(108) results in Blog

Ocean temperature patterns shift atmospheric circulation during El Niño events. (Credit: Climate.gov)

November 6, 2015

What’s so monstrous about “Godzilla El Niño”?

This week, an early season storm hit the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, burying them under feet of snow. The blizzard allowed one ski area, Mammoth Mountain, to open for business yesterday, ahead of schedule. And...

Footfalls of large mammals, propagating along the surface of the earth as Rayleigh waves, are measurable in the ground at varying distances depending on the energy of the signal.  ©O’Connell-Rodwell, C.E. (2007). Keeping an "ear" to the ground: Seismic communication in elephants. Physiology, 22(4), 287-294.

November 4, 2015

Shake and quiver: Vibrational communication in animals

Living underground, moles experience a world very different from our own. The dark, subterranean environment lacks the usual cues for direction, distance, or time, forcing moles to use other methods to perceive their habitat. Using senses...

Artist's rendition of a primitive ocean on Mars.
©NASA/GSFC

October 19, 2015

Water, Water, Everywhere

We’ve long known that water was present in the atmosphere of Venus and that frozen water is trapped in the polar ice caps visible on Mars. However, it seems that there have been a slew of...

The Yeung family cat (or rather, an image of the family cat) is seen at about 70,000 feet above Earth's surface.  ©Winston Yeung

September 15, 2015

Image of the Week: Cat at the Edge of Space

The Yeung family cat (or rather, an image of the family cat) is seen at about 70,000 feet above Earth’s surface. ©Winston Yeung Two bright and determined young scientists, Kimberly and Rebecca Yeung, built a helium...

Self-driving cars use sensors to determine the flow of traffic and avoid obstacles. (Credit: Sam Churchill via Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

July 7, 2015

Self-driving taxis could help commuters and climate

Today, if you need to get somewhere, you might catch a lift with another driver using a ride-sharing service like Uber. But twenty years from now, you might just catch a ride with a car —...

Discarded cigarette butts, the most common environmental waste product, attract egg-laying mosquitoes. (Wikimedia Commons)

June 28, 2015

Cigarettes kick butt in mosquito control

What happens to the 6 trillion cigarettes smoked around the world every year? About two-thirds of them end up tossed into the environment. Besides being non-biodegradable, smoked cigarette butts contain 7,000 chemicals, including at least 69...

200px-Silent_Spring_First_Ed

June 1, 2015

What is the Acceptable (and Ethical) Role of the Scientist in Society?

This past week marked the 108th birthday of marine biologist Rachel Carson, probably most widely known for her groundbreaking book Silent Spring (1962), which sparked a grassroots environmental movement in the United States and led to...

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 1.08.52 PM

May 28, 2015

Video of the Week: Climate music

Since people started making regular, reliable measurements of air temperatures in the late 1800s, the Earth has warmed by about 0.85 degrees Celsius–or 1.53 degrees Fahrenheit–on average. This trend is mainly driven by human activities that...

Warm waters in the Pacific Ocean have disrupted marine ecosystems and North American weather. (Credit: NOAA)

April 17, 2015

Of sardines, sea lions, and “the blob” in the Pacific

If you’ve been following the news about the Pacific Ocean, there’s a lot going on these days. First, there have been the heartbreaking deaths of thousands of starving sea lion pups along the California coast. Then,...

freewriting2

March 12, 2015

Writing to Learn in the Science Classroom

Education in the United States, particularly in the K through 12 arena, has been a hotbed of public debate in the last decade, heating up more recently in controversies surrounding Common Core. While few would argue...