Burning plant material in the Amazon rain forest can be good for the planet? Yes–provided it’s done in the right way. A scientist at Cornell University has discovered that the ancient practice of burning biomass underground, starved of oxygen. The process produces “terra preta” (also known as “black gold” and biochar)–a carbon-rich soil that helps […]
From xkcd: http://www.xkcd.com/164/ Science is about facts and evidence. There is a lot of evidence that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. You can explore with our models how carbon dioxide impacts the global temperature. Politics is about what to do about those facts. But politics too often turns into a blame game, in which […]
From xkcd: http://www.xkcd.com/402/ The permafrost line is shifting. It may be slow by tornado-chasing standards, but it’s shifting. A study earlier this year from Université Laval in Quebec City, Canada showed that the permafrost line has moved northward by 130 kilometers in the last 50 years. While climate change is the most probable explanation for the […]
Yes–if you’re a coral. Biologist Brent Constantz has formed a company to sequester carbon dioxide just as corals in the ocean do. The strategy is simple–combine carbon dioxide, water, and calcium. The carbon dioxide comes from the smokestacks of electrical power plants, and the water and calcium come from seawater. The material produced is used […]
Mashable.com included the Concord Consortium’s free, open source software on it’s in its December 16th list of favorite online resources for science teachers.
Global temperatures in the year 2010 are on course to be the highest ever in 130-year record. This is the consensus of recent three different analyses by NASA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climatic Data Center and a joint record kept by Britain’s Met Office and the University of East Anglia. While these results […]
In the fairy tale, Goldilocks was a little girl who walked into a house in the forest. She ate porridge, sat in chairs, and slept in beds. The first choices she tried were too hot, too big, and too hard. Her second choices were too cold, too big, and too soft. Her third choices were […]
An interview with Concord Consortium senior scientist and former Congressional fellow Paul Horwitz is featured on LiveScience. Paul discusses the societal benefits of his work, what’s needed to be an effective researcher, his favorite childhood experiment and the best piece of advice he ever received.
Today yet another international comparison reaffirmed that the United States is failing to prepare its students to compete successfully in the new flat world. PISA, the Program for International Student Assessment, was administered to 15-year-old students last year by the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development). This is a highly respected group whose conclusions […]
From xkcd: http://xkcd.com/263/ Question: How can we trust ourselves (or scientists) to know the truth about anything? Answer: We look at the evidence. Scientists back up their claims with evidence. If the evidence doesn’t fit the claim, then the claim is rejected and revised. New evidence can result in changes to long-held understandings about how the […]