How to Replenish an Ecosystem

U.S. and Mexican scientists are beginning to see the first results of their joint venture to restore the dried up Colorado Delta.

What's the Latest?


The Colorado River has reached the Gulf of California for the first time in 16 years, thanks to the combined efforts of the American and Mexican governments to restore the Colorado Delta after decades of damming and irrigation had caused it to dry. The reuniting of the river with its natural outlet is a result of a pulse flow beginning at the Hoover Dam and rolling through the Morelos Dam on the Arizona-Mexico border in March. The raising of the gates at Morelos allows shots of water to burst out, emulating the natural, undiverted springtime flow of the river.

What's the Big Idea?

The Colorado Delta last felt the touch of the river during the 1998 El Niño, but it's been several decades since the river flowed regularly though the Delta. As a result, the once-lush ecosystem had become nearly uninhabitable. Eight weeks of river flow coupled with the planting of cottonwoods, willows and mesquite by local conservationists has set the foundation for an unprecedented effort by the two nations to give back to a region from which they have taken so much. As the river carries sediment, nutrients, and freshwater back to the Delta, scientists hope habitats for the region's plants and wildlife can be resurrected. Although the amount of water currently flowing into the Delta is minuscule compared to the pre-dam era, the table has been set for a long-term revitalization that may serve as a model for future endeavors to rejuvenate parched ecosystems elsewhere.

Read More at National Geographic

Why a federal judge ordered White House to restore Jim Acosta's press badge

A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration likely violated the reporter's Fifth Amendment rights when it stripped his press credentials earlier this month.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta (R) returns to the White House with CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist after Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly ordered the White House to reinstate his press pass November 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. CNN has filed a lawsuit against the White House after Acosta's press pass was revoked after a dispute involving a news conference last week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
  • The judge described the ruling as narrow, and didn't rule one way or the other on violations of the First Amendment.
  • The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

Scientists just voted to change the definition of a kilogram

The definition of a kilogram will now be fixed to Planck's constant, a fundamental part of quantum physics.

Greg L via Wikipedia
Surprising Science
  • The new definition of a kilogram is based on a physical constant in quantum physics.
  • Unlike the current definition of a kilogram, this measurement will never change.
  • Scientists also voted to update the definitions of several other measurements in physics.
Keep reading Show less