DURHAM, N.C. -- Allowing underwater seismic surveys for oil and gas to be conducted off the U.S. Mid-Atlantic and Southeast coasts could pose a substantial threat to one of the world’s most critically endangered whale species, a group of leading marine scientists say.
Our piecemeal coastal policies are failing us, says Duke University economist Martin Smith. We're failing to consider a future of rising sea levels. Meanwhile, one beach town can make decisions that ripple down the coastline, affecting the shape of beaches miles away. "We're haphazardly geo-engineering a whole coast," Smith says.
Rising seas threaten coastal marshes worldwide, like this marsh just outside Venice, Italy pictured in a satellite image. But a new study by Marco Marani of the Nicholas School finds marshes are more resilient than previously believed. Elevated levels of atmospheric CO2 boost plant biomass production, allowing marshes to trap more sediment and generate more organic soil.
Pundits have reminded us that “all politics is local” since American newspaper columnist Byron Price first used the phrase in 1932 to explain how hometown issues and economics shape national elections.
Old as the adage may be, it still holds true—especially, Megan Mullin’s research suggests, when it comes to the politics of climate change.
“The evidence for the effect of local weather on public opinion regarding climate change is overwhelming,” says Mullin, associate professor of environmental politics at the Nicholas School.
From the beginning, graduate students of the Triangle Universities Nuclear Lab have been a resourceful lot. TUNL students have a tradition of developing new measurement techniques, designing and building equipment , and troubleshooting problems under research conditions. They’ve needed to hone their data analysis skills to find the important signals in a large background of data. After four or five years of this, graduates are prepared to work not only in universities, but in a wide variety of sectors, including government, government labs, industry, and medicine.
When the largest modern-day plant-eaters -- elephants -- are confined to too small an area, they devastate the vegetation. So 15,000 years ago, when the herbivores like the Columbian mammoth, mastodons and giant ground sloths were even larger, more numerous and more widely distributed, how did the landscape survive?
The answer was probably enormous predators, creatures called “hypercarnivores” by a team of evolutionary biologists appearing online the week of Oct. 26 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Scott Winton organizes his life around birds.
He vacations where there are birds to see. He likes biking better than driving because it’s easier to hear and see birds. And if he does drive, he gets out of the car with his head up, listening and looking.
Zackary Johnson, Arthur P. Kaupe Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology in Marine Science at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, has received a three-year grant for up to $5.2 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to establish a consortium to study the extraction, development and commoditization of various products from algae.
The Marine Algae Industrialization Consortium – or MAGIC, for short – will include both university and corporate partners.
Scanning sonar from a scientific expedition has revealed the remains of a previously unknown shipwreck more than a mile deep off the North Carolina coast. Artifacts on the wreck indicate it might date to the American Revolution.
Marine scientists from Duke, North Carolina State University and the University of Oregon discovered the wreck on July 12 during a research expedition aboard the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) research ship Atlantis.
The saying "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" may not hold up to scientific scrutiny.
After the plains of southern Kenya experienced a severe drought in 2009 that took a terrible toll on wildlife, researchers looked at how 50 wild baboons coped with the drought, and whether the conditions they faced in infancy played a role.
The semi-arid savanna of southern Kenya usually receives an average of 14 inches of rain a year--akin to much of Nebraska or Kansas--but in 2009 it fell to five inches, less than the Mojave Desert.