Culture

When the Drake Oil Well in Titusville, Pennsylvania began seeping crude oil 150 years ago, humanity allowed itself to become engulfed in the ecology of oil, according to a Penn State environmental historian. Now in the midst of an energy transition, the U.S. and the world need to keep moving forward toward alternative methods of power generation.

Without decisive action, global warming in the 21st century is likely to accelerate at a much faster pace and cause more environmental damage than predicted, according to a leading member of the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Stanford, CA— Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are rising more rapidly than expected, increasing the danger that without aggressive action to reduce emissions the climate system could cross a critical threshold by the end of the century, warns a leading member of the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Studies indicate that greenhouse warming could trigger a vicious cycle of feedback, in which carbon dioxide released from thawing tundra and increasingly fire-prone forests drives global temperatures even higher.

CHICAGO – When the sun rides low on the horizon and winter chills wrap us all in down and fleece, global trade brings blueberries from South America, oranges from Israel. But trade in exotic goods also comes with significant local economic costs, explains Charles Perrings, professor of environmental economics at Arizona State University.

Why do we create and maintain social networks? Most people can immediately think of a few natural reasons -- we get something from the interaction, or the person is nearby and is close to us in proximity, age or gender.

But researching such theories on a large scale has never before been possible -- until digital social networks came along.

Research, funded by multiple agencies and conducted by the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, found that swimmers using public ocean beaches increase their risk for exposure to staph organisms, and may increase their risk for potential staph infections once they enter the water.

Berkeley — If you think you know what science is and how science works, think again.

A new University of California, Berkeley, Web site called "Understanding Science" (http://undsci.berkeley.edu/) paints an entirely new picture of what science is and how science is done, showing it to be a dynamic and creative process rather than the linear – and frequently boring – process depicted in most textbooks.

As part of a symposium on "Defining species for threatened and endangered protection" Barbara Taylor, Ph.D., NOAA Fisheries Service, will discuss the need to explicitly consider uncertainty in taxonomy in conservation decisions. Species concepts continue to be a contentious, but largely philosophical debate among academic biologists. How differences between groups of organisms are identified, however, can have real, on-the-ground policy implications for which species receive legal protection under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Ecology and conservation biologist at the University of Leicester, Dr David Harper, who has conducted research for over 25 years at Lake Naivasha in Kenya, today warned that cut-price Valentine roses exported for sale in the UK were 'bleeding that country dry'.

Dr Harper, of the University's Department of Biology where he is a senior lecturer, claimed that cheap roses grown by companies that had no concern for the environment were having a devastating effect on the ecology of Lake Naivasha- the centre of Kenya's horticultural industry.

Industry-sponsored studies on influenza vaccines are published in journals with higher rankings (impact factors) and are cited more than studies with other sponsors, but this is not because they are bigger or better, finds a study published on bmj.com today.

Tom Jefferson and colleagues at the Cochrane Vaccine Field in Italy identified and assessed 274 studies on influenza vaccines and analysed their methodological quality, prestige of the host journals (impact factor) and citation rates in the scientific literature.