Nurdles: they sound cute, they’re anything but 

Nurdles: they sound cute, they’re anything but 

Science is continually discovering the extent of the damage microplastics wreak on our planet and especially the world’s oceans. These tiny (sometimes even microscopic) plastic fragments can become so small that they are absorbed by all sorts of marine organisms–from coral to the fish we eventually end up eating. While a lot of microplastic is a result of larger pieces of plastic breaking down, evidence shows that the second-largest source of marine plastic comes from nurdles.

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Oceans Warming Much Faster Than Previously Thought

Oceans Warming Much Faster Than Previously Thought

Oceans are heating up at a rate as much as 40% faster than the global consensus of scientists studying climate change had previously predicted.  A team of scientists looking at the numerous recent studies which made that claim have now validated those studies’ conclusions based on ocean heat content (OHC) observations (actual ocean temperature data), according to a new report published in the journal Science on Friday.  It also validates (as if we needed more proof) that the planet is clearly warming.  

Why This Matters:  Science matters.  The more data scientists have to work with, the better they can understand the changes that are wreaking havoc with our planet.  With more ocean observing sensors, which could be much more beneficial if we expanded the network of buoys and added sensors to more ships, we would not have to fill in nearly so many gaps and could do a much better job of forecasting risks and impacts, such as sea level rise, coral bleaching, and ocean acidification.  As the experts who conducted the review said, “There is a clear need to continue to improve the ocean observation and analysis system to provide better estimates of OHC, because it will enable more refined regional projections of the future.” 

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One Just Thing: Fiat Chrysler To Pay $800M

One Just Thing: Fiat Chrysler To Pay $800M

Late last week, auto giant Fiat Chrysler agreed to pay out $800M to settle an enforcement action with the U.S. government and private lawsuits with car owners, after admitting that they installed emissions test-cheating devices on diesel Jeeps and trucks resulting in an additional 35,000 tons of pollution.  The company is also required to recall […]

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Shutdown Not Slowing Down Trump Administration Energy Priorities

Shutdown Not Slowing Down Trump Administration Energy Priorities

While most of the Interior Department and the Environmental Protection Agency are in a seemingly endless shutdown limbo, the priorities of the Trump Administration go on without a hitch.  Two high profile examples came to light over the weekend — the preparation for newly nominated Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s confirmation hearing and the busiest […]

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Gov shutdown freezes vital research and training programs

Gov shutdown freezes vital research and training programs

As of the morning, the federal government shutdown has entered into its 24th day, making it the longest shutdown in US history. While 800,000 federal workers are caught in the crosshairs of the shutdown (and most of them missed a paycheck last Friday), countless amounts of scientists and other workers have had their research work frozen as well.

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Bioengineering may save America’s forests

Bioengineering may save America’s forests

Scientific American recently reported that U.S. forests are among the most vulnerable in the world to predators and disease, according to a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. The report also explained that biotechnology has the potential to be a part of the solution in protecting forest trees against destructive pest and disease outbreaks,

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