Environment

Exposing Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus) to shorter photoperiods (think winter) for about two months causes the animals to spontaneously undergo daily bouts of torpor during which time they decrease metabolic rate to conserve energy.  New research published in the American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology was designed to examine whether decreases in growth hormone secretion…

What is not new Ultimately sea levels will rise several feet, given the present levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. We already knew this by examining paleo data, and finding periods in the past with similar surface temperatures and/or similar atmospheric CO2 levels as today. I put a graphic from a paper by Gavin Foster…

“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery — air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, ‘This is what it is to be happy.’” –Sylvia Plath The modern world can often make you feel like you’ll never find anything good “playing by its rules” in it. This feeling is evoked, tremendously, in the songs of Bonnie “Prince”…

Safety board member sneers at recommendations for improved safety regulations

A member of the Chemical Safety Board—an agency established to make recommendations to OSHA and EPA—-has a troubling view about regulations.

Death by boa constrictor

New research from Dr. Scott Boback and colleagues at Dickinson College (Pennsylvania) shows that boa constrictors do not use suffocation as a primary means of killing their victims. Rather, by measuring blood pressure and heart activity of the prey, they were able to determine that the snakes restrict blood flow in their victims causing circulatory arrest and a…

“Code Silver”: Beware of violent hospital patients, visitors

In a hospital “Code Blue” will shift staff into high gear. “Code Silver” will get their adrenaline pumping, too, but for a very different reason.

Polar bear survival during summer

If you happen to be in the Arctic this summer polar bears (Ursus maritimus) can be spotted spending their time on the sea ice or on the shore in areas where ice has melted. While it is difficult to study the physiology of bears living on the ice, it had been hypothesized that bears living on shore experience…

June 2015 was warm

Every month NASA GISS comes out with the new data for the prior month’s global surface temperature, and I generally grab that data set and make a graph or two. In a way this is a futile effort because the actual global surface temperature month by month is not as important as the long term…

I’m not sure where this comes from (David Hone reminded me of it) but the UCS has The Climate Deception Dossiers which breathlessly tells us Internal fossil fuel industry memos reveal decades of disinformation—a deliberate campaign to deceive the public that continues even today. This is news? Its not news to me. But wait, there’s…

What I said about Exxon

I want to write about some new stuff, but in the course of it I need to rehearse what I’ve said about Exxon over the years. So I’ll do it here, for reference. Some of it is so far in the past it predates blogging. sci.env: 1997 1997? Were there really such years? Exxon Chairman…