Agriculture

Causes of California drought linked to climate change, Stanford scientists say
September 29, 2014 03:34 PM - Ker Than, Stanford University

The atmospheric conditions associated with the unprecedented drought currently afflicting California are "very likely" linked to human-caused climate change, Stanford scientists write in a new research paper. In a new study, a team led by Stanford climate scientist Noah Diffenbaugh used a novel combination of computer simulations and statistical techniques to show that a persistent region of high atmospheric pressure hovering over the Pacific Ocean that diverted storms away from California was much more likely to form in the presence of modern greenhouse gas concentrations.

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Record Radiation in South America
July 11, 2014 09:00 AM - Winfield Winter, ENN

Astrobiologists from the United States and Germany recorded the highest known level of solar UV radiation to reach Earth's surface. This was around 10 years ago. On December 29, 2003, the UV Index (UVI) peaked, reaching the blistering number of 43.3 over the Andes Mountains in Bolivia. To put this in context, a beachgoer in the United States would expect a UVI of 8 or 9 on a summer day. Even with an 8 or a 9, one may not escape the day without sunburn. Nonetheless, it has taken scientists 10 years to detail a report of this data while taking into account all of the variables and anomalies monitored from an international network of dosimeters — or Eldonets (European Light Dosimeter Network) — that measure UV radiation worldwide. This system is comprised of more than 100 stations across 5 continents to account for variation in the atmosphere above each station.

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SPOTLIGHT

Ski areas rejoice!

US Forest Service
The U.S. Forest Service finalized policy guidelines that will open opportunities for ski areas to promote year-round recreation activities that are natural resource-based and that will create additional jobs for communities with ski areas on the National Forests. "The new directives will help usher in a wider spectrum of developed recreation opportunities that will encourage more people to enjoy the national forests," said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. "This change will allow ski areas to offer expanded recreation choices that will benefit local communities and recreationists." The guidelines — referred to as directives — will be published in the Federal Register this week and take effect immediately. They will be used by agency administrators to determine which summer recreation activities and associated facilities will be allowed on ski areas operating on national forests. There are 122 ski areas on nearly 180,000 acres of public land administered by the Forest Service.

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Autumn Leaves : Perfect Timing

September 30th, 2014
Summer is finally over and fall is upon us. One of my favorite activities during the fall is to drive up north to really appreciate the leaves turning. Yes, the leaves do turn brilliant colors here in New Jersey (see picture) but there is no experience like driving up the Taconic Parkway in New York State on the way to pick apples, and being surrounded by such intense beauty. Of course the problem with observing such beauty is that you need to catch the sight at the perfect time. Sometimes it seems like one moment the leaves are green at the next they are gone.
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The People’s Climate March

September 22nd, 2014
Yesterday was the People’s Climate March in NYC and I was lucky enough to be one of the 310,000 plus people who were lucky enough to attend. It was an amazing experience and I got to meet a lot of exciting passionate people who really care about our planet. I quickly threw together a slideshow [...]
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Little Office of Non-Horrors; or How Office Plants May Improve Worker Productivity

September 11th, 2014
What does your office space look like?  Maybe it looks like mine with a few pictures of family, friends, and some inspiring posters to keep you motivated or make you smile, just enough to keep me relaxed and focused on my work.  Or at least that’s what the points supposed to be. Unfortunately most decorations [...]
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