Monday, March 8, 2010

Notes for March 8th

  • The lesser prairie chicken is a particularly interesting species. Federally, it is a candidate species, meaning it is endangered, but is precluded for listing by higher-priority species. Now apparently the similar Greater Sage Grouse is being added to that list. Reading between the lines, it is clear that the Department of the Interior is trying to find a way to protect these grassland species without disrupting the development of wind and other alternative energies out west (these species have demonstrated avoidance of anthropogenic features in the past, and thus the massive wind developments currently being planned have the potential to radically reduce the grouse's habitat). More here, complete with ridiculously ignorant politicos commenting.
  • This climate change thing? It is going to happen much faster than anyone anticipates. Much faster. The first negative feedback loop that everyone knows about is the release of methane from frozen stores under permafrost and in the ocean. Turns out, that's already happening. There hasn't been a ton of research on this till now, so it isn't really clear that these releases are due to climate change, but if they are, then it may already be too late.
  • Wonderful news: Sea Lions are not doing well at all in California.
  • Ignorance is plentiful.

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