Posts

July 30, 2014

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2:32 PM | Nightlights not Lions!, Three Cheers for Cheerios, Ugly Fruit Needs Love, Too
By Jason Bittel Stand up and be counted: All around the country, Americans are speaking their minds on the Environmental Protection Agency’s new power-plant pollution rules. Some say the rules go too far, such as the Alabama officials who argue that no one has the right to “take what God’s given a state” (he’s talking about coal). Others say the rules don’t go far enough, such as the retired coal miner from Kentucky who […]
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11:30 AM | Peru’s first-ever high-resolution carbon map could help the world breathe easier
To put an accurate price on carbon, you need to know how much you have and where it’s located, researchers say Stanford University scientists have produced the first-ever high-resolution carbon geography of Peru, a country whose tropical forests are among the world’s most vital in terms of mitigating the global impact of climate change. Released…
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11:30 AM | Peru’s first-ever high-resolution carbon map could help the world breathe easier
To put an accurate price on carbon, you need to know how much you have and where it’s located, researchers say Stanford University scientists have produced the first-ever high-resolution carbon geography of Peru, a country whose tropical forests are among the world’s most vital in terms of mitigating the global impact of climate change. Released…
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10:30 AM | Urbanization: Good for Pests, Bad for Trees
Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Steve Frank, an assistant professor of entomology at NC State.The post first appeared on Frank’s blog, Insect Ecology and Integrated Pest Management. My wife is from a neighborhood outside Baltimore called Lawyers Hill. This is where, in the 18th century, lawyers (and I assume doctors and other

July 29, 2014

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6:56 PM | Among meats, beef has a beefy environmental footprint
Though popular, it’s much less efficient than other foods.
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6:06 PM | US Council of Economic Advisors: Delay on climate action will cost us
President's advisors put bill at $190 billion a year if we get a 3°C rise.
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5:46 PM | Could California Go All in On Renewable Energy?
California could be completely powered by renewable energy, according to a plan that uses available technology. Continue reading →
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4:30 PM | Another Massive Hole Appears in Siberia: Photos
A second massive crater has appeared in a remote part of Siberia. It's uncertain yet what's caused the sinkholes, but experts have suggested global warming may play a part.
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1:00 PM | Vicious cycle: Air conditioning is making your city even hotter
As temperatures rise around the world, air conditioning demands will increase. This of course means big energy demands, which often means more carbon emissions, which means more warming—in other words, cooling your apartment is making it hotter outside. But that’s just the long-term effect; new research suggests that turning on your AC unit actually sends the mercury
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12:10 PM | To deal with climate change… make people smaller
The plan to engineer a shorter, smaller human race to cope with climate change is almost as big and bold as the schemes of people working to convince themselves climate change won’t affect them. The plan, at this point still sketchy, has three engineers. S Matthew Liao [pictured here] is a professor of bioethics at New York University. Anders Sandberg and Rebecca […]

July 28, 2014

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9:42 PM | July 27, 2014 Radio Show: Curing Cancer, Spending Summer Nights With Fireflies and More
This week on National Geographic Weekend, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they invent a cheap cancer detection system, scour the earth's poles for adventure, ingratiate themselves with a cheetah family, give the facts on fireflies, conjure life from the fangs of a viper, feed Africa from Africa, roadtrip across the United States in comfort, and photograph National Geographic's past.
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8:38 PM | High and Dry
By Sharman Apt Russell Nineteen sixty. I was 5 years old and talking politics with my best friend’s mom. No, I chattered, my mom had never voted for Barry Goldwater, former city councilman and now U.S. senator from Arizona. She just didn’t trust the man. Whoa! My best friend’s mom seemed to expand like a red balloon. Didn’t I know that the future of Phoenix, my hometown, depended on men like Barry Goldwater? Gulp. Well, no, I […]
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7:40 PM | New on F1000Research – 28 July 2014
A selection of new content on F1000Research from the past week. To receive notification of all new articles, sign up for our table of contents alerts. Featured article: Epiphyte response to drought and experimental warming in an Andean cloud forest [v2; ref status: indexed, http://f1000r.es/3le] Previously titled: Epiphyte response to drought and experimental warming PUBLISHED: 06 June [...]
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5:03 PM | [Article 6820]Stories of Climate Change Need Telling
Help Savvy Writers Get the Story Out A few years ago I worked with a very good writer and PhD chemist named Sarah Webb on a project to create exhibits for the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. She worked on image and topic research and provided me a much-needed second pair of eyes before I […]
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3:22 PM | U.S. Coal Exports Eroding Domestic Greenhouse Gains
Continuing rise in U.S. exports of coal work against domestic reductions in CO2 emissions.
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3:02 PM | Is the US historical network temperature trend too strong?
Climate dissenters often claim that the observed temperature trend is not only due to global warming, but for a large part due to local effects: due to increases in urbanization around the stations or somehow because of bad micro-siting. A few days ago I had a twitter discussion with Ronan Connolly. He and his father claim that 0.2°C per century of the temperature increase in the USA is due to urbanization and 0.1°C per century is due to micro-siting. That is quite a lot. Together it […]
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2:21 PM | When Icebergs Attack, Maggots in the Loo (Yup), the Problem with NYC’s Rat Problem
By Jason Bittel Daddy knows best: Longmont, Colorado, voted to ban fracking a year and a half ago, but a state district judge just struck down the town’s ban, saying it conflicts with state regulations (see "Hometown Heroine"). The highlight (lowlight?) of the story is undoubtedly the following quote from Judge D.D. Mallard’s ruling: “While the Court appreciates the Longmont citizens' sincerely-held beliefs about risks to their health and […]
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2:13 PM | Getting across a visceral sense of climate change is one of the...
Getting across a visceral sense of climate change is one of the hardest problems in science writing. Daniel Crawford, an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota decided to use a tool that’s inherently visceral — music. He wrote “Song of a Warming Planet.” It’s a small thing, but with the incredible complexity of climate change it’s going to take a lot of very different ideas to help people understand the big picture. Read more at Ensia. » Ben
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1:37 PM | Roger Pielke Jr. on FiveThirtyEight and his Climate Critics
Earlier in the year, Roger Pielke Jr. was named as a contributing writer for Nate Silver’s newly re-launched FiveThirtyEight site. Shortly after that, Pielke, a climate policy scholar and political scientist at the University of Colorado, in Boulder, published an article at FiveThirtyEight headlined, “Disasters Cost More Than Ever–But Not Because of Climate Change.” Critics pounced immediately in […]The post Roger Pielke Jr. on FiveThirtyEight and […]
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5:00 AM | Smashing Physics: how we discovered the Higgs boson - podcast
The British physicist Jon Butterworth discusses his new book Smashing Physics, an insider's account of the discovery of the Higgs boson. Plus, the origins of life Continue reading...
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5:00 AM | Smashing Physics: how we discovered the Higgs boson - podcast
The British physicist Jon Butterworth discusses his new book Smashing Physics, an insider's account of the discovery of the Higgs boson. Plus, the origins of life Continue reading...

July 27, 2014

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10:35 PM | Science Blogging that Boomerangs
“This impedes reasonable public risk communication in the long run and creates a social group of people who harbor fears and anxieties not grounded in reality, but are immune against correction.” - A Boomerang Effect of an All-Clear Message on Radiation Risk. Experts have concluded in many cases that the risks of nanotechnology, electromagnetic fields and nuclear energy are acceptable in the ways we currently use these technologies. Risks assessments of nanoparticles, for example, […]
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10:35 PM | Science Blogging that Boomerangs
“This impedes reasonable public risk communication in the long run and creates a social group of people who harbor fears and anxieties not grounded in reality, but are immune against correction.” - A Boomerang Effect of an All-Clear Message on Radiation Risk. Experts have concluded in many cases that the risks of nanotechnology, electromagnetic fields and nuclear energy are acceptable in the ways we currently use these technologies. Risks assessments of nanoparticles, for example, […]
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10:35 PM | Science Blogging that Boomerangs
“This impedes reasonable public risk communication in the long run and creates a social group of people who harbor fears and anxieties not grounded in reality, but are immune against correction.” - A Boomerang Effect of an All-Clear Message on Radiation Risk. Experts have concluded in many cases that the risks of nanotechnology, electromagnetic fields and nuclear energy are acceptable in the ways we currently use these technologies. Risks assessments of nanoparticles, for example, […]

July 26, 2014

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8:34 PM | Expedition to the Land of Ice Bears
It was almost at the exact moment of the northern solstice that we boarded the National Geographic Explorer for a week-long expedition to the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard--the time of year when the sun reaches the highest point in the sky as seen from the North Pole. We were in the land of the midnight sun, and we would not see the darkness of night for the entire time we were there.
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9:59 AM | Temperatures make our global warming opinions change like the weather
Our experience of current warmth can override our scientific knowledge in driving beliefs about climate change, which is part of the reason we struggle to take the resulting risks seriously, underlines Columbia University’s Elke Weber.

Weber, E. (2006). Experience-Based and Description-Based Perceptions of Long-Term Risk: Why Global Warming does not Scare us (Yet), Climatic Change, 77 (1-2) 103-120. DOI: 10.1007/s10584-006-9060-3

Li, Y., Johnson, E. & Zaval, L. (2011). Local Warming: Daily Temperature Change Influences Belief in Global Warming, Psychological Science, 22 (4) 454-459. DOI: 10.1177/0956797611400913

Zaval, L., Keenan, E., Johnson, E. & Weber, E. (2014). How warm days increase belief in global warming, Nature Climate Change, 4 (2) 143-147. DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2093

Citation

July 25, 2014

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9:28 PM | ESA Policy News July 25: Senators review EPA power plant rules, rural CA receives drought relief, ESA to aid Interior science group
Here are some highlights from the latest ESA Policy New […]
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9:19 PM | Weekend Reads: Virtual Reality Environmentalism, Climate Cowboys, Are Water Witchers for Real?
By Jason Bittel If a Tree Falls in a Virtual Forest…Imagine you’re a little piece of purple coral. Everything’s going swimmingly until the ocean begins to acidify and your reef starts dropping dead all around you. Then, all of a sudden, you watch yourself losing your purple hue … and then the darkness is closes in. Lucky for you, this is just a virtual reality experiment to see if “experiencing” an environmental […]
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1:37 PM | Blue Whales in the Way, Court Blows ABX Decision, Radioactive Snow Monkeys
By Jason Bittel Take your medicine (oh, what’s the point...): The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled yesterday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is under no obligation to ban the practice of administering antibiotics to healthy livestock as a way of promoting growth—even though study after study shows that the practice is creating drug-resistant superbugs (see "You Want Superbugs With That?"). The U.S. Centers for Disease […]

July 24, 2014

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8:45 PM | Rule for Regulating Existing Power Plants under Fire
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy testified before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee during a hearing on “EPA’s Proposed Carbon Pollution Standards for Existing Power Plants.” Debate about the proposed rule to regulate carbon emissions from existing power plants has swirled since the rule’s release last month. Coal-heavy states and others have criticized both the…
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