Reputation (of Conservation Planning): Challenges in the Face of Climate Change

We could make a whole list of habitats to conserve, but which are in red, underlined? Scientists recently tested a number of models incorporating the impacts of climate change to find out what method we should be using for predicting high value conservation areas in the future.

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Accounting for Greenhouse Gases: Methane in India

How do we know how much heat-trapping greenhouse gas there is in the atmosphere? What about where these greenhouse gases are coming from? Scientists work hard to answer these questions on global, national, and regional levels. Recently, a group of scientists from India, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the United States collaborated to evaluate India’s emissions of the greenhouse gas methane. This blog post explains how greenhouse gas accounting is similar to tracking your bank account. The post then discusses in more detail how the India study was conducted, and why its findings are important.

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Ocean Acidification is in the Spotlight. How Can We Address Its Impacts?

The ocean has become 30% more acidic since the Industrial Revolution. This continuing change in ocean pH, or ocean acidification, will likely impact the economies of coastal communities. The science community must work together with industry, policymakers, other science disciplines, and coastal communities to find practical and applicable solutions to address the environmental impacts of ocean acidification. This integrated approach is known as transdisciplinary science and seeks to understand the interactions among ocean acidification, the ecosystem, and society.

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From bad to worse: nitrogen deposition amplifies negative impacts of drought in California’s biodiversity hotspots

The release of excess nitrogen into nature, for example through fossil fuel combustion, still gets relatively little attention in the public debate about biodiversity threats, especially compared to climate change and habitat destruction. But human-driven nitrogen increases in natural ecosystems demand our attention, as they can worsen the negative effects of climate change in biodiversity hotspots, and threaten some already endangered species.

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Betcha won’t drink it! The natural chemicals hiding in water, and how a new technique hopes to remove them using an unlikely ally- bacteria

The amount of natural organic matter, or NOM, in water has been increasing for the past 20 years and is expected to increase. Higher amounts of NOM mean more expensive clean water- a high priority especially when considering communities at risk for clean water shortages due to storms. Environmental engineers work on ways to reduce NOM effectively in drinking water treatment plants, and sometimes, this means making unusual allies: bacteria.

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Connecting to nature and understanding ecosystem services: the urban perspective

Food and water – two resources vital for life on Earth. These are two prime examples of the products that arise from ecosystem services. There are four broad categories of ecosystem services: provisioning regulating, supporting, and cultural. Food and water are a form of ecosystem service provisioning – these are the products that directly benefit humans. Globalization and climate change are increasingly threatening food and water security, and other vital ecosystem services throughout the world.

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Thirsty trees are more susceptible to damaging beetle infestation

Summer, winter, and multi-year drought events initiate outbreaks of the damaging spruce beetle. Droughts suppress the ability of trees to produce chemicals to defend themselves against the fatal bugs.

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Cleaning up a sea of data

Oceanographers have been drilling sediment cores from the ocean for decades to understand past ocean conditions, but they have inconsistent archiving techniques. In other words, the data was a mess. A new database brings together more than 2,000 sediment cores from the North Pacific, which will help us better understand the ocean and climate over time.

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