Life Pulse

I’m going to be posting a bit less frequently for the next couple of weeks until September 1 – not going away, just not here quite as often. Champagnewhisky is putting its feet up for summer. Here are some images of our planet’s life pulse, the advance and retreat of the seasons across the hemispheres.…

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What we talk about when we talk about war (II)

Some time ago, I posted some thoughts on the impact of war on the environment and creatures besides humans. Those comments focused primarily on the immediate effects of war waged on land. Today, a news piece brought to my attention another environmental impact of war: The lack of cooperation on transboundary environmental protection issues between…

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Something Rich and Strange

Scientists exploring an undersea crater near the South Sandwich Islands have come across a whale skeleton, that of a southern Minke whale, a mile beneath the ocean’s surface near Antarctica. Finding a ‘whale fall’ is a rare enough occurrence, since whales sink to the ocean floor when they die (beached whales account for only an…

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Remote Pod Life

I was going to post about something different today, but nanoparticles will just have to wait. Because this week saw the introduction of habitation and science pods worthy of my best childhood space travel dreams. Not only that, the pods are opening for service on a thoroughly inhospitable surface right here on our own planet:…

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Ice Stakes

The recent successes and failures of research teams in the exploration of subglacial lakes on the Antarctic continent have been fascinating for a number of reasons. There are three different teams currently in the news, all identified by their nationalities – US, British and Russian. Their respective teams are working on three lake sites: Lake…

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Whisky on Antarctic Ice

  I’m not sure how often I will have the chance to post on a meeting of two such seemingly disparate subjects, both of which I talk about on a regular basis. Whisky, obviously. And the Antarctic. So I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have a look at how the two are connected. Ernest…

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Thank you, flying shell creatures

The pteropod Limacina helicina, a tiny sea animal that is usually under 1 cm in length, swims through the open ocean. They are a food source for birds, whales, fish, and other sea animals only slightly larger than themselves. They feed on plankton and float in large colonies, flapping their wing-like lobes. They have fragile,…

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Wishful Thinking: The Magic Wand of South Pole Winds

I’ve been reading a lot about how this year’s ice melt in the Arctic is the most severe since 1979, with record amounts of Arctic land and sea left ice-free. Ice formation is increasingly rapid as well, but the overall net loss outweighs any growth. Probably the only people pleased with this development are those…

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