Blog Archives

Bird ranges shift northward, but not as fast as climate

As warmer winter temperatures become more common, one way for some animals to adjust is to shift their ranges northward. But a new study of 59 North American bird species indicates that doing so is not easy or quick — it took about 35 years for many birds to move far enough north for winter […] … learn more→

Discovery shakes beliefs of earth to the core

For a century, scientists have assumed that the Earth has the same chemical make-up as the sun. But this belief has been challenged by scientists at The Australian National University. Professors Ian Campbell and Hugh O’Neill from the Research School of Earth Sciences at ANU said their research shakes up our understanding of the Earth’s […] … learn more→

A climate-wary gardener in a very weird spring

We’re deep into spring – never mind the calendar – and it’s a weird one. At the close of March, my lawn is 4th of July green, some trees are blooming, most shrubs have leafed out, and my kids have already played in the sprinkler. It’s enough to make anybody happy! But if you think […] … learn more→

What lies ahead for science and science writing?

The MIT Graduate Program in Science Writing turns 10 this year, and this Saturday saw many of the program’s 61 alumni back on campus to catch up and reminisce with fellow graduates, professors and mentors. A daylong symposium, titled “Telling the Stories of Science,” was a celebration of the past 10 years of science writing […] … learn more→

Tuvalu: to be or not to be, a personal experience

The idyllic coral atolls of Tuvalu are west of the International Date Line and north of Fiji in the Pacific Ocean. These islands, just 4.5 metres above sea level, have been the focus of recent climate change debate. What will the country do in the face of predicted climate change? The main coral atoll, Funafuti, […] … learn more→

10,000 simulations show warming of 1.4-3ºC by 2050

A project running almost 10,000 climate simulations on volunteers’ home computers has found that a global warming of 3 degrees Celsius by 2050 is ‘equally plausible’ as a rise of 1.4 degrees. The study, the first to run so many simulations using a complex atmosphere-ocean climate model, addresses some of the uncertainties that previous forecasts, […] … learn more→

A new dimension for solar energy

Intensive research around the world has focused on improving the performance of solar photovoltaic cells and bringing down their cost. But very little attention has been paid to the best ways of arranging those cells, which are typically placed flat on a rooftop or other surface, or sometimes attached to motorized structures that keep the […] … learn more→

Growth in World contraceptive use stalling; 215 million women’s needs still unmet

In 1994, the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, Egypt, recognized reproductive health and family planning as fundamental human rights. Delegates committed to making voluntary family planning services universally available by 2015. Now just three years from that deadline, at least 215 million women want to prevent or delay pregnancy but are not […] … learn more→