The Wetlands Are Drowning

The Wetlands Are Drowning

“We often call them ecosystem engineers,” says Pat Megonigal, an ecologist who directs the Smithsonian’s Global Change Research Wetland and studies the plants.For a long while, wetland researchers have wondered whether that skill could help the plants build their way out of climate change.

How Scientists Fish: The Hand Line

How Scientists Fish: The Hand Line

“You’ll know,” says Kydd Pollock, fisheries science manager for The Nature Conservancy and research leader for the Fishing for Science program at Palmyra Atoll.He had substantial experience with a form of hand line: He tagged more than 2,500 sharks at Palmyra using the method.

Tonga eruption discoveries defy expectations

Tonga eruption discoveries defy expectations

NIWA’s research vessel, RV Tangaroa , has returned from a month-long expedition as part of the Nippon Foundation-funded Tonga Eruption Seabed Mapping Project (TESMaP), where scientists were studying the effects of January’s eruption of Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha'apai (HT – HH).

What the World’s Largest Organism Reveals About Fires and Forests

What the World’s Largest Organism Reveals About Fires and Forests

“If there were no trees dying, I wouldn’t have a job,” says forest pathologist Mike McWilliams, who calls himself the unofficial tour guide of the massive fungus.McWilliams continues driving, following dirt roads deeper into the forest, where the trees become smaller and closer together.

Hotspot Watch 20 May 2022

Hotspot Watch 20 May 2022

As of 17 May, the New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that dry conditions are located in parts of Waikato, northern Manawatū-Whanganui, much of the upper South Island, Banks Peninsula, and much of Otago.

Removing barriers to ensure freshwater fish can complete their life cycle

Removing barriers to ensure freshwater fish can complete their life cycle

NIWA’s Freshwater Species Programme Leader Dr Paul Franklin said World Fish Migration Day, on May 21, is a good time to remind New Zealanders of the challenges migratory fish face, and also the research that is underway to provide solutions.

The Almighty Squabble Over Who Gets to Name Microbes

The Almighty Squabble Over Who Gets to Name Microbes

Baker named the group of deep-sea microbes collected in 2009 Helarchaeota—after the Norse goddess of the underworld.Officially speaking, Helarchaeota falls into a category called Candidatus—a designation reserved for microbes that haven’t earned a proper scientific name yet.“We are finding new kinds of life right and left,” says Karen Lloyd, a microbial ecologist at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

This Is Where Dirty Old Cars Go to Die

This Is Where Dirty Old Cars Go to Die

Ferdinand Dudenhöffer, director of the Center for Automotive Research in Duisburg, Germany, believes that the fixation on third- or fourth-hand vehicle imports in the developing world can be a distraction from the main cause of vehicle pollution: 90 percent of cars worldwide are sold in Canada, China, Europe, and the United States.

Carbon-Rich Peat Is Disappearing. But Is It Also Growing?

Carbon-Rich Peat Is Disappearing. But Is It Also Growing?

Yet the Arctic is warming up to four times as fast as the rest of the planet, making permafrost thaw so rapidly that it’s gouging holes across the landscape , releasing carbon.

A New Database to Drive Seabird Conservation

A New Database to Drive Seabird Conservation

Now, a new database of seabird restoration projects will aid these conservation efforts, providing an essential resource for practitioners working to protect the world’s most imperiled group of birds.TNC is using social attraction tools, like decoys and sound systems, to restore seabird populations on Palmyra.

Spring Flowers Are Blooming Earlier in Greater Yellowstone

Spring Flowers Are Blooming Earlier in Greater Yellowstone

But climate change is knocking the timing of flowering and fruiting out of whack for many plants in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem according to a new study authored by scientists at The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in Wyoming.

Farming Drives Toward ‘Precision Agriculture’ Technologies

Farming Drives Toward ‘Precision Agriculture’ Technologies

Agribusiness as a whole is betting that the world has reached the tipping point where desperate need caused by a growing population, the economic realities of conventional farming, and advancing technology converge to require something called precision agriculture, which aims to minimize inputs and the costs and environmental problems that go with them.

A Powerful ISS Instrument Will Hunt for Minerals in Dusty Lands

A Powerful ISS Instrument Will Hunt for Minerals in Dusty Lands

“Nobody wants to go to the middle of the desert to figure out what soils are.” So Mahowald has been collaborating with NASA on the Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation mission, or EMIT, which launches to the International Space Station next month.

Hotspot Watch 13 May 2022

Hotspot Watch 13 May 2022

As of 10 May, the New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that dry conditions are located in parts of Waikato and Manawatū-Whanganui, and much of the upper South Island and Otago.

Anchors cause “extensive, persistent” damage to seafloor

Anchors cause “extensive, persistent” damage to seafloor

“It seems that this problem is ‘out of sight, out of mind’ because the environmental footprint of anchoring is not yet considered in official reporting of global human impacts on the marine ecosystem,” Dr Watson said.

Survey provides snapshot of harbour’s health

Survey provides snapshot of harbour’s health

Greater Wellington Regional Council regularly assess sediment quality and seafloor community health in the subtidal areas of Te Awarua-o-Porirua (Porirua Harbour) and Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington Harbour).

Seeing the Forest for the Deer: Alaskan Scientists Harness Big Data for Conservation

Seeing the Forest for the Deer: Alaskan Scientists Harness Big Data for Conservation

For scientist Sophie Gilbert, who spent four recent summers tracking the movements of Sitka black-tailed deer in the Tongass National Forest in a project with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, that means notebooks with waterproof paper.

Guide explores the benefits of combating marine biofouling

Guide explores the benefits of combating marine biofouling

GloFouling Project Technical Analyst John Alonso, based in London, said the guide developed in partnership with NIWA will help each country deliver an economic analysis to understand the potential benefits of a policy to prevent or manage invasive aquatic species introduced by biofouling.

Ticks Are Spreading in the US—and Taking New Diseases With Them

Ticks Are Spreading in the US—and Taking New Diseases With Them

That’s a problem, because research shows tick species are expanding into new areas and carrying greater amounts of pathogens as they move.

Stories from Palmyra: The Recapture

Stories from Palmyra: The Recapture

On the next Fishing for Science trip in February of this year, a scientific angler caught a bluefin trevally that had been tagged on February 6, 2020, at liberty for 753 days.Giant trevally caught and tagged on a Fishing for Science trip in February 2022.

The Desert’s Fragile Skin Can’t Take Much More Heat

The Desert’s Fragile Skin Can’t Take Much More Heat

Eighty-five miles from the small town of Moab, Utah, located on the Colorado Plateau in the southwest of the US, soil ecologist Rebecca Finger-Higgens is hopscotching on copper-toned sandstone to avoid stepping on the desert’s black, burnt-looking crust of soil.

A New Gas-Guzzling Postal Fleet Could Be Halted by Lawsuits

A New Gas-Guzzling Postal Fleet Could Be Halted by Lawsuits

“Once this purchase goes through, we’ll be stuck with more than 100,000 new gas-guzzling vehicles on neighborhood streets, serving homes across our state and across the country, for the next 30 years,” Bonta said.

Burning Crops to Capture Carbon? Good Luck Finding Water

Burning Crops to Capture Carbon? Good Luck Finding Water

One controversial idea is known as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, or BECCS: You’d grow crops and burn them for energy, then capture the emissions coming out of the facility and pump them underground as liquefied gas.

Hotspot Watch 6 May 2022

Hotspot Watch 6 May 2022

As of 3 May, the New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that dry conditions are located in parts of the upper South Island, much of Otago, eastern Southland, and Stewart Island.

A Vast Underground Water System Helps Drive Antarctica’s Glaciers

A Vast Underground Water System Helps Drive Antarctica’s Glaciers

“If you don’t have water, you’re not going to get very far.” Making sense of that subglacial hydrology is especially important for researchers racing to model particularly precarious regions of ice, like the Thwaites Glacier, a few hundred miles away from Whillans.

You Don’t Have to Quit Meat to Save the Planet—Just Eat Less

You Don’t Have to Quit Meat to Save the Planet—Just Eat Less

But if people swapped 20 percent of their beef for mycoprotein, deforestation rates by 2050 would be half what they would be if beef consumption continued to rise as projected.“Part of the solution to this problem could be existing biotechnology,” says Florian Humpenöder, a researcher at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany and the lead author of the Nature paper.

The Pandemic Gave Scientists a New Way to Spy on Emissions

The Pandemic Gave Scientists a New Way to Spy on Emissions

For example, they can add up how much gasoline is being burned and how many fossil fuel power plants are running at a given time, to calculate how much carbon is being exhaled into the atmosphere.

How to Embrace Despair in the Age of Climate Change

How to Embrace Despair in the Age of Climate Change

In the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, Charlie Glick, a musician in his late twenties living in California, was strolling through LA’s Atwater Village neighbourhood, thinking about work.

Everyone Wants to Build Green Energy Projects. What's the Holdup?

Everyone Wants to Build Green Energy Projects. What's the Holdup?

The problem stems from a combination of factors: aging infrastructure, a discombobulated electrical grid that makes it difficult to get renewable energy from where it is produced to where it is needed, and the overwhelmed regulators responsible for approving the projects.

Give Fitbits (of Sorts) to the Trees

Give Fitbits (of Sorts) to the Trees

Using off-the-shelf accelerometers, researchers have been quantifying how trees sway differently over time: when they’re warmer or colder, hydrated or dehydrated, weighed down by snow or unburdened.But with accelerometers, scientists have a new way of measuring how much rain or snow a particular tree in a forest ends up intercepting.

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