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Time for Trees to Pack Their Trunks?

Time for Trees to Pack Their Trunks?

During the last two springs, contract planters for The Nature Conservancy have spread out through the pine, spruce and aspen forest of northeastern Minnesota. Wielding steel hoedads, they have planted almost 110,000 tree seedlings on public land. What’s noteworthy about planting trees in a forest? Usually foresters plant seedlings grown from seeds … Read More

Picture This: Rainbows, Rainbows & More Rainbows

Picture This: Rainbows, Rainbows & More Rainbows

We can’t seem to go a week without a storm producing one amazing photo of a rainbow or another, be they of the single, double or triple variety. This week was no exception, as you will see below, with three stunning shots. Of course, plenty of other weather phenomena produced wow-worthy pictures of their own. There’s always something amazing to see… Read More

Drought Divide: Tropical Rains to Help Plains, Not SoCal

Drought Divide: Tropical Rains to Help Plains, Not SoCal

The remnants of two tropical systems — one from the Gulf of Mexico, the other just west of Baja California — are expected to serve as wells of moisture fueling rains this weekend over portions of the country’s two main drought hotspots, namely parts of the Southern Plains and Southern California. But while those rains could make dents in the Plains… Read More

NASA Releases Blizzard of Precipitation Data

NASA Releases Blizzard of Precipitation Data

Have you been itching to see the most detailed collection of precipitation data ever pulled together? (Join the club) Well, you’re in luck. NASA has just released a vast trove of snow, rain, hail and more liquid measurements from a satellite launched earlier this year. In late February, NASA and an international cohort of space programs launched t… Read More

El Nino Watch: 6 Months and Still Counting

El Nino Watch: 6 Months and Still Counting

For months now, the tropical Pacific Ocean has been flirting with blossoming into a full-fledged El Niño state: Waters off the coast of South America have warmed, a hallmark of the climate phenomenon, but then cooled, only to warm once again. Winds, which normally blow east-to-west have made tentative moves in the other direction, another key… Read More

Mountain Forest Changes Threaten Calif. Water Supplies

Mountain Forest Changes Threaten Calif. Water Supplies

Hike high enough up California’s Sierra Nevada and the forest morphs around you. At around 6,000 feet, the dazzling diversity of the lower montane forest, replete with California black oak, ponderosa pine, and incense cedars gives way to more monotonous landscapes of red fir and lodgepole pine. Hike further still and trees eventually disappear alto… Read More

Warming in Europe Raises Risks of Tropical Diseases

Warming in Europe Raises Risks of Tropical Diseases

Add one more horror to the list of awful threats that climate change poses: it could introduce dengue fever in Europe. Dengue fever is already a hazard for 2.5 billion people in humid tropical regions, and 50-100 million people a year are infected by the mosquito-borne disease. It puts 500,000 of them in hospital each year, and kills around 12,000 … Read More

Pests Pose Increasing Risk to Food Security

Pests Pose Increasing Risk to Food Security

Coming soon to a farm near you: just about every possible type of pest that could take advantage of the ripening harvest in the nearby fields. By 2050, according to new research in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography, those opportunistic viruses, bacteria, fungi, blights, mildews, rusts, beetles, nematodes, flies, mites, spiders and caterpi… Read More