Tag Archives: journal

The Dragon Behind the Glass – Emily Voigt


The Dragon Behind the Glass

A True Story of Power, Obsession, and the World’s Most Coveted Fish

Emily Voigt

Genre: Nature

Price: $1.99

Publish Date: May 24, 2016

Publisher: Scribner


WINNER OF THE 2017 NASW SCIENCE IN SOCIETY JOURNALISM AWARD A FINALIST FOR THE 2017 PEN/E. O. WILSON LITERARY SCIENCE WRITING AWARD LONGLISTED FOR THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE A LIBRARY JOURNAL BEST SCIENCE BOOK OF THE YEAR “[A] curiously edifying book.” — The New York Times Book Review “With the taut suspense of a spy novel, Voigt paints a vivid world of murder, black market deals, and habitat destruction surrounding a fish that's considered, ironically, to be a good-luck charm.” — Discover “[An] immensely satisfying story, full of surprises and suspense….Things get weird fast.” — The Wall Street Journal An intrepid journalist’s quest to find a wild Asian arowana—the world’s most expensive aquarium fish—takes her on a global tour in this “engaging tale of obsession and perseverance…and an enthralling look at the intersection of science, commercialism, and conservationism” ( Publishers Weekly , starred review). A young man is murdered for his pet fish. An Asian tycoon buys a single specimen for $150,000. Meanwhile, a pet detective chases smugglers through the streets of New York. With “the taut suspense of a spy novel” ( Discover ) The Dragon Behind the Glass tells the story of a fish like none other. Treasured as a status symbol believed to bring good luck, the Asian arowana, or “dragon fish,” is a dramatic example of a modern paradox: the mass-produced endangered species. While hundreds of thousands are bred in captivity, the wild fish as become a near-mythical creature. From the South Bronx to Borneo and beyond, journalist Emily Voigt follows the trail of the arowana to learn its fate in nature. “A fresh, lively look at an obsessive desire to own a piece of the wild” ( Kirkus Reviews ), The Dragon Behind the Glass traces our fascination with aquarium fish back to the era of exploration when naturalists stood on the cutting edge of modern science. In an age when freshwater fish now comprise one of the most rapidly vanishing groups of animals, Voigt unearths a surprising truth behind the arowana’s rise to fame—one that calls into question how we protect the world’s rarest species. “Not since Candace Millard published The River of Doubt has the world of the Amazon, Borneo, Myanmar, and other exotic locations been so colorfully portrayed as it is now in Emily Voigt’s The Dragon Behind the Glass …a must-read” ( Library Journal , starred review).

View this article – 

The Dragon Behind the Glass – Emily Voigt

Posted in alo, Anchor, FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, oven, PUR, Scribner, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Dragon Behind the Glass – Emily Voigt

How fast will you need to flee from the heat? There’s a word for that.

Ocean creatures are finding themselves in hot water as the world warms. To stay cool, they’re relocating to deeper parts of the ocean, and it’s throwing ecosystems all out of whack.

A new study in the journal Nature Climate Change calculated how fast different layers of the ocean are heating up. Species are swimming to deeper waters to escape the heat at different rates, and the researchers warn that many sea dwellers like tuna, which rely on plankton at the water’s surface for food, might struggle to adapt.

The study brought a new phrase into the news: climate velocity. It’s basically the speed and direction that a given species will need to shift as their corner of the world heats up. Climate velocity has been in use in academic circles for more than a decade, but the study marks the first time the phrase made the headlines.

As climate change reshuffles life on earth, climate velocity applies up here on the surface, too. Warmer weather will drive animals seeking new homes into encounters with species they don’t normally meet — sort of like how grizzlies have been showing up in polar bears’ dwindling territory, leading to the emergence of grolar bears (or pizzlies?). And it’s not just flora and fauna. Humans, too, will have to move to survive.

Global warming will make large swaths of the Earth too hot for humans, as David Wallace-Wells memorably described in The Uninhabitable Earth, a book that features a grisly account of how the body breaks down in sweltering heat. That’s just one of many interesting challenges in store. The rising ocean is already submerging coasts, and changing weather patterns are helping to create new deserts. (The Sahara is expected to keep swallowing up more land as the planet warms.) Researchers estimate that the climate crisis could displace between 25 million and 1 billion people by 2050. For perspective, the most commonly cited number — 200 million — means that one in every 45 people would be displaced by mid-century.

Warmer weather and changing weather patterns are already altering how people grow food. In Alaska, for instance, rising temperatures mean that farmers can farm potatoes on the previously inhospitable tundra. Greenlanders are harvesting strawberries and tomatoes. In California, farmers are planting orchards, crossing their fingers that the fruit and nut trees they’re planting today will be able to make it in the hotter, drier world that the coming decades will bring.

Migration is inevitable. The fish are definitely in trouble. But our climate velocity, the pace at which people will be forced to abandon their homes and relocate, is largely TBD. One reason estimates of the number of people who will be displaced varies so widely is that it’s hard to predict human behavior. If governments decide to pull the plug on fossil fuel emissions soon, it will slow climate velocity and save human lives — and probably rescue a bunch of cute marine species, too.

View post: 

How fast will you need to flee from the heat? There’s a word for that.

Posted in Accent, alo, FF, G & F, GE, ONA, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on How fast will you need to flee from the heat? There’s a word for that.

This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm – Ted Genoways


This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm

Ted Genoways

Genre: Agriculture

Price: $1.99

Publish Date: September 19, 2017

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

Seller: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Winner of the Stubbendieck Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize 2019 selection for the One Book One Nebraska and All Iowa state reading programs "Genoways gives the reader a kitchen-table view of the vagaries, complexities, and frustrations of modern farming…Insightful and empathetic." —Milwaukee Journal Sentinel The family farm lies at the heart of our national identity, and yet its future is in peril. Rick Hammond grew up on a farm, and for forty years he has raised cattle and crops on his wife’s fifth-generation homestead in Nebraska, in hopes of passing it on to their four children. But as the handoff nears, their family farm—and their entire way of life—are under siege on many fronts, from shifting trade policies, to encroaching pipelines, to climate change. Following the Hammonds from harvest to harvest, Ted Genoways explores the rapidly changing world of small, traditional farming operations. He creates a vivid, nuanced portrait of a radical new landscape and one family’s fight to preserve their legacy and the life they love.

Continued here:

This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm – Ted Genoways

Posted in alo, Anchor, FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, oven, PUR, Uncategorized, W. W. Norton & Company | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm – Ted Genoways

How do countries cover climate change? Depends how rich they are.

Deadly heat waves, violent downpours, wildfires that seem to get more intense every year — the climate crisis leaves no part of the globe untouched. But around the world, the media spins warming and its effects differently. The No. 1 sign of how the press in a given country talks about it? Wealth.

Richer nations tend to politicize the issue, while poorer nations more often present it as a problem of international concern, according to a new study published in the journal Global Environmental Change. Researchers in Kansas and Vietnam analyzed more than 37,000 news articles from 45 countries and territories using computer algorithms and found that the strongest predictor of how a given country’s press will cover climate change is Gross Domestic Product per capita. In short: The way a country’s media reports on global warming is based on the resources available to combat it.

Richer countries: ‘Is there even a problem?’

Coverage in affluent countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and Spain, focuses on the political debate over how to use ample national resources to address global warming — or whether to do so at all.

Rich countries also tend to frame global warming as a scientific issue — which makes sense, considering that they can devote more dollars to science research. But the study also found that science wasn’t always portrayed accurately. Outlets in richer nations often highlight the voices of people who deny the scientific consensus that climate change is happening and is caused by humans. (That consensus among scientists, for the record, has now likely passed 99 percent). It’s a recurring problem: A new study in the journal Nature Communications found that between 2000 and 2016, prominent climate deniers were featured in a whopping 50 percent more articles than hundreds of scientists.

The media in rich nations “really like the conflict” and tend to “portray climate change as an issue that has not been settled,” said Hong T. Vu, lead author of the study looking at rich vs poor nations and an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Kansas.

Poorer countries: ‘We’re all in this together’

In contrast, poorer countries, such as Gambia, Nigeria, and Sri Lanka, simply can’t afford to deny climate change — or adapt to it as easily as wealthier countries do. They rely on aid from richer nations to help fund their efforts to stave off warming’s effects, a trend that shows up in the news. An editorial in the Fiji Times earlier this year, for instance, says that curbing the effects of climate change demands a “global effort.” It also points to the influx of climate adaption money coming into the Pacific region from international agencies.

Asking richer nations to contribute more to climate action efforts may sound like charity, but well-to-do nations contribute way more than poorer nations to carbon dioxide emissions to begin with, and that they generally stand to fare better under warming conditions. A study from Stanford University earlier this year found that climate change is widening the economic gap between countries, simultaneously making rich ones richer and poor ones poorer.

Everyone: Too few solutions

Researchers did find some across-the-board trends when they analyzed coverage in both rich and poor nations. After looking at thousands of articles, Vu’s team determined that the most common frame in climate change coverage was international relations, followed by its effects on the economy. The least popular frame for coverage? Social progress. Only 4 percent of stories covered new lifestyle changes or societal developments related to our overheating planet.

“If we look back, climate change has been in the public discussion for 30 years, and we are not doing very well in communicating it,” Vu said. He hopes that the media can figure out how to communicate the issue as an urgent problem that requires meaningful policy action while simultaneously encouraging people to see the role they can play in remedying our planetary predicament.

He probably wouldn’t mind if it would stop sowing confusion about the science, either.

This article is from:

How do countries cover climate change? Depends how rich they are.

Posted in Accent, alo, Everyone, FF, GE, LG, ONA, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on How do countries cover climate change? Depends how rich they are.

Record-breaking flooding in Nebraska is visible from space

Subscribe to The Beacon

Governor Pete Ricketts has declared more than half of Nebraska’s 93 counties a disaster area as record-breaking spring floods have swollen into a catastrophe. “This really is the most devastating flooding we’ve probably ever had in our state’s history, from the standpoint of how widespread it is,” Ricketts told CNN on Monday. Even the National Weather Service in Omaha was forced to abandon their office due to flooding.

Here’s how it happened: Last week, a hurricane-strength storm system unleashed torrential rainfall over the deep Nebraska snowpack, flash-melting huge quantities of water and overwhelming dams and levees. Unusually warm temperatures have remained in place since the storm’s passage, worsening the runoff. The resulting flooding has been visible from space.

USGS Landsat Program

Spring flooding happens nearly every year in the upper Midwest, but current flooding has far surpassed previous all-time records on Nebraska’s major waterways. Climate change means springtime temperatures are arriving earlier with more intense early-season rains, worsening the risk of damaging floods. In one location, the Missouri River broke its previous record by nearly four feet.

The most spectacular flooding resulted from the failure of the 90-year-old Spencer Dam on the Niobrara River in north-central Nebraska when it unleashed an 11-foot wall of water on Thursday. Before the flood gauge on the river failed, “it looked like something incredible was happening that we couldn’t believe,” Jason Lambrecht, a Nebraska-based hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey told the Lincoln Journal-Star. “And suddenly, everything went dark.”

The flash flood destroyed roads, homes, and bridges before emptying into the Missouri River and joining with meltwater from South Dakota and Iowa. On Saturday, two levees breached on the Platte River, cutting off the town of Fremont, Nebraska — the state’s sixth-largest city. A volunteer airlift has been supplying the city over the weekend and performing rescues.

As of Monday, water levels have crested in most of the state, though major flooding will continue for several days. Offutt Air Force base near Omaha — the home of U.S. Strategic Command — remains inundated, a poignant sign of climate change as a national security risk. There are dozens of road closures across the area.

Eastern Nebraska is just the worst-hit region: Major flooding is currently underway in parts of seven states in the upper Midwest, with near-record flooding expected to spread northward into Minnesota and North Dakota in the coming weeks. In Minnesota, officials expect a greater than 95 percent chance of major flooding, possibly rivaling all-time records.

View original post here:

Record-breaking flooding in Nebraska is visible from space

Posted in Accent, alo, Anchor, Casio, FF, G & F, GE, Jason, LG, ONA, OXO, Radius, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Record-breaking flooding in Nebraska is visible from space

There’s a greater risk of ‘domino effect’ with planet’s tipping points, study says

Invest in nonprofit journalism today.Donate now and every gift will be matched through 12/31.

This story was originally published by the Guardian and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Policymakers have severely underestimated the risks of ecological tipping points, according to a study that shows 45 percent of all potential environmental collapses are interrelated and could amplify one another.

The authors said their paper, published in the journal Science, highlights how overstressed and overlapping natural systems are combining to throw up a growing number of unwelcome surprises.

“The risks are greater than assumed because the interactions are more dynamic,” said Juan Rocha of the Stockholm Resilience Center. “The important message is to recognize the wickedness of the problem that humanity faces.”

The study collated existing research on ecosystem transitions that can irreversibly tip to another state, such as coral reefs bleaching and being overrun by algae, forests becoming savannahs, and ice sheets melting into oceans. It then cross-referenced the 30 types of shift to examine the impacts they might have on one another and human society.

Only 19 percent were entirely isolated. Another 36 percent shared a common cause, but were not likely to interact. The remaining 45 percent had the potential to create either a one-way domino effect or mutually reinforcing feedbacks.

Among the latter pairings were Arctic ice sheets and boreal forests. When the former melt, there is less ice to reflect the sun’s heat so the temperature of the planet rises. This increases the risks of forest fires, which discharge carbon into the air that adds to the greenhouse effect, which melts more ice. Although geographically distant, each amplifies the other.

By contrast, a one-way domino-type impact is that between coral reefs and mangrove forests. When the former are destroyed, it weakens coastal defenses and exposes mangroves to storms and ocean surges.

The deforestation of the Amazon is responsible for multiple “cascading effects” — weakening rain systems, forests becoming savannah, and reduced water supplies for cities like São Paulo and crops in the foothills of the Andes. This, in turn, increases the pressure for more land clearance.

Until recently, the study of tipping points was controversial, but it is increasingly accepted as an explanation for climate changes that are happening with more speed and ferocity than earlier computer models predicted. The loss of coral reefs and Arctic sea ice may already be past the point of no return. There are signs the Antarctic is heading the same way faster than thought.

Co-author Garry Peterson said the tipping of the west Antarctic ice shelf was not on the radar of many scientists 10 years ago, but now there was overwhelming evidence of the risks — including losses of chunks of ice the size of New York — and some studies now suggest the tipping point may have already been passed by the southern ice sheet, which may now be releasing carbon into the atmosphere.

“We’re surprised at the rate of change in the Earth system. So much is happening at the same time and at a faster speed than we would have thought 20 years ago. That’s a real concern,” said Peterson. “We’re heading ever faster towards the edge of a cliff.”

The fourth most downloaded academic research of 2018 was the Hothouse Earth paper, which considered how tipping points could combine to push the global climate into an uninhabitable state.

The authors of the new paper say their work goes beyond climate studies by mapping a wider range of ecological stress points, such as biodiversity loss, agricultural expansion, urbanization, and soil erosion. It also focuses more on what is happening at the local level now, rather than projecting geo-planetary trends into the future.

“We’re looking at things that affect people in their daily lives. They’re things that are happening today,” said Peterson. “There is a positive message as it expands the range of options for action. It is not just at an international level. Mayors can also make a difference by addressing soil erosion, or putting in place social policies that place less stress on the environment, or building up natural coastal defenses.”

Rocha has spent 10 years building a database of tipping points, or “regime shifts” as he calls them. He urges policymakers to adopt a similar interdisciplinary approach so they can better grasp what is happening.

“We’re trying to connect the dots between different research communities,” said Rocha. “Governments also need to look more at interactions. They should stop compartmentalizing ministries like agriculture, fisheries, and international relations and try to manage environmental problems by embracing the diversity of causes and mechanisms underlying them. Policies need to match the scale of the problem.”

“It’s a little depressing knowing we are not on a trajectory to keep our ecosystem in a functional state,” Rocha continued, “but these connections are also a reason for hope; good management in one place can prevent severe environmental degradation elsewhere. Every action counts.”

Dig this article?Support nonprofit journalism

. Help us raise $50,000 by December 31! A little bit goes a long way.

Donate today and your gift will be matched


Original source: 

There’s a greater risk of ‘domino effect’ with planet’s tipping points, study says

Posted in alo, FF, G & F, GE, LG, ONA, Radius, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on There’s a greater risk of ‘domino effect’ with planet’s tipping points, study says

The Glass Universe – Dava Sobel


The Glass Universe
How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars
Dava Sobel

Genre: History

Price: $1.99

Publish Date: December 6, 2016

Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group


From #1 New York Times bestselling author Dava Sobel, t he “inspiring” ( People ), little-known true story of women’s landmark contributions to astronomy A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of 2017 Named one of the best books of the year by NPR,  The   Economist, Smithsonian, Nature,  and NPR’s   Science Friday Nominated for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award “A joy to read.” — The Wall Street Journal In the mid-nineteenth century, the Harvard College Observatory began employing women as calculators, or “human computers,” to interpret the observations their male counterparts made via telescope each night. At the outset this group included the wives, sisters, and daughters of the resident astronomers, but soon the female corps included graduates of the new women’s colleges—Vassar, Wellesley, and Smith. As photography transformed the practice of astronomy, the ladies turned from computation to studying the stars captured nightly on glass photographic plates. The “glass universe” of half a million plates that Harvard amassed over the ensuing decades—through the generous support of Mrs. Anna Palmer Draper, the widow of a pioneer in stellar photography—enabled the women to make extraordinary discoveries that attracted worldwide acclaim. They helped discern what stars were made of, divided the stars into meaningful categories for further research, and found a way to measure distances across space by starlight. Their ranks included Williamina Fleming, a Scottish woman originally hired as a maid who went on to identify ten novae and more than three hundred variable stars; Annie Jump Cannon, who designed a stellar classification system that was adopted by astronomers the world over and is still in use; and Dr. Cecilia Helena Payne, who in 1956 became the first ever woman professor of astronomy at Harvard—and Harvard’s first female department chair. Elegantly written and enriched by excerpts from letters, diaries, and memoirs, The Glass Universe  is the hidden history of the women whose contributions to the burgeoning field of astronomy forever changed our understanding of the stars and our place in the universe.


The Glass Universe – Dava Sobel

Posted in alo, Anchor, ATTRA, FF, GE, LAI, Landmark, ONA, PUR, Smith's, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Glass Universe – Dava Sobel

Merchants of Immortality – Stephen S. Hall


Merchants of Immortality

Chasing the Dream of Human Life Extension

Stephen S. Hall

Genre: Life Sciences

Price: $1.99

Publish Date: June 18, 2003

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Seller: OpenRoad Integrated Media, LLC

A Discover Best Science Book of the Year: “A fascinating, accurate and accessible account of some of [the] contemporary efforts to combat aging” ( The New York Times ).   Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist   Named a Best Book of the Year by the New York Times , San Jose Mercury News , and Library Journal   An award-winning writer explores science’s boldest frontier—extension of the human life span—interviewing dozens of people involved in the quest to allow us to live longer, better lives.   Delving into topics from cancer to stem cells to cloning, Merchants of Immortality looks at humankind’s quest for longevity and tackles profound questions about our hopes for defeating health problems like heart attacks, Parkinson’s disease, and diabetes. The story follows a close-knit but fractious band of scientists as well as entrepreneurs who work in the shadowy area between profit and the public good. The author tracks the science of aging back to the iconoclastic Leonard Hayflick—who was the first to show that cells age, and whose epic legal battles with the federal government cleared the path for today’s biotech visionaries.   Among those is the charismatic Michael West, a former creationist who founded the first biotech company devoted to aging research. West has won both ardent admirers and committed foes in his relentless quest to promote stem cells, therapeutic cloning, and other technologies of “practical immortality.” Merchants of Immortality breathes scintillating life into the most momentous science of our day, assesses the political and bioethical controversies it has spawned, and explores its potentially dramatic effect on the length and quality of our lives.   “Timely and engrossing . . . This is top-drawer journalism.” — Publishers Weekly , starred review   “A carefully documented examination of how society deals with life-and-death matters.” — Kirkus Reviews , starred review   “An important survey of the entire landscape of the science aimed at extending human life.” — Newsday   “[This] highly readable and important book . . . provide[s] new insights into the intersection of science and politics.” — The Washington Post

Continue reading here – 

Merchants of Immortality – Stephen S. Hall

Posted in alo, Anchor, FF, GE, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, LIFE EXTENSION, ONA, PUR, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Merchants of Immortality – Stephen S. Hall

The Theoretical Minimum – Leonard Susskind & George Hrabovsky


The Theoretical Minimum

What You Need to Know to Start Doing Physics

Leonard Susskind & George Hrabovsky

Genre: Physics

Price: $3.99

Publish Date: April 22, 2014

Publisher: Basic Books

Seller: Hachette Digital, Inc.

A master teacher presents the ultimate introduction to classical mechanics for people who are serious about learning physics "Beautifully clear explanations of famously 'difficult' things," — Wall Street Journal A Wall Street Journal Best Book of 2013 If you ever regretted not taking physics in college–or simply want to know how to think like a physicist–this is the book for you. In this bestselling introduction, physicist Leonard Susskind and hacker-scientist George Hrabovsky offer a first course in physics and associated math for the ardent amateur. Challenging, lucid, and concise, The Theoretical Minimum provides a tool kit for amateur scientists to learn physics at their own pace.


The Theoretical Minimum – Leonard Susskind & George Hrabovsky

Posted in alo, Anchor, Basic Books, FF, GE, ONA, PUR, Ultima, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Theoretical Minimum – Leonard Susskind & George Hrabovsky

Your Brain Is a Time Machine: The Neuroscience and Physics of Time – Dean Buonomano


Your Brain Is a Time Machine: The Neuroscience and Physics of Time
Dean Buonomano

Genre: Life Sciences

Price: $2.99

Publish Date: April 4, 2017

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

Seller: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.

“Beautifully written, eloquently reasoned…Mr. Buonomano takes us off and running on an edifying scientific journey.” —Carol Tavris, Wall Street Journal In Your Brain Is a Time Machine, leading neuroscientist Dean Buonomano embarks on an “immensely engaging” exploration of how time works inside the brain (Barbara Kiser, Nature). The human brain, he argues, is a complex system that not only tells time, but creates it; it constructs our sense of chronological movement and enables “mental time travel”—simulations of future and past events. These functions are essential not only to our daily lives but to the evolution of the human race: without the ability to anticipate the future, mankind would never have crafted tools or invented agriculture. This virtuosic work of popular science will lead you to a revelation as strange as it is true: your brain is, at its core, a time machine.

Visit link:  

Your Brain Is a Time Machine: The Neuroscience and Physics of Time – Dean Buonomano

Posted in alo, Anchor, FF, GE, ONA, PUR, Uncategorized, W. W. Norton & Company | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Your Brain Is a Time Machine: The Neuroscience and Physics of Time – Dean Buonomano