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Enhancing Our Dedication to the World Around Us: An Introduction to Shedd Aquarium’s Animal Response Team

The following is a blog post by Tim Binder, executive vice president of animal care, Shedd Aquarium. When zoos and aquariums first opened, we thought of ourselves as modern Noah’s arks – protecting wildlife from the approaching “flood” of species extinction. Now, we have a broader focus on proactive, in-the-field research aimed at habitat preservation and…

Report: Climate Change’s Transformation of Arctic Has Cascading Effects

Climate-change-related environmental, ecological, and social changes in the Arctic are accelerating and are more extreme than ever recorded, undermining the sustainability of current ways of life in the region and potentially destabilizing climate and ecosystems around the world, according to a five-year report released last week by the Arctic Council, an intergovernmental organization formed to…

Invasion of the Aliens: Body Snatching Worms, Cold Winters May Rout Lakes’ Enemies

Public enemy number one, it might be called: Eurasian watermilfoil. It’s not on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list, but maybe it should be, say scientists who study lakes. The invasive weed’s crime? It crowds out native underwater plants, fouls boat propellers and smothers swimming areas in freshwater lakes across the northern U.S. The invader’s…

Residents Of Historic Windsor, NC Uneasy About Future After Frequent Flooding

A couple of weeks after Hurricane Matthew sent floodwaters spilling into some of eastern North Carolina’s historic river towns, an old friend of Cal Bryant, editor of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, stopped by his office in Ahoskie. His friend was from the nearby town of Windsor. The small, colonial-era town on the Cashie River had been…

John Kerry Discusses Election, Paris Agreement at COP22

A speech by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during the second week of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) focused, in part, on president-elect Donald Trump and his views on climate change. He tried to dispel doubts about the new U.S. government’s policies, saying it is a little bit “different when…

What Does a Trump Presidency Mean for Energy, Environment?

Businessman Donald Trump became the next U.S. president-elect early Wednesday after beating his opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Trump’s win could have great implications for the environment, as he’s promised a shift from the Obama administration’s energy and climate policies. What could his presidency mean for energy policy?  It may take some time…

He Builds Space Robots for a Living

As a mechanical engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, Kobie Boykins has the awesome privilege of building stuff, only to blast it millions of miles away into space at thousands of miles an hour. He goes into work every day with the enviable job of revealing the remarkable mysteries of our universe, and as part of that mission, he’s…

Paris Agreement to Come into Force Days Before COP22

The Paris Agreement, which aims to hold the global average temperature increase to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit that increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius, enters into force Friday. Just three days later, the Twenty-Second Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate…

Landmark Carbon Dioxide Concentration Passed; Marks New Climate Era

Climate change has entered a new phase, said the United Nations World Meteorological Organization (WMO) on Monday. The WMO reported that concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) “surged again to new records in 2016,” and it predicted that the annual average for CO2 would remain above 400 parts per million (ppm), 44 percent higher than before…

Tracking Antarctica

The largest wilderness on Earth – Antarctica is also the most isolated continent. The oceans around Antarctica are some of the most pristine in the world with more than 8,000 marine species, more than half of which are seen nowhere else in the world. However, this epic wonder is under pressure. Parts of the Antarctic…

Climate, Energy Get Little Attention in Second Presidential Debate

A week after the Paris Agreement to limit global warming met requirements to come into force, the subject of climate change was referenced only once in Tuesday’s second U.S. presidential debate—after audience member Ken Bone posed the question “What steps will your energy policy take to meet our energy needs while at the same time…

Keeping peace with predators can cut livestock deaths

When predator animals like tigers, lions, bears and wolves attack livestock animals like goats, cows and horses, you need to kill off the predators to reduce livestock deaths, right? Wrong.

African Lions on the Brink: A Conversation with Lion Expert Craig Packer

With roars that rend the African night, lions have captured our imaginations since the dawn of humankind. “Lions have long been celebrated in art and literature throughout the world,” says ecologist Craig Packer, National Geographic Explorer and Expeditions Council grantee, and director of the University of Minnesota Lion Center. In the face of habitat loss and…

Creating Music from Data: Sonification of Hubbard Brook

In today’s world, science and art don’t usually mix. For many years we operated under a now-defunct left brain/right brain dichotomy that fostered the presumption that people were good at either math and science or the arts, but not both. In secondary education, funding for arts classes often finds itself directly threatened by the need…

European Union Ratification Pushes Paris Agreement into Effect

European Union (EU) environment ministers on Friday approved ratification of the Paris Agreement. The approximately one-month EU ratification process means that the requirements for a 30-day countdown for the agreement to take effect will be met in November. “Today is an important day not only for our action on climate but also for unity we have…