Gleanings of the Week Ending March 30, 2019

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

Spring Outlook: Historic, widespread flooding to continue through May | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – Check out the map about 1/3 of the way through the article. It looks like quite a few areas along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers are going to have moderate or major flooding through May. Almost the whole eastern part of the US is going to have some flooding during that period.

How Chromosomes X and Y Got Their Names, 1891 | The Scientist Magazine® - A little history. It all begins in the late 1800s.

C. R. PERCIVAL’S MICROSCOPE SLIDE COLLECTION | Ingenium – Browse through some of the images made of slides created in the early/mid 1900s. Click on the larger image to get a magnifier that can be moved over the image.

Food Trends 2019: Fermented Foods, Blueberries, Coconut Products, and More | Berkeley Wellness – How many of these are you already eating?

What oil leaves behind in 2.5 billion gallons of water every day in US -- ScienceDaily – Wouldn’t it be nice to not have oil polluted water injected underground…and sometimes into aquafers? Water is already in short supply in some areas of the country (mostly in the west). We need technologies to never contaminate water in a way that it cannot be consumed by plants and animals…and ourselves.

In Germany, Consumers Embrace a Shift to Home Batteries - Yale E360 – Half of the orders for rooftop solar panels are sold with a battery storage system too in Germany. I wonder when the US will catch up.

Butterfly numbers down by two thirds: High-intensity agriculture reduces number of butterfly species in adjacent areas -- ScienceDaily – It’s not just butterfly numbers that are down either. Agriculture research needs to hone practices that are productive in the short term…and the long term. In other words – all agriculture needs to become sustainable for humanity and the rest of the organisms that inhabit the Earth.

Nitrogen pollution's path to streams weaves through more forests (and faster) than suspected -- ScienceDaily – Nitrate is one of the abiotic tests we do for water quality assessment with high school students. This is a new finding to think about and incorporate in to the analysis of readings after heavy rains. The nitrogen might be moving so fast that the forest can’t absorb it!

Missouri Making Hyperloop Plans - News | Planetizen – A hyperloop between Kansas City and St. Louis! What a boon to the two cities and probably easier to build since there is not the heavy population between the two cities like the route that was originally talked about in California.

China Isn't Recycling Tons of U.S. Plastic Trash Anymore: Goats and Soda: NPR – We’re going to have to show some innovation in dealing with plastics – mostly single use – that we dutifully put in our recycle bins and assumed they would be recycled. Now a lot of them are going to landfills or polluting our waterways.  With a little thought, my family has reduced some….but the next step is tough. Some products we need are only available packaged in plastic.

Gleanings of the Week Ending April 28, 2018

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

Significant role for nitrate in the Arctic landscape -- ScienceDaily – There is much we need to learn about how the arctic ecosystems work today….and what will likely happen as they warm. The carbon and nitrogen cycles will speed up…but how does that translate to the types of plants that will grow there.

The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act at Fifty – Protection of some special places….rivers and the banks.

Artist Paints Imaginary Ecosystems Bursting with Colorful Flora and Fauna – Eye candy for the week! (The paintings are also inspiration for Zentangles.)

A is for Aerosol: Earth Matters – A little tutorial that includes satellite pictures of different kinds of aerosols like volcanic ash, sand/dust storms, fog/haze, smoke.

New NOAA Report Looks at National Coastal Flood Vulnerability – The whole report can be found here. Figure 6 (page 26 of the PDF…14 of the report) shows annual high tide floods days per year from 1950 onward. There is a color skew toward more days in the last decade for many areas. Another flood related article: Flood risk denial in US coastal communities -- ScienceDaily – research about how to move communities from denial to taking mitigation actions to reduce the risk to their community.

Without Birds, Lizards, and Other Vertebrate Pollinators, Plant Reproduction Could Decline by Two-Thirds - Yale E360 – Pollination drops an average of 63% when vertebrates (like lizards, birds, bats, mice) are kept away. Wow! Pollinators are not all insects.

When Going Gluten-Free Is Not Enough: New Tests Detect Hidden Exposure – It’s hard to live a gluten-free diet in the modern world…and that is what 3M people in America are trying to do. This article increased my awareness of how hard it it….and how many people are impacted by celiac disease.

The Sahara Desert Has Grown 10 Percent Since 1920 - Yale E360 – The expansion has happened mostly to the south…during the historically rainy summer months. This is one of the first studies to look at precipitation over the course of a century rather than a shorter time.

Influence of global warming on U.S. heat waves may be felt first in the West and Great Lakes regions | NOAA Climate.gov – Maryland is included in the ‘Great Lakes’ region based on the map; in this area more than half of all heat waves would be predominately due to global warming by the mid-2030s. In the west it happens even earlier (by the end of the 2020s). Lots of people live in those areas and the statistics currently tell us that more people in the US die each year of heat-related illness than any other weather disaster.

Sweet potato history casts doubt on early contact between Polynesia and the Americas -- ScienceDaily – DNA studies of sweet potatoes show something about history…and about its closest wild relative (good for the long-term viability of the domesticated crop).

Gleanings of the Week Ending March 17, 2018

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

A Day in The Park: Cuyahoga Valley National Park | National Parks Traveler – I’ve been to the park but only saw a small part of it. Next time I need to be more organized!

Top 25 Wild Waterbirds – National Geographic Blog – Some of these birds were familiar….some unfamiliar and living far away from the US!

BBC - Future - The quest to tackle the rubbish dump in orbit – There is getting to be a lot of junk up there!

Flood risk from American rivers is greatly underestimated -- ScienceDaily – A high resolution model that maps flood risk across the whole continent and includes small streams shows 41 million Americans at risk from flooding rivers rather than 13 million estimated by FEMA (their maps only include 60% of the continent and does not include smaller streams). Seems like anyone buying a house would be keen to know if there was a flood risk for the property and FEMA maps are giving a false sense of security. Here’s the link to the full paper: Estimates of present and future flood risk in the conterminous United States - IOPscience

Recycled carbon fiber improves permeable pavement: Technique reduces waste, improves strength and durability -- ScienceDaily – From Washington State University…in partnership with Boeing

Incredible Pictures of the Caterpillars of New England – I’m going to keep a sharper lookout for caterpillars in our area this summer….get subjects for photography because they don’t move very fast!

Spring Break Goes Wild(life) – Cool Green Science – Lots of places to go in the spring – other than a southern beach.

High-Fiber Diet Shifts Gut Microbes, Lowering Blood Sugar in Diabetics -  If this pans out, they need to get it out to doctors treating patients with type 2 diabetes rather than focusing on all the new (and somewhat expensive) drugs that can have side effects.

The Metamorphosis of Butterflies – A 5-minute video from TED-Ed.

A Place for Pollinators: Bees and Butterflies call National Monuments Home – At Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, a 4-year study found 650 unique bee species from 54 genre of native bees, 3 of which were new to the state of Utah. We need pollinators like native bees for the rest the ecosystem to continue! We should strive to keep the special places (not pockets) of species diversity to not only to sustain our planet…but to help it regenerate. The people alive today are the stewards of the future Earth.

Gleanings of the Week Ending March 3, 2018

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

BBC - Future - Spice: Why some of us like it hot – A little interesting history…not sure it really gets to the question about why some of us like it hot though.

Life-Size Camel Carvings Found in the Saudi Desert | Smart News | Smithsonian – I saw this story in several of my feeds…this one had the best pictures.

As Ice Sheets Melt Faster, Sea Level Rise Is Accelerating Every Year - Yale E360 – It’s hard to translate stories like this into what will happen to specific areas and it seems like that is what is critical for coastal areas that need to plan for rising sea level. Planners in Annapolis MD are using the flood they had from Hurricane Isabel in 2003 to help people realize what the situation will be like in 2050 (the projection is that the flooding will be about like that 2003 flood very frequently because of sea level rise, enough that the city will be forever changed).

BBC - Future - Five myths about loneliness – Some ideas about loneliness. If you time and interest…do the survey (link is toward the bottom of the page) to participate in the BBC Loneliness experiment.

Photography in the National Parks: Don't Forget About Those Little Things -  I like the closer up shots of little things --- and there are good ones in almost every natural area, not just National Parks.

This Map Shows What Climate Change Could Mean for Your Region – There is an article around the map…but the map is the graphic to look at. There are more areas with economic costs than benefits in the US.

Transforming patient health care and well-being through lighting -- ScienceDaily – I’ve always wondered about the fluorescent lights often used in hospital settings…wondering how the sleep cycles of patients could be normal at all. I’m glad lighting is finally getting more attention.

Wild Birds with a Splash of Colour – National Geographic Blog – Eye candy for this week. Somehow bird pictures are always a favorite for me.

Thousands of Photographs Created These Hyper-Real Portraits of Historic Buildings | Smart News | Smithsonian – If you are in New York City before April 7 you can see the gallery show…if not – get a glimpse of Brunetti’s work looking at the 4 images with this blog post from the Smithsonian.

New Study Shows Flood Risks Across the U.S. are Underestimated (in a Big Way) – Cool Green Science – I wonder how long it will be before the FEMA maps are updated. It seems like people purchasing houses would like to be aware of the flood risk before they made their purchase.

Gleanings of the Week Ending September 9, 2017

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

Reimaging Neuroscience’s Finest Works of Art – Recreating the work of Santiago Ramon y Cajal’s century old drawings of the nervous system

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #103 –  There is wood duck image near the end of this group….I have never managed a view from the front. This one has the reflection too.

Utilities Grapple with Rooftop Solar and the New Energy Landscape – I’m glad some utilities are adapting in a positive way to renewable energy. If they don’t – I think more people will be motivated to add battery capacity as the technology becomes available and be ‘off grid.’

New Guide: Smart, Sustainable Materials at Home – This is some I’ll take a look at more thoroughly if I am doing any renovations to an outdoor area.

Wind power costs could drop 50%. Solar PV could provide up to 50% of global power – Are solar and wind energy underestimated? They may be getting cheaper and scaling up faster than the most optimistic forecasts of a few years ago. Hurray!

The Smartphone’s Future: It’s All About the Camera – Some tech…just over the horizon but plausible based on what is available already.

Opinion: The Flood Reduction Benefits of Wetlands – There are lots of studies that will come out of the hurricanes that are impacting the US. This one was based on Hurricane Sandy and came out on August 31. It reported that insurance industry models show that during Hurricane Sandy, marshes prevented $625 million in direct flood damage in 12 states….a reduction in property damage by as much as 30% in some states.

Artificial warming trial reveals striking sea-floor changes – When researchers heated up a slice of Antarctic sea bed by 1 degree (Centigrade), changes were visually discernable: some species grew twice as fast in the heated conditions, different animal communities developed…one bryozoan became so dominate on the warmer sea floor that the diversity of species went down. The researchers already have more experiments planned.

Podcast Series Delves into History, Cultures of Mesa Verde – There are three episodes so far (available here) with a plan for additional ones in 2018.

Our Hurricane Risk Models are Dangerously Out of Date – More than half the area flooded by Harvey was ‘outside of any mapped flood zone’! It seems like insurance companies and property owners need a better understanding of risks…and the old models are no longer adequate.