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Researchers Solve Darwin’s ‘Abominable Mystery’: the apparently sudden appearance and rapid spread of flowering plants in the fossil record.

Parched West is Using Up All Underground Water: "A new study finds more than 75 percent of the water loss in the drought-stricken Colorado River Basin since late 2004 came from underground resources. The extent of groundwater loss may pose a greater threat to the water supply of the western United States than previously thought."

Fossil Soils Are Awash in Carbon - loess deposits can be thick (>50 m deep in parts of the Midwestern U.S. and areas of China) and form from the black carbon from wildfires... erosion of these soils may contribute to GHG emissions and thus global warming

Time to Test Idea of Cooling with Pollution?! It's time to study and maybe even test the idea of cooling the Earth by injecting sulfur pollution high in the air to reflect the sun's heat, a first-of-its-kind federal science report said this week. The idea was once considered fringe--to purposely re-engineer the planet's climate as a last ditch effort to battle global warming with an artificial cloud. No longer. Image: Clear blue skies may be a thing of the past; Wikimedia

California drought wreaking havoc on ecosystems: current drought conditions are rapidly reforming the CA's ecosystems and providing a glimpse into the possible future. The ecosystem is already greatly modified and susceptible to several stresses, and this puts many plant and animal species at risk. "The west has always gone through this, but we'll be going through it at perhaps a more rapid cycle," Mark Schwartz (John Muir Institute of the Environment).

Mountain shape may affect survivability of species during climate change. For all the range shapes except pyramid, land availability can be greater at higher elevations than it is farther down the mountainside. Those ranges, such as the Himalayas (above), are formed by a series of slopes that rise to open plateaus situated at the base of yet more slopes. These mountains are akin to scaling a giant table where a leg represents a steep, limited-area climb that leads to a high-altitude…

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