Honeybees Are Attracted to Fungicides and Herbicides Animals Environment 

Honeybees Are Attracted to Fungicides and Herbicides

By Neha Jain @lifesciexplore Whenever you eat fruits, vegetables, and nuts, take a moment to thank honeybees for their pollination services that contribute $17 billion to the US economy each year. In fact, almonds are almost solely dependent on honeybees for pollination. Populations of these much-needed pollinators have mysteriously plunged over the past decade, and many studies suggest a link to the use of neonicotinoid insecticides among other factors such as climate change and disease. Recently, scientists found that honeybees prefer sugar water laced with the fungicide chlorothalonil and the…

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global warming Environment Videos 

Global Warming: What’s Really Warming the Earth?

Dr. Joe Hanson explores the possible causes of global warming in this episode of It’s Okay To Be Smart.   References and Further Reading July 2016 is hottest on record NOAA’s State of the Climate July 2016 Bloomberg’s climate change data viz project Solar activity and temperature show opposite trend Milankovitch cycles (I left out eccentricity because it operates on scales so long that it doesn’t affect short-term climate change) Connecting climate models with actual temperature changes NASA Goddard’s Gavin Schmidt explains the history of the instrumental temperature record Last time…

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Marshall Islands Nuclear Test Radiation Environment Health 

Marshall Islands Radiation Still Too High Decades Later

By Emily Rhode @riseandsci In the years immediately following the end of World War II, the United States government conducted large-scale testing of nuclear weapons on a small group of islands in the remote Pacific Ocean. On March 1, 1954, the largest nuclear device ever tested by the United States was detonated at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. Castle Bravo, as the bomb was known, created a mushroom cloud of radiation almost four and one-half miles wide. This was more than 1,000 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on…

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Curbing the Chainsaws: Recycled Smartphones Hunt Down Illegal Loggers Environment Technology 

Recycled Smartphones Hunt Down Illegal Loggers

By Neha Jain @lifesciexplore In the summer of 2011 Topher White, founder of Rainforest Connection, a nongovernmental organization (NGO), visited the rain forests of Borneo as a tourist. He was shocked to learn that among the buzzing of insects, chirping of birds, and howling of gibbons, illegal loggers were sawing down a tree, just a few hundred meters away from a ranger station. The guards could not hear the noise of the chainsaw amid the cacophony of sounds. Deforestation accounts for the second-highest emission of greenhouse gases—even higher than that…

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Hot Towns, Urban Heat Islands. Sunlight: Solar as Equitable Energy Source. Environment 

Hot Towns, Urban Heat Islands

By Steven Spence It’s Hotter in the City Have you ever noticed on weather reports that cities seem to be hotter than the surrounding areas? That’s a result of the  Urban Heat Island (UHI) phenomenon. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, urban areas with 1 million or more residents have a mean annual temperature 1°C to 3°C warmer than their surroundings. At night, the effect is even more pronounced, with city temperatures reaching up to 12°C hotter. With more than half (54 percent) of the world’s population living in urban…

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Desert Dust Increases Harmful Marine Bacteria Biology Environment Oceanography 

Desert Dust Increases Harmful Marine Bacteria

By Emily Rhode, @riseandsci A new study out of the University of Georgia could help predict blooms of a common but deadly type of marine bacteria and change the way we view some the planet’s most important environmental processes. The genus Vibrio includes the bacteria that cause cholera. It can also cause gastroenteritis from shellfish consumption and wound infections from seawater in humans, as well as diseases in marine organisms. Dubbed “opportunitrophs,” the bacteria are known for their ability to reproduce and adapt to changes quickly. “Part of what makes these…

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This image shows the surface oil slick from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Research, including this latest study, has identified which bacteria were most important in breaking down the oil. Andreas Teske, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Biology Environment 

Oil Spill Cleanup Secrets of Gulf Coast Bacteria

By Shayna Keyles @shaynakeyles Bacteria have played a large role in cleaning up the Gulf Coast after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion, but it is just now becoming clear how helpful these microbes have been. Microbiologists sequenced DNA from native Gulf bacteria and discovered genetic properties that make some of these microbes so well suited to the job of cleaning up oil. The Smallest (and Largest) Clean-Up Crew Scientists noted the proliferation of native bacteria just weeks after the rig explosion began to leak 4.1 million barrels of…

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Saving Forests with AI: PAWS suggests patrol routes in Malaysia based on behavioral models. (Rimba) Environment Technology 

Saving Forests with Artificial Intelligence

By Norman Rusin The global trade in products made from illegally extracted timber is a multi-billion dollar industry. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) estimates it to be worth between $30 billion and $100 billion annually. The practice not only threatens ancient forests and critical habitats for wildlife, but also results in significant economic and environmental problems for many developing countries. Clear-cutting is known to disrupt carbon in the soil. However, forest protection agencies face limited budgets and must cover large areas, making sound investments in security resources critical. AI to…

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Climate Change, GotScience.org Environment 

Climate Change: Why Don’t We Worry More?

“If we could invent one risk that bypasses all of our psychological alarm systems, global climate change would be it,” a psychologist explains. You’ve seen the projections, read the articles about record annual temperatures, rolled your eyes at climate change deniers. You know the threat of global warming is real. At least intellectually. But are you really worried about it? Probably not as worried as you know you should be. We asked social psychologist Sander van der Linden of Princeton University why it’s so hard for our brains to perceive climate…

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A stranded humpback whale carcass in Dutch Harbor, Alaska. Humpback whales were among the Alaska marine mammals that showed exposure to algal toxins, according to new research. Photo credit: Kathy Burek-Huntington, Alaska Veterinary and Pathology Services. Animals Biology Environment 

Algal Toxins Found in Alaskan Marine Mammals

By Neha Jain @lifesciexplore Harmful algal blooms produce toxins that can be deadly to marine mammals. In the US, such toxins—unheard of 20 years ago—have caused almost half of all unusual marine mammal deaths in the last two decades, particularly among California sea lions. Now, for the first time scientists have discovered algal toxins farther north in Alaskan marine mammals; the mammals’ health can be jeopardized by these toxins. “What really surprised us was finding these toxins so widespread in Alaska, far north of where they have been previously documented…

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