We’ve destroyed one-tenth of Earth’s wilderness in just 2 decades Similar estimates in the past have focused on deforestation, but the new study looks at the disappearance of a broader range of wild landscapes. “This is the first time that anyone has put a number on the loss,” says Tim Newbold, a conservation biologist at University College London whose own work has shown that wilderness areas contain the world’s most undisturbed biodiversity. Such unspoiled regions, scientists argue, are also critical for allowing the planet to cope with climate change. As a result, this new work is “a wake-up call,” says Robin Chazdon, an ecologist at the International Institute for Sustainability in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, who was not involved with the study. A Natural Science Resource for Students and Educators indicates a section of the site that is available to subscribing members only. Not a member? Feel free to click on these links and view the samples we have made available. Then check out the low cost and great benefits to subscribers!
Simulated global temperature change This animated spiral portrays the simulated changes in the global averaged monthly air temperature from 1850 through 2100 relative to the 1850 - 1900 average. The temperature data are from Community Climate System (CCSM4) global climate model maintained by the National Center for Atmospheric Research. The simulation is for the IPCC Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 (RCP8.5) emission scenario. Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms Glossary Home | Text Version Designed to help learners at any level better understand genetic terms Guided by national science standards Explained by scientists at the NIH The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) created the Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms to help everyone understand the terms and concepts used in genetic research. In addition to definitions, specialists in the field of genetics share their descriptions of terms, and many terms include images, animation and links to related terms.
Carbon Sequestration NGSS Investigation 1 The Lesson Level Learning Goals for Investigation 1 are: Ask and answer questions to identify and clarify evidence that various activities can increase the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and Analyze and interpret data to make a claim about a tree’s ability to store carbon. Students will build towards this goal by engaging with different phenomena. First, students will figure out that plants absorb carbon dioxide from their environment by using an indicator tool to observe changes in carbon dioxide levels in a controlled environment. Next, they will be introduced to a tool that they will then apply to collect quantitative data from a subset of local trees to identify characteristics that affect a tree’s ability to store carbon.
Classify It! App You can use this app to help build on your students' understanding of the classification of organisms. It would be a good way to help students understand that many kinds of organisms can be sorted into groups in many ways using various features to decide which organisms belong to which group. The app also helps demonstrate how classification systems are frameworks used by biologists and demonstrates how living organisms can be classified in a variety of ways.
Carbon dioxide levels race past troubling milestone Every year, the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) rises during winter and then falls slightly during the Northern Hemisphere’s growing season, as plants take up the greenhouse gas during photosynthesis. But this year, for the first time since before the Ice Age, CO2 will not fall below 400 ppm. “It’s unlikely we’ll ever see CO2 below 400 ppm during our lifetime and probably much longer,” says Pieter Tans, lead scientist of NOAA's Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network. Measurements taken at NOAA’s atmospheric observatories on Mauna Loa and at the South Pole both indicate that CO2 has passed 400 ppm for good. What’s so important about 400 ppm? Four hundred parts per million is an arbitrary milestone, but it also may be a window on our future.
Bouncy patches of earth in northern Russia are a dire warning The ground in Siberia has been behaving strangely for a while now. Remember those insanely giant craters that opened up out of nowhere? And how recently one of them exploded so violently you could hear it from 60 miles away? Ask the Weather Guys: Was all of autumn unusually warm? Q: Was the whole autumn unusually warm, or just November? A: If you thought November was warmer than usual around southern Wisconsin, you were exactly right. Madison averaged 7.6 degrees above normal for the month, which ranked as the third warmest November on record (since 1870).
Earth's 'technosphere' now weighs 30 trillion tons An international team led by University of Leicester geologists has made the first estimate of the sheer size of the physical structure of the planet's technosphere -- suggesting that its mass approximates to an enormous 30 trillion tons. The technosphere is comprised of all of the structures that humans have constructed to keep them alive on the planet -- from houses, factories and farms to computer systems, smartphones and CDs, to the waste in landfills and spoil heaps. In a new paper published in the journal The Anthropocene Review, Professors Jan Zalasiewicz, Mark Williams and Colin Waters from the University of Leicester Department of Geology led an international team suggesting that the bulk of the planet's technosphere is staggering in scale, with some 30 trillion tons representing a mass of more than 50 kilos for every square meter of Earth's surface. "Compared with the biosphere, though, it is remarkably poor at recycling its own materials, as our burgeoning landfill sites show.
Wastewater treatment upgrades result in major reduction of intersex fish Upgrades to a wastewater treatment plant along Ontario's Grand River led to a 70 per cent drop in fish that have both male and female characteristics within one year and a full recovery of the fish population within three years, according to researchers at the University of Waterloo. The 10-year study, published in Environmental Science and Technology found that the microorganisms used to remove ammonia in the wastewater treatment process also reduced the levels of endocrine disrupters in the water, which caused the intersex occurrences in fish to dramatically decline. "Having long-term data of the fish population, before and after the wastewater treatment upgrades makes this a truly unique study," said Mark Servos, Canada Research Chair in Water Quality Protection in Waterloo's Department of Biology. "The changes to Kitchener's wastewater treatment system have had a much larger positive impact then we had anticipated." Endocrine disruption in water systems is a worldwide phenomenon.
Global Warming Interactive, Global Warming Simulation, Climate Change Simulation First Mammal Species Goes Extinct Due to Climate Change The humble Bramble Cay melomys has disappeared from its island in the Great Barrier Reef. Climate Change Making Calendars Run Amok People in Central Asia are recalibrating their system of time to adapt to a changing ecosystem. The Great Energy Challenge The National Geographic initiative is a call to action to become actively involved, to learn more and do more—to change how we think about and consume energy so that we can all help tackle the big energy questions.