Legacy Phosphorus

by Bill Schlesinger Normally, we think of a legacy as a financial contribution or a policy that has a lasting impact on an institution.  Alternatively, we may hear that a…

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Geoengineering Revisited

by Bill Schlesinger Late last month the National Academy of Sciences released a report recommending that the U.S. initiate a $200 million research program to understand the potential for and…

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Ocean Acidification

by Bill Schlessinger When certain oxidized gases, such as sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), dissolve in water, they make it acid.  When these gases are emitted as air…

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COVID and Air Pollution

  by Bill Schlesinger While periodic shutdowns due to electric blackouts, athletic events, and governmental decrees against air travel have allowed us to ascertain the effect of certain activities on…

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Cats, revisited

the belled beast by Bill Schlesinger I’ve blogged before on the impact of free-ranging domestic cats on wildlife (https://blogs.nicholas.duke.edu/citizenscientist/songbird-its-whats-for-dinner/ ). In China, a new study estimates annual bird mortality from…

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The Size of Our Nest

by Bill Schlesinger It is a crowning manifestation of the dominance of Homo sapiens over nature that sometime in the past year, the total mass of materials produced (and in…

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Get Right with Whales

A humpback whale leaping, or breaching, out of the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California) , Mexico, spraying water as it does so by Bill Schlesinger The Atlantic Northern Right…

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The Source of the Yellow River

by Bill Schlesinger For years, doctors have used an analysis of urine, including its color, to help recognize and diagnose certain diseases in humans. Similarly, ecosystem scientists can recognize subtle…

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Energy of Personal Transport

by Bill Schlesinger A long-standing belief is that buses and railroads use less energy for personal transport than passenger cars and airplanes. Several patterns emerge from a new analysis of…

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Overpopulation

Those who reject the importance of population as an environmental issue stress that resource consumption rather than population size has led to our current global environmental impact. True, resource consumption…

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