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…