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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The Size of Our Nest

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 use) by humans—our collective stuff—exceeds the mass of all the ...
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Get Right with Whales

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 Whale is an endangered species, with (at last count) only ...
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/ / Environment, Sections
The Source of the Yellow River

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 changes in ecosystems by shifts in the chemical composition and ...
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/ / Environment, Sections
Energy of Personal Transport

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 data by Andreas Schafer and Sonia Yeh. Here, we define ...
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/ / Environment, Sections
Overpopulation

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 is central, leading to perhaps two thirds of the growth ...
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/ / Environment, Sections
What's out and what's in for 2021

What’s out and what’s in for 2021

by Bill Schlesinger What’s Out What’s In ___________________________________________________ Climate Change Denial The Paris Climate Accord Pebble Creek Mine Chinook Salmon Beliefs Science Maskholes Vaccines Polluted Streams Clean Water Rule Beautiful Coal Solar Power Agent Orange Deliberative Discourse Golf Dogs in ...
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Agricultural Landscapes

Agricultural Landscapes

by Bill Schlesinger A few years ago, in her wonderful book, The Seed Underground, Janisse Ray described the genetic homogenization of food crops. Three species (wheat, corn and rice) account for 87 percent of all grain production worldwide, and in ...
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/ / Environment, Sections
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