Saving America's Grasslands
As grasslands diminish on prairies and savannas around the world, an innovative ranching technique that reverses the environmental damage of desertification makes its way to the U.S.
What's the Latest Development?
Human land management, or lack thereof, is creating large swaths of desert across the world and the United States. The problem has become particularly stark in the American West where worsening environmental conditions, like more frequent flooding and more intense wildfires, combine with unsustainable animal grazing patterns to create negative feedback loops. A new grazing practice, however, is already restoring ranches in dramatic fashion by modeling the way bison once roamed over the wide-open land.
What's the Big Idea?
More than half the world's cultivatable land is suffering from desertification and the livelihoods of nearly one billion people are being put at risk, according to the United Nations. Public and private initiatives are currently underway in the U.S. to teach Holistic Management, a new approach to animal grazing which recognizes land was healthier before modern ranching methods took root. Healthier grasslands also allow the Earth to absorb more carbon dioxide, the principle cause of man-made climate change.
How a cataclysm worse than what killed the dinosaurs destroyed 90 percent of all life on Earth.
While the demise of the dinosaurs gets more attention as far as mass extinctions go, an even more disastrous event called "the Great Dying” or the “End-Permian Extinction” happened on Earth prior to that. Now scientists discovered how this cataclysm, which took place about 250 million years ago, managed to kill off more than 90 percent of all life on the planet.
A new study discovers the “liking gap” — the difference between how we view others we’re meeting for the first time, and the way we think they’re seeing us.
We tend to be defensive socially. When we meet new people, we’re often concerned with how we’re coming off. Our anxiety causes us to be so concerned with the impression we’re creating that we fail to notice that the same is true of the other person as well. A new study led by Erica J. Boothby, published on September 5 in Psychological Science, reveals how people tend to like us more in first encounters than we’d ever suspect.
Using advanced laser technology, scientists at NASA will track global changes in ice with greater accuracy.
Leaving from Vandenberg Air Force base in California this coming Saturday, at 8:46 a.m. ET, the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 — or, the "ICESat-2" — is perched atop a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket, and when it assumes its orbit, it will study ice layers at Earth's poles, using its only payload, the Advance Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS).
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