April222014
"OTTAWA — The Harper government is downgrading the protection of the North Pacific humpback whale despite objections from a clear majority of groups that were consulted. 

Critics say the whales could face greater danger if two major oilsands pipeline projects get the go-ahead, since both would result in a sharp increase in movement of large vessels on the West Coast that occasionally collide with, and kill, whales like the humpback. 

The decision was made under the Species At Risk Act (SARA), and declares the humpback a “species of special concern” rather than “threatened.” 

The reclassification means the humpback will no longer be “subject to the general prohibitions set out in SARA, nor would its critical habitat be required to be legally protected under SARA,” states the federal government notice published this month in the Canada Gazette. 

The decision removes a major legal hurdle that the environmental group Ecojustice said stood in the way of the $7.9-billion Northern Gateway pipeline project that would bring 550,000 barrels of diluted bitumen crude from Alberta to Kitimat.” 

(Read entire article here: Ottawa removing North Pacific humpback whales from list of ‘threatened’ species)

"OTTAWA — The Harper government is downgrading the protection of the North Pacific humpback whale despite objections from a clear majority of groups that were consulted.

Critics say the whales could face greater danger if two major oilsands pipeline projects get the go-ahead, since both would result in a sharp increase in movement of large vessels on the West Coast that occasionally collide with, and kill, whales like the humpback.

The decision was made under the Species At Risk Act (SARA), and declares the humpback a “species of special concern” rather than “threatened.”

The reclassification means the humpback will no longer be “subject to the general prohibitions set out in SARA, nor would its critical habitat be required to be legally protected under SARA,” states the federal government notice published this month in the Canada Gazette.

The decision removes a major legal hurdle that the environmental group Ecojustice said stood in the way of the $7.9-billion Northern Gateway pipeline project that would bring 550,000 barrels of diluted bitumen crude from Alberta to Kitimat.”

(Read entire article here: Ottawa removing North Pacific humpback whales from list of ‘threatened’ species)

April192014

jtotheizzoe:

ceruleanpineapple:

Dryocampa rubicunda - Rosy Maple Moth

You are not on shrooms (I’m pretty sure, anyway). This is a real thing. And it is awesome.

April182014
10AM
newsweek:

This instalment in my A-Z of Australian megafauna series has been long overdue (the last one was written way back in October 2013) so, without further ado, we’ll get straight into talking about it!
This time, it’s one of the most, if not the iconic Australian megafauna taxon, Diprotodon. Read on, for a brief introduction to the quintessential extinct Aussie. The name Diprotodon means “two front teeth” and refers to the enlarged, constantly growing first incisors of the animal.
It was the very first fossil mammal to be described from Australia and it was named by none other than the man who coined the name dinosaur, Richard Owen, in 1838.
It still remains uncertain exactly how many species of Diprotodon there were, estimates vary between one to eight depending on who you talk to. However, studies have revealed that Diprotodon was most likely sexually dimorphic, implying that some of the other named species are in fact just members of the opposite sex.
Australian Megafauna A-Z: D is for Diprotodon

newsweek:

This instalment in my A-Z of Australian megafauna series has been long overdue (the last one was written way back in October 2013) so, without further ado, we’ll get straight into talking about it!

This time, it’s one of the most, if not the iconic Australian megafauna taxon, Diprotodon. Read on, for a brief introduction to the quintessential extinct Aussie. The name Diprotodon means “two front teeth” and refers to the enlarged, constantly growing first incisors of the animal.

It was the very first fossil mammal to be described from Australia and it was named by none other than the man who coined the name dinosaur, Richard Owen, in 1838.

It still remains uncertain exactly how many species of Diprotodon there were, estimates vary between one to eight depending on who you talk to. However, studies have revealed that Diprotodon was most likely sexually dimorphic, implying that some of the other named species are in fact just members of the opposite sex.

Australian Megafauna A-Z: D is for Diprotodon

April142014
earthstory:

Lunar EclipseOn the night of April 14/15, Monday going into Tuesday, there will be a total eclipse of the Moon visible from a large area on Earth.This graphic shows where the best viewing will be; far western Europe will get a glimpse of the eclipse as it starts closet to 6:00 UTC, but North and South America will largely get the full show.6:00 UTC is 2:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight time, so this eclipse will happen in the dead of night, but could well be an excuse to get up (if it isn’t supposed to rain for you, as it is for me. Sigh). The full extent of the eclipse should be around 3:00 to 4:30 a.m.The Earth casts a shadow in two parts; the penumbra, a hazy outer-shadow and the umbra, a darker inner shadow. The two sections occur as a consequence of the geometry – since the sun isn’t a single point of light but instead has a diameter to it, there is an inner focused area to the shadow and an outer area where some light paths are clear but others are blocked.There are actually several spacecraft orbiting the moon right now, including the LADEE mission and the LRO mission which has an incredible set of cameras on it, so it’s plausible we might get a nice view of this lunar eclipse taken from the Moon if the orbits work right.This will be the first of 4 lunar eclipses within the next 2 years, so if you don’t get good weather for this one, keep an eye out for the next one this fall.-JBBFull details:http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/OH/OHfigures/OH2014-Fig01.pdf

earthstory:

Lunar Eclipse
On the night of April 14/15, Monday going into Tuesday, there will be a total eclipse of the Moon visible from a large area on Earth.

This graphic shows where the best viewing will be; far western Europe will get a glimpse of the eclipse as it starts closet to 6:00 UTC, but North and South America will largely get the full show.
6:00 UTC is 2:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight time, so this eclipse will happen in the dead of night, but could well be an excuse to get up (if it isn’t supposed to rain for you, as it is for me. Sigh). The full extent of the eclipse should be around 3:00 to 4:30 a.m.

The Earth casts a shadow in two parts; the penumbra, a hazy outer-shadow and the umbra, a darker inner shadow. The two sections occur as a consequence of the geometry – since the sun isn’t a single point of light but instead has a diameter to it, there is an inner focused area to the shadow and an outer area where some light paths are clear but others are blocked.

There are actually several spacecraft orbiting the moon right now, including the LADEE mission and the LRO mission which has an incredible set of cameras on it, so it’s plausible we might get a nice view of this lunar eclipse taken from the Moon if the orbits work right.

This will be the first of 4 lunar eclipses within the next 2 years, so if you don’t get good weather for this one, keep an eye out for the next one this fall.

-JBB

Full details:
http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/OH/OHfigures/OH2014-Fig01.pdf

11AM
laboratoryequipment:

Fish from Acidic Waters Less Able to SmellFish living on coral reefs where carbon dioxide seeps from the ocean floor are less able to detect predator odor than fish from normal coral reefs, according to a new study.The study confirms laboratory experiments showing that the behavior of reef fishes can be seriously affected by increased carbon dioxide concentrations in the ocean. The new study is the first to analyze the sensory impairment of fish from CO2 seeps, where pH is similar to what climate models forecast for surface waters by the turn of the century.Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/fish-acidic-waters-less-able-smell

laboratoryequipment:

Fish from Acidic Waters Less Able to Smell

Fish living on coral reefs where carbon dioxide seeps from the ocean floor are less able to detect predator odor than fish from normal coral reefs, according to a new study.

The study confirms laboratory experiments showing that the behavior of reef fishes can be seriously affected by increased carbon dioxide concentrations in the ocean. The new study is the first to analyze the sensory impairment of fish from CO2 seeps, where pH is similar to what climate models forecast for surface waters by the turn of the century.

Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/fish-acidic-waters-less-able-smell

April92014

(Source: theweatherlab)

April82014
mothernaturenetwork:

6 important elements you’ve never heard ofFrom preventing counterfeiting to lacrosse sticks to electric motors, these elements have improved modern life with you knowing about them.

mothernaturenetwork:

6 important elements you’ve never heard of
From preventing counterfeiting to lacrosse sticks to electric motors, these elements have improved modern life with you knowing about them.

April32014
dendroica:

Pesky ticks bring Lyme disease risk to all of NJ

April showers and May flowers may be especially welcome this spring because of the harsh winter just past. But this is also the time of year when anyone visiting or living in New Jersey should be on the lookout for another, less pleasurable harbinger of the season — the blacklegged, or deer, tick.
Hardy little parasites whose bite can transmit the bacterial infection that causes Lyme disease, as well as some other bacterial and viral infections, deer ticks are present year-round. But as temperatures rise in the spring and summer, the ticks become more active and go in search of new hosts on which to feed. These include deer, small rodents, birds, dogs and, of course, humans.
A human who contracts Lyme disease can find the results unpleasant, especially if the disease is left untreated. Over time, it can affect every area of the body….
While there are other tick-borne illnesses — including the extremely rare Powassan virus that killed a Warren County woman last year — Lyme disease is the most frequently reported one in the United States. It is found almost exclusively in the Northeast and upper Midwest. In 2012, the last year for which data is available, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that New Jersey ranked third in the country, after Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, with more than 2,700 new cases of Lyme disease.
Shereen Semple, an epidemiologist with the state Department of Health, said that although Lyme disease is most prevalent in the northwestern counties of Hunterdon, Warren, Sussex and Morris, it is endemic throughout the state.
“Anyone can get Lyme disease, and all ages are at risk,” said Semple. “Males of all ages tend to have the highest number of cases, but the risk is present for everyone.”

(via NJ.com)

dendroica:

Pesky ticks bring Lyme disease risk to all of NJ

April showers and May flowers may be especially welcome this spring because of the harsh winter just past. But this is also the time of year when anyone visiting or living in New Jersey should be on the lookout for another, less pleasurable harbinger of the season — the blacklegged, or deer, tick.

Hardy little parasites whose bite can transmit the bacterial infection that causes Lyme disease, as well as some other bacterial and viral infections, deer ticks are present year-round. But as temperatures rise in the spring and summer, the ticks become more active and go in search of new hosts on which to feed. These include deer, small rodents, birds, dogs and, of course, humans.

A human who contracts Lyme disease can find the results unpleasant, especially if the disease is left untreated. Over time, it can affect every area of the body….

While there are other tick-borne illnesses — including the extremely rare Powassan virus that killed a Warren County woman last year — Lyme disease is the most frequently reported one in the United States. It is found almost exclusively in the Northeast and upper Midwest. In 2012, the last year for which data is available, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that New Jersey ranked third in the country, after Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, with more than 2,700 new cases of Lyme disease.

Shereen Semple, an epidemiologist with the state Department of Health, said that although Lyme disease is most prevalent in the northwestern counties of Hunterdon, Warren, Sussex and Morris, it is endemic throughout the state.

“Anyone can get Lyme disease, and all ages are at risk,” said Semple. “Males of all ages tend to have the highest number of cases, but the risk is present for everyone.”

(via NJ.com)

10AM
theanimalblog:

Prairie dog at Parc Animalier des Pyrénées, France. Photo by bsnadventures.

theanimalblog:

Prairie dog at Parc Animalier des Pyrénées, France. Photo by bsnadventures.

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