Author Archive

Mapping projected ocean acidification


Meet the new Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs)

Meet the new Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs)

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has replaced their older climate change scenarios with ‘Representative Concentration Pathways’ (RCPs) developed for IPCC AR5 report, scheduled to be published in 2014. Unlike the scenarios they replace (A1, B1, A1F1, etc.), the RCPs are not based on social, technological, and economic storylines. Instead, they are simply plausible [...]


Continued coral reef accretion requires vastly reduced CO2 emissions

Continued coral reef accretion requires vastly reduced CO2 emissions

An important new modeling study (Kennedy et al 2013  download PDF) forecasts the structural decay of Caribbean reefs based on emission scenarios from the new ‘representative concentration pathways’ (RCPs). Excerpted  Authors Summary: Coral reefs face multiple anthropogenic threats, from pollution and overfishing to the dual effects of greenhouse gas emissions: rising sea temperature and ocean [...]


Debunking National Review’s lies about climate change

In response to Obama’s historic speech and new policy on climate change, the American conservative media has gone, well, predictably bonkers.  Check out this editorial from National Review, which starts off with a lie: It is remarkable that when the scientific consensus on global warming is at its weakest state in years, President Barack Obama [...]


Obama’s climate action plan

This has been a massive news week.  We started off with unrest in Brazil, more unrest in Turkey, more bloodshed and chaos in Syria, Snowden fleeing Hong Kong, the bombshell that the “IRS war on conservatives” was another GOP fantasy, and the SCOTUS overturning portions of the Voting Rights Act.  Then yesterday afternoon came Obama’s [...]


Marine park connectivity with Josh Drew


Climate Change and Marine Communities 7: Blue Carbon

Climate Change and Marine Communities 7: Blue Carbon

This is the 7th installment of my serialization of a new book chapter on  “Climate Change and Marine Communities” written with Chris Harley and Mike Burrows. It is for a new book “Marine Community Ecology and Conservation” that I’m co-editing with Mark Bertness, Brian Silliman, and Jay Stachowicz. Blue Carbon To avoid long-term ecological degradation, it is becoming [...]


Shrink That Footprint

I’m a sucker for carbon accounting and carbon source graphics and I love this simple one from shrinkthatfootprint.com which came from Lindsay Wilson’s post A short history of carbon emissions and sinks at Skeptical Science.  


The MPA backlash has officially begun

Two new essays on the potential downside of MPAs – especially “super-sized MPAs”  - came out this week. Super-sized MPAs and the marginalization of species conservation – by Nick Dulvy in Aquatic Conservation  download PDF Environmental cost of conservation victories – by Ray Hilborn in PNAS  download PDF For full disclosure, I was once a strong [...]


Preprint servers: what are they good for?

Preprint servers: what are they good for?

Philippe Desjardins-Proulx and colleagues have a nice paper up in PLOS Biology (yes, it is PLOS now and no longer PLoS) The Case for Open Preprints in Biology.  See their Box 1 - Preprint Server Roundup – for an excellent overview of the most popular preprint servers. Public preprint servers allow authors to make manuscripts publicly available [...]


Where greenhouse gases come from

Where greenhouse gases come from

Ecofys released a new, nice graphic depicting where greenhouse gases come from: It generally seems accurate and they say it is based on 2010 data, although I have not been able to find their methodology.  This chart updates an important, earlier one from WRI here.  In 2000 18.2 % of emissions were attributed to land use [...]


Sea level rise in North Carolina

This is a post for my Marine Ecology class.  We covered estuaries yesterday and will get to climate change impacts on the oceans soon.  Sea level rise due to greenhouse gas emissions is one of the main ways climate change is affecting us Tar Heels.  (And yes, this will all be on the final exam) [...]


PeerJ Awesomeness

PeerJ Awesomeness

I’m totally smitten with PeerJ.  A scientific journal.  Yes, I’m am a geek. But this isn’t just any journal.  It is open access, extremely fast, fair, lets authors retain copyright, publishing costs are low, and the layout of the online and PDF articles and of the submission portal is amazing – elegant, modern, and roomy. [...]


It’s time for scientists to tweet

It’s time for scientists to tweet

Our new lab post doc @emilysdarling has a great piece in The Conversation about the use of twitter in the life and work of a scientist: Social media is no longer a new thing. But to scientists it still might be. There are few who are starting to take advantage of social media for professional [...]


The coral reef baselines survey

The coral reef baselines survey

“The tragedy of recent coral reef decline is that too few people actually know what coral reefs are supposed to be like, and too few of those who now study reefs witnessed what coral reefs used to be like decades ago.” (Peter Sale and Alina Szmant from the Reef Reminiscences Report) I am fascinated by [...]


Galapagos intertidal

Galapagos intertidal

Rachel Gittman took this on Fernandina one foggy morning in February. I love the contrast in colors. 


Are unreasonably harsh reviewers retarding the pace of coral reef science?

Are unreasonably harsh reviewers retarding the pace of coral reef science?

I just published my first PeerJ Preprint here! Abstract: Identifying the baseline or natural state of an ecosystem is a critical step in effective conservation and restoration. Like most marine ecosystems, coral reefs are being degraded by human activities: corals and fish have declined in abundance and seaweeds, or macroalgae, have become more prevalent. The challenge [...]


Grad student time budget

Grad


The 97% consensus on human-caused climate change

The 97% consensus on human-caused climate change

If you believe the climate is changing and that human activties are the cause, then you can probably go back to cleaning your house or whatever you were doing when you took a break to check in with SeaMonster. But, if you are one of the hundred million or so Americans that still don't believe in this [...]


Global warming since 1999

Global warming since 1999

Climate change deniers like to claim there has been “no warming since 1998″ which was an especially warm year due to an intense El Nino.  Well that ain’t true.  Global warming has indeed continued, especially in the deep sea due to the prevalence of several La Nina events recently. Here is how much the land [...]


Shared office printer instruction manual

Shared office printer instruction manual

via PhD comics


Humans are causing more strong hurricanes

The possible effect of global warming on the frequency or severity of cyclonic storms has been debated quite intensely among scientists (not only between scientists and climate change deniers) for over a decade.  Several new studies are helping to clarify (somewhat) whether we are already experiencing (or will soon) more intense storms.  Dana Nuccitelli has a [...]


Climate Change and Marine Communities 6: effects of acidification

Climate Change and Marine Communities 6: effects of acidification

This is the sixth installment of my serialization of a new book chapter on  “Climate Change and Marine Communities” written with Chris Harley and Mike Burrows. It is for a new book “Marine Community Ecology and Conservation” that I’m co-editing with Mark Bertness, Brian Silliman, and Jay Stachowicz.  The book is more or less a followup to the best-selling [...]


Why old(er) dogs can and should learn new tricks

Why old(er) dogs can and should learn new tricks

This is a guest post by Dr Isabelle Côté, famed coral reef ecologist, documeter of gloom-n-doom, and lover of blennies.  Her post is part of a conversation on science outreach centered around a commentary in PLOS Biology on the journey from science outreach to meaningful engagement.  Also see related posts here, here, and here.   Why old(er) dogs [...]