When James Audubon made his classic illustrations of American birds in the late 19th Century, one stood out among them all -- the Ivory Billed Woodpecker -- or Lord God Bird. Audubon hunted multiple animals to obtain specimens for his famous painting. [caption id="attachment_3816" align="aligncenter" width="220" caption="Ivory Billed Woodpecker. Source: James Aububon"][/caption] Destruction of their original forest habitats and rampant hunting combined to eliminate this largest ...
One glacier region found to contribute 10% of the world's melting ice was the subject of a recent report by University of Michigan researchers and colleagues from Norway and The Netherlands. It was published in Nature just before Earth Day. The title caught my attention. What the environmental researchers were observing in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago is now seen as the third largest source of water running into the oceans even though this region contains only a very small portion of ...
  • 30 April 2011
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On Abbey Road The Beatles sang: Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here Here comes the Sun, here comes the Sun and I say it's all right We should all be singing "it's all right" after the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced the creation of transparent solar cells. If this new MIT technology proves amenable to industrial scale, we could see the entire surface area of a building's windows turn into ...
  • 29 April 2011
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Recently, Riled Up posted my commentary about the impacts erratic weather was having on coffee bean production and beverage prices. I posed the  question, "What's next?"  to see  if other commodities might not experience similar availability or price fluctuations from climate related events. We didn’t need long to wait for an answer. Wired Science has just reported the devastating impact massive rains — recently deluging parts of Queensland and elsewhere in Australia — have had on ...
  • 27 April 2011
  • Author: Hugh Bollinger
  • Number of views: 28
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Dear deniers of climate change: Anybody know what a gigaton is? Especially when used in this sentence, about the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Researchers at the University of California, Irvine and colleagues found that the two sheets lost a combined average of 36.3 gigatonnes more than they did the previous year. Giga- means billion. So the ice sheets lost 36 billion tons MORE ice than they did the previous years.  That seems like a lot. [caption id="" align="alignleft" ...
  • 26 April 2011
  • Author: Hugh Bollinger
  • Number of views: 28
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In the beverage category, I'm mostly a fan of drinks made from the leaves of Camellia sinensis (tea). However, today I needed something stronger and purchased a grande Kona coffee with half & half, to go, at my local coffee shop. Just as I began driving on down the road, reporters from American Public Media's (APM) Marketplace came on the airwaves telling me the bad news about coffee ( Coffea arabica ) supplies and bean prices. [caption id="attachment_3679" align="aligncenter" ...
  • 25 April 2011
  • Author: Hugh Bollinger
  • Number of views: 24
  • Comments: 0
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