Christopher Joyce http://delmarvapublicradio.net en Underwater Meadows Might Serve As Antacid For Acid Seas http://delmarvapublicradio.net/post/california-experiments-fix-acidifying-oceans The world's oceans are changing — chemically changing. As people put more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the oceans absorb more of it, and that's making the water more acidic.<p>The effects are subtle in most places, but scientists say that if this continues, it could be a disaster for marine life.<p>In fact, some scientists have taken a glimpse of what a more acidic ocean might look like. Tue, 15 Jul 2014 09:43:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 57759 at http://delmarvapublicradio.net Underwater Meadows Might Serve As Antacid For Acid Seas Dance Of Human Evolution Was Herky-Jerky, Fossils Suggest http://delmarvapublicradio.net/post/dance-human-evolution-was-herky-jerky-fossils-suggest A trio of anthropologists has decided it's time to rewrite the story of human evolution.<p>That narrative has always been a work in progress, because almost every time scientists dig up a new fossil bone or a stone tool, it adds a new twist to the story. Discoveries lead to new arguments over the details of how we became who we are.<p>But anthropologists generally agree on this much: A little more than 2 million years ago in Africa, the human lineage emerged. Fri, 04 Jul 2014 07:37:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 57171 at http://delmarvapublicradio.net Dance Of Human Evolution Was Herky-Jerky, Fossils Suggest Maybe Dinosaurs Were A Coldblooded, Warmblooded Mix http://delmarvapublicradio.net/post/maybe-dinosaurs-were-cold-blooded-warm-blooded-mix If you go to a zoo on a cold day and watch the snakes, you'll see what it means to be <a href="http://coolcosmos.ipac.caltech.edu/image_galleries/ir_zoo/coldwarm.html">coldblooded</a>. Not much action going on — most reptiles and other coldblooded creatures take on the temperature of their surroundings, so they tend to be most sluggish when the outside temperature is cool. The monkeys, however, act like they've had one too many cappuccinos. Thu, 12 Jun 2014 18:03:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 55907 at http://delmarvapublicradio.net Maybe Dinosaurs Were A Coldblooded, Warmblooded Mix Spiders Tune In To Web's Music To Size Up Meals And Mates http://delmarvapublicradio.net/post/spiders-tune-webs-music-size-meals-and-mates <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EkEsTafD38</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kjh7bQSc8ag</p> Tue, 10 Jun 2014 07:48:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 55717 at http://delmarvapublicradio.net Spiders Tune In To Web's Music To Size Up Meals And Mates Scientists Find Africa's Longest Land Migration: Zebras' 350-Mile Trek http://delmarvapublicradio.net/post/scientists-find-africas-longest-migration-zebras-350-mile-trek Wildlife biologists have discovered the longest known terrestrial migration in Africa: some 350 miles across southern Africa by huge herds of zebras. Large mammal migration in Africa has generally been hindered by the subdivision and fencing of land. However, this one remains possible because it takes place in a unique, multi-country wildlife corridor. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. Thu, 29 May 2014 20:35:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 55120 at http://delmarvapublicradio.net Hybrid Trout Threaten Montana's Native Cutthroats http://delmarvapublicradio.net/post/hybrid-trout-threaten-montanas-native-cutthroats Many parts of the U.S. have been getting warmer over the past several decades, and also experiencing persistent drought. Wildlife often can't adjust. Among the species that are struggling is one of the American West's most highly prized fish — the <a href="http://www.nrmsc.usgs.gov/research/WCT">cutthroat trout</a>.<p>In springtime, you can find young cutthroats in the tiny streams of Montana's Shields Basin. Tue, 27 May 2014 21:09:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 54975 at http://delmarvapublicradio.net Hybrid Trout Threaten Montana's Native Cutthroats Scientists Discover Carbon Cycle Is Out Of Whack http://delmarvapublicradio.net/post/scientists-discover-carbon-cycle-out-whack Scientists who track carbon say the way it cycles from the atmosphere back to earth and into plants and animals has apparently changed. It could be the whole planetary carbon treadmill is speeding up. Thu, 22 May 2014 09:05:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 54668 at http://delmarvapublicradio.net Former Commando Turns Conservationist To Save Elephants Of Dzanga Bai http://delmarvapublicradio.net/post/former-commando-turns-conservationist-save-elephants-dzanga-bai <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kGVqDmYZhI</p> Fri, 09 May 2014 07:34:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 53918 at http://delmarvapublicradio.net Former Commando Turns Conservationist To Save Elephants Of Dzanga Bai A T. Rex Treks To Washington For A Shot At Fame http://delmarvapublicradio.net/post/t-rex-reveal-itself-smithsonian This week, scientists at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History will start unpacking some rare and precious cargo. It's something the Smithsonian has never had before — a nearly complete skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex.<p>Most people don't know it, but the T. rex that's standing tall in the Natural History Museum in Washington, D.C., is a fake — a cast, a copy of the bones. It's an accurate replica, but for decades the Smithsonian has coveted a real skeleton of a T. Wed, 16 Apr 2014 07:43:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 52623 at http://delmarvapublicradio.net A T. Rex Treks To Washington For A Shot At Fame Methane-Producing Microbes Caused 'The Great Dying' http://delmarvapublicradio.net/post/methane-producing-microbes-caused-great-dying Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.<p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>And I'm David Greene. Good morning. The biggest extinction the Earth has ever seen took place 250 million years ago and it remains something of a mystery. Scientists suspected giant volcanoes or perhaps an asteroid caused it, but NPR's Christopher Joyce has seen new research suggesting the cause might not have been so cataclysmic - maybe something much more subtle.<p>CHRISTOPHER JOYCE, BYLINE: It's sometimes called the Great Dying. Tue, 01 Apr 2014 11:00:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 51780 at http://delmarvapublicradio.net The 500-Pound 'Chicken From Hell' Likely Ate Whatever It Wanted http://delmarvapublicradio.net/post/500-pound-chicken-hell-likely-ate-whatever-it-wanted For the past decade, dinosaur scientists have been puzzling over a set of fossil bones they variously describe as weird and bizarre. Thu, 20 Mar 2014 09:06:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 51114 at http://delmarvapublicradio.net The 500-Pound 'Chicken From Hell' Likely Ate Whatever It Wanted Changing Climate In Argentina Is Killing Penguin Chicks http://delmarvapublicradio.net/post/changing-climate-argentina-killing-penguin-chicks There's a patch of seashore along the coast of Argentina where hundreds of thousands of penguins make their home. It's called <a href="http://penguinstudies.org/">Punta Tombo</a>. Dee Boersma, a conservation biologist at the University of Washington, has been going there for 30 years, and she's discovered that a changing climate is killing those penguins.<p>I <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1315147">visited</a> Boersma in 2003 for NPR's Radio Expeditions program. She literally lived amid the colony, the world's largest group of Magellanic penguins. Fri, 31 Jan 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 48524 at http://delmarvapublicradio.net Changing Climate In Argentina Is Killing Penguin Chicks About 6,000 Natural Gas Leaks Found In D.C.'s Aging Pipes http://delmarvapublicradio.net/post/about-6000-natural-gas-leaks-found-dcs-aging-pipes The nation's capital is a pretty old city by American standards. It dates back to the late 18th century. Despite frequent face-lifts, parts of it are wearing out — for example, its underground gas pipelines. New research shows that Washington, D.C., suffers from thousands of leaks of natural gas.<p>"We drove 1,500 road miles in Washington, D.C., and found about 6,000 leaks," says <a href="http://biology.duke.edu/jackson/">Robert Jackson</a>, an ecologist and environmental scientist at Duke University. Fri, 17 Jan 2014 00:25:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 47806 at http://delmarvapublicradio.net About 6,000 Natural Gas Leaks Found In D.C.'s Aging Pipes When Big Carnivores Go Down, Even Vegetarians Take The Hit http://delmarvapublicradio.net/post/when-big-carnivores-go-down-even-vegetarians-take-hit Big, fierce animals — lions and tigers and bears, for example — are relatively scarce in nature. That's normal, because if you have too many, they'll eat themselves out of prey.<p>But top predators are now so rare that many are in danger of disappearing. That's creating ripple effects throughout the natural world that scientists are still trying to figure out.<p>What they're exploring is ecology — the interplay of animals and plants in nature. It's not rocket science. Fri, 10 Jan 2014 08:00:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 47449 at http://delmarvapublicradio.net When Big Carnivores Go Down, Even Vegetarians Take The Hit Looks Like The Paleo Diet Wasn't Always So Hot For Ancient Teeth http://delmarvapublicradio.net/post/looks-paleo-diet-wasnt-so-hot-ancient-hunters-teeth One of the hinge points in human history was the <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/07/08/198453031/farming-got-hip-in-iran-some-12-000-years-ago-ancient-seeds-reveal">invention of agriculture</a>. It led to large communities, monumental architecture and complex societies. It also led to tooth decay.<p>When hunter-gatherers started adding grains and starches to their diet, it brought about the "age of cavities." At least that's <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/02/24/172688806/ancient-chompers-were-healthier-than-ours">what a lot of people thought</a>. Mon, 06 Jan 2014 20:22:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 47245 at http://delmarvapublicradio.net Looks Like The Paleo Diet Wasn't Always So Hot For Ancient Teeth Federal Flood Insurance Program Drowning In Debt. Who Will Pay? http://delmarvapublicradio.net/post/federal-flood-insurance-program-drowning-debt-who-will-pay Millions of American property owners get flood insurance from the federal government, and a lot of them get a hefty discount. But over the past decade, the government has paid out huge amounts of money after floods, and the flood insurance program is deeply in the red.<p>Congress tried to fix that in 2012 by passing a law to raise insurance premiums. Now <em>that</em> move has created such uproar among property owners that Congress is trying to make the law it passed disappear.<p>Caught in the middle is the <a href="http://www.fema.gov/">Federal Emergency Management Agency</a>. Wed, 01 Jan 2014 08:03:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 47008 at http://delmarvapublicradio.net Federal Flood Insurance Program Drowning In Debt. Who Will Pay? Florida's Mangroves Move North As Temperatures Rise http://delmarvapublicradio.net/post/floridas-mangroves-move-north-temperatures-rise Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>The world's climate is warmer on average than it was a hundred years ago. Plants in some places are emerging earlier in the spring and insects that like warm weather are on the move. But scientists are finding out that the culprit isn't just warmth. As NPR's Christopher Joyce reports, it's also the absence of cold snaps.<p>CHRISTOPHER JOYCE, BYLINE: The idea that a warmer planet could mean avocados in Scotland or bananas in Montana may sound silly. But in fact, tropical plants are moving north. Tue, 31 Dec 2013 23:07:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 46999 at http://delmarvapublicradio.net Centuries Before China's 'Great Wall,' There Was Another http://delmarvapublicradio.net/post/centuries-chinas-great-wall-there-was-another The Great Wall of China, built more than 2,000 years ago, stands as one of the monumental feats of ancient engineering. Stretching thousands of miles, it protected the newly unified country from foreign invaders.<p>But before the Great Wall, warring Chinese dynasties built many other walls for protection. Sun, 29 Dec 2013 10:04:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 46872 at http://delmarvapublicradio.net Centuries Before China's 'Great Wall,' There Was Another More People Have More To Eat, But It's Not All Good News http://delmarvapublicradio.net/post/more-people-have-more-eat-its-not-all-good-news Among the things to celebrate this holiday season is the fact that there are fewer hungry people in the world. Just how many? Well, since 1965, researchers in Europe have been tracking the world's food supply and where it's going.<p>The good news is: The percentage of the world's population getting what the researchers say is a sufficient diet has grown from 30 percent to 61 percent.<p>In 1965, a majority of the world survived on less than 2,000 calories a day per person. This was especially true in parts of the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, China and Southeast Asia. Thu, 26 Dec 2013 08:18:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 46753 at http://delmarvapublicradio.net More People Have More To Eat, But It's Not All Good News Scientists Battle Over Fate Of Yellowstone's Grizzlies http://delmarvapublicradio.net/post/scientists-battle-over-fate-yellowstones-grizzlies Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>The North America's grizzly bear is protected under the Endangered Species Act. Its population was virtually wiped out in the lower 48 states. One group of bears, though, may soon lose that protection - the Yellowstone grizzly. Some scientists say that group is thriving. Others disagree. NPR's Christopher Joyce has more on the battle over the bear.<p>CHRISTOPHER JOYCE, BYLINE: The U.S. Fri, 13 Dec 2013 12:52:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 46174 at http://delmarvapublicradio.net Long Island Wins Ultimate Faceoff Against Hurricane Sandy http://delmarvapublicradio.net/post/long-island-wins-ultimate-faceoff-against-hurricane-sandy Hurricane Sandy last year did more harm to coastal cities and homes than any hurricane in U.S. history, except Katrina. Most of that damage has been repaired. But there's other damage that people can't see to the underwater coastline, known as the shore face.<p>Apparently, Long Island's shore face did remarkably well against the storm of the 21st century.<p>The shore face is the underwater slope that runs up to the shore. Its shape influences how fast and high water moves onto land. Sandy pushed water up the shore face and into towns and bays. Thu, 12 Dec 2013 22:48:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 46155 at http://delmarvapublicradio.net Long Island Wins Ultimate Faceoff Against Hurricane Sandy U.S. May Be Producing 50 Percent More Methane Than EPA Thinks http://delmarvapublicradio.net/post/us-may-be-producing-50-percent-more-methane-epa-thinks Methane is the source of the gas we burn in stoves. You can also use it to make plastics, antifreeze or fertilizer. It comes out of underground deposits, but it also seeps up from swamps, landfills, even the stomachs of cows.<p>And while methane is valuable, a lot of it gets up into the atmosphere, where it becomes a very damaging greenhouse gas.<p>Scientists have been trying to find out, with varying success, exactly how much of this climate-warming gas gets into the atmosphere. Mon, 25 Nov 2013 23:09:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 45279 at http://delmarvapublicradio.net U.S. May Be Producing 50 Percent More Methane Than EPA Thinks How And Where Should We Rebuild After Natural Disasters? http://delmarvapublicradio.net/post/how-and-where-should-we-rebuild-after-natural-disasters The physical damage from Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines is catastrophic. Hundreds of thousands of people are now homeless.<p>Soon, though, people will start to rebuild, as they have after similar natural disasters.<p>How they do it, and where, is increasingly important in places like the Philippines. Mon, 18 Nov 2013 22:05:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 44909 at http://delmarvapublicradio.net How And Where Should We Rebuild After Natural Disasters? Meat Mummies: How Ancient Egyptians Prepared Feasts For Afterlife http://delmarvapublicradio.net/post/meat-mummies-how-ancient-egyptians-prepared-feasts-afterlife Meat mummies.<p>It's a word pairing that is, I dare say, pretty rare. Who among us has heard those two words together? What, indeed, could a "meat mummy" be?<p>Indiana Jones, of course, would have known the answer right away. A meat mummy is a section of animal prepared as if for eating, then bandaged and placed in a sarcophagus by ancient Egyptians. Egyptian royalty, even after death, got hungry. And royalty deserved something more than oats and tubers. Mon, 18 Nov 2013 21:16:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 44905 at http://delmarvapublicradio.net Meat Mummies: How Ancient Egyptians Prepared Feasts For Afterlife A Rancher And A Conservationist Forge An Unlikely Alliance http://delmarvapublicradio.net/post/rancher-and-conservationist-forge-unlikely-alliance Trout fishing is a magnet that draws people from around the world to places like Ovando, Mont. Just ask the owner of Blackfoot Angler and Supplies, Kathy Schoendoerfer.<p>"Every state in the nation has been through this little shop in Ovando, Montana, population 50," says Schoendoerfer with a mix of pride and perhaps a little fatigue. "And we've also had everybody from Russia, Latvia. We get a lot of Canadians, France, Finland, Brazil, Scotland, Germany, South Africa. We get a lot of business out here. You know, fly-fishing is huge."<p>But Western trout may be in trouble. Fri, 15 Nov 2013 08:04:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 44718 at http://delmarvapublicradio.net A Rancher And A Conservationist Forge An Unlikely Alliance As Climate Warms American West, Iconic Trout In Jeopardy http://delmarvapublicradio.net/post/climate-warms-american-west-iconic-trout-jeopardy In the mountain streams of the American West, the trout rules. People don't just catch this fish; they honor it. And spend lots of money pursuing it.<p>But some western trout may be in trouble. Rivers and streams are getting warmer and there's often less water in them. Scientists suspect a changing climate is threatening this iconic fish.<p>I joined two such scientists from the U.S. Thu, 14 Nov 2013 08:07:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 44650 at http://delmarvapublicradio.net As Climate Warms American West, Iconic Trout In Jeopardy How'd They Do That? The Story Of A Giant Rock And A Road Of Ice http://delmarvapublicradio.net/post/howd-they-do-story-giant-rock-and-road-ice Great works of ancient engineering, like the Pyramids or Stonehenge, inspire awe in every beholder. But some onlookers also get inspired to figure out exactly how these structures were made.<p><a href="http://www.princeton.edu/mae/people/faculty/stone/">Howard Stone</a>, an engineer from Princeton University, had such a moment in Beijing's Forbidden City — a city-within-a-city of palaces and temples built in the 15th and 16th centuries. A carved, 300-ton slab that formed a ramp to one structure particularly caught Stone's eye. Mon, 04 Nov 2013 22:13:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 44124 at http://delmarvapublicradio.net How'd They Do That? The Story Of A Giant Rock And A Road Of Ice In Sandy's Wake, Flood Zones And Insurance Rates Re-Examined http://delmarvapublicradio.net/post/sandys-wake-fema-re-examines-flood-insurance-rates When Sandy blew into East Coast communities a year ago, it was flooding that did the most damage.<p>That's in part because the average sea level has risen over the past century — about a foot along the mid-Atlantic coast. That made it easier for the storm to push the ocean onto the land.<p>And scientists say there will be many more Sandy-style storms — that is, torrential rain and wind that create heavy coastal flooding — and they'll be more frequent than in the past. Wed, 30 Oct 2013 20:08:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 43835 at http://delmarvapublicradio.net In Sandy's Wake, Flood Zones And Insurance Rates Re-Examined Fossil Find Points To A Streamlined Human Lineage http://delmarvapublicradio.net/post/fossil-find-points-streamlined-human-lineage Fossils of human ancestors are rare. Thu, 17 Oct 2013 21:54:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 43115 at http://delmarvapublicradio.net Fossil Find Points To A Streamlined Human Lineage Trapped In A Fossil: Remnants Of A 46-Million-Year-Old Meal http://delmarvapublicradio.net/post/trapped-fossil-remnants-46-million-year-old-meal Scientists who study why species vanish are increasingly looking for ancient DNA. They find it easily enough in the movies; remember the mosquito blood in Jurassic Park that contained dinosaur DNA from the bug's last bite? But in real life, scientists haven't turned up multi-million-year-old DNA in any useable form.<p>Fortunately, a team at the Smithsonian Institution has now found something unique in a 46-million-year-old, fossilized mosquito — not DNA, but the chemical remains of the insect's last bloody meal.<p>They started with a fossilized mosquito. Mon, 14 Oct 2013 18:16:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 42900 at http://delmarvapublicradio.net Trapped In A Fossil: Remnants Of A 46-Million-Year-Old Meal