Earth

Michael Mann and the iconic 'hockey stick' graphic at the center of the climate debate

Michael Mann and the iconic 'hockey stick' graphic at the center of the climate debate

The "Hockey Stick" graph, a simple plot representing temperature over time, led to the center of the larger debate on climate change, and skewed the trajectory of at least one researcher, according to Michael Mann, Distinguished Professor of Meteorology at Penn State.

"The "Hockey Stick" graph became a central icon in the climate wars," Mann told attendees today last week at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. "The graph took on a life of its own."

Italian cemetery provides clues to evolution of cholera

Italian cemetery provides clues to evolution of cholera

A team of archaeologists and other researchers hope that an ancient graveyard in Italy can yield clues about the deadly bacterium that causes cholera.

Killer shrimp: Invasive species in the Great Lakes by 2063

Killer shrimp: Invasive species in the Great Lakes by 2063

The Great Lakes have been invaded by more non-native species than any other freshwater ecosystem in the world. In spite of increasing efforts to stem the tide of invasion threats, the lakes remain vulnerable, according to scientists from McGill University and colleagues in Canada and the United States. If no new regulations are enforced, they predict new waves of invasions and identify some species that could invade the Lakes over the next 50 years.

Getting in non-spherical shape

Getting in non-spherical shape

New research from the Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics Unit at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) looks at how to create various non-spherical particles by releasing droplets of molten wax into a cool liquid bath. The physics behind this research shows how a range of non-spherical shapes can be produced and replicated with many possible industrial applications.

America added 7.6 million acres of forests in 20 years - why that was a bad thing

America added 7.6 million acres of forests in 20 years - why that was a bad thing

The United States added about 7.6 million acres of forests between 1990 and 2010, which is a great environmental gain, but the real question is how the United States achieved that milestone, said Darla Munroe, associate professor of geography at The Ohio State University.

"Reforestation in the United States may have come at the expense of some other country's forest," Munroe said. "There isn't any environmental gain for the world if we are saving trees here by simply getting trees for our paper products from some other place."

Microalgae pay their coral reef rent with sugar and fat

Microalgae pay their coral reef rent with sugar and fat

Scientists have revealed how coral-dwelling microalgae harvest nutrients from the surrounding seawater and shuttle them out to their coral hosts, sustaining a fragile ecosystem that is under threat.

Distant species produce love child after 60 million year breakup

Distant species produce love child after 60 million year breakup

A delicate woodland fern discovered in the mountains of France is the love child of two distantly-related groups of plants that haven't interbred in 60 million years, genetic analyses show.

For most plants and animals, reuniting after such a long hiatus is thought to be impossible due to genetic and other incompatibilities between species that develop over time.

Reproducing after such a long evolutionary breakup is akin to an elephant hybridizing with a manatee, or a human with a lemur, said co-author Kathleen Pryer, who directs the Duke University Herbarium.

Rivers can be a source antibiotic resistance

Rivers and streams could be a major source of antibiotic resistance in the environment.

The discovery comes following a study on the Thames river by scientists at the University of Warwick's School of Life Sciences and the University of Exeter Medical School.

The study found that greater numbers of resistant bacteria exist close to some waste water treatment works, and that these plants are likely to be responsible for at least half of the increase observed.

Nonbrowning Arctic Apples Greenlighted For USDA Approval

Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has announced its decision to deregulate the first two nonbrowning apple varieties, Arctic Golden and Arctic Granny apples, in the United States. It is expected that APHIS' final published their final environmental assessment (EA) and a plant pest risk assessment (PPRA) will be published in the Federal Register soon.

In the quantum world, the future affects the past

We're so used murder mysteries that we don't even notice how mystery authors play with time. Typically the murder occurs well before the midpoint of the book, but there is an information blackout at that point and the reader learns what happened then only on the last page.

If the last page were ripped out of the book, physicist Kater Murch, PhD, said, would the reader be better off guessing what happened by reading only up to the fatal incident or by reading the entire book?