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Posts

April 03, 2014

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1:26 AM | Minute 320?
In High Country News, Matt Jenkins on  the Colorado River delta environmental “pulse flow”, which grew out of “Minute 319″, an addendum to the U.S.-Mexico water treaty: Over the past two decades, the Delta’s advocates have argued their case with perseverance, and a lot of good numbers. By monitoring the effect of the pulse flow, ...Continue reading ‘Minute 320?’ » Related posts:“water hoarding” on the U.S. side of the […]
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12:46 AM | Yosemite Opens Areas Closed After Last Summer’s Huge Rim Fire
The fire burned more than a quarter of a million acres in Yosemite and the Stanislaus National Forest. See before-and-after photos from a plot in the national forest.

April 02, 2014

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11:09 PM | Are you a welfare queen or an entitlement corp? A #GlobalPOV video by Madhusudan Katti
I just discovered The #GlobapPOV Project from Berkeley’s Blum Center through this video which raises (and answers) the above question (via Ikoe Hiroe on Facebook). It presents a brilliantly visualized analysis, by Ananya Roy, of global poverty, welfare, and entitlement schemes, starting with the US and broadening the POV to countries in the Global South […]
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10:36 PM | Boring Soil Science strikes back
Many scientists are currently debating whether soil science is an academic field in which scientists are engaged in talking to each other, ignoring the rest of society. Of course, traditionally, the dissemination of soil science has been a difficult field. Among other problems, some scientists have reviewed the use of complicated jargon. Soil Science academics […]
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7:30 PM | Using More Wood for Construction Can Reduce Fossil Fuel Consumption
A Yale University-led study has found that using more wood and less steel and concrete in building and bridge construction would substantially reduce fossil fuel consumption and global carbon dioxide emissions. Read more »

Oliver, C., Nassar, N., Lippke, B. & McCarter, J. (2014). Carbon, Fossil Fuel, and Biodiversity Mitigation With Wood and Forests, Journal of Sustainable Forestry, 33 (3) 248-275. DOI:

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7:00 PM | The Nature of a City Economy: Towards an Ecology of Entrepreneurship
City economies as patterns of connection In a healthy functioning city, various forms of urban capital, including natural, social, cultural — and economic — are enabled to flow smoothly and flexibly, along paths that are productive and enriching to the … Continue reading →
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6:52 PM | Another Warning for the Northwest From Chile’s Earthquake Hot Zone
A powerful earthquake off the coast of Chile provides a fresh warning to the Pacific Northwest.
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6:04 PM | Protecting Our Research Volunteers
Reposted from EPA Connect, the Official Blog of EPA Leadership By Bob Kavlock Protecting human health is both a core mission, and a natural extension of everything we do here at EPA. Our commitments to protecting the nation’s air, water, and natural ecosystems, taking action on climate change, and working with local communities to help them […]
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5:46 PM | March, 2014: This Month in Energy
Energy experts react to the Kremlin’s annexation of Crimea; the EU seeks to reduce its dependence on Russian natural gas imports; two studies show that wind energy can become, or already is, a viable alternative to fossil fuels; new technologies switch the focus away from conventional onshore natural gas production. We have collected all these stories and more of the most important energy news of the past month conveniently in one place for you to read. Read more »
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4:06 PM | Stand-Alone Container Harvests and Stores Solar Power
Panasonic announced it has developed the “Power Supply Container,” a stand-alone photovoltaic power package, for areas without electricity. The Power Supply Container contains solar modules, lead-acid batteries, as well as a control unit that acts as the energy management system. Read more »
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3:13 PM | Despite Storms, Scant Relief for California Snowpack
When surveyors for California’s Department of Water Resources skied back down from sites high in California’s Sierra Nevada range yesterday, they brought sobering news: Although late-season storms have boosted the snowpack, it is still shockingly below average as the melt season looms. According to a DWR report issued yesterday, the water content of the snowpack is […]The post Despite Storms, Scant Relief for California Snowpack appeared first on ImaGeo.
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2:39 PM | Exxon ... You're a Bunch of Jerks, Whale-Soup Scrub?, All-You-Can-Eat Jellyfish Buffet
By Jason Bittel The air up there: The air quality is now so bad in China—how bad is it?—they’re trucking in bags of “mountain air” so urban residents can sample a taste of clean oxygen. Happily, the bags were just part of a PR stunt designed to drum up interest in Laojun Mountain, a recreational area outside of Zhengzhou. While the air-bags are a bit of a joke, the city’s AQI (air quality index) is not. It measured 158 on […]
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2:18 PM | Colorado “pulse flow”: fighting deeply held perceptions
Folks working on the current Colorado River “pulse flow” must fight against the deeply held perception that the river in Mexico’s Colorado River delta is “dead.” Blame Phillip Fradkin, whose 1981 book “River No More” is one of those touchstones in the regional literature that dominates public understanding, even if it isn’t quite right. Writing ...Continue reading ‘Colorado “pulse flow”: fighting deeply held perceptions’ […]
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2:01 PM | Scientists Get Closer to Artificial Photosynthesis
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory in collaboration with researchers from Arizona State University have found a way to imitate Photosystem II, the first protein complex in the long chain of reactions that use energy from the sun to create usable fuel. The result was reported in the journal Nature Chemistry (see footnote). Read more »

Megiatto Jr, J., Méndez-Hernández, D., Tejeda-Ferrari, M., Teillout, A., Llansola-Portolés, M., Kodis, G., Poluektov, O., Rajh, T., Mujica, V., Groy, T. & Gust, D. (2014). A bioinspired redox relay that mimics radical interactions of the Tyr–His pairs of photosystem II, Nature Chemistry, DOI:

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12:00 PM | Historical paintings help us understand climate change
Five hundred years of art has revealed important information about historical environmental patterns. Can it help us predict the future?
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11:07 AM | Attempts to reintroduce an endangered bird species to the Atlantic rainforest of Brazil
Long-term monitoring is key to determining if the reintroduction of captive-bred red-billed curassows is to be a success.  At first glance, the reintroduction of wildlife to its natural habitat appears to be a relatively straightforward process. A sufficient number of individuals of a species is simply released into a suitable area with the expectation that […]

Bernardo C. S. S. & Locke N. (2014). Reintroduction of red-billed curassow Crax blumenbachii to Guapiaçu Ecological Reserve, Brazil, Conservation Evidence, 11 7-7. Other: Link

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12:18 AM | Sierra Snowpack: Better But Far From What’s Needed for Drought
A key indicator of California's water prospects is likely to peak out at about one-third of normal.
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12:11 AM | Sony Announces Innovative ´Power Food´
Joining the others in a sudden burst of innovation on Apr. 1, Sony introduced its latest invention in fuel technology, Sony Power Foods. Read more »

April 01, 2014

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8:47 PM | Age of the Appalachians Part 2: Ground Truth
One of the most common canards I hear about North Carolina geologic is, “The Appalachians are the oldest mountains in the world.” I hear the same about the Uwharries, which are not even in the contest. The age of the Appalachians is tied to the question of “When were they built?”  The answer is that […]
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8:00 PM | Wind Farms Don’t Affect House Prices in UK
A new study by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) and RenewableUK has found that the presence of wind farms has no significant effect on average local property prices within 5 km (3.1 mi) of the site. Read more »
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7:19 PM | IPCC: Climate Change Is Taking a Toll in California and It’s Going to Get Worse
The latest report from the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change focuses on impacts from climate change, both current and looming, and recommendations for how to adapt.
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6:14 PM | Hybrid Cars More Fuel-Efficient in China, India Than in U.S.
What makes cities in India and China so frustrating to drive in—heavy traffic, aggressive driving style, few freeways—makes them ideal for saving fuel with hybrid vehicles, according to new research by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Read more »

Saxena, S., Phadke, A. & Gopal, A. (2014). Understanding the fuel savings potential from deploying hybrid cars in China, Applied Energy, 113 1127-1133. DOI:

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5:38 PM | My Air, My Health – My Experience at Health Datapalooza
Dot Kelly, a member of the winning team in the My Air, My Health challenge, recently shared a blog post on “Health Datapalooza.” It is reposted below.  It was about this time last year that my colleagues and I were in the thick of preparing for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of […]
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5:03 PM | Needle in a Landfill
By Jason Bittel For over three weeks, the world has been searching for Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370, with no physical sign of the plane or its 239 passengers anywhere. But what search parties have found, over and over again, is a lot of trash floating in some very remote corners of the ocean. Almost immediately after the plane went missing on March 8, authorities spotted two unrelated oil slicks in the South China Sea, and since then, flotsam has […]
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4:58 PM | Perovskite Solar Cell Doubles as Laser
Earlier this month we reported on a new perovskite solar cell that can also work as a light panel. Now, researchers from Professor Sir Richard Friend’s group at Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory—working with Snaith’s Oxford group—have demonstrated that perovskite cells can also be used to produce cheap lasers. Read more »

Deschler, F., Price, M., Pathak, S., Klintberg, L., Jarausch, D., Higler, R., Huettner, S., Leijtens, T., Stranks, S., Snaith, H. & Atature, M. (2014). High Photoluminescence Efficiency and Optically-Pumped Lasing in Solution-Processed Mixed Halide Perovskite Semiconductors, The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 2147483647. DOI:

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4:57 PM | Taxonomy is slow
A frequent misconception of the discovery process is that new species are recognized as new in the field. This is not the case, most newly collected specimens are archived in museums and herbaria: collections thus act as a reservoir of potential new species. Vast collections of plants, vertebrates and insects have already been accumulated in museum vaults, representing a huge amount of unstudied material — this probably explains why these taxa have longer shelf lives than, for instance, […]
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3:49 PM | PECDEMO to Convert Solar Energy to Hydrogen With 8% Efficiency
Within just three years, research partners of the EU project PECDEMO are planning on developing a practical system capable of converting over 8% of solar energy into hydrogen. Read more »
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3:09 PM | When your meds make you fat
I like to think of myself as accepting of all body types, not discriminating based on someone’s size or shape. Then I started taking flunarizine in an attempt to get my migraines under control. A side effect of flunarizine is … Continue reading →
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3:00 PM | Eagles grow wise to wind farm hazards
The specter of bird fatalities has hung over the explosion in wind power over the last decade or so. Critics of wind tend to cite the now decades-old example of the Altamont Pass wind farm in California, where old versions of turbines are sited precariously close together, resulting in deaths to endangered birds like golden
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2:40 PM | Death of a Rather Important Rhino, Syanara Whaling?, Climate Change Is No Biggie—April Fools!
By Jason Bittel This joke’s getting old: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its newest report on the growing risks a changing climate will present humankind in the near future—an issue that effects every civilization on Earth—and the three major cable news networks basically decided to ignore it. CNN gave the report about 40 seconds of coverage over the span of 6 hours, choosing instead to devote itself to rehashing […]
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