Atrazine and Frogs

Atrazine and Frogs

by Bill Schlesinger In 2002, a young Berkeley professor, Tyrone Hayes, reported that deformed frogs were most prevalent in farm ponds in counties across the United States where the herbicide atrazine was sold in the largest quantities. Atrazine is a ...
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Food Waste

Food Waste

by Bill Schlesinger   Our parents told us not to waste food—urging us to be a member of the “clean-plate” club! Now, several studies have examined the magnitude of the food waste problem and its impacts on the environment. In ...
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Science vs. Anti-science

Science vs. Anti-science

by Bill Schlesinger This is a blog that attempts to translate science to the general public, using simple language to describe what we know and what we don’t know about how the world works. Among its basic goals, Translational Ecology ...
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One toke over the line sweet Jesus

One toke over the line sweet Jesus

by Bill Schlesinger Living in Maine, a state with legalized sale and use of marijuana, I’ve seen a proliferation of pot shops across the countryside. A lot of cannabis was used here before the new policy, but now we can ...
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The Futility of Soil Carbon Sequestration

The Futility of Soil Carbon Sequestration

by Bill Schlesinger In the past few years, many agronomists have promoted the sequestration of carbon in soils as a means of mitigating climate change by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide that accumulates in the atmosphere. For a long ...
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Embodied Energy in Housing

Embodied Energy in Housing

Wooden house by Bill Schlesinger The housing of the world contains a lot of carbon, mostly in wood, so it is interesting to ask if this carbon stock is large enough to represent a significant removal of carbon dioxide from ...
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Upon Further Reflection

Upon Further Reflection

Earth's albedo map by Bill Schlesinger Just as a Full Moon reflects the Sun’s radiation to the Earth, the Earth reflects some of the Sun’s incoming radiation to space. If you were standing on the moon, the Earth would appear ...
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Carbon Dioxide and Mental Health

Carbon Dioxide and Mental Health

Carbon dioxide emissions by Bill Schlesinger With a lethal concentration for humans of about 10%, the current concentration of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere, 0.04%, would seem to pose only a minor threat to us. Carbon dioxide poisoning has only ...
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Nitrogen in Runoff

Nitrogen in Runoff

by Bill Schlesinger Among the tools of the “green revolution,” that has increased crop yields worldwide and allows us to fed nearly 8 billion people, are breeding and genetic modifications of crop plants (GMOs), pesticides, and fertilizer. Each has its ...
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Can we harvest our way to a better climate?

Can we harvest our way to a better climate?

by Bill Schlesinger As many policy groups—such as Maine’s Climate Council—try to grapple with effective responses to the ongoing global changes in climate, interest has focused on harvesting vegetation as a climate-smart solution. For forests, this involves the use of ...
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