Search results for: climate change


Climate Change: The Snowshoe Hare’s Worst Nightmare

showshoe hare

Regardless of what’s causing climate change and global warming, its effects are being felt all over, though you probably won’t be able to tell judging from the way I sweat when I’m mowing the lawn, because it seems to be the same bucket-full that it’s been since the early 1990s. Also, nothing scientific should ever be judged by my sweat, for everyone’s benefit. But shifts in weather patterns are becoming particularly brutal for the snowshoe hare, a species whose survival instincts have relied on its ability to change color and camouflage itself with the seasons. But now that everything is going hooey, their numbers are dropping, and they don’t even seem to realize the problem.

Wildlife biologist Alex Kumar, a graduate student at the University of Montana, and field technician Tucker Seitz have spent months tracking hares in the land outside Missoula, Montana. And they’re not alone, since the predator list for the small creature is pretty lengthy. Their existence is definitely a hare-owing one. (Sorry.) Snowshoe hares have evolved to change colors to match the seasons, giving them a leg up on their long-eared brethren. But it isn’t the actual weather that causes them to change colors. Their fur responds to changes in light, as the length of the days change. When the days are longer in the summer, the hares are brown and able to blend in with nature all around them. When the days get shorter in the winter, their fur turns white, which allows them to match up with their snowy surroundings. It’s hard to argue that this is a definite advantage the hare has over many others in the animal kingdom. A pink-polka-dotted legless hare would definitely have gotten the short end.

Tags: ,


Interstellar Mixes Climate Change, Corn, And Parallel Dimensions

InterstellarThere’s no denying Christopher Nolan is a man who likes his secrets, but for his latest, Interstellar, which began filming this week, he was very clear in telling the world it was about wormholes and parallel dimensions. Which narrowed the plot down to…just about anything one could think of. This movie could conceivably be about dog racing or alien battles. Instead, a new description of the film that appeared in the Alberta newspaper The Fort Macleod Gazette brings drastic global climate change into the equation. As ham-fisted as Nolan can be with his film’s messages, I doubt it can be any more overstated than Elysium, though that film will be more of a distant memory by the time Interstellar worm(hole)s its way into theaters next fall.

We already know that the film has a huge cast and follows a group of explorers who travel to another dimension, or the farthest reaches of human imagination. Whichever you prefer. The new, more detailed plotline reads as follows:

Set in the future, the movie details the toll climate change has taken on agriculture, with corn the last crop to be cultivated. The scientists embark on a journey through a worm hole into other dimensions in search of somewhere other crops can be grown.

Tags: , ,


James Cameron, Mars, And Climate Change Form The Bulk Of AGU’s 2012 Conference

Pop culture fanatics have Comic-Con and SXSW. Geo-scientists have the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). The conference, which runs from Dec. 3-7, is being held at San Francisco’s Moscone Center, and is bound to be a reference point for numerous news stories in the days to follow. Do you have Curiosity about what one could be? I’ll admit that wasn’t smooth.

Monday’s events start with something that has probably already happened by the time anyone reads this. NASA will be holding a briefing about what the Mars rover Curiosity has been finding, which almost certainly isn’t extraterrestrial genome charts. Climate gets the bulk of today’s spotlight, as climate change’s role on the rise and fall of past civilizations is discussed. Scientists will present the effects and implications of the oddball 2011-2012 winter experienced in the Rocky Mountains, with six-week-early snows disrupting plant and animal life. Round out the day with “Black Swan cyclones” and “Pineapple Expresses,” and how ecologists are working to study and form prevention methods against both.

Tags: , ,


Lockheed Martin’s Fusion Energy Breakthrough Could Change Everything

Nuclear ReactorIf you’ve always wanted to mount a nuclear reactor on the back of your pick up truck, you may be able to do just that within the decade. At least size wise, we hope that, despite new advancement in nuclear fusion made by Lockheed Martin, that not just any old yay-hoo will be able to get his or her hands on a functioning nuclear reactor. Or a non-functioning one for that matter, most of us shouldn’t have access to things like that.

The global technology and defense firm announced Wednesday that they have made breakthrough in regards nuclear fusion and power sources that could have a massive impact moving forward. They revealed that the new work could enable a 100-megawatt reactor to, possibly within ten years, be no larger than ten feet by seven feet. According to reports, that is ten times smaller than current tops models.

Tags: , , ,


Launch Of NASA’s Climate Satellite Delayed

NASA-OCO2-satellite-carbon-tracking-460x250While debating climate change with a denier can be like delving into a circular debate about religion or abortion, scientists will continue to amass evidence that yes, humans are drastically altering the Earth’s ecosystem in frightening ways. This is part of the reason that NASA has developed the Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO-2), which measures carbon dioxide emissions from space. The satellite is the agency’s first dedicated to studying atmospheric C02, providing scientists with global measurements of CO2 levels and cycles. It’s a great idea, although its launch, which was scheduled for 2:56 AM today, was delayed due to equipment failure.

Tags: , , ,


Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf: Week Of December 1, 2015

Andromeda“Andromeda’s War (Legion of the Damned)” by William C. Dietz

Now a platoon leader, Legionnaire Andromeda McKee seems to have successfully left behind her true identity of Lady Catherine ‘Cat’ Carletto, one of the last two surviving members of the Carletto family targeted for death by Empress Ophelia.

After failing at her one shot at vengeance, Andromeda had been questioning her own resolve. But now her uncle has been killed in a government raid back on Earth, leaving her as the last Carletto standing — and the family’s only chance for justice…

A chance that comes when the empress’s ship crashes on a hostile planet and Andromeda is assigned to head up the rescue mission. As a legionnaire, Andromeda McKee has countless kills under her belt. But when faced with her greatest enemy, it will be Cat Carletto who has to pull the trigger on the one who really matters…