Sunday, January 15, 2006

Big news for a changing world

Nature this week published a paper on an endangered Harlequin frogs, threatend by a fungus who's range is expanding due to climate change. Carl Zimmer provides a nice summary of the paper, pointing out the complexities of climate change and its effects on species. Bootstrap Analysis also provides some commentary and links to other media attention to the story.

The second paper of interest to me this week is also related to the complexities of our global climate system. The Nature paper reports that plants emit methane under aerobic conditions and that those emissions account for 10-30% of the annual methane flux to the atmosphere. This is a big deal because methane is a very effective greenhouse gas (i.e. traps longwave radiation (heat) from escaping the earth's atmosphere) and many policies and environmental groups propose reforestation as a sink carbon dioxide (a less effective but far more abundant greenhouse gas). Surprisingly, I haven't seen much blog activity on this paper yet (am I missing it?), so instead I'll link to Nature's commentary.

Unfortunately, you (or your university) need a subscription to read the Nature articles, but you don't need to pay to listen to their ~30 minute weekly podcast, featuring interviews with the authors of the big stories each week. I definitely reccomend it as a way to keep up with the world of science.

You also don't need to pay to keep up with some of my favorite bloggers. GrrlScientist @ Living the Scientific Life and Dr. Free-ride @ Adventures in Ethics and Science have both moved over to Scienceblogs.com. I'm looking forward to seeing what they'll be able to do on the new platform, and just reading more of their good writing on science.

1 comment:

ScienceWoman said...

Hmm...I missed this discussion over at Real Climate about the methane paper.