Greg Laden

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Biological Anthropologist, Science Blogger.

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  • January 9, 2014
  • 10:11 PM

Detailed analysis of Tattersall 2013 “Higher taxa: Reply to Cartmill”

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

Huh. ———————- Tattersall, I (2013). Higher taxa: Reply to cartmill Evolutionary Antropology, 22 (6), 293-293 DOI: 10.1002/evan.21393... Read more »

Tattersall, I. (2013) Higher taxa: Reply to cartmill. Evolutionary Antropology, 22(6), 293-293. DOI: 10.1002/evan.21393  

  • August 18, 2013
  • 02:08 PM

Climate Change = Extreme Weather = More Climate Change

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

The last several decades of climate change, and climate change research, have indicated and repeatedly confirmed a rather depressing reality. When something changes in the earth’s climate system, it is possible that a negative feedback will result, in which climate change is attenuated. I.e., more CO2 could cause more plant growth, the plants “eat” the…... Read more »

Reichstein, Markus, Bahn, Michael, Ciais, Phillipe, & Et Al. (2013) Climate extremes and the carbon cycle. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature12350  

  • August 1, 2013
  • 01:10 PM

The Problem With The Global Food Supply: New Research

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

Emily S Cassidy, Paul C West, James S Gerber and Jonathan A Foley, from the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment, have produced a very important study for IOP Science Environmental Research Letters. (This is OpenAccess so you can access it openly!) You know Emily as one of the participants in our CONvergence panel…... Read more »

  • July 23, 2013
  • 06:02 PM

Important New Science on Melting Glaciers

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

Most of the current models of glacial ice melting (and contribution to sea level rise) focus on ice melting and less than they need to on the process of glaciers falling apart in larger chunks such as ice bergs. Also, current understanding of glacial ice melting due to global warming indicates that the Western Antarctic…... Read more »

  • June 7, 2013
  • 09:38 PM

I’m sure you remember cold fusion, but do you remember gamma ray producing clouds?

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

Cold Fusion was first reported in 1989. The original experiment was supposed to have produced extra heat that could not be explained wiht chemistry or electronics, so naturally, fusion was considered. Contrary to popular belief, that original experiment has been replicated successfully. The problem isn’t that the first experiment produced actual extra heat and no…... Read more »

Østgaard, N., Gjesteland, T., Carlson, B., Collier, A., Cummer, S., Lu, G., & Christian, H. (2013) Simultaneous observations of optical lightning and terrestrial gamma ray flash from space. Geophysical Research Letters. DOI: 10.1002/grl.50466  

  • June 6, 2013
  • 11:50 AM

The Science of Melting Ice Sheets: New review in Nature

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

A paper came out in today’s Nature about glacial melting and its contribution to sea level rise. This paper does not present new research, but rather summarizes and evaluates the last several years of research on modeling and measuring contiental glaciers and their dynamics. From the Abstract: Since the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change…... Read more »

Hanna, E., Navarro, F., Pattyn, F., Domingues, C., Fettweis, X., Ivins, E., Nicholls, R., Ritz, C., Smith, B., Tulaczyk, S.... (2013) Ice-sheet mass balance and climate change. Nature, 498(7452), 51-59. DOI: 10.1038/nature12238  

  • June 4, 2013
  • 12:32 PM

Linking Weather Extremes to Global Warming

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

Global Warming is the increase in the Earth’s temperature owing to the greenhouse effects of the release of CO2 and other gasses into the atmosphere, mainly by humans burning fossil fuel, but also by the release of Methane from oil wells and melting of Arctic permafrost, natural gas from leaky pipes, and so on. This…... Read more »

Petoukhov, V., Rahmstorf, S., Petri, S., & Schellnhuber, H. (2013) Quasiresonant amplification of planetary waves and recent Northern Hemisphere weather extremes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(14), 5336-5341. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1222000110  

  • May 29, 2013
  • 11:00 AM

How do snails coil?

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

Typically, snails coil as they grow. The exact shape and characteristics of the coil are known to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors, depending on the snail. There is an interesting story involving snails and the young Jean Piaget. Piaget is famous for his work in psychology, but before that, when he was…... Read more »

  • May 16, 2013
  • 01:00 PM

Global Warming Consensus: We can haz it!

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

An important study has just been published1 examining the level of consensus among scientists about climate change. The issue at hand is this: What is the level of agreement in the scientific community about the reality of climate change and about the human role in climate change? The new paper, Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic…... Read more »

Cook, J., Nuccitelli, D., Green, S., Richardson, M., Winkler, B., Painting, R., Way, R., Jacobs, P., & Skuce, A. (2013) Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature. Environmental Research Letters, 8(2), 24024. DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/8/2/024024  

  • April 10, 2013
  • 02:39 PM

Penis Size: Does it matter and why?

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

A study just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences explores the question of penis size and female preference in humans. The study involved making a set of 3D models of human males of various relative body sizes, and fitting them out with various size flaccid penises. These were shown to a…... Read more »

  • January 7, 2013
  • 09:54 PM

The Australian Heat Wave

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

Australia is experiencing a heat spell. The Climate Information Services of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology has issued a special statement (I’ll provide some details below). This is not unexpected, since over the last few years global warming due to the human release of large amounts of fossil Carbon into the atmosphere has been heating…... Read more »

Sterl, A., Severijns, C., Dijkstra, H., Hazeleger, W., Jan van Oldenborgh, G., van den Broeke, M., Burgers, G., van den Hurk, B., Jan van Leeuwen, P., & van Velthoven, P. (2008) When can we expect extremely high surface temperatures?. Geophysical Research Letters, 35(14). DOI: 10.1029/2008GL034071  

  • January 7, 2013
  • 04:33 PM

What the heck is Vocal Fry?

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

Until a few minutes ago, I didn’t even know what the heck Vocal Fry is. Apparently some people have gotten really annoyed about it, as it is a speech mannerism that has emerged among young folks, who are always annoying, and especially females, who are always annoying. Apparently. (I also did not know that until…... Read more »

  • December 13, 2012
  • 06:11 PM

Amazingly cute new primate species in Borneo

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

The Slow Loris (Genus Nycticebus) is a category of prosimian (primates that are neither monkey or ape) that lives in southeast Asia. Most prosimian species live on the island of Madagascar, but there are several African and Asian forms, all of which are nocturnal. The Slow Loris is special because it is the only primate…... Read more »

Munds, Rachel, Nekaris, K.A., & Ford, Susan. (2012) Taxonomy of the Bornean Slow Loris, with new species Nycticebus kayan (Primates, Lorisidae). American Journal of Primatology, 46-56. info:/10.1002/ajp.22071

  • December 10, 2012
  • 01:19 PM

Evolutionary Psychology: Careful, some practitioners may be carrying a kitchen knife!

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

Darwinian Psychology, or really, any “Psychology” that claims to be science, will operate under the assumption that the human brain, as an organ, has arrived at its modern form through the process of evolution, which includes a certain amount of design through Natural Selection. It does not take that much additional sophistication to realize that…... Read more »

  • December 3, 2012
  • 11:56 AM

Pornography Actresses: Testing the Damaged Goods Hypothesis

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

A study has just come out in the Journal of Sex Research comparing various psychological and lifestyle measures of women who act in pornographic films with matched sets of women who do not. There is a pretty clear association between negative attitudes towards pornography and negative assessments of the quality of life for actresses in…... Read more »

Griffith, J., Mitchell, S., Hart, C., Adams, L., & Gu, L. (2012) Pornography Actresses: An Assessment of the Damaged Goods Hypothesis. Journal of Sex Research, 1-12. DOI: 10.1080/00224499.2012.719168  

  • November 29, 2012
  • 11:06 PM

First close up of DNA ever

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

When Bill O’Reilly said that you “can’t explain tides” I laughed. Why did I laugh? Because if he wasn’t such a dumb-ass he could have EASILY named a dozen thing that science claims to “know” that a reasonably good rhetorician could convince the average Tea Bagger that science really can’t “know” because it can’t really…... Read more »

Gentile, F., Moretti, M., Limongi, T., Falqui, A., Bertoni, G., Scarpellini, A., Santoriello, S., Maragliano, L., Proietti Zaccaria, R., & di Fabrizio, E. (2012) Direct Imaging of DNA Fibers: The Visage of Double Helix. Nano Letters, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1021/nl3039162  

  • November 29, 2012
  • 06:17 PM

Ice Loss at Poles Is Increasing, Mainly in Greenland

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

From NASA: PASADENA, Calif. – An international team of experts supported by NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) has combined data from multiple satellites and aircraft to produce the most comprehensive and accurate assessment to date of ice sheet losses in Greenland and Antarctica and their contributions to sea level rise. In a landmark…... Read more »

Shepherd, A., Ivins, E., A, G., Barletta, V., Bentley, M., Bettadpur, S., Briggs, K., Bromwich, D., Forsberg, R., Galin, N.... (2012) A Reconciled Estimate of Ice-Sheet Mass Balance. Science, 338(6111), 1183-1189. DOI: 10.1126/science.1228102  

  • October 31, 2012
  • 12:19 PM

Peer Reviewed Research Predicted NYC Subway Flooding by #Sandy

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

Earlier this year a paper was published in the journal Nature in which a team of scientists looked at changes in storm surge potential under conditions of global warming, and they used the New York City area in their modeling. Combined with resent research adding to the growing body of data and studies that show…... Read more »

Lin, N., Emanuel, K., Oppenheimer, M., & Vanmarcke, E. (2012) Physically based assessment of hurricane surge threat under climate change. Nature Climate Change, 2(6), 462-467. DOI: 10.1038/NCLIMATE1389  

  • July 17, 2012
  • 08:02 PM

Pioneer Anomaly Re-Explained

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

Before getting into this, I just want to give you the best quote about physics from a physicist I’ve seen in a long time. In describing the phenomenon we are discussing here, JPL scintist Slava Turyshev says, “The effect is something like when you’re driving a car and the photons from your headlights are pushing…... Read more »

Slava G. Turyshev, Viktor T. Toth, Gary Kinsella, Siu-Chun Lee, Shing M. Lok, & Jordan Ellis. (2012) Support for the thermal origin of the Pioneer anomaly. Phys. Rev. Lett, 108(241101). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.241101  

  • July 16, 2012
  • 03:55 PM

How to Identify Dragonflies and Damselflies

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

I want to tell you about a cool book, but first, here’s something interesting about Dragonflies. Terrestrial animals (like humans) require long chain fatty acids but don’t synthesize them from basic parts. Higher terrestrial plants don’t make the biggest of these molecules either, but plants do make molecules that can be turned into things like…... Read more »

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