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Science and Nature Discussion

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Science and Nature Discussion

19 Oct 2017 15:10

I looked for a discussion on general "Science and Nature" but couldn't find one. We can use this thread for general discussion on nature and science.

I'd like to start off with an article that I just read on CNN about a 27-year study that took place in Germany about insect populations declining by 75% over the study period. This study is stunning because it shows that not only are the "pollinators" disappearing at alarming rates (which we all knew was already happening) but all insects are somehow declining at rates that are not sustainable for very much longer.

I'm not an expert on this subject but I'd like to hear what other opinions on this matter have to say.

I can say one thing, the mosquito population on Mount Rainier is not suffering. It's thriving if anything. I'd like to see a long-term study such as the one in Germany done in other places in the world to see if the same results can be seen.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/19/europe/insect-decline-germany/index.html
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User avatar Irondan
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19 Oct 2017 18:04

Times are bad for many animals. I don't imagine most people will see the decline of insects as a thread, except for the pollinating ones. Their niche is very important in basically every ecosystem though, so it's bad news overall.

Meanwhile, it's been a tragical year for penguins, as the adults had to swim a bunch further to get food for the chicks. Only 2 chicks surveved in a huge colony

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/12/penguin-catastrophe-leads-to-demands-for-protection-in-east-antarctica
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User avatar Red Rick
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19 Oct 2017 19:41

Well, there is this thread:

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=22368&hilit=Universe+Cosmology

From the OP: "Pretty much everything from Physics to Biology should be discussed here."

Maybe this thread could be merged with it. But keep in mind we might again have to move some potential discussions to the politics thread, e.g., climate change, energy usage, GMO.
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20 Oct 2017 18:26

Rather surprised this got overlooked in favor of the vacuous merits of the celebrity industry


https://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2017/10/14/mike-davis/el-diablo-in-wine-country/
aphronesis
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Re: Science and Nature Discussion

20 Oct 2017 19:17

Good call, Aphro. I had been considering posting something about the fires in the politics thread, but for what I was going to say, this thread would be better.

One thing not mentioned in the story you linked is the effect of the fires on areas outside of the burning zone. I live in Oakland, a long ways away from the major fires north of the Bay area (though we've had some smaller ones down here), but we've definitely felt the effect on air quality. One day last week I went outside and thought someone in the neighborhood was illegally burning trash, the smell of smoke was so strong. The particulate concentration was in the danger zone for several days or more. I think one estimate was that there was more exposure to particulates in the Bay area in one day than in months of the usual smoggy traffic. Home Depot and other local hardware suppliers were reported to be sold out of protective masks.

Of course this is a global phenomenon now, and about far more than fires. We have to care about China's industry, because air-borne products from there routinely reach the west coast.
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20 Oct 2017 19:35

Sure, the hill fires are pretty much a perennial thing, but this seemed to be moving on a whole other level. I saw a handful of articles this week on bay area air effects: the Gate maybe and elsewhere.

Jinping suggested in his speech that China would pick up some climate slack. I guess current technology makes it possible to leapfrog many 20th century mistakes. Given the will and tighter control of the middle classes.
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