Want to see the future of turf grass? It’s growing at Rutgers University in a “library” of grasses on thousands of 4-foot by 6-foot research plots – 12,000 plots exclusively for bent grasses destined for golf courses…”We have by far the largest reserve of genes of cool-season grasses anywhere in the world,” said William Meyer, director of Rutgers’ turf grass breeding program. “Our whole breeding objective is to develop turf grasses that require lower inputs – of energy, fertilizer, fungicide, and insecticide. We’re working on all angles.”
Uncivil War Breaks Out Over Fluke as Habitat Shifts North
The summer flounder – one of the most sought-after catches on the U.S. East Coast – is stirring up a climate change battle as it glides through the sand and grasses at the bottom of a warming North Atlantic…Changes in local temperatures can explain recent geographical shifts of more than 300 different fish species: They’ve migrated toward the north or south poles, and even east or west into deeper waters, depending on their original locations. “We do think that climate is playing an important role for a wide range of species,” said Malin Pinsky, a Rutgers University ecologist who led that research and who now is heading the joint researcher/manager study on summer flounder’s changes.
Arctic Warming Theory So Cutting Edge, It’s Hard to Prove
Last September, a group of scientists gathered to review the evidence on a new hypothesis: that the rapid warming of the Arctic was causing the jet stream to meander, leading weather systems to become “stuck” in places farther south, like over the United States and Europe. For example, a heat wave caught in a slow-moving, kinked-up jet stream might linger over a city like Chicago for days. Or a storm system could stall over Europe, dumping excess rain and leading to floods…At the meeting, proponents of the hypothesis, including its originators and supporters – researchers like Rutgers’ Jennifer Francis and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s James Overland – presented data on how they believe a warming Arctic is affecting lower-latitude weather. Other scientists, in turn, presented evidence from model studies and statistical tests showing no such linkage.
Yellow Pigments in Clothing and Paper Contain Long-Banned Chemical
Throwing on pajamas and curling up with a magazine could mean exposure to chemicals banned several decades ago. New, unpublished research has found that traces of polychlorinated biphenyls – banned in the United States 35 years ago – are leaching out of clothing and printed materials from around the world…”It’s out there in levels that are worrisome,” said Lisa Rodenburg, an associate professor of environmental chemistry at Rutgers University and senior author of the study. “Even at the parts per billion levels, if you find it in almost everything you test, that means people are in almost constant contact,” she said.
Ocean Circulation May Have Released CO2 at End of Ice Ages
At the end of each ice age, the ocean exhales carbon dioxide. Scientists believe this explains the difference in atmospheric CO2 concentrations between ice ages, which have lower concentrations of carbon dioxide, and warmer, more CO2-saturated periods …
Efforts to Resuscitate Extinct Species May Spawn a New Era of the Hybrid
A bird that once darkened the skies of the 19th-century U.S. no longer exists, except as well-preserved museum specimens bearing bits of DNA. An ambitious new effort aims to use the latest techniques of genetic manipulation to bring the passenger pigeo…