Posts

December 04, 2014

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12:00 PM | Book review: Grow a little fruit tree
In my last garden I had a little orchard of four fruit trees, which lived in the chicken run. There was an apple, a pear, a cherry and a plum. They were all grown on dwarfing rootstocks, sold as ideal for small gardens, naturally small trees. They came with the instructions I would need to follow to keep them pruned, which I dutifully tried to follow. I largely failed. The birds ate any cherries before they were even ripe. The plum tree became infested with wasps (even though it had no […]

December 03, 2014

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10:14 PM | As Sea Ice Disappears, Arctic Ringed Seals Could Get Largest Critical Habitat Ever
Arctic ringed seals (Phoca hispida hispida) could soon get a critical habitat more than twice the size of California within the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort seas. Under rules (pdf) proposed this week... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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8:53 PM | Sponsor a Right Whale: Calvin
Sponsoring a right whale through the New England Aquarium supports the critical research we're doing to protect this endangered species. This holiday season, give a sponsorship! It's a gift that gives back to our blue planet. Today's post introduces one of the whales available for sponsorship: Calvin. When asked to talk about the challenges that North Atlantic right whales face, our team often
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7:37 PM | Invisible City Life: The Urban Microbiome
Microbes play a key role in the function of ecosystems. They contribute to biodiversity (Fierer et al. 2012), nutrient cycling (Fenchel et al. 2012), pollutant detoxification (Kolvenbach et al. 2014), and human health (Gevers et al. 2012). Since they control … Continue reading →
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7:30 PM | Steps Toward a Resilient and Sustainable Future
By Alan Hecht, Ph.D. The connection between sustainability and resilience—defined as the capacity to survive, adapt, and flourish in the face of turbulent change—is an emerging theme among a host of environmental organizations. I was happy to explore that important connection further with thought leaders from the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Council for Science and […]
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6:53 PM | How good are you at satellite image interpretation?
Fun quiz from the folks at Quartz. I beat it, though barely—some toward the end are pretty tricky. ∞∞
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5:27 PM | Dr Bernard Manyena on resilience
Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience Blog - Making a difference to how we live with hazard and risk. Dr Bernard Manyena explains the concept of resilience and the importance of enhancing the resilience of communities vulnerable to disaster. Dr Manyena is based at the Humanitarian and Conflict Institute, University of Machester and has written widely on the role [...] The post Dr Bernard Manyena on resilience appeared first on Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience Blog.
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4:48 PM | In California, the worst drought in a really long time
Defining drought is a tricky business, but I think Daniel Griffin and Kevin Anchukaitis have come up with a reasonable one – three years of persistent low soil moisture. By that measure, the drought in Central and Southern California is…. Well, I’ll let them tell it (pdf): We demonstrate that while 3-year periods of persistent below-average ...Continue reading ‘In California, the worst drought in a really long time’ »
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4:09 PM | The Tumbleweed Snowman: An Immigrant Tale
A riff in the morning paper on Albquerque’s beloved Tumbleweed Snowman, after spending the morning watching the flood control authority crew do his final assembly: Tumbleweed origin stories differ, but only slightly. German-Russian Mennonite farmers are believed to have inadvertently brought the seeds of our modern tumbleweed, also known as Russian thistle, mixed in with ...Continue reading ‘The Tumbleweed Snowman: An Immigrant Tale’ »
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4:06 PM | Four-stranded DNA
Time for some different DNA science - lets leave 'barcoding' out for a post and focus on DNA structure. While browsing through recent science news and publication announcements I stumbled over a paper on G-quadruplex motifs in the Maize genome. I admit I had to look this term up myself as I probably heard about it only once a while back and never followed any new research in that field despite the fact that it is really fascinating. The year 1953 marks the big breakthrough in our […]
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3:44 PM | Conserving Asian newts could save the world’s salamanders
By Dr. Jodi Rowley, Dr. Bryan Stuart Salamanders are popular as pets in many countries. To satisfy this demand, they are harvested from the wild and transported across the planet. But moving animals around the world also moves their parasites and pathogens. Recently, a newly discovered species of chytrid fungus appears to have hitchhiked to […]
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1:00 PM | The little-known downsides to captive breeding programs
The answer is: California condors, Black-footed ferrets, and Kihansi spray toads. The question is: what species would surely be extinct if not for captive breeding efforts? And they’re not the only species whose very existence is thanks to the hard work of zoos and other conservation institutions as they implement captive breeding and reintroduction programs
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12:51 PM | Shades of L’Aquila: Italian Geochemists avoid Huge Miscarriage of Justice
On rare occasions I hear about a story that must be told. This story is one of those and I feel that it deserves attention from the broader geoscience community. We have all heard of the L’Aquila verdict against the Italian seismologists concerning the devastating earthquake in 2009. If you haven’t, read these articles by Chris Rowan. At the time the guilty verdict was handed down the entire geoscience community felt stunned that such a thing could have […]
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12:51 PM | Shades of L’Aquila: Italian Geochemists avoid Huge Miscarriage of Justice
On rare occasions I hear about a story that must be told. This story is one of those and I feel that it deserves attention from the broader geoscience community. We have all heard of the L’Aquila verdict against the Italian seismologists concerning the devastating earthquake in 2009. If you haven’t, read these articles by Chris Rowan. At the time the guilty verdict was handed down the entire geoscience community felt stunned that such a thing could have […]
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7:59 AM | A Gusher of Moisture Hoses California. Is El Niño Here?
Parts of drought-plagued California got hosed by a gusher of moisture streaming up from the tropics on Tuesday. As the chief meteorologist for Minnesota Public Radio put it, the copious stream of water vapor looks a whole lot like a “pineapple express,” a low level jet of moist air flowing from Hawaii to California. This is […]The post A Gusher of Moisture Hoses California. Is El Niño Here? appeared first on ImaGeo.
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6:00 AM | Holograms You Can Touch and Feel
Holograms that seem to have mass and can be touched have long been the stuff of science fiction. Now, they are becoming science fact. Tactile technology which creates haptic feedback has been used for years in entertainment (such as game controllers), rehabilitation and even surgical training. Now, researchers from the University of Bristol’s Department of […] The post Holograms You Can Touch and Feel appeared first on EH Science.
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3:41 AM | New Residential Water Use Numbers Indicate Conservation Backslide
The year-over-year water-saving rate slid by more than a third in October, worrying officials calling on residents to reduce water usage during record drought.

December 02, 2014

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9:28 PM | The Montado, the Mouse and Landscape Connectivity
It’s been quite a few years since I visited Portugal during my third year field trip as part of my undergraduate Applied Ecology degree in University College Cork.  It was a memorable trip where we learned a great deal about Mediterranean ecology from our UCC lecturers. I believe one of the lasting influences  from the […]

Mullins J, Ascensão F, Simões L, Andrade L, Santos-Reis M, Fernandes C (2014). Evaluating connectivity between Natura 2000 sites within the montado agroforestry system: a case study using landscape genetics of the wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus), Landscape Ecology, DOI: 10.1007/s10980-014-0130-z

Citation
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6:04 PM | Competition Between OPEC, U.S. Drives Oil Prices to Four-Year Low
On Thursday, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), an economic cartel responsible for approximately one third of global oil production, announced it would not decrease its rate of... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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5:19 PM | Discoveries of the week
Stachys carolinianaThis paper represents the first of two contributions that cover the floristic diversity in north central New Mexico. The area encompasses the Tusas Mountains and the Jemez Mountains (including Sierra Nacimiento) of the Carson National Forest and Santa Fe National Forest. Also included is Bandelier National Monument, Valles Caldera National Preserve, Bureau of Land Management (Taos District), and other federal, state, and private lands west of the Rio Grande. The second paper […]
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4:47 PM | Robots Fulfilling Your Amazon Orders
Robots are hard at work this holiday season in the warehouses and fulfillment centers of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN). In time for the holiday shopping frenzy, the company unveiled its eighth generation fulfillment centers (where customer orders are processed) which now use a variety of gadgets including Kiva robots, vision systems, and a whole host […] The post Robots Fulfilling Your Amazon Orders appeared first on EH Science.
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3:51 PM | Home Remodeling Projects That Can Reward You At Tax Time
As anyone who has ever tackled a home renovation project knows quite well, it can be both an exciting and stressful time. Although it is nice to look forward to an updated bathroom or kitchen or new set of windows, … Continue reading →
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3:23 PM | From the inbox
GBIF Ebbe Nielsen ChallengeToday the GBIF Secretariat launched the inaugural GBIF Ebbe Nielsen Challenge, hoping to inspire innovative applications of open-access biodiversity data by scientists, informaticians, data modelers, cartographers and other experts competing for a €20,000 first prize.As most of you will know, for the past 12 years, GBIF has awarded the Ebbe Nielsen Prize to recognize outstanding contributions to biodiversity informatics while honouring the legacy of Ebbe […]
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3:00 PM | Robots Fulfilling Your Amazon Orders
Robots are hard at work this holiday season in the warehouses and fulfillment centers of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN).An Amazon employee picks items from a Kiva robot (Business Wire) In time for the holiday shopping frenzy, the company unveiled its eighth generation fulfillment centers (where customer orders are processed) which now use a variety of gadgets including Kiva robots, vision systems, and a whole host of other software and mechanical innovations that would make Santa and […]
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2:55 PM | Philae: 6 Lessons from a Little Lander
On November 12th, almost a half-million of us sat glued […]
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2:34 PM | Race and the Politics of Climate Change in Two Charts
At WashPo’s Wonk Blog, Chris Mooney and Peyton Craighill are wondering why black and Latino Americans support climate action more than whites. They cite a Spring 2014 Washington Post/ABC News... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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2:00 PM | The Hidden Perils of Permafrost
For thousands of years, mysterious bacteria have remained dormant in the Arctic permafrost. Now, a warming climate threatens to bring them back to life. What does that mean for the rest of us?
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2:00 PM | Cliché or no, climate change really is coming for the polar bears
Polar bears are the easy target, the global warming victim too cute and obvious to really mean what we want them to mean, right? Look at that guy up at the top; enviros just picked this species as a poster child because they’re amazing and adorable, right? They can’t really be that threatened by rising temperatures
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5:02 AM | $1,000 Reward for Best Scientific Answer: What is Zzzz…z.z.zzz.z.. Sleep?
Alan Alda and a science-loving army of 11-year-olds want creative, accurate descriptions of sleep.
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4:17 AM | Sacramento, gettin’ serious about water
Sacramento holds by far the largest body of unmetered water connections in California – about 62,000. These customers are allowed to consume all the water they want and pay only a flat monthly rate of about $41 for an average home. With a few exceptions, all other California communities are entirely served by water meters ...Continue reading ‘Sacramento, gettin’ serious about water’ »
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