Thursday, February 20, 2014

Having doubts about global warming? Don't. Keep up with climate literacy.

We're getting tired of snow and ice and want the polar vortex to swirl around the north pole where it belongs, thank you very much.  Plenty of individuals with limited "climate literacy" point to the enduring heaps of snow and extended periods of below freezing temperatures and doubt the evidence of a warming planet caused by human activity.  The disruption of typical climate cycles and weather patterns (flood and high-wind warnings today!) increases the urgency that more people understand the complexity and interrelatedness of climatic features.

The library has over 2450 items in the collection with subject headings of Climatic changes or Climate change mitigation.  Where to begin?  Perhaps a quick review for non-specialists, online for free from an independent, scientifically reliable source, is a good starting point.  Two suggestions:

Climate Change: Evidence, Impacts, and Choices.  National Research Council
Climate Literacy: the Essential Principles of Climate science.  U.S. Global Research Program

National Research Council
These reports were distributed at the recent meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and are at the science library reference desk, in print.  Prefer to get your information through a video?  See Climate Change at the National Academies - videos & multimedia.

For up to the minute news stories from around the world, see EcoWatch Climate Change News.  And don't forget the thousands of books and other items found through OBIS.  Far better to rely on those sources of information than so-called climate change "debates" on Fox News or other media outlets with dubious credentials for accurate coverage of scientific topics.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Can you explain color to an 11-year old?

Alan Alda challenged thousands of attendees at the AAAS Annual Meeting to Take the Flame Challenge!  I feel sure someone on campus can do so, in such an engaging and enlightening manner that any 11-year old would be enthralled.
This science communication competition, hosted by the Alan Alda Center for Community Science, relies upon nearly 20,000 real kids as judges (and they are not at all shy about pointing out exactly how and why the explanation did not measure up).

Feeling up to the challenge?  Deadline is March 1, 2014.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Recent Faculty Publications (Dec-Jan)

The following publications by science faculty were published December 2013-January 2014.  Online access to each of the articles requires a current subscription.

Calcut Jack S (Mathematics Dept), Gompf RE (2013) Orbit spaces of gradient vector fields. Ergodic Theory and Dynamical Systems 33:1732-1747. [access at OhioLINK EJC]

Demaison J, Csaszar AG, Groner P, Rudolph HD, Craig Norman C (Chemistry Dept) (2013) Semiexperimental equilibrium structures for cis,cis- and trans,trans-1,4-difluorobutadiene by the mixed estimation method and definitive relative energies of the isomers. Journal of Physical Chemistry A 117:13166-13175. [access at ACS pubs]

Gillis KM et al (2014) Primitive layered gabbros from fast-spreading lower oceanic crust. Nature 505:204-+. Co-authored with Andrew Horst (Physics Dept) [access at]

Mroue AH, Scheel MA, Szilagyi B, Pfeiffer HP, Boyle M, Hemberger DA, Kidder LE, Lovelace G, Ossokine S, Taylor NW, Zenginoglu A, Buchman LT, Chu T, Foley E, Giesler M, Owen Rob (Physics Dept), Teukolsky SA (2013) Catalog of 174 binary black hole simulations for gravitational wave astronomy. Phys Rev Lett 111:241104. [access at APS]

Page F. Zeb (Geology Dept), Essene EJ, Mukasa SB, Valley JW (2014) A garnet-zircon oxygen isotope record of subduction and exhumation fluids from the franciscan complex, california. J Petrol 55:103-131. [access at Oxford journals]

Scofield John H (Environmental Studies Program) (2013) Efficacy of LEED-certification in reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emission for large new york city office buildings. Energy Build 67:517-524. [access at science]

Walsh James (Mathematics Dept), Widiasih E (2014) A dynamics approach to a low-order climate model. Discrete and Continuous Dynamical Systems-Series B 19:257-279. [access at AIMS]

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Keystone XL pipeline: EcoWatch video challenges industry claims

"[Yesterday], on the first day of the State Department’s public comment period for the recently released environmental impact report on the Keystone XL pipeline, acclaimed comedians and climate justice advocates team up to release a provocative new video blasting the pipeline’s impact on jobs and the environment."

I haven't watched this yet, myself, but will just as soon as I can without disrupting the intensely quiet environs of the science library.  Here is a bit more about the video:

"Combining environmental justice politics with hilarious satire straight out of the Daily Show, the comedy video, Keystone XL Has a Job for You!, is the brainchild of Movement Generation. Written by and starring Josh Healey and Donte Clark, the video is a comedic twist on one of today’s most serious environmental issues: the Keystone XL pipeline. The Keystone XL and tar sands production threatens people’s health, water and air across North America, especially in indigenous and working class communities and communities of color."

The Center for Biological Diversity is calling for action to encourage Secretary of State Kerry and President Obama to reject the pipeline, citing the likely destruction of at least 20 threatened and endangered species: "Obama's decision comes down to this: Approve Keystone XL and embrace the climate-killing fossil fuels of the past, or reject Keystone in favor of energy policies safer for people, wildlife and a healthy climate."