Demented by what we breathe

Demented by what we breathe

by Bill Schlesinger Each day we breathe more than 10 cubic meters of air—more if we are exercising—so it stands to reason that stuff in the air can enter our body in large quantities.  One of the pollutants of current ...
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Hi-test Pesticides

Hi-test Pesticides

by Bill Schlesinger In the pursuit of food security and abundance for the world’s rising population, it seems we are fouling our own nest.  Pesticides are big business.  One recent report finds that 64% of agricultural land worldwide is contaminated ...
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Costs of invasive species

Costs of invasive species

by Bill Schlesinger Since the first arrival of a rat by ship, we’ve known that invasions of alien species extract huge economic costs to society—seen in higher medical expenses, losses of crops to pests, and losses of native biodiversity that ...
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Hot times, summer in the city….

Hot times, summer in the city….

by Bill Schlesinger Most studies predicting changes in species distribution with global warming focus on species that may move into areas that are presently too cold for them—for example, the northward expansion of the range of birds on continents and ...
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Wilderness

Wilderness

by Bill Schlesinger "Don’t it always seem to goThat you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone" Joni Mitchell, Big Yellow Taxi, 1970 Humans have occupied all continents of the Earth since the end of the last ice age, ...
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Legacy Phosphorus

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 youngster applying to a certain college is likely to be ...
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Geoengineering Revisited

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 potential consequences of geoengineering to mitigate the effects of global ...
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Ocean Acidification

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 pollutants, they cause acid rain in the regions downwind of ...
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COVID and Air Pollution

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 air pollution, the shutdown due to COVID is the first ...
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Cats, revisited

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 cats at 2.7 to 5.5 billion birds each year. Recent ...
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