The bubonic plague or Black Death that scourged Europe in the 1340s seems to have been far more virulent and contagious than the Yersinia pestis microbe that survives today. Now an old plague-era London cemetery is yielding DNA evidence that may begin to answer some of the mysteries.
An Aug. 5, 2011, NASA memo says the agency's existing policies are so good they don't need improving — yet the policies do not offer any clear guarantee that reporters can talk to NASA scientists without permission and supervision from the public affairs office.
In formal comments, SEJ stated that the section of NOAA guidance policy requiring advance public affairs approval of media interviews — and minders sitting in on those interviews — thwarts open communication between scientists and reporters, which is "unacceptable in a free society."
"The National Science Foundation has closed its investigation into Pennsylvania State University climatologist Michael Mann after finding no evidence of scientific misconduct related to his research.
It is the latest in a string of investigations to exonerate scientists involved in the so-called "Climategate" email scandal.
"Presidential candidate Jon Huntsman is pounding away at rival Rick Perry's skepticism of manmade global warming and criticism of the nation's central banker, saying those stands hurt the GOP and make the Texas governor come off as a not-so-serious national figure."
"Plants and animals are responding up to three times faster to climate change than previously estimated, as wildlife shifts to cooler altitudes and latitudes, researchers said on Thursday."
"At long last, mainstream media begins to pay attention to the flat denial of basic climate science being pushed by right-wing Republican presidential candidates."
"Two Australian retirees invoke the 'father of modern science' in their fight against the hegemony of settled climate science. But their arguments - and the advisors supporting them - draw from a deep history of climate science denial and distortion."
NASA is arguing that it doesn't have to come up with any changes in its scientific integrity policy -- including rules limiting how its scientists can talk to reporters. Most federal agencies are under White House orders to come up with new policies, although not all of them have made their draft policies public. Some of the policies for achieving the Obama administration's pledge of scientific openness are still secret.
"Atmospheric levels of methane, 20 times more powerful than carbon dioxide (CO2) at trapping heat, stayed steady for two decades to 2006 on wider fertilizer use to grow rice or a surge in natural gas demand, according to two separate studies in the journal Nature.
Climate researcher Fuu Ming Kai from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Singapore research center said in one study that methane output from rice fields in the Northern Hemisphere dropped during the period as fertilizers replaced manure and because of reduced water use.