• Global warming debate rages on

    Harsh summer weather that maroons researchers in the Southern Ocean near the South Pole feeds the global warming debate. With the group of global warming doubters on one side and the believers on the other, some say it is ironic imagery juxtaposed with some rather convincing scientific graphs. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, and by now you might have seen dramatic images of passengers on stranded icebreaker Akademik Shokalskiy being rescued by helicopter last Friday after becoming lodged in Antarctica sea ice on Christmas Eve. Another type of picture - the graph - plays a major role in science. No one could look at the graph below, which shows the extent of arctic ice during the past 1,450 years, without realizing that the polar ice cap has been melting at a rapid and wholly unprecedented rate over the past few decades. >> Read the Full Article
  • Wild deep-freeze warming techniques

    With much of the northern hemisphere embedded in a deep freeze, one wonders how cold weather animals remain alive through frigid temperatures. Energy supplies are drained in the cold making it necessary to have a good solid cache of warming survival skills. Some animals have adaptive features and other animals have found adaptive techniques. Some of their creative adaptations are listed: >> Read the Full Article
  • Newlight Makes Plastic Out of Thin Air Instead of Oil

    Imagine if you were given one wish to do anything you could about climate change, what would you do? Resetting the atmospheric carbon concentration back to pre-industrial levels would certainly be a big help. >> Read the Full Article
  • U.S. Coast Guard Polar Star to the Rescue!

    Maritime drama in the Southern Ocean continues! Maritime rescue teams have been getting a great deal of practice lately; this time the U.S. Coast Guard is attempting the rescue of the Russian research ship, Akademik Shokalskiy and now the Chinese icebreaker, Xue Long aka Snow Dragon in Chinese. >> Read the Full Article
  • Tracking tracks yields old story

    Scientists in the UK have dated a set of footprints found in 1961 in the Chihuahuan desert in northeastern Mexico helping us understand the climate conditions in this area more than 7,000 years ago. The footprints were excavated while workman were building a road and placed in the Museo del Desierto in Saltillo, Coahuila. The age of the footprints piqued the interest of researchers at the John Moores University in Liverpool. In 2006 their curiosity yielded a second set of prints in a Cuatro Ciénegas quarry. >> Read the Full Article
  • Stink Bugs: Friend or Foe

    Stink bugs are fierce prehistoric looking bugs. Some are indeed quite fierce and others stink more than they bite! In many parts of the world including their native range of China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan the brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys) is considered an agricultural pest. Yet other genera of stink bugs, specifically the Podisus nigrispinus (Dallas), are considered an important biological control agent for other insect pests in the cotton, soybean, tomato, corn, and kale fields. >> Read the Full Article
  • Thinning out on Antarctica

    Pine Island Glacier, located in West Antarctica, is showing signs of thinning making it more susceptible to climatic and ocean variability than at first thought. Scientists led by the British Antarctic Survey have discovered large fluctuations in the ocean heat manifesting itself in the melting of the ice shelf into which the glacier flows. Between 2010 and 2012 the ice shelf into which the ice stream flows has decreased by 50%, most likely due to La Ninã, suggesting a complex interplay between geological, oceanographic and climatic processes. >> Read the Full Article
  • COLLEGIATE CORNER: Saving Earth from Space

    When we think of the environment, we do not immediately jump to thinking of outer space. The environment usually conjures up images on Earth of breathless beauty, but this does not mean a solution to renewable energy is bound to the limits of our planet. >> Read the Full Article
  • Antarctic Rescue

    A Chinese helicopter has successfully rescued 52 scientists, tourists and journalists in groups of 12 from research vessel Akademik Shokalskiy lodged in deep ice 100 nautical miles east of Dumont d’Urville the French Antarctic base on Île des Pétrels. >> Read the Full Article
  • Coping in a harsh desert environment

    Far from being devoid of life, deserts are home to numerous plants and animals. In the desert, plants and animals often compete for limited resources: especially water. To cope, plants will adopt different strategies to compete with their neighbors for this precious resource. >> Read the Full Article