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Tag archives for science

Large Wildlife and the Global Carbon Cycle: Studies at the Mpala Research Center

The exact nature of the relationship between large, charismatic wildlife species and the comparatively invisible carbon compounds that cycle around an ecosystem is not abundantly clear. As far as ecosystem carbon goes, it’s understood that the tiny microorganisms in soil do a lot of work, breaking down carbon compounds and releasing carbon dioxide by respiring.…

Study: Glacial Lakes Appearing in Antarctica

Antarctica is home to Earth’s largest ice mass, which unlike the Arctic remains frozen year round. But a new satellite-based study in the journal Geophysical Research Letters shows that atop the coastal Langhovde Glacier in East Antarctica’s Dronning Maud Land, large numbers of meltwater lakes have been forming. The study suggests that the lakes—nearly 8,000…

Americans View of Climate Change Polarized; U.N. Targets May Be Tough to Achieve

Surveys conducted by Yale University and George Mason University suggest that 17 percent of Americans view climate change as an alarming threat and that another 28 percent are concerned about climate change but view it as a distant threat. The subject has become highly contentious since 1997, when then Vice President Gore helped broker an…

Volcanic Eruption Affects Sea Level Rise

A new study in the journal Scientific Reports suggests that the evidence to pinpoint expected acceleration of sea-level rise due to climate change was hiding behind the effects of a 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo. This eruption sent tens of millions of tons of sulphur dioxide into the stratosphere and may have masked the effects of industrial…

How do humpback whales locate food? Scientists need your help to find out

Co-authored by Erica Cirino Interested in supporting scientists who study how whales use their ears to find food in the noisy New York Harbor? If so, read on. When sharks want something to snack on, they rely on their excellent sense of smell. When swordfish want a meal, they use their eyes. When dolphins need…

New York Joins Handful of Other States with Ambitious Clean Energy Targets

By 2030, half of the energy produced in the state of New York will come from renewables, according to a new policy adopted Monday by the state’s public service commission. The move is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels (80 percent by 2050) and to attract billions in clean…

Urgent Global Action Needed to Stop Extinction of Earth’s Last Megafauna

A swift and global conservation response is needed to prevent the world’s gorillas, lions, tigers, rhinos, and other iconic terrestrial megafauna from being lost forever, an influential group of international scientists reported today in the journal BioScience.

Their analysis, entitled Saving the World’s Terrestrial Megafauna, covers the precipitous loss of large animal populations around the globe. The report included a 13-point declaration by 43 scientists and conservationists calling for acknowledgement that a “business as usual” mentality will result in massive species extinction. Read the declaration and study the maps showing the global decline of big land animals.

An update from Woods Hole Science Aquarium: I’m halfway through my internship, and it’s been awesome!

By Jessica Perelman It has been five weeks since I began working as a NOAA intern at the Woods Hole Science Aquarium (WHSA), and what an amazing experience it has been! As I expected, this summer is presenting me with every opportunity to learn about animal husbandry, interact with aquarium visitors, and discover all that…

Canada oks use of Corexit for oil spills—despite what we’ve learned in the Gulf

Co-authored by Erica Cirino After Shell Oil’s Brutus oil well platform 90 miles south of the Louisiana coast spewed more than 88,000 gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico this May, Shell contracted Clean Gulf Associates and Marine Spill Response Corporation to clean up its mess. The two companies deployed workers in boats…

Learning by listening to the whales of New York

Co-authored by Erica Cirino New York City may be home to more than 8.4 million people, but here also resides quite a bit of wildlife. On a recent summer afternoon in the Big Apple, I spotted hoards of colorful songbirds and dozens of squirrels in street-side trees; several red-tailed hawks in the skies; and a…

Study Quantifies Climate-Change-Related Deaths

A study in Environmental Research Letters suggests a fifth of premature deaths during a 2003 heatwave in Europe are linked to human-caused climate change. “We are now able to put a number on the deaths caused by climate change in a heat wave,” said lead author Daniel Mitchell of the University of Oxford. “This has…

Mobula Munkiana – The Secret of El Barril

Clap, slap, clap clap clap! Mobula munkiana, also known as “Munk’s Devil Ray” explode out of the water around us like popcorn. Each, about the size of a coffee table in diameter, they leap out of the water and flap their wings as if they were able to take to the sky and fly like…

More ocean acidification, less coral?

Co-authored by Erica Cirino Scientists have known for about 15 years that ocean acidification has made it more difficult for hard corals and shelled marine organisms to survive. To grow, hard corals as well as clams, oysters, and others pull calcium and carbonate molecules out of the water and join them together to create calcium…

North American Leaders Commit to Clean Energy Goal

At the North American Leaders Summit on Wednesday, Mexico, Canada and the United States pledged to generate 50 percent of their energy from clean sources by 2025. The joint commitment by the three countries, according to White House Adviser Brian Deese, is “an aggressive goal” but one that is “achievable continent-wide.” “The Paris Agreement was…

Coral Reef Bleaching Event Forecast to Worsen; NASA Studies Cause in Pacific

Coral in every major reef region across the world has already experienced bleaching, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasts that temperatures in much of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans could reach a point at which significant bleaching of corals is present this summer. NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch suggests that the greatest…