Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

YES, microplastics end up in our guts. Now the question is from where? And to what effect?

Posted 22 Oct 2018 / 0

The New York Times “Microplastics Find Their Way Into Your Gut, a Pilot Study Finds” For those of us who have been aware of the quickly-emerging fields studying microplastic pollution, these results are far from surprising. I am in fact more surprised that this rather limited pilot study was the first of its kind. While Read More

A Minor Post, Environmental Justice, Health & Medicine, Pollution

How renewable power sources grow more trees

Posted 27 Sep 2018 / 0

Science “Climate model shows large-scale wind and solar farms in the Sahara increase rain and vegetation” These kinds of positive feedback loops are exciting. Generally, we are really good at creating deleterious positive feedback loops: changes that further exacerbate our environmental dilemmas. But as this modeling article demonstrates, careful re-engineering of our environment can create Read More

A Minor Post, Climate Change, Ecological Modeling, Ecological Restoration, Ecology, Modeling (General), Sustainable Energy

Australia’s a hot spot for climate change politics, climate change science, and climate change suffering

Posted 27 Sep 2018 / 0

Nature News “Global warming tops the agenda as climate brings down a third Australian prime minister” As this article makes clear, Australia is an interesting country. It’s not “ground-zero” for climate change per se, but compared to other developed countries it is suffering from climate change in rather profound ways. Some of this suffering relates to Read More

A Minor Post, Anthropogenic Change, Biodiversity Loss, Climate Change, Political Science, Public Policy

Humans arrive, other mammals shrink

Posted 27 Sep 2018 / 0

Scientific American “Mammals Shrink When Humans Migrate In” Another really cool infographic from Scientific American. What I really find interesting here is the difference between the recent arrival of humans (Australia, the Americas) and places where humans just innovated culturally (Africa, Eurasia). Those large mammals species that coevolved with our emergence as a highly-cultural species seem Read More

A Minor Post, Anthropogenic Change, Articles, Conservation Biology, Evolution, Extinction, Human Evolution, Mammals, Natural Selection

Wildfires driven more by lowered precipitation than elevated temperatures or reduced snowpack

Posted 06 Sep 2018 / 0

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences “Decreasing fire season precipitation increased recent western US forest wildfire activity” There’s a little bit of a “choose your climate change poison” to this study, but it is interesting to be able to isolate the specific climate-driven effects that are causing more wildfires to crop up.

A Minor Post, Climate Change, Urban Ecology, Urban Planning

Are corals riding ocean currents to exert climate change dominance over macroalgae?

Posted 06 Sep 2018 / 0

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences “Ocean currents and herbivory drive macroalgae-to-coral community shift under climate warming” What’s really interesting in this study is the interaction it discovered: climate change may change competitive dynamics, but it does so in the presence of other factors which also must be modeled in order to predict future competive Read More

A Minor Post, Climate Change, Ecological Modeling, Marine Ecosystems, Modeling (General), Spatially Explicit Modeling

Meta-analysis suggests that pesticides impair bee memory and learning

Posted 06 Sep 2018 / 0

I read about this first in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, but here is the actual article: Journal of Applied Ecology “Quantifying the impact of pesticides on learning and memory in bees” This is an important study, because it suggests that we need to ask more subtle questions about the impacts of pesticides on our pollinators!

A Minor Post, Mutualism, Pollination, Pollution, Sustainable Agriculture

No-till has some big no-catastrophic-climate-change potential

Posted 06 Sep 2018 / 0

I learned about this from reading Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, but here are some other sources reporting on the same study… NPR St. Louis Public Radio “Missouri could offset carbon emissions from agriculture by conserving the soil, report says” Climate Central “Missouri Farms Hold Big Potential as Carbon Storehouse” These are exciting findings! They Read More

A Minor Post, Climate Change, Sustainable Agriculture

What might we discover in the ocean twilight zone?

Posted 30 Aug 2018 / 0

Science “What lives in the ocean’s twilight zone? New technologies might finally tell us” We tend to think that there’s nothing unexplored on the earth, that we know what kinds of organisms inhabit different ecosystems. So it’s pretty striking that there’s a whole area of the ocean that we know so little about. The scientific challenges Read More

A Minor Post, Articles, Biodiversity Loss, Climate Change, Fluidity of Knowledge, Marine Ecosystems, Sustainability

Model suggests that warming climate will catalyze greater insect-pest crop losses

Posted 30 Aug 2018 / 0

Science “Insect threats to food security” Science “Increase in crop losses to insect pests in a warming climate” This is scary, especially since this is a global estimate that has never before been modeled. I found it interesting that the temperate-zone effects are most profound because the effects of warming are not so extreme as to lower Read More

A Minor Post, Climate Change, Food, Sustainable Agriculture