While some people may see oysters as only a delicious delicacy, researchers are using them to understand the long term environmental impact of the Gulf oil spill. Oyster shells turn out to hold important clues about past ecological disasters. This hour, the importance of oysters – more than just good eating, these mollusks play a key role in the ecosystem. Guests PETER ROOPNARINE, a curator at the California Academy of Natural Science and PAUL CALLOMON, a collections manager at the Academy of Natural Science, tell us about reading oyster shells and the threats oysters face from pollution, climate change, acidification, overharvesting, and invasive species.
The First Okazaki Biology Conference: "The Biology of Extinction"
It was with great sadness that I learned this evening of the passing of Dr. Stephen Schneider, Nobel Laureate, IPCC author, Stanford University professor, and much more. Many of you will no doubt read biographical pieces over the next few days, so I won’t do that here. I just wish to say something personal on this blog. I met Stephen several years ago at a week-long conference on extinction, held in Okazaki, Japan. Sitting with about 70 other scientists in a room, for 5 days, discussion extinction, is an enlightening if not depression experience. Stephen was one of the closing speakers of the week, and of course spoke on the topic of climate change. After I returned from that meeting, I re-focused much of my work, in fact I changed it. Previously I studied extinction mostly from a paleontological and mostly academic viewpoint. I now take it as a personal responsibility, and as an applied science. Stephen Schneider had that influence on me.
Stephen was by all accounts a great scientist, a gifted communicator, and a seemingly tireless worker for what he believed in. He once flew an overnight flight from London, where he was attending UN meetings, to give a lecture to teachers in the Academy’s Bioforum series. I never knew him well enough to say this to him, but he was a great influence on me in the short time that I knew him. We could all honour him by ensuring that his work and efforts to address climate change bear fruit.
Expert credibility in climate change — PNAS.
Although preliminary estimates from published literature and expert surveys suggest striking agreement among climate scientists on the tenets of anthropogenic climate change (ACC), the American public expresses substantial doubt about both the anthropogenic cause and the level of scientific agreement underpinning ACC. A broad analysis of the climate scientist community itself, the distribution of credibility of dissenting researchers relative to agreeing researchers, and the level of agreement among top climate experts has not been conducted and would inform future ACC discussions. Here, we use an extensive dataset of 1,372 climate researchers and their publication and citation data to show that (i) 97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field surveyed here support the tenets of ACC outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and (ii) the relative climate expertise and scientific prominence of the researchers unconvinced of ACC are substantially below that of the convinced researchers.