Posts

August 30, 2014

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3:13 AM | Landmark Groundwater Reform Headed to Governor’s Desk
The era of unlimited groundwater pumping in California could be ending. A package of bills would require local agencies to restore over-pumped aquifers.

August 29, 2014

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5:28 PM | Wilderness: As it Was in the Beginning
This article is brought to you by the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP). Read our other articles on the National Geographic News Watch blog featuring the work of our iLCP Fellow Photographers all around the world. Text and Photography by iLCP Fellow Krista Schlyer September 3rd, 2014, marks the 50th anniversary of The Wilderness Act–Americans will be…
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5:26 PM | Whether in Iceland or on Mars, Follow the Water
Bethany Ehlmann is touring with students in Iceland to learn more about the dynamic geological processes that mold and carve our planet in order to gain insight on other planets, particularly Mars. Crystals and underground rivers speak of the cycle of fire and ice.
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6:00 AM | Libertarian ideology is the natural enemy of science | David Robert Grimes
Whether the issue is climate change, healthcare or gun control, libertarians are on a permanent collision course with evidenceThe observation that science and politics make uneasy and often treacherous bedfellows is hardly revelatory. In science, all hypotheses must withstand the trial-by-fire of experiment; its methodology is self-correcting and objective, unconcerned with petty prejudices or personal conviction. Politics, by contrast, is deeply entangled with ideology it is not bound to […]
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3:48 AM | A Map to Build Roads to a Better Future
When I learned that the pesticide DDT–widely toxic and now widely banned–has snaked its way into polar bears and beluga whales, I questioned if any environment remains pristine on terrestrial Earth. Perhaps, the thick, hostile and unyielding rainforests of Borneo might prove a bastion? Then in 2013, satellite images showed roads penetrating deep into Borneo. […]

Laurance, W., Clements, G., Sloan, S., O’Connell, C., Mueller, N., Goosem, M., Venter, O., Edwards, D., Phalan, B., Balmford, A. & Van Der Ree, R. (2014). A global strategy for road building, Nature, DOI: 10.1038/nature13717

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2:17 AM | Reading Diary: Climate Changed: A Personal Journey through the Science by Philippe Squarzoni
“Even if a small fraction of the Arctic carbon were released to the atmosphere, we’re fucked…We’re on a trajectory to an unmanageable heating scenario, and we need to get off it. We’re fucked at a certain point, right? It just becomes unmanageable. The climate dragon is being poked, and eventually the dragon becomes pissed off…

August 28, 2014

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8:34 PM | Obama May Use Executive Power to Forge International Climate Change Deal as U.N. Draft Report Paints Stark Climate Picture
A leaked draft of a report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns that global warming is already affecting all continents and that additional pollution from heat-trapping gases will worsen the situation. “Continued emission of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system, increasing the…
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7:27 PM | Breaking Down Rocks in the Deep Ocean
When I witness adults cooing over Eocene-era rocks, or tasting 15 million-year-old ocean sediments, I instantly wonder what their childhood was like. Were they kids that didn’t want to leave the sandbox after recess? Were they shy and looked at the ground more than they looked at the sky? Why curiosity for inanimate objects over, say, plants or something with eyes and a heart?
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6:14 PM | Louisiana Is Losing An Entire Football Field Of Land Every Hour
Louisiana's coastline is changing — and changing fast, as you can see in the above map which shows the coastal land lost between 1922 and today. And the losses are only getting faster.Read more...
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5:54 PM | #Okavango14: Listen to the Sound of a Golden Okavango Morning
Listen to the sounds of a morning in the Okavango River Delta, courtesy of Steve Boyes and the Okavango Expedition!
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4:52 PM | The Things Living on your Toothbrush…
Did you remember to brush? I hope you did, but you may be throwing away your toothbrush soon. Get ready for your daily amount of gross, because have I got […]

Morris DW, Goldschmidt M, Keene H & Cron SG (2014). Microbial contamination of power toothbrushes: a comparison of solid-head versus hollow-head designs., Journal of dental hygiene : JDH / American Dental Hygienists' Association, 88 (4) 237-42. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25134956

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3:55 PM | C40 Chair, Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes Featured in Cities Today
This month’s issue of Cities Today – a magazine for urban planners and other city experts – featured an interview with C40 Chair, Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Mayor Paes. In the interview, Mayor Paes talks about his goals as the new chair of C40 Cities, and shares the major sustainability efforts his city has…
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3:45 PM | Juneau Where I Am: <i>Scientific American</i> Alaska Cruise, Part 2
Scientific American Bright Horizons Cruise 22 arrives in Juneau, Alaska -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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3:00 PM | The U.S. Southwest Could Soon Experience Decades-Long "Megadroughts"
During the 1930s, America's High Plains were ravaged by an 8-year long drought, resulting in the dreaded Dust Bowl. Scientists now warn that, owing to global warming, this could happen again — and that by next century many parts of the world could experience "megadroughts" lasting for several decades.Read more...
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2:00 PM | Dating Drought in the Nebraska Sandhills
Could the Nebraska Sandhills resemble the Sahara? They have before. Join QUEST as we explore dating and recreating drought in dunes.
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12:34 PM | Winged Warning: Heavy Metal Song Distortion
A series on birds as environmental sentinels includes a story on how mercury contamination distorts birds' songs.
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12:00 AM | Can we feed the world and save our species?
Australia’s Biodiversity series – Part 7: Farming, pastoralism and forestry Australian agriculture provides food and fibre for millions of people in Australia and around the world, but it can come at a cost to our environment and biodiversity. There is a range of intensities of primary production in Australia today. Hunting and gathering and use […]

August 27, 2014

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11:55 PM | Meeting an Illegal Logger
'I make six times the amount of money logging as I would working my small plot of land or even working legally in a pulp and paper or palm oil plantation.' An illegal logger explains the economic conditions in South Sumatra. Mongabay Special Reporting Fellow Robert S. Eshelman interviews an illegal logger in Indonesia on the topic of cleaning up commodity supply chains.
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10:46 PM | Feds Will Allow Logging in Some Areas Burned by Rim Fire
A U.S. Forest Service decision will allow loggers to remove dead trees from 52 square miles of forests blackened last year in a massive central California wildfire, a move contested by environmentalists.
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6:52 PM | The Gran Canal: will Nicaragua's big bet create prosperity or environmental ruin?
A hundred years ago, the Panama Canal reshaped global geography. Now a new project, spearheaded by a media-shy Chinese millionaire, wants to build a 278-kilometer canal through Nicaragua. While the government argues the mega-project will change the country's dire economic outlook overnight, critics contend it will cause undue environmental damage, upend numerous communities, and do little to help local people.
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2:59 PM | Bardarbunga: Jokulhaups Alert!
In Iceland, Bethany Ehlmann is touring with students to learn more about the dynamic geological processes that mold and carve our planet in order to learn about other planets, particularly Mars. As the recent earthquakes around Bardarbunga intensify and eruption appears imminent, warnings of Jokulhaups ring from the dells.
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2:11 PM | A Response to the NY Times: "Choking the Oceans with Plastic"
The New York Times had an editorial on Monday by Captain Charles S. Moore, a long-time, outspoken advocate for raising awareness of plastic pollution in the ocean gyres. The editorial tells of the plastic pollution that he observed during his latest trip in the Pacific. While I do not doubt the veracity of his anecdotes, Moore uses a small subset of his observations to portray a wholly inaccurate image of what the pollution is like in the gyres in the Pacific and other oceans.Throughout the […]
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1:32 PM | When human activity can ‘trigger’ earthquakes
Many centuries ago, human activity was believed to result in earthquakes – If we did not sufficiently appease the gods, mighty Tepeyollotl, heart of the mountains, would vent his calamitous rage with a terrifying, tumultuous upheaval of the earth itself. Nowadays most of us know better (although that still doesn’t stop some religious nuts from…

Mulargia, F. & Bizzarri, A. (2014). Anthropogenic Triggering of Large Earthquakes, Scientific Reports, 4 6100. DOI: 10.1038/srep06100

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12:42 PM | A Year Ago Today: Spring in South Africa
National Geographic Young Explorer Evan Eifler is working to preserve the endangered ecosystems of South Africa, most notably the renosterveld. Check out the amazing images he has captured of endangered and unique flowers.
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9:00 AM | Climate Change Communication: Taking the Temperature (Part 1)
Editor's Note: This is a guest blog post by Kirk Englehardt (@kirkenglehardt). Kirk is Director of Research Communication and Marketing for the Georgia Institute of Technology. He blogs about strategic communication & #scicomm on LinkedIn and The Strategy Room.  He also curates and shares #scicomm content, which can be found on Flipboard, Pinterest, Google+ and Facebook.  Introduction: A few weeks ago, I was chatting with a college friend who now works as a […]
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6:41 AM | A rough guide to science advice
As scientists and policymakers gather in Auckland for a global summit on scientific advice, what lessons can we identify that apply across diverse national systems? Scientific advice has never been in greater demand; nor has it been more contested. From climate change to cyber-security, poverty to pandemics, food technologies to fracking, the questions being asked of scientists, engineers and other experts by policymakers, the media and the wider public continue to multiply. At the same time, […]

August 26, 2014

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8:18 PM | How do we save the world's vanishing old-growth forests?
There's nothing in the world like a primary forest, which has never been industrially logged or cleared by humans. They are often described as cathedral-like, due to pillar-like trees and carpet-like undergrowth. Yet, the world's primary forests—also known as old-growth forests—are falling every year, and policy-makers are not doing enough to stop it.
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6:33 PM | Washington, D.C.’s Snowy Owl Found Dead in Minnesota
A snowy owl that ventured out of the Arctic and into Washington D.C. this past winter dies in Minnesota.
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5:08 PM | August 24, 2014: How to Survive a Deadly Avalanche, Remembering Fallen War Reporters in Song and More
This week on National Geographic Weekend, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they survive an avalanche while skiing in Washington, save the environment while winning the Stanley Cup, uncover the tombs of powerful women in the Andes, pay tribute to a pair of fallen war correspondents, sleep on a stranger's couch, herd reindeer in the Russian arctic, and hold the jaws of crocodiles while we test just how hard they can bite.
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5:07 PM | 4 Videos: Threatened Birds Face Polar Bears, Poop-Sniffing Reporters
The ultimate "canaries in the coal mine," these threatened birds are giving researchers clues to the kind of world we could lose if climate change ranges unchecked. Watch as these feathered dynamos strut, dance, and sway.
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