Tar sands, explained

A tar sands refinery. Photo credit: the Pembina Institute

There’s been a lot of discussion in the last few years about the Keystone Pipeline, a network of pipelines being built to transport oil from Canada to the United States. President Obama has gotten hit from both sides: some have…

Climate change catch-up

Precipitation levels are expected to vary widely as carbon concentrations increase. 

Credit: John Sheba_Also, Flickr

Several dozen United States senators started the week without sleep—an all-nighter to draw the nation’s attention to climate change policy. They’re aiming for a bill to minimize its damage. Planning preventative policies is great, a handful of experts said at…

The Grapes of Landsat

A view of Salinas, Calif. compiled from Landsat 5 data. Photo credit: Forrest Melton, Cooperative for Research in Science and Technology at NASA Ames Research Center

A version of this post can be found at the AGU GeoSpace Blog and at NASA Landsat Science. California’s persistent drought is forcing grape growers to keep a more-attentive-than-normal eye on their vines, as water shortages and elevated temperatures alter this…

Lessons Learned From Really Old Poop

Fossilized feces. Credit: North Dakota Geological Survey

Fossilized feces may sound gross, but its hidden lessons about microbes certainly don’t stink. A petrified piece of poop—called a “coprolite”—from the 14th century has unveiled the earliest evidence of antibiotic resistance genes in the human gut microbiome. The findings…

Sanctuary for Rescued Chimps

Jude, Gogi, Gabe and Vicky socializing at the sanctuary (Photo courtesy of Save the Chimps)

Stacy Lopresti-Goodman, a psychologist the Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia, studies individuals who have lived in solitary confinement, and who suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder. But these individuals aren’t human – they’re chimpanzees who lived in biomedical research facilities. One focus…