Friday, June 01, 2012

Loose Feathers #345

California Least Tern / Photo by R. Baak (USFWS)
News about birds and birding
Nature blogging
Environment and biodiversity
  • Climate monitoring stations around the Arctic have measured carbon dioxide levels of 400 parts per million in the latest set of atmospheric data. The global average is 395 parts per million. Both figures are well in excess of the highest non-catastrophic level of carbon dioxide, 350 parts per million. Since the Arctic is a leading indicator, global levels will probably hit 400 parts per million soon.
  • A portion of rainforest in Guatemala that is hotspot for reptile and amphibian diversity was preserved as the Sierra Caral Amphibian Reserve. The reserve also has populations of Highland Guan, Great Curassow, and Keel-billed Motmot.
  • A wind tunnel study shows that beetles' elytra (hardened forewings) do play a role in lift. However, beetles' flight is less efficient than that of other animals.
  • Hawkmoths are able to sense humidity well enough to determine whether a flower has enough nectar to be worth a visit.
  • Here are some suggestions for learning how to photograph dragonflies.
  • Groundwater depletion contributes to sea level rise because water pumped out of the ground eventually makes its way to the sea as rain or waste water.