What can 100 years of mud tell us?

Turns out 100 years of mud can tell us quite a bit about microbial communities. Capo and colleagues found out how microbial communities are impacted by environmental change. Using an emerging proxy, DNA recovered from lake sediments, they were able to show microbial eukaryotic diversity through time, which revealed interesting trends in response to eutrophication and climate warming.

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Ocean Acidification Steps into the Spotlight

The ocean absorbs nearly a quarter of the carbon dioxide humans emit. Since the Industrial Revolution the ocean has become 30% more acidic. This change in ocean carbon chemistry, or ocean acidification, has the potential to impact many socioeconomic resources. An increased scientific understanding of these risks has illustrated the need for collaboration across many disciplines to develop realistic solutions to mitigate the rising threat to vital marine resources. Transdisciplinary science will be critical in informing policy to protect our economic interests.

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Old rain, new data: past climate change in the Southeastern US

What was the weather like in Alabama in 4,000 BCE? A newly published record of ancient rainfall preserved in rocks shows several severe droughts in the region. The study’s authors have produced new data on ancient climate changes and helped us get closer to understanding rapid shifts in climate.

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Wildfires Are Shaping Our Ecosystems: One Species They Affect and How

Disturbances that occur around us help shape our world; from spilling a cup of coffee, to a natural disaster. During the past few decades we’ve experienced a lot more of the latter: from Katrina to tornados in the eastern US, severe natural disturbances are on the rise. One of those disturbances is wildfire. Over the last couple of decades wildfires have increased in intensity and scale. While this is alarming to our safety and infrastructure, wildfires play an important role and are necessary for various organisms. Of the many organisms that live in and rely on forest communities that are susceptible to wildfire disturbances, one of major interest is the northern spotted owl.

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