Mayfly swarms are visible on weather radar. Their declines spell bad news for ecosystem health

Mayfly swarms used to be so large that snowplows had to take to the streets to clear the road of their carcasses. However, recent evidence demonstrates that mayfly populations are decreasing dramatically. This is bad news for surrounding ecosystems, especially for fish and birds that depend on these insects for food.

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Are everywhere chemicals contributing to lifestyle diseases?

There has been a lot of controversy recently about a group of chemicals that are found, well, nearly everywhere: phthalates. Their ubiquitous presence in our environment combined with their toxic effects observed in lab animals, have fueled concerns that they might be negatively impacting our health. What does the research on humans show?

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Historical Mercury Pollution: Tree Rings Have the Receipts!

Mercury is a troublesome pollutant in the environment and while we know a lot more about where sources are today, we don’t know as much about where sources were in the past and how high pollution levels were. Luckily, trees can help us to figure that out! Using traces of mercury pollution stored in tree rings, scientists try to see how mercury pollution levels have changed as we’ve become more industrialized.

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Moving Closer to Plenty Of Fish In The Sea: Gradual Recovery Of A Critically Endangered Fish Species

The Nassau grouper has long been critically endangered due to overfishing throughout its Caribbean range. The Cayman Islands government instituted a comprehensive program to boost Nassau grouper numbers, and partnered with scientists and conservation organizations in a project to monitor the grouper population. Over the fifteen year program, the fish population has increased. The program and project provide successful models for marine conservation partnerships.

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Planting Trees for your Next Flight: Studying Behavior Around Carbon Offsetting

Want to fly without the carbon guilt? Offsetting programs let you pay to plant trees to take that carbon from the air, and researchers are studying how social factors and global policies might influence these environmentally-minded behaviors.

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Begging birds: behavioral responses to human feeding in China

Bird feeding is a popular activity enjoyed around the globe. However, we don’t really understand how bird feeding can impact the behavior of birds. A new study from China took on this question by studying black-headed gulls. Read on to find out how food provisionings affected the behaviors of these birds

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Consult the tea leaves, and you’ll find… microplastics!

Most of the plastic in the ocean is not readily identifiable. Rather it’s in the form of small, microscopic particles that are released when plastic and synthetic fibers break off and break down from their original use items, such as laundry, straws, and… teabags! A group of researchers from McGill University have found that billions of microplastics are released when steeping tea from synthetic fiber tea bags.

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