There are the good wildfires, and there are the bad. Unfortunately, the latter often overwhelm the beneficial ones. We’ll go on with stories from San Diego in a minute—it’s a long story of an actually short time—but here’s a word about the bright side first. Whoopi Goldberg had a thought that’s worth repeating: When you
When the hydraulic fracturing measure passed the Los Angeles City Council today, several tweeters posted photos of this meeting (source of the above: Walker Foley on twitter). The City Council of Los Angeles, second-most populous metro in the United States, voted 10-0 today to prohibit hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) and other “unconventional” deep-underground drilling methods to produce
Remember those David Attenborough documentaries that showed you underneath the snow cover into the world below, home to all manner of creatures and plant life trying to survive through the harsh white winter? Well that same ecosystem — the subnivium — is set to suffer at the hands of a warming climate, according to scientists
Fifteen years after wolves were returned to Yellowstone National Park the health of the overall ecosystem is overwhelming and obvious. This is the observation made by scientists in a new report published in the journal Biological Conservation. For the first time in 70 years, the young aspen and willow trees are not being eaten before
Taken by a member of the ICESCAPE mission on board the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy as it steamed its way south in the Arctic Ocean towards the edge of the sea ice on July 20.
in 2007, the largest fire ever recorded in the Arctic swept across the Alaskan Northern Slope region, releasing an estimated 2.1 teragrams (2.3 million tons) of carbon into the atmosphere. Researchers estimate that the release of carbon was equivalent to a year’s worth of carbon storage for the entire Arctic tundra biome. Climate warming in the Arctic may lead to a greater frequency of such large fires, putting permafrost at risk of thawing and releasing more CO2.
“The loss of apex consumers is arguably humankind’s most pervasive influence on the natural world,” argue the authors of a new report published in the journal Science, which looked at the decline of large predators and other ‘apex consumers’ at the top of the food chain.
Researchers on the NASA-funded ICESCAPE mission—Impacts of Climate on Ecosystems and Chemistry of the Arctic Pacific Environment—have been examining melt ponds and the ice around them as seen in the image below.
Researchers who have been manipulating a northern Wisconsin lake have been able to detect a warning signal for the impending collapse of an ecosystem.
If many of these plankton blooms are trending earlier each year, then the seasonal return/growth of the fish population in these areas is gradually becoming “out of sync” with the primary producers in this region. This may mean insufficient food supply to maintain robust fish populations.
Reporting her results from a fifth Gulf of Mexico expedition ending this past December, University of Georgia marine scientist Samantha Joye has been to the bottom and back, and her findings are anything but optimistic. Her team has found numerous expanses of oil and soot covered sea floor that were “chemically finger-printed” as deriving from
In the constant interplay between Humans and Nature, everything is a trade-off. As our scientists begin to consider an intervention approach to climate change and conducting large-scale experiments, this trade-off is coming into sharper resolution. Case in point: iron ocean fertilization (or “seeding”), a geoengineering strategy making the news in recent years. Iron fertilization also
A recent analysis of catch data calls into question the accuracy of previous surveys of marine ecosystem health. Without accurate data, environmental policy makers may be unable to determine if current reforms to fisheries management are working, and further, if their picture of our oceans’ health is even roughly accurate. The new analysis was conducted
The restoration of rivers throughout America needs to be carried out with a mind for the role played by the North American beaver, says a Kansas State University professor. Often known as ecosystem engineers, the beavers have been involved in the role and flow of rivers for centuries, long before humans crossed the land masses
Two ecologist discover that by adapting Google’s Page Rank algorithm they were able to “reverse engineer” the collapse of food webs, and thus determining which species in a given web are most critical to the web’s existence.
The ‘bearded goby’ (Sufflogobius bibarbatus), a small, common, prey species of fish, has become adapted to the “toxic” conditions near the sea floor of this pelagic zone. Analysis of the fish’s gut has shown that up to 60% of its diet consists of jellyfish–a marine creature few animals prey upon due to their venomous stings. Remarkably, the fish has become the pivotal player in a newly emergent ecosystem.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists with a bighead carp, one of two species whose entry into the Great Lakes is sparking widespread concern. [social_buttons] Last week’s edition of Great Lakes Asian carp news brought both a U.S. Supreme Court decision and disclosure of the species’ environmental DNA in Lake Michigan. But as members of
British conservationists are ecstatic over what they hope is the return of the Large Tortoiseshell butterfly, thought to be extinct in Britain. The butterfly, once common, dwindled in numbers in the early twentieth century to the point where it disappeared entirely. Some experts fear that sightings of the Large Tortoiseshell may in fact be of