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Showing posts from January, 2017

US Environmental Protection Agency Goes Silent

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We all share the planet and it looks like we're all in trouble here In a swift move by the new regime in Washington DC, many of the agencies that communicate with the public have been silenced. Communicating with the public by news releases or electronic means has now been forbidden.
It is unknown whether this is a temporary move.
The Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) has been ordered to remove its webpage that deals with climate change. The US president had famously denied the global climate warming and mused publicly that it might be a Chinese plot to divert money and wealth from the US.
The silencing of the EPA seems to also encompass research and education among the employees . The following has been taken from the page of the Christian Science Monitor.
"An unnamed source within the EPA said Tuesday that the Trump administration had instructed staffers not to speak with news media or publish press releases or blog posts on social media for the time being. They were also…

Climate Warming Mixing Snow and Common Leopard Territories

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These cats may melt away like the Himalayan snows As the Earth’s climate continues to warm, there will be winners and losers. Animals researchers in Asia have found a troubling change at high altitude. Common leopards have been photographed in what has been exclusive territory of the snow leopard.
Chinese scientists using a camera trap witnessed a female common leopard and her cub and, at a different time, a snow leopard. In the past, the snow leopards had nearly exclusive use of territory above 3 000 metres. Observers in Nepal have reported sightings of the two cats in the same territory. Snow leopards are listed as endangered with estimated numbers between 3500 and 7000. They are prized by poachers. If the tree line continues upward in elevation, it is feared that the elusive cat will have its territory squeezed and fragmented. They are particularly adapted to the rocky, treeless heights.
Poaching and habitat change threaten the cats directly, but hunting and poaching of prey anima…

You are what you eat and same goes for bacteria

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We are part of the Carbon Cycle Many of us take soil for granted. Those who live in a city rarely encounter soil except in artificial ways, yet soil microbes are essential to maintain life as we know it on Earth. Scientists at the Argonne National Laboratory(U of Chicago) have been studying how soil bacteria utilize various forms of carbon.
The bacteria studied were anaerobic or non-oxygen using bacteria. The anaerobic bacteria were provided with three different types of carbon – glucose, lactate and acetate. Glucose is the most complex of the three. The researchers found that when the soil bacteria were provided with glucose as an energy source, they produced the most complex substances as by products.
This is important because by producing more complex by products a more complex community of microbes could live in the soil, adding further break down products and even more complexity to the soil.
Complex plants, many of which provide food for humans need complex soil to grow well. …

Giant ice shelf in Antarctic set to travel

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Larsen C Ice-Shelf set to depart Antarctica


A massive ice shelf in Antarctica is getting ready to float free from that continent. It has been compared in size to the American state of Rhode Island. It represents about 2300 square miles of ice. It’s a 1000 foot thick slab of ice.
Cracks in the Larsen Ice Shelf first started showing up in 2011, widened in early 2016 and are now about 300 feet wide along a 70 mile stretch. Scientists are unsure when it will break free to drift north and melt, taking months to melt completely. It is not expected to raise the oceans’ level because this portion of the ice shelf was already floating.
Scientists are not in full agreement as to the fate of the ice resting behind the currently collapsing ice. The general consensus is that it is fairly stable and will not quickly follow but scientists thought that when Larsen B collapsed a dozen years ago that the ice behind it would not follow. It did and quickly added to the world’s sea levels.
It is estimate…