Earth Notes

Earth Notes: Tracking El Nino

Dec 23, 2015
NOAA

Every few years the equatorial Pacific Ocean warms, producing the phenomenon known as El Nino and causing a whole raft of environmental impacts around much of the world. The pattern was named by South American fishermen in the 1600's who noticed a change in fishing conditions around the Christmas season.


Wikipedia

For decades now, puzzled birdwatchers in the southern tier of states have noticed that in some years, birds from Canada's boreal forests turn up for unexpected winter sunshine vacations in vast numbers.

We tend to think that rivers flow in a consistent direction: downstream. But over geologic time “downstream” can change. That’s why a place like Unaweep Canyon in western Colorado is such a good place to think about long-term time travel.

Courtesy

When presidents approach the end of a term, an otherwise little-known federal law often hits the headlines. It’s the Antiquities Act, passed by Congress in 1906.

Courtesy

After more than 15 years of negotiations, the state of Utah and the National Park Service signed a water rights agreement this spring for Arches National Park.

Courtesy

Can analyzing pictures of Native peoples help others understand the cultures they live in? More than 20 years after the death of John Collier Jr., his fellow anthropologists continue to do just that. And Collier’s textbook on what he called “visual anthropology” is still widely used.

Bears Ears Coalition

Among the most prominent landmarks of southern Utah are the Bear’s Ears—a pair of buttes south of the Dark Canyon Wilderness that are visible for many miles. They’re known to Navajo people as the birthplace of the celebrated “Headman” Manuelito, who was known for resisting federal efforts to forcibly remove Navajos from the region.

wikipedia

It's a good thing most inhabitants of the Colorado Plateau don't turn to the same strategy in dealing with a tough climate as tiger salamanders do. When they're so inclined, these big amphibians sometimes react to food shortages by eating each other.

Nature makes people feel better. Studies have shown that hospital patients who can see a natural scene from their window—or even an image of nature—typically heal faster than those cut off from the outdoors.

How do we know who lives where? Increasingly, land managers are turning to a fun and educational event to find out: the bioblitz.

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