The rare western glacier stonefly lives in Glacier National Park and thrives in its icy streams. (Credit: Joe Griersch, USGS)

December 12, 2014

A cold-loving insect confronts a warming world

Today marks the end of two weeks of climate negotiations in Lima, Peru, where world leaders gathered to address the growing threat of climate change. Much of the conversation at the UN conference revolved around the...

Claude Monet. London, Houses of Parliament. The Sun Shining through the Fog, 1904, in the Musée d'Orsay , Paris. (Public Domain)

December 3, 2014

The Great Smog of ’52: Environmental Disasters in History

Fog as thick as pea soup is nothing new to Londoners. But on December 5, 1952, a dense, grimy cloud of fog descended on London, immobilizing the city and causing more than 4,000 deaths over a...


November 23, 2014

New Genes for Your Potatoes

Over the years, we’ve gone to great lengths to make fried potato foods healthier. Potato chip makers don’t fry them in animal shortening anymore, for example, and many companies have given up using vegetable shortening (made...

November 19, 2014

Video of the Week: A Year in the Life of Earth’s Carbon Dioxide

Sometimes it is easy to forget we are all members of a unified environment on Earth and actions in one area affect many others.  In this new NASA computer model, though, scientists provide a comprehensive understanding of how...


November 12, 2014

A smelly situation: Ginkgo biloba trees and the evolution of their dispersal

The fall foliage of a Ginkgo biloba tree ©Riosnestor In autumn, one of the prettiest trees to change colors, from a vivid green to a brilliant yellow, is the Ginkgo biloba.  Along with this beautiful golden...


November 6, 2014

To Be a Nobel Laureate, or Not to Be

The Nobel Prize Committee recently announced their 2014 Awards, including  Eric Betzig, Stefan W. Hell and William E. Moerner in Chemistry,  Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano andShuji Nakamura in Physics, and John O’Keefe and the other half jointly to May-Britt Moser and Edvard I. Moser  in...

Green anole

November 3, 2014

Florida Lizards Show that Evolutionary Change can be Rapid

Cross-posted with the permission of Dr. Nathan Lents from his The Human Evolution Blog.     Green anole Small lizards called anoles are found throughout the Caribbean islands and nearby mainland areas. The coastal and swamp regions of...

Autumn leaves in Connecticut. (Credit: Ragesoss, Wikimedia Commons)

October 31, 2014

Autumn leaves herald changes in carbon dioxide concentrations

Autumn leaves in Connecticut. (Credit: Ragesoss, Wikimedia Commons) Autumn is a season of tranformations. In the eastern United States, leaves tumble through a kaleidoscope of copper and crimson colors. In the west, rivers of golden Aspen...

Weapon shaft in Yukon ice patch (Credit: Yukon Government)

October 24, 2014

Warming world uncovers frozen past

What’s that smell? If you are on an ice patch in the Yukon Territory in Canada, the answer might be millennia-old caribou dung. Weapon shaft in Yukon ice patch (Credit: Yukon Government) In 1997, sheep hunters...

Colorful gum drops

October 19, 2014

The Science of Sugar

With Halloween just around the corner, candy is on the brain. So it’s fitting that the American Chemical Society has chosen “The Sweet Side of Chemistry–Candy” as the theme for this year’s celebration of National Chemistry...