The Morning Briefing: 12/1
CORAL UP AND DIE: DNA extracted from the skeletons of ancient coral off the New England coast is telling scientists how these keystone animals handled past climate change. Turns out, not very well. (Source: the Boston Globe)
THAT'S OWL, FOLKS: The LA Times this morning looks at the whirlwind surrounding the northern spotted owl, which recently became the unwitting centerpiece of a battle between conservationists and the Bush administration. Only about 20 percent of the owls' old-growth forest habitat remains after renewed logging in the Northwest, but pro-logging groups have made the bird a poster child for economic troubles. (Source: the LA Times)
BIG FISH: Contrary to common practice at many fisheries, new research by University of Toronto scientists shows it's actually better to throw back big fish and keep small ones -- a population is apparently more likely to produce numerous, healthy offspring if it's made up of big, old fish rather than small, young ones. (Source: ScienceDaily)
MUSTANG TALLY: The U.S. Bureau of Land Management plans to conserve resources by killing off wild mustangs, more than 33,000 of which are currently held in government-run pens to reduce grazing pressure on public lands where cattle also feed. (Source: the Independent)
SHELF INTEREST: Dramatically underscoring the current Poznan U.N. climate change summit in Poland is news that a large ice shelf connecting two Antarctic islands is close to collapsing, as new rifts in the shelf have been identified. (Source: New Scientist's Short Sharp Science blog)
SOOT YOURSELF: The nation that gave us the cheery, dancing chimney sweep suddenly is too good for black, sooty substances. Britain's ambitious plans to cut its greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050 could get teeth today as the country's climate change committee meets to determine its plans to decarbonize. In addition to carbon capture and storage, the plans could include ending almost all fossil fuel use. (Source: the Guardian)
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