It’s Hard to Do Climate Research When Your Glacier Is Melting

It’s Hard to Do Climate Research When Your Glacier Is Melting

The site, near the terminus—aka the lower end of the glacier—contains a mass balance stake that Christopher McNeil, a geophysicist for the US Geological Survey, uses to measure the rate at which the glacier is growing or melting.

The FAA Says SpaceX Can't Expand Its Texas Launch Site—Yet

The FAA Says SpaceX Can't Expand Its Texas Launch Site—Yet

The agency says that if SpaceX takes some 75 actions to limit environmental hazards, the company can continue that expansion and its application for a launch license for its Starship spacecraft and the Super Heavy rocket booster.

Reshuffled Rivers Bolster the Amazon’s Hyper-Biodiversity

Reshuffled Rivers Bolster the Amazon’s Hyper-Biodiversity

The relationship between geographic change and biodiversity is “one of the most contentious topics in evolutionary biology,” said Musher, who did the study as part of his doctoral work.

Smaller Reactors May Still Have a Big Nuclear Waste Problem

Smaller Reactors May Still Have a Big Nuclear Waste Problem

A Department of Energy-sponsored report estimated in 2014 that the US nuclear industry would produce 94 percent less fuel waste if big, old reactors were replaced with new smaller ones.

How Ants Inspired a New Way to Measure Snow With Space Lasers

How Ants Inspired a New Way to Measure Snow With Space Lasers

“We can measure that distance of each individual photon traveling inside the snow,” says Hu, a researcher at NASA’s Langley Research Center.Just as an ant wanders around its underground colony, a photon shot from a space laser takes a random route through the snow.

Let’s Get Our Shit Together—Literally

Let’s Get Our Shit Together—Literally

According to its 2020 annual report, in that year the company shipped 3,445 fecal microbiota transplantation treatments to more than 1,250 hospitals and clinics across the US.Animal poops are similarly prized by scientists as a window into an animal’s identity, diet, movements, stress state, sex, maturity, reproduction, habits, predator–prey relationships, overall health, pollution exposure, parasites, and microbiome.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

Saving the Pacific’s Most Endangered Leatherback Sea Turtles

Saving the Pacific’s Most Endangered Leatherback Sea Turtles

The rangers walking the beach tonight are part of a new monitoring effort, led by The Nature Conservancy, to gather information about the Western Pacific leatherbacks nesting in the Solomon Islands.

Hotspot Watch 29 April 2022

Hotspot Watch 29 April 2022

As of 26 April, the New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that dry conditions are located in parts of the upper South Island, West Coast, Otago, and Southland.

The Energy Crisis Is Pushing Solar Adoption—for Those Who Can Pay

The Energy Crisis Is Pushing Solar Adoption—for Those Who Can Pay

“On that very first weekend when the price cap change came in, our inquiries increased by 300 percent,” says Richard Moule, a director at the Sheffield-based solar installers All Seasons Energy.

How the Battle Over a Pesticide Led to Scientific Skepticism

How the Battle Over a Pesticide Led to Scientific Skepticism

In no time at all, his words seemed prophetic, not because West Nile virus shut down cities as polio once had but because, all of a sudden, people all across the country began calling for the return of DDT, which had been banned back in 1972.

The Field Herper: Finding Reptiles and Amphibians for Fun

The Field Herper: Finding Reptiles and Amphibians for Fun

“Whatever it is in the natural world that you get into, you get deeper and deeper into the lives of those animals,” says Mike Pingleton, field herper.© Daniel Núñez/TNC Photo Contest 2021 Pingleton, a field herper, retired from a 30-year career of computer operations in 2019.

Why You (and the Planet) Really Need a Heat Pump

Why You (and the Planet) Really Need a Heat Pump

Or, in the winter, a heat pump can warm a building by operating as a sort of “reverse refrigerator,” extracting heat from even cold outdoor air and bringing it inside.

It’s a Perfect Time for EVs. It’s a Terrible Time for EVs

It’s a Perfect Time for EVs. It’s a Terrible Time for EVs

Pandemic supply chain woes, production crunches, and congressional waffling about the future of electric subsidies have crashed into new challenges tied to the economic sanctions of Russia .Meanwhile, the nations that control global oil and gas supplies hadn’t yet ramped up the production they cut during the depths of the pandemic.

What Will Replace Insects When They're Gone?

What Will Replace Insects When They're Gone?

This story is adapted from The Insect Crisis: The Fall of the Tiny Empires That Run the World, by Oliver Milman.If the fall of insects’ tiny empires causes whole ecosystems to unravel, toppling previously solid certainties about the way our world functions, what then.

The Sound of Merlin: Like Shazam, but for Birds

The Sound of Merlin: Like Shazam, but for Birds

So I dutifully downloaded the Merlin App, practiced with my binoculars (to the concern of my neighbors), and spent time with the different quizzes and tutorials on eBird, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s online birding mecca, learning to recognize different birds by their songs and calls.

Africa’s Oldest DNA Is Helping Address Science’s Racial Bias

Africa’s Oldest DNA Is Helping Address Science’s Racial Bias

Now a new discovery of the oldest African DNA is pushing back against this bias, and in the process revealing how our ancestors lived and moved around the continent tens of thousands of years ago.

What Damaged That Tree? Probably Not What You Think

What Damaged That Tree? Probably Not What You Think

So, next time you are out enjoying the forest and you come across strips of bark at the base of a tree and obvious teeth marks on the tree trunk, keep an eye out: a bear could be nearby.

Cutting-edge AI sea craft helping scientists count fish

Cutting-edge AI sea craft helping scientists count fish

“Hoki are one of the species we research – they have major spawning events, but we are currently only able to collect data on these for a few weeks every two years.NIWA hopes to be routinely using the vessel for monitoring fish within the next five years.

The Best Way to Learn Online? Be a Lurker

The Best Way to Learn Online? Be a Lurker

Lately I have been trying to get through the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's big report, the one that came out late last year, called “Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis.” It's a challenge because (a) I must, um, learn as I go, and (b) the PDF is nearly 4,000 pages of aggregated, footnoted, illustrated scientific consensus about weather.

Can Super-Fast Battery Charging Fix the Electric Car?

Can Super-Fast Battery Charging Fix the Electric Car?

If the goal is to charge up your electrical vehicle in, say, five minutes, that extra current meeting resistance means temperature-related problems inside the battery and out.“I question the wisdom of why we need to have 500-mile range in an electric car and also want fast charging in five minutes,” he says.

A New Database Reveals How Much Humans Are Messing With Evolution

A New Database Reveals How Much Humans Are Messing With Evolution

In an initial paper published in November 2021 using the new data set (which is called Proceed, for Phenotypic Rates of Change Evolutionary and Ecological Database), Hendry and colleagues reexamined five key questions raised by previous work.

Hotspot Watch 4 February 2022

Hotspot Watch 4 February 2022

As of the 2 February, the NZDI map below shows that dry conditions extend from Tasman, Nelson and Marlborough, across the Southern Alps and ranges, and down to much of Otago and Southland, including Stewart Island.

What It's Like to Give Up Air Travel to Curb Climate Change

What It's Like to Give Up Air Travel to Curb Climate Change

Katherine Leswing was sitting in an airport in France with her five-month-old son, waiting to catch a flight home, when she first started to think about giving up flying because of climate change.Instead of traveling the globe, Milner-Brown focuses on exploring her home of Scotland and taking train trips through Europe.