For now, forget biofuels in reserves

Ethanol as the next generation of alternative fuels has stirred significant controversy. While some tout its lower-than-gasoline greenhouse-gas emissions and its usefulness in creating carbon sinks in its agricultural fields, many other ecologists call ethanol production the most inefficient of alternative fuel options. Even the most optimistic scenarios still show that using current technologies, it can take years – in some...

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Policy news update: Budgets, climate, biofuels

With funding from the recent the stimulus bill beginning to trickle down to agencies and budgets for the next two fiscal years on the line, it’s all about the Benjamins these days in Washington. Here are some highlights from today’s issue of the ESA Policy News Update, written by ESA’s Policy Analyst, Piper Corp. 2009 Budget. The fiscal year 2009 omnibus spending bill passed the House in February and the Senate was...

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Climate change may reorganize Western fauna

Bioclimatic models attempt to draw correlations between species distributions and climate patterns.  As ecologists and climatologists hone these models, they become a useful tool for predicting future species distributions based on projected climate patterns. In the March issue of Ecology, Joshua Lawler of the University of Washington and his colleagues undertook a huge task: using a bioclimatic model, they estimated the effects of...

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Climate change doubles tree deaths

Tree deaths have more than doubled in the western U.S. in the past 20-30 years, and the culprit is climate change, according to a paper published Friday in Science. Warming has all kinds of consequences for species ranges.  Changes in temperature can narrow a species’ range or move it latitudinally through changes in average yearly temperatures and alterations of the growing or reproductive seasons. In the case of trees, other factors...

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The 44th President of these United States

President Barack Obama has been an inspiration to many scientists during his campaign and his transition to office because of his repeated commitments to the sciences and his early appointments of scientists in high-profile cabinet positions and advisory roles. Yesterday he renewed those sentiments in his inauguration speech, vowing to “restore science to its rightful place” in our government. The new president has also pledged a...

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