Extreme weather, campaigning honeybees and tracking whale sharks

This post contributed by Molly Taylor, ESA Science Writing Intern. Extreme weather: The rare multi-vortex that hit Joplin, Missouri on May 22 has claimed more than 100 lives and destroyed countless homes and buildings. Unfortunately, this is not the only natural disaster to devastate the U.S. this year. According to a recent Washington Post article, this storm season is turning out to be one of the most violent on record. The extreme...

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Fungus makes zombie ants administer ‘death bite’ at noon

Researcher David Hughes has expanded research on a parasitic fungus and its carpenter ant host. As explained in an excerpt from a previous EcoTone post: Scientists have found that the parasitic fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis has possibly been invading carpenter ants (Camponotus) for 48 million years. The parasite not only infects the ant, but it manipulates the ant’s behavior, driving it to bite the underside of the leaf at the...

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Green roofs: not just for looks

What is an innovative method to reduce both heating and cooling in buildings, reduce storm water run-off, preserve natural habitats and even refrigerate warehouse beer? According to scientists at the Ecological Society of America’s 95th Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh: green roofs. These vegetated roofs, as the ecologists explained yesterday in “Rooftop ecology: what is a green roof and why should ecologists care?” provide a wide array of economic, architectural and environmental benefits.

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