Posts tagged "climate change"
Many of my followers are not my students, and might even be actual adults! With the swift privatization of public education, our science department has no money for even the most basic supplies. I have set up a Donor’s Choose account where you can personally donate to specific projects. Please help support public science education! We need scientists!
This is Lake Fitri in Tchad, taken from the International Space Station. Lake Fitri is an endorheic, or terminal lake in a desert basin in the southern Sahara Desert. As NASA scientists point out, the lake was once many times larger than its present surface area, as shown by numerous sweeping curves of ancient beaches which are now situated many kilometers from the present shoreline.
This is Marla Spivak, one of the world’s leading researchers on the mysterious disappearance of bees. She works at the University of Minnesota. More than one-third of the world’s fruits, vegetables and flowering plants are dependent on pollination by bees. During the winter of 2006, honeybee hives across the U.S. were suddenly abandoned by their worker bees. The result: keepers of honeybees reported losses of 30 to 90 percent.
It is now known as Colony Collapse Disorder, and has probably been going on to a lesser degree for years before the major 2006 collapse. Bumblebees and leafcutter bees are also declining. CCD is the result of stress that compromises their immune systems. Fingers have been pointed at poor bee nutrition, pesticide use, climate change, mites, and monoculture.
Volcanism is no match for human activity, as far as carbon dioxide emissions go. In as little as two days, smokestacks, tailpipes and other human sources spew a year’s worth of volcanic greenhouse gas, Eos reported today.
Find the link here: http://www.agu.org/news/press/pr_archives/2011/2011-22.shtml
As the planet warms, dire predictions of coastal flooding, inland droughts, ruined farmland, and global food shortages fill the news and research journals. But for all the talk of the future, scientists have little data on how climate change has already affected agriculture.
Scientists from Stanford University report in Science that yields of corn and wheat declined from 1980-2008 by 3.8% and 5.5%, respectively, compared with what they would have been without global warming. Rice and soybean production remained the same. But the trends vary considerably from region to region. Unlike most other regions, the United States and Canada saw no climate-linked decline in food production during this period. This is consistent with data and predictions put out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Holy crap! A prehistoric ant the size of a hummingbird?! The specimen is a “monstrously big ant,” said Bruce Archibald, a paleoentomologist at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia who reported the discovery May 3 in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The fossil ant is from a well-known fossil site in Wyoming called the Green River Formation, and it lived about 50 million years ago during the early part of the Eocene, a time when the continents were closer together and the sea level was low. “You could have walked from Vancouver to London across dry land,” Archibald said.
SO AWESOME! You can read the full article here: http://www.livescience.com/14008-giant-ant-fossil.html
Moon jellyfish have increased, thanks to climate change and overfishing, and appear as white swaths in this Japanese bay. better get used to the taste of jellies after our protein-rich fish supply runs out!
A new low for Arctic sea ice for the summer of 2010. A new study out by the University of New Hampshire’s Carsey Institute shows that the understanding of climate change falls along party lines. Republicans think it either isn’t happening or that the changes are natural. Democrats tend to acknowledge that human activity is the primary cause.
This is a stark contrast to the scientific community’s unified stance regarding the warming of our planet.
“Although there remains active discussion among scientists on many details about the pace and effects of climate change, no leading science organization disagrees that human activities are now changing the Earth’s climate,” said study researcher Lawrence Hamilton, professor of sociology and senior fellow with the Carsey Institute. “The strong scientific agreement on this point contrasts with the partisan disagreement seen on all of our surveys.”
Honestly, I am getting pretty sick of my students bringing up the 2012 Mayan calendar thing every day during our climate change unit. Human civilization could collapse in 2012, but one thing I am absolutely sure of….it will not be because the Mayan calendar said so.
“By all means let’s be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.”
-Richard Dawkins, “Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder”, 1996
Look how cool this glacier is. It is called the Sverdrup Glacier in Nunavut, Canada.
10 years’ worth of rain fell in one week last July in Pakistan, affecting 20 million people, and leaving behind water that spanned an area the size of England. Spiders were marooned in trees by the flood waters.
Residents of the province said they had never seen this phenomenon before, but credited the spiders with reducing the mosquito population, which appeared lower than would normally be expected given the amount of stagnant water left behind by the flood. Yay for no malaria!
Cloning plants is not as hard as cloning animals, plus it is legal in California. That is why scientists form California are beginning work to clone some of the world’s largest organisms, the redwoods, and then mass producing them in order to curb climate change. I love it! The coastal redwoods are the tallest on Earth and also one of the most long-lived, sucking up carbon from the atmosphere as they go. They are basically sequestration superstars!
New radar images underneath the Antarctic ice shelf have surprised scientists. Once, we thought that the liquid under the glacier just lubricated them and sped their delivery to the sea. Now, they are seeing how the glaciers are growing and changing from the bottom of the ice shelf and even changing surface topography. Bottoms up, Antarctica! The next question is whether or not this is happening in Greenland, which we all know how important that gigantic ice sheet is for global climate.
More info: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/03/a-big-surprise-beneath-the-ice/?ref=science