03.18.2016

What We’re Reading

What is actually going on in classrooms when it comes to climate change? I’m so glad you asked. This week, we recommend NCSE’s own latest report detailing the results of our national survey of middle and high school science teachers. Plus starfish, plus neanderthal sex, plus super clear climate change graphics. And eagles—finally a web site for people who don’t care about March Madness. Enjoy!

  • Mixed Messages: How Climate Change is Taught in America's Public Schools (PDF), National Center for Science Education, March 2015 — Hey, we’re allowed to read our own publications! And it’s worth reading, since Mixed Messages presents the details of the first rigorous national survey of what and how public school teachers in the United States are teaching about climate change.
  • The Ecologist Who Threw Starfish, Nautilus, March 10, 2016 — Sean B. Carroll describes “one of the most important experiments in the history of ecology,” in which Robert Paine hurled starfish into a bay. Adapted from Carroll’s book The Serengeti Rules: The Quest to Discover How Life Works And Why It Matters (2016). Hat tip to John Kwok for the link.
  • Solving the Mystery of the Tully Monster, The Atlantic, March 16, 2016 — What’s a foot long, with eyes on stalks and a jointed proboscis, and is the state fossil of Illinois? For 50 years, no one was quite sure what Tully’s monster—officially known as Tullimonstrum gregarium—actually was. But new research at the Field Museum has finally figured out what the bizarre critter’s relatives are, Ed Yong reports.
  • Stunning Global Heat Wave Pushes Planet into Uncharted Territory, Bloomberg, March 17, 2016 — Tom Randall puts this year’s extraordinary heat into the perspective of ongoing climate change with excellent animation and quality explanations, all aimed at the business community.
  • Ancestors of Modern Humans Interbred With Extinct Hominins, Study Finds, The New York Times, March 17, 2016 — It’s amazing what you can discover from ancient hominin DNA, isn’t it? Including the fact, as Carl Zimmer reports, that “[t]he ancestors of modern humans interbred with Neanderthals and another extinct line of humans known as the Denisovans at least four times in the course of prehistory.”
  • Worst Mediterranean Drought in 900 Years Has Human Fingerprints All Over It, The Guardian, May 18, 2016 — At the Climate Consensus—the 97% blog, John Abraham reports on a new study that used paleoclimatological data to find that “the recent drought in the Levant region of the eastern Mediterranean is likely worse than any comparable period of the last 900 years.”
  • Anything Having To Do With the DC Eagles, right now, 2016 — Need a new excuse not to do anything but stare at your computer or phone screens? There is a mated pair of bald eagles at the National Arboretum. Two cameras are primed on the nest as they await the hatching of their two eggs. Baby eaglet #1 hatched out Friday morning, and now all eyes are on egg #2. Warning! Your productivity will crash if you engage. On the plus side, BABY EAGLETS!