water-use debate must move past “I got it first,” which children on the playground know is patently unreasonable and unfair.

October 30, 2014

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7:49 PM | With Residential Retrofit Scheme, Oakland Enters Next Phase of Quakeproofing
Oakland gains character as well as affordable housing from its stock of small and mid-sized apartment buildings. A retrofit plan is being prepared to strengthen this crucial part of the city's fabric against earthquake damage.
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6:50 PM | #26: Night of the Living Dead Whale!
As the end of October approaches, many cultures around the world will be honoring their dead during observances like Allhallowtide and Dia de los Muertos. Although the North Atlantic right whale population offers us a large pool of deceased individuals to remember, this year we have reason to celebrate the opposite: Catalog #4160, who was thought likely dead, is indeed alive! *cue spooky music*
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4:21 PM | Earth Rangers National Tour
Are you a kid? Do you live in Canada? Then there’s a good chance Earth Rangers might be visiting a school near you!
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3:38 PM | ‘A nation that destroys its soil destroys itself’
Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience Blog - Making a difference to how we live with hazard and risk. This animation introduces the ROBUST (Regeneration of Brownfield Land Using Sustainable Technologies) project at Durham University. It shows how adding minerals and organic matter back into the soil can regenerate brownfield land and help reduce flooding. ROBUST is a research [...] The post ‘A nation that destroys its soil destroys itself’ appeared first on Institute of Hazard, […]
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2:14 PM | Birds May Inspire Running Robots of the Future
In preparation for building better running robots, researchers have made useful discoveries about some of nature's most energy efficient bipeds – running birds.The forces at work when a turkey hops over an obstacle(Oregon State University)Running birds have an impressive ability to run while minimizing energy cost, avoiding falls or injuries, and maintaining speed and direction. Researchers at Oregon State University have been trying to discover exactly how the birds do it."Birds appear […]
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1:48 PM | Metabarcoding soil and leaf-litter
Today I came across a new very interesting paper published in Ecological Indicators. An international group of researchers used established metabarcoding protocols to compare soil and leaf-litter samples with malaise trap samples in southern China and to compare leaf-litter samples with canopy-fogging and morphologically identified spider samples in central Vietnam.For those that are not so familiar with the term metabarcoding here a text fragment from my most successful blog post ever (sic!): […]
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1:11 PM | Breaking Ground Is Hard To Do
No summary available for this post.
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1:00 PM | Beavers help out young frogs
Beavers are a boon to the environment: Their dams create ponds that provide homes for birds, amphibians, and other critters. Now scientists have found that beavers also aid their wetland companions by digging canals that young frogs use to hop from ponds to forests. The canals, which allow beavers to transport branches and hide from
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1:00 PM | Prescriptions for Cleaner Waterways
By Pradnya Bhandari Teetering on the edge of a chair, my six-year-old self roots through the medicine cabinet, pushing aside plastic orange bottles for the gems hidden behind them: my gummy vitamins. My mother immediately asks me to come down, wondering if I had accidently gotten my hand on any of the medicines. Later, I […]
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12:18 PM | Self driving vehicles are great – but we might not be ready to hand over the wheel (yet)
The promise of self-driving vehicles has brought with it high expectations and enthusiasm. But, we might not be quite ready to hand over the wheel. Today, the University of Michigan’s Transportation... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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7:01 AM | Why California’s Largest Estuary No Longer Works for Wildlife
Startling maps in a new report on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta show the dramatic loss of marshlands that once supported a vast array of wildlife.
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5:00 AM | Blogging all over the place
It’s been a few weeks since I’ve blogged here, but it’s not as though I’m not blogging at all. In fact, most of my posts lately have been appearing on the Canadian Science Publishing blog. Thanks to CSP for letting me share some ideas on science and society, and science culture. In case you’ve missed…

October 29, 2014

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10:14 PM | Building Sustainable Energy Access, from the Outside In
How much energy access in poor places can come from off and on the grid -- and with or without big greenhouse-gas contributions?
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5:06 PM | New Solar Power Material Converts 90 Percent of Sunlight into Energy
Solar power is on the verge of becoming a lot cheaper, more efficient, and longer lasting. Graduate student Bryan VanSadersworks on the new solar material(David Baillot/UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering)A team of scientists at the University of California, San Diego has developed a new material for concentrating solar power (CSP). The new material can absorb and convert more than 90 percent of the sunlight it captures into heat.The new material is incredibly efficient because […]
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3:13 PM | Activists Push for Public Review of Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant
An environmental group claims there are unanswered questions about the seismic safety of the Central Coast plant.
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3:06 PM | Famiglietti on draining the global groundwater bank
Jay Famiglietti in Nature Climate Change (paywalled): The irony of groundwater is that despite its critical importance to global water supplies, it attracts insufficient management attention relative to more visible surface water supplies in rivers and reservoirs. In many regions around the world, groundwater is often poorly monitored and managed. In the developing world, oversight ...Continue reading ‘Famiglietti on draining the global groundwater bank’ »
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1:35 PM | Stop the Presses
By The Editors This is the final installment of Today OnEarth, but don’t panic! Today OnEarth—which started as our publication’s daily news digest and has evolved in recent months to feature the most eye-opening story of the day—is giving way to something even better. In a matter of hours, we’ll be launching our new website and its daily newsfeed Earthwire, which takes what we’ve been doing with TOE to the next level. We […]
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1:25 PM | Landscape genetics
Landscape genetics is a discipline that combines the fields of population genetics and landscape ecology to facilitate understanding of how geographical and environmental features structure genetic variation. Its analysis involves detection of genetic discontinuities and the correlation of these discontinuities with landscape features. The idea was developed about 11 years ago, so around the same time DNA Barcoding entered the stage. In a recently published review the leading author of the […]
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12:35 PM | Upcoming Seminar in IHRR – Resilience for the people… but where are the people?
Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience Blog - Making a difference to how we live with hazard and risk. 3rd November 2014, 13:00 to 14:30, W007, Dept of Geography, Dr Bernard Manyena, Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute Resilience has emerged not only as a central concept in academic debates, but also one of the constitutive elements of policy and [...] The post Upcoming Seminar in IHRR – Resilience for the people… but where are the people? appeared first on Institute of […]
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12:00 PM | Lizards’ feet adapt rapidly following ecological changes
Evolution is an experiment played over millions of years, with endless failures, dead-ends, obstacles, impasses, and the occasional success. Species come and species go, wiped out by disaster, drought, famine, and sometimes-overzealous predators. Others simply miss out on a few too many mating opportunities, perhaps because populations of individuals are scattered too widely for potential
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2:49 AM | Out Of My Head – a migraine documentary on Kickstarter
Some people are making a documentary about migraines. It looks like it could be good. Maybe lots of people will watch it and I won’t have to explain my life over and over and over. Kickstarter here.
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12:48 AM | The Caterpillar and the Butterfly
‘There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.’         —Buckminster Fuller Architecture | Education | Landscape | Nature It’s been six months since Sweet by Nature was penned and released … Continue reading →

October 28, 2014

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6:49 PM | Join us to Chat About Green Infrastructure
By Aaron Ferster Rain can fall as a drizzle, a steady patter, or a deluge. It can bring life to crops, recharge aquifers, and douse wildfires. But in many instances and places, it can also bring trouble. Stormwater—particularly flowing over urban and suburban landscapes with their abundance of pavement, roofs, and other impermeable surfaces—is a […]
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