Day: July 9, 2021

When an eel climbs a ramp to eat squid from a clamp, that’s a moray

Read the full story in the New York Times. Their science editor wins the very first Environmental News Bits award for Best Science Story Headline and Captions.

Moray eels can hunt on land and footage from a recent study highlights how they accomplish this feat with a sneaky second set of jaws.

See also the comments on this Twitter thread for moray puns.

UC launches WeedCUT, a new online tool to manage invasive weeds in wildlands without herbicides

Read the full story from the University of California.

California has abundant wildlands — forests, rangeland, open areas, wildlife refuges and national, state, and local parks — that need protection from invasive plants. Invasive plants affect all Californians by increasing wildfire potential; reducing water resources; accelerating erosion and flooding; threatening wildlife; degrading range, crop and timberland; and diminishing outdoor recreation opportunities. According to the California Invasive Plant Council (Cal-IPC), more than 200 identified plant species harm California’s wildlands.

Cal-IPC and the University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM), with funding from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) Alliance Grants Program, developed two resources that provide land managers access to the latest information on non-herbicide practices for managing weeds in wildlands. Best Management Practices for Non-Chemical Weed Control is a free downloadable manual. The same information has been incorporated into an interactive online tool called WeedCUT (Weed Control User Tool: weedcut.ipm.ucanr.edu).

The dynamic, geological process happening in your kidney

Read the full story in Discover.

A new cross-disciplinary approach called GeoBioMed opens avenues to understanding how and why kidney stones form.

Stress, anxiety, harassment: huge survey reveals pressures of scientists’ working lives

Read the full story in Nature.

Global study highlights long hours, poor job security and mental-health struggles.

The treasure inside beer lost in a shipwreck 120 years ago

Read the full story from the BBC.

Long-forgotten yeast strains are being sought out from shipwrecks, abandoned breweries and other locations in the hope they could be put to good use if resurrected.

Green buildings & construction: Green codes

Read the full story at Construction Week Online.

Green buildings and construction requires strict adherence to codes. Let us not tarnish them

Our water belongs to all of us. Its ownership should never be privatized

Read the full commentary in the Chicago Sun-Times.

The value of water — from Lake Michigan and local rivers — transcends dollars and cents. It should never be bought and sold like another commodity.

For some evangelical Christians, climate action is a God-given mandate

Read the full story at Grist.

Does the Bible say to “subdue” the earth, or to care for creation?

Reporter’s Toolbox: Drilling for data on offshore wells

Read the full story from the Society for Environmental Journalists.

The decades-old controversy that has raged over offshore drilling flared anew recently as a federal judge blocked the Biden administration’s temporary halt to new leases on federal land (including those on the outer continental shelf).

So to help cover the ongoing debate, it may be useful to know about the database of information on offshore wells from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

While not all data about leasing and drilling on federal lands is available or easily accessible — this much is. And it can show some meaningful patterns and tell some meaningful stories.

What is the carbon footprint of your Netflix habit?

Read the full story at Treehugger.

There were winners and losers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the losers, for example, were movie theaters, which were forced to go dark for more than a year. One of the biggest winners, meanwhile, were streaming services like Hulu and Netflix, which saw a massive influx of business as people everywhere sheltered in place with little to do but binge their favorite TV shows. In fact, subscriptions to streaming services reached the billions for the first time ever during the pandemic, according to the Motion Picture Association, which reported in March 2021 that there were 1.1 billion streaming subscriptions globally, up 26% from March 2020.

Because streaming media relies on the internet, however—and the internet relies on massive data centers with huge environmental footprints—one can’t help but wonder: Is humanity’s appetite for online video harmful to the Earth?

A new study suggests that it isn’t.

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