Regime shifts in the Gulf of Mexico

Eugene Turner, Nancy Rabalais, and Dubravko Justic‘s recent article Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia: Alternate States and a Legacy (Env. Sci. Tech., 2008 42(7) 2323–2327) suggests that benthic carbon in the coastal benthic may be a critical slow variable regulating coastal hypoxia. As organic matter accumulates in sediments it demands increasing amounts of oxygen, making the […]

Seven Reflections on Disasters and resilience from around the web

1) The Boston Globe’s Big Picture photo blog has pictures of Japan one month after the quake & tsunami 2) Andy Revkin comments on DotEarth on the limits of Japan’s disaster memory in response to a fascinating Associated Press article by by Jay Alabaster – Tsunami-hit towns forgot warnings from ancestors. 3) And Andy Revkin […]

Reading through computer eyes

by Juan Carlos Rocha (PhD student at Stockholm Resilience Centre working on Regime Shifts) An N-gram is a sequence of characters separated by a space in a text. An N-gram may be a word, a number or a combination of both. The concept of N-grams simplifies the application of statistical methods to assess the frequency […]

BP wins ’2010 Accidental Earth Experiment’ Prize

Bill Chameides Dean of the Nicholas School of Environment at Duke awards BP his 2010 Accidental Earth Experiment’ Prize!!! on his blog the Green Grok.  His award recognizes that BP’s incompetence created a disaster that created novel conditions allowing scientists to learn how the Earth works.  He writes: For the Environmental Scientist, the Ultimate Lab […]

Communciating science effectively or Dude, you are speaking Romulan

Sustainability and resilience are trans-disciplinary research areas that require communication among people from many different backgrounds.  Communication benefits from being clear, and avoiding unnecessary jargon.  Sometimes making the efforts to articulate thoughts clearly can significantly advance disciplinary knowledge. Chemical oceanographer Chris Reedy has funny article about improving interdisciplinary communication from AGU’s EOS, Dude, you are […]

Untangling the Environmentalist’s Paradox

My colleagues are I recently published a paper in BioScience, Untangling the Environmentalist’s Paradox: Why Is Human Well-being Increasing As Ecosystem Services Degrade? The paper originated from the involvement of the first four authors, my former PhD student Ciara Raudsepp-Hearne, my colleague at McGill Elena Bennett, and my former post-doc Maria Tengö and I, in […]

Hydrological impact of biofuels

R. Dominguez-Faus and others analyze the impact of different biofuels on water in the USA in their article in Envir. Science and Technology, The Water Footprint of Biofuels: A Drink or Drive Issue? (doi:10.1021/es802162x).  The figure below, from the paper, shows the substantial ecological requirements (and variation) among biofuels. They write: The current and ongoing […]

The Mississippi dead zone will grow due to this year’s floods

Low oxygen anoxic zones due to excess nutrient runoff from agriculture and are increasingly common worldwide. On Maribo Simon Donner writes about how the ongoing floods in the upper Mississippi are likely to produce the largest ever ‘dead zone’ in the Gulf of Mexico. Simon writes: Nitrogen applied to crops like corn in the Midwest […]

Biofuel production vs. Aquatic ecosystems

Simon Donner writes about his new paper Corn-based ethanol production compromises goal of reducing nitrogen export by the Mississippi River (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 10.1073/pnas.0708300105) on his weblog maribo: A new paper by my colleague Chris Kucharik and I looks at the new US Energy Policy, will calls for growing more corn to produce […]