Posts tagged nature.
Sponsor shout-out: New, nonprofit, open-access scientific journal Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene is now accepting submissions online ›
Elementa is one of my favorite projects and I’m honored that they are one of my sponsors. It’s an open access (free) peer-reviewed science journal that focuses on, among other things, adaptation and climate change. They’re holding an open call for submissions.
Spread the word on your university’s listserv or wherever you can! Overview and instructions:
Elementa is an open-access, nonprofit journal, founded by BioOne and five collaborating academic institutions: Dartmouth, the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Colorado Boulder, the University of Michigan, and the University of Washington.
Elementa will publish original research reporting on new knowledge of the Earth’s physical, chemical, and biological systems; interactions between human and natural systems; and steps that can be taken to mitigate and adapt to global change. Embracing the concept that basic knowledge can foster sustainable solutions for society, Elementa is organized initially into six knowledge domains, each led by a prominent Editor-in-Chief. The following domains are now accepting submissions:
- Atmospheric Science Detlev Helmig, University of Colorado Boulder
- Earth and Environmental Science Joel D. Blum, University of Michigan
- Ecology Donald R. Zak, University of Michigan
- Ocean Science Jody W. Deming, University of Washington
- Sustainable Engineering Michael E. Chang, Georgia Institute of Technology
Elementa is published on an open-access, public-good basis. Open access allows research to be freely available to all—including those from developing countries whose academic institutions may not be able to afford costly publications—in the interests of accelerating scientific progress, and ultimately resulting in public good. Open access not only ensures the widest dissemination of research possible, but also the greatest impact, by allowing others to cite, re-purpose, and build upon existing published research.
Elementa is now accepting submissions through its online peer-review system (www.editorialmanager.com/elementa). Benefits of publishing with Elementa include rapid, rigorous peer-review; a detailed manuscript tracking system for authors; and publications of articles through a variety of human- and machine-intelligible formats: XML, HTML, JSON, PDF, EPUB, and Mobipocket. Elementa’s first articles will be published on September 3rd.
Visit the site and follow us on Twitter for more details: www.elementascience.org, @elementascience.
Our Atmosphere is Escaping
This Sandhill crane is busy reinforcing the grassy tuft upon which its two eggs sit near the Pinedale Field Office in Wyoming. Egg laying usually occurs during April and May when the cranes return from their wintering grounds in the southern U.S. and South America.
Sandhill cranes share parenting responsibilities, both helping to incubate the eggs and brood and feed the chicks.
Photos: Shelley Gregory
What a beautiful bird. America is a great place.
Christopher Alberts, the Senior Vice President of Communications for the National Geographic Channels, told me that they have “one of the best policies there is”, but refused to send it to me or tell me anything about it.
Why are these factual networks, whose survival depends on building trust with their audiences, so reluctant to clarify their ethics policies with respect to wildlife?
What does it mean for conservation if high-rating shows on leading channels are portraying wildlife in a negative, seemingly misleading way to millions of viewers worldwide? And why are so few people saying anything about it?
The Guradian’s Adam Welz eviscerates NatGeo, Discovery, Animal Planet, and the History Channel’s horrific violence against animals, including shooting bears, wolves, wolverines, crocodiles, snakes, and many other animals in full view of the camera.
Welz’s piece struck a cord with me this weekend. This is not education, it’s promotion of fear of nature for ratings and money. It’s exploitation to the vilest degree. I believe these channels have to answer for this bizarre blood lust.
A new book, Novel Ecosystems, edited by Richard Hobbs of the University of Western Australia and others, shows how many superficially natural ecosystems are heavily influenced by the introduction of alien species. Whether intentional or accidental, most introductions seem to have human origins.
This is disconcerting. “Over large parts of the globe, the ‘wilderness’ that people refer back to never existed,” says one of the book’s authors, Michael Perring, also of the University of Western Australia.
Nature has always had open borders for alien species on the move. Those itinerants may have been a driving force of evolution. But human activity has dramatically increased their travel options. We move many deliberately, as commercial crops or domesticated animals, for instance. Today, others can hitch a ride on ship hulls or in ballast tanks, aboard planes or on the wheels of trucks or the backs of domesticated animals. This phenomenon seems to have been going on for much longer than we sometimes imagine.
Lately, these shows have also filmed killing of wolverines, lynx, grizzly bears, rattle snakes, and crocodiles for no reason other than ratings. The wolf, above, was no threat to Tanana. The show exploits viewer’s naivete about guns by shooting this animal with an AR-15 semi-automatic gun. That’s not how Alaskans hunt, they use hunting rifles, not assault weapons that look good on camera. In fact, Alaskan outdoorsmen and women are appalled at this blatant exploitation of both the animal and the audience. There is no need for this.
My point is that we are at a critical time in human history. Species are going extinct at a rapid pace, science education is under attack from aging politicians, and young people are generally experiencing nature less and less.
I am genuinely worried about the future of this country’s environmental leadership. Federal conservation programs, which have taken decades to create, are weakening. The ethic of conservationism (a conservative ethos) is dwindling. Young people are being pulled in the direction of technology, and away from grandeur, away from fresh air and nature.
It seems to me that one important aspect of this messy new milieu are education based TV companies who heretofore have been untouched by healthy criticism.
I think it’s time to analyze the impact of these shows. I believe that the Discovery Channel et al are not contributing to a healthy planet nor are they assisting educating viewers. It seems to me they are mastering fear for short term gain and profits. If I am correct, and I believe I am, these companies need to stop and focus on their mission, which is non-fiction, education-based media - not sensationalism or harm.
I hope you agree with me.
The loss of tropical rain forests is likely to reduce the energy output of hydroelectric projects in countries like Brazil that are investing billions of dollars to create power to support economic growth.Felicity Barringer, NYTimes. Good, quick read.
Incredible shots tweeted by the rock-star astronaut from the International Space Station
Wow. Absolutely must see.
Heartbreaking and absolutely infuriating. Click through for article and video.
WASHINGTON — Climate change could lead to the widespread loss of common plants and animals around the world, according to a new study released Sunday in the journal Nature Climate Change.
he study’s authors looked at 50,000 common species. They found that more than half the plants and about a third of the animals could lose about 50% of their range by 2080 if the world continues its current course of rising greenhouse gas emissions.
Climate change affects the availability of nutrition and water for animals and plants. The narrowing of the geographic range of different common species means that plants and animals readily found in a given area could diminish markedly in those areas over the next seven decades.
“This study … tells us that the average plant and animal will experience significant range loss under climate change,” said the study’s lead author, Rachel Warren, of the Tyndall Centre at University of East Anglia, United Kingdom.
Warren said that until now, much climate change research had focused on the plight of rare species rather than common animals and plants. The study’s conclusions are “entirely consistent with what others are finding around the world,” said Peter B. Reich, professor of forest ecology at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul, who read the report.
The new study predicted that plants, reptiles and particularly amphibians would face the greatest risks from climate change. It also concluded that sub-Saharan Africa, Central America, the Amazon region and Australia would likely lose the most species of plants and animals. It projected “a major loss of plant species” in North Africa, Central Asia and South America.
The study is here. You’ll need a script or student access.
New climate report has grim predictions
A new report says that much of the world’s plant and animal life could be decimated by the effects of climate change over the next century. Worldwide levels of carbon dioxide are the highest they’ve been in almost two million years.
Sub-Saharan Africa, Central America, Amazonia and Australia would lose the most species of plants and animals. And a major loss of plant species is projected in North Africa, Central Asia and South-eastern Europe.
Calling All Tumblrs - Great Opportunity for Photographers!
Wilderness50, in partnership with Nature’s Best Photography and the Smithsonian Institution, recently announced the opening of this summer’s “Wilderness Forever” public photography contest. Winning images will be part of a 2014 exhibition in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. that will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act.
Contest guidelines and entry instructions are available online at naturesbestphotography.com/guidelines.
The BLM is proud to manage many of the nation’s wilderness areas and to participate in the Wilderness50 group. Check out the Wilderness50 website for more information: http://www.wilderness50th.org/.
“Our climate is changing, the weather is becoming more intense…It’s going to cost a lot of money and a lot of lives…The big issue (is) how do we adapt…because it doesn’t look like the people who are in charge are going to do what it takes to really slow down this climate change, so we are going to have to adapt. And adapting is going to be very, very expensive.”
…in an airplane hangar filled with trucks, airplanes and helicopters used by the state to fight fires.