Wild fire smoke, East Rim, Steens Mountain, Oregon

Why We’re Stupid: Another Reason


Researchers in China have meticulously documented a reason for diminished cognition – stupidity – in old men: bad air. Seriously. Air pollution, including the PM 2.5 fine particulates, has been shown to impair cognition, especially in the elderly. We find that long-term exposure to air pollution impedes cognitive performance in verbal and math tests. We…

Thermokarst Pond. UAF photo courtesy of Katey Walter Anthony Found in the Arctic and cold mountain regions,

More Bad News on Climate Change


While much of climate science is pretty firmly established, whatever Donald Trump may think, climatologists are still puzzling out some of the details. And some of those details are turning out to be very important. Feedback is one such critical detail. Feedback occurs when outputs of a system are routed back as inputs as part of…

Water meadows in the headwaters of the North Fork of the Payette, August 2018

The Forests Will Return


It’s hard to be outdoors in the Western United States right now. It seems as if we have been in a cloud of wildfire smoke for months. Your eyes water and the back of your throat burns. Your clothes smell like a a drowned campfire. And thousands of fires have reduced too much of Western…