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Sunday, November 18, 2018

VIDEO: The next Crash

 To watch this video on YouTube:

Ragweed May Expand Its Range Northward with Climate Change

UMass Amherst, University of Washington predictive model suggests surge in weed

Image result for ragweedA new predictive model developed by an ecologist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a climate scientist at the University of Washington suggests that climate change may allow common ragweed to extend its growing range northward and into major northeast metro areas, worsening conditions for millions of people with hay fever and asthma.

Plant ecologist Kristina Stinson at UMass Amherst, who leads a research team that has been studying this plant for over a decade – particularly how it responds to elevated CO2 levels – worked with climate modeler and corresponding author Michael Case at UW on this project. Details appear online in the journal PLOS One.

They point out that though the weed is expected to expand its range, this could be moderated by the plant’s own sensitivity to climate variability. 

For example, they note that in their analysis, ragweed is negatively correlated to very low or very high annual precipitation variability, “indicating a general sensitivity to precipitation extremes” as well as temperature extremes, the authors note. 

Stinson adds that this could turn out to be an important uncertainty; “if the Northeast turns more wet and cool, it would be less hospitable to ragweed,” she says.

Tailored weight loss approach is best

Study finds that in treating obesity, one size does not fit all
cat dieting GIFUnderstanding the very different characteristics of subgroups of obese patients may hold the key to devising more effective treatments and interventions, new research from Brown University found.

Analyzing data from more than 2,400 obese patients who underwent bariatric weight-loss surgery, researchers identified at least four different patient subgroups that diverge significantly in eating behaviors and rate of diabetes, as well as weight loss in three years after surgery.

“There probably isn’t one magic bullet for obesity — if there is a magic bullet, it’s going to be different for different groups of people,” said Alison Field, chair of the department of epidemiology at the Brown University School of Public Health and lead author of the paper. 

If this doesn't get Trump's attention, nothing will

Climate change damaging male fertility
University of East Anglia

Related imageClimate change could pose a threat to male fertility -- according to new research from the University of East Anglia.

New findings published today in the journal Nature Communications reveal that heatwaves damage sperm in insects -- with negative impacts for fertility across generations.

The research team say that male infertility during heatwaves could help to explain why climate change is having such an impact on species populations, including climate-related extinctions in recent years.

Research group leader Prof Matt Gage said: "We know that biodiversity is suffering under climate change, but the specific causes and sensitivities are hard to pin down.

"We've shown in this work that sperm function is an especially sensitive trait when the environment heats up, and in a model system representing a huge amount of global biodiversity.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

The fight goes on

By TIM FAULKNER/ecoRI News staff

 A growing movement of young activists is pushing action on climate change and gun safety. (Sunrise Movement)
A growing movement of young activists is pushing action
on climate change and gun safety. (Sunrise Movement)
The election is over but the activism continues, at least for the growing progressive environmental movement.

Energized by popular political newcomers such as Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, students from the environmental activist group Sunrise Movement recently staged a sit-in outside the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. 

The protesters want quick progress on the “Green New Deal” and an end to political contributions from fossil-fuel companies. 

What is the Green New Deal? Like the original New Deal that led the country out of the Great Depression, the green successor is a government-led, nationwide, job-creating economic transformation of the energy system to address climate change. 

The job-works programs are intended to produce equitable incomes, improve the economy, and address climate change. 

Mid-term meltdown

Pic of the Moment

Up close with Charlestown's worms

Your best resource for everything vermiculture!

Under The Microscope
Demonstrations and Training
Sunday, December 9, 11am-3pm

                       200X magnification of worm castings, full of life

Come learn about the beneficial microbes living in your soil.
Monique Bosch will
demonstrate how to identify microscopic
organisms and what they tell you about the health of your soil.

$10 per person   251 Exeter Road, North Kingstown.

our next OPENHOUSE
NOVEMBER 25th 11-3
251 Exeter Road, North Kingstown, RI 02852

        Join us at our worm farm for demonstrations.  

Worm Ladies 
Network Membership

Check out the details on the SHOP page of our website.

We will always welcome volunteers and/or interns who are interested in working with raising worms and harvesting castings.  Social media is another area of interest to us.  If you are interested, call Nancy at 401-322-7675 or 401-742-5915.

251 Exeter Road
North Kingstown

We are in the fourth hoophouse on the west side.

161 East Beach Road Charlestown, Rhode Island 02813 
251 Exeter Road North Kingstown, Rhode Island 02852


Advances on recycling waste cooking oil

Turn cooking oil into renewable fuels
BY Rhonda Hillbery

Turning cooking oil into fuel: Zhiyao (Yao) Lu
Zhiyao (Yao) Lu leads a USC startup that has developed a
technology designed to turn vegetable oil into renewable fuels
and biodegradable plastic. (Photo/Rhonda Hillberry)
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is not an especially new concept - recycling cooking oil into biofuel. It's always nice to see it continue and grow. We first started reporting about the idea in Progressive Charlestown in 2011. We featured then 13-year old Miranda Lin of Westerly whose student-lead effort won recognition from the United Nations Environmental program. - Will Collette

Greenhouse gases and plastic waste are the targets of a USC chemistry startup.

Postdoctoral scholar and Catapower Inc. director Zhiyao (Yao) Lu describes the company’s technology as a molecular robot that turns vegetable oil into renewable fuels and biodegradable plastic.

Leading researchers call for a ban on widely used insecticides

Use of organophosphates has lessened, but risks to early brain development still too high
University of California - Davis Health

Image result for organophosphatePublic health experts have found there is sufficient evidence that prenatal exposure to widely used insecticides known as organophosphates puts children at risk for neurodevelopmental disorders.

In a scientific review and call to action published in PLOS Medicine, the researchers call for immediate government intervention to phase out all organophosphates.

"There is compelling evidence that exposure of pregnant women to very low levels of organophosphate pesticides is associated with lower IQs and difficulties with learning, memory or attention in their children," said lead author Irva Hertz-Picciotto, professor of public health sciences, director of the UC Davis Environmental Health Sciences Center and researcher with the UC Davis MIND Institute.

Trump plans to betray Puerto Rico again

Trump Wants to Cut Off Federal Relief Funds to Puerto Rico Despite Post-Maria Devastation
Related imageAlthough it has been more than a year since Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico, in parts of the U.S. territory, "it's like the hurricane hit yesterday"—yet President Donald Trump wants to cut off recovery money, according to Axios, "because he claims, without evidence, that the island's government is using federal disaster relief money to pay off debt."

The unfounded claims about federal funds being misappropriated come from Trump's misreading of an October Wall Street Journal article, multiple unnamed sources told Axios' Jonathan Swan.

A day after the Journal report was published, Trump falsely alleged on Twitter that the island's "inept politicians are trying to use the massive and ridiculously high amounts of hurricane/disaster funding" to pay off Puerto Rico's substantial debt.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Criminals, Nazis and a dead brothel owner

Republicans are nuttier than squirrel shit
By: Helen Philpot from Margaret and Helen

Related imageIf you want to know just how deplorable Trumpsters are, last week they elected two indicted criminals, a Nazi and a dead brothel owner.  

And the fact that most people reading this are asking themselves “which Nazi?” is just bat shit crazy.  

To be honest, it could have been multiple Nazis, but it’s getting harder and harder to tell the difference between a GOP Congressman and a Nazi these days. 

Some might be just your run-of-the-mill racists. You know what they say about old, white men standing in front of a flag, pledging allegiance to Donald Trump… they all look alike.

A dead brothel owner.  I’m sorry.  I just had to say that again. The party of family values elected a dead pimp. 

Bless their hearts but Republicans are nuttier than squirrel shit.

How "Billshit" becomes law

For more cartoons by Ted Rall, CLICK HERE.

At the Mystic Aquarium

Mystic Aquarium Out of the Blue

Earlier this summer, Mystic Aquarium’s VP of Biological Programs, Dr. Allison Tuttle, traveled to Taiwan to provide professional consultation to the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium (NMMBA). 

As part of the Fulbright Specialist Program (see below), the organization turned to Dr. Tuttle to provide assistance in enhancing their veterinary and husbandry programming - most notably the care of their beluga whales - tapping into her 15+ years of experience in the field of aquatic animal medicine and husbandry.

"I have worked for my entire career to continually progress animal care for aquatic animals," noted Dr. Tuttle. "Being able to build a bridge across cultures and continents through the Fulbright Specialist Program was incredibly rewarding."

Fulbright Specialists are a diverse group of highly experienced, well-established faculty members and professionals who represent a wide variety of academic disciplines and professions and travel from the U.S. to serve as expert consultants abroad.

"While the Fulbright Program was the primary focus of my trip, I was also able to be an ambassador for Mystic Aquarium by delivering a presentation about our facility and our programs to over 100 research scientists at the National Institute for Marine Biology," concluded Dr. Tuttle upon her return. "As a result, there are now a number of research scientists from Taiwan who specialize in coral and beluga research who would like to see our aquarium in person!"

"I am proud to work for an organization that can make a positive impact both locally and globally!"

You Can Help
Reduce, reuse, recycle. Skip the straw. Bring your own bottle. There are so many ways you can join the plastic-free movement, but how do you decide where to start?
We can help with that! Sign up for a week of helpful tips and friendly reminders, delivered right to your phone. Just text MYSTIC to 49767.


Solomon Island Leaf Frog

It's easy to see how this frog got its name - with its pointed snout and eyelids, rigid features and earthy range of colors, the Solomon Island leaf frog looks like another fallen leaf. Their unique appearance allows them to blend with natural surroundings in the rainforest as they wait for prey and hide from predators.
The Solomon Island leaf frog is one of the few frog species that does not have a tadpole phase. Instead, females lay their eggs in a shallow nest underground where tiny frogs emerge once fully-developed.
Loggerhead Sea Turtle

So that our staff and volunteers can enjoy the holiday with family,

Mystic Aquarium will be closed November 22 for Thanksgiving.

A gift that gives all year, and also gives back!

When you give the gift of a Mystic Aquarium membership, you're giving a year filled with animal adventures, global discoveries, family fun, exclusive perks and more. Plus, your gift purchase helps to protect our ocean planet. Purchase your gift membership now!

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