Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Birding La Chua Trail

Yesterday, 05/17/2016, I went birding with my friend Craig Walters. We went to La Chua Trail in Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park. A prairie in Florida means a treeless open area with grasses and other vegetation that is mostly a wetland that can become a lake in periods of high precipitation. The access to La Chua Trail is located in southeast Gainesville:
A concrete walkway connects the parking area to the trail head:
Just after the boardwalk near the starting point of the trail, after seeing a few birds, we found this Marsh Rabbit grazing trail-side:
The trail follows an old drainage canal that at one point in the past was meant to dry up the prairie. This is a view of the canal with Craig creating one of his great photos:
The pickerel weed was in bloom adding lots of color to the marsh:
The gray mare is part of a small band of wild horses, descendants of horses brought by the Spaniards to Florida long ago, that frequents this part of Paynes Prairie. She had a foal early this Spring which was hiding not very far from her.
Among the many birds around we found four American Coots. The coots winter in very large numbers in this wetland but those were lingering around here:
Further down the trail we bumped into Lloyd Davis who told us about the rare Fulvous Whistling Duck that he had just found. He gave us detailed directions to the bird and soon we found it:
After viewing it for a while we went to the observation platform at the end of the trail. We scanned the marsh in all directions trying to find a previously reported Whooping Crane to no avail. We were able though, to observe the Fulvous Whistling Duck from another direction by looking NW of the platform. The duck was far away and is actually at the center of this view from the platform:
We hang around for a while on the platform and did not see the crane but we did see this Least Bittern, the smallest heron in North America:
By then we had been out for almost two hours and decided to return to our cars.
The canal along the trail is notorious for its many alligators:
As we reached the hydrologic station we saw this Great Blue Heron posing on the top of the instrument box:
Further along the trail on our return trip we found this Florida Softshell Turtle laying eggs on a hole she dug in the soft sand on the trail:
Unfortunately for the turtle several Fish Crows also saw her and were hanging around, waiting for her to finish the egg laying so that they could dig the eggs out and eat them. Harsh world out there. Soon after that we reached the parking area.
There is always something interesting to see along La Chua Trail, a great treasure very close to town.
Birdlist for the morning.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Birding Trip to Uganda - 2 July to 16 July 2015

I went on a two week birding tour of Uganda from 2 July 2015 to 16 July 2015. The tour was organized and guided by Muhumuza Deogratius [ ] of Uganda Eco Tours. Although the details of the particular tour that I went are no longer available at the Uganda Eco Tours website, it was similar to this one: 
A trip report of an earlier similar tour is available here: 

First of all, Deo is not only an excellent birder, very knowledgeable, but also a great guy, very easy to get along with. The co-leader that Deo brought in as a driver, I know him only as Luke, was also very knowledgeable and a very good field birder and excellent travel companion. Thus there was a good ratio of leaders and participants and good vibes all around which made for a very enjoyable trip.

The lodging was very good, not luxurious but comfortable, clean and attractive (with one exception) to people interested in nature.  Food varied from OK to good albeit a bit repetitive, specially breakfast that tended to vary between edible and OK. We had only one bad experience with food, a lunch stop in Hoima, where, despite the good appearance of the place, the food was barely edible. There were only two road stops for lunch in the whole trip (aside from packed lunches eaten on the field), in the first one the food was good and the place was comfortable and welcoming, the second place was also comfortable and welcoming but the food was a disaster (referring to preparation, nobody got sick from it)!

We spent a lot of time driving and, in terms of comfort, the vehicle was barely adequate. We had a Toyota van with a pop-up roof (which allowed for everybody to stand up and look around, a good feature) that nominally sat 10 people: 3 in front seat (one squeezed between driver and left-side passenger), 4 captain seats in the middle and 3 seats in a row in the back. But we always felt very cramped inside the vehicle and the backseat was a special torture when combined with rough unpaved roads (the row of seats was on top of the rear axle). It was specially bad for me as I am a bit on the tall side (6ft1in) and leg room was a problem. Moreover the AC was not working which was an aggravation when we had to close the windows because of thick red dust from the road. Thus the drives were always cramped, hot, dusty and uncomfortable. Part of it was just the nature of the type of travel we were doing but most of it was due to the vehicle used. Evidently a larger and more comfortable vehicle would have changed the cost of this trip considerably.

I travelled using Delta, flying from Gainesville to Atlanta, Atlanta to Amsterdam and from there to Entebbe (a KLM flight). I got to Entebbe late in the evening of July 1st and stayed at the Lake Victoria View Guesthouse (there is a good write up about it in Trip Advisor) where everybody else was staying. Some birds were around and we spent most of the next day birding from the varanda, resting and going downtown to exchange currency. Around 4pm, after the last participant had arrived, Deo took us to the Entebbe Botanical Garden. Very pleasant and birdy, we saw more than 50 species in about 2.5 hours of birding.
Lake Victoria View Guesthouse:

Rondavels at the guesthouse:

The "view" at the guesthouse, an arm of the enormous Lake Victoria:

Ross's Turaco at the Botanical Garden:

Guereza Monkeys at the Botanical Garden:

Next day  (7/3) we left early in the morning with our destination being Lake Mburo NP. The major intermediary stop was at Mabamba Bay for a boat trip through an extensive marsh to see Shoebills. The only Shoebill we saw was found in this boat trip. We had a good view but from some distance and closer views when the bird flushed and flew over our heads. Mabamba Bay is west of Entebbe International Airport across an arm of Lake Victoria. Saw a number of other species during a two hour boat trip, most widespread species. 
Shoebill at Mabamba Bay:

After seeing the Shoebill:

Had a couple of other short stops, combination of pit and birding stops. We got at our lodge just outside of the LMNP early evening, just with time to freshen up and have dinner. Next day had an early bird walk in the savanna (Red-faced Barbet, Tambora and Trilling Cisticolas, African (Water) Rail) and then a boat trip in Lake Mburo (African Finfoot, White-backed Night-Heron, Lesser Moorhen).  Later in the day a drive through the savannah and then the only night drive (Galago, Slender-tailed Nightjar, Square-tailed Nightjar) of the whole trip (we were charged extra for the night game drive and this was, realistically, the only opportunity we had for a night drive). Next day was one time when we did some early morning birding before starting on some long drive. We birded the savanna outside the gate of LMNP which was very birdy although had a number of widespread species. Highlight here was a bird that currently is not in the Uganda list, the Miombo Wren Warbler, a little grey job, well seen, photographed (not by me), recorded and videoed.  The only Blue-naped Mousebirds that we saw were seen in this area.
Topis in Lake Mburu National Park:

The rest of (7/5) was taken by the long drive to the Ruhija sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, BINP.
Just outside BINP:

As we approached our lodge we got out of the van around 5:30pm and birded on foot for about an hour till was about to get dark. Checked in, ate dinner and early up next morning for an all day hike visiting a high elevation marsh [ Mubwindi Swamp ] for Grauer’s Rush Warbler (which we saw very briefly) and many other birds along the way (including African Broadbill at a nest). The only Sittatungas (antelope) that we saw were in that marsh. Next morning we had an early start towards the Buhoma sector of BINP (we were scheduled to go see the Mountain Gorillas from there). This decision to use prime birding hours to start a long drive did not sit well with me or Toby (an experienced British birder). We felt that since we were already inside very good forest habitat the first couple of hours of light in the morning should be used for additional birding in the forest. After all the Shoebill and forest birding are the main reasons that birders come to Uganda. While the forest birds are not Ugandan endemics they tend to have their center of distribution in the DRC which is a much tougher birding proposition than Uganda (as Uganda is not really tough, at least under current conditions). Deo stuck to his original plan in this and in subsequent occasions. Deo’s plan probably maximized the total number of species seen during the trip but, in mine and Toby’s opinion, shortchanged our chances for the more elusive forest birds.
View of BINP on the way to Mubwindi Swamp:

Leaving Ruhija in BINP:

The rest of (7/7) was taken by the drive to the Buhoma sector of BINP with several birding stops along the way, some along the “Neck”, a ribbon of forest connecting the two sectors. We got there around 5pm and went for a short bird walk along the road that crosses the park here. Next day in the morning we went to see the gorillas. Thanks to a mix of elderly (myself, Martine and Max, all over 65) and disabled people (Max is missing the lower part of his left leg) our group got to go visit a gorilla group that was relatively close (after a long car drive just an hour walk from the road). Highly recommended, both for the chance to see those creatures as well as for the financial contribution to the park and the surrounding communities that benefits both people and gorillas. The downside is that it is clearly an invasion of those animals private space and it is clear that they don’t like it. Late afternoon, after the gorilla hike, we birded again along the road through the park, on foot from our lodge. We were up again early in the morning and started another long drive, after protests from I and Toby about the misuse of prime birding time.
The Mountain Gorillas:

Most of 7/9 was taken by the drive towards our next lodge. We drove through Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP) birding along the way and then made a long detour to visit a wetland near Deo’s hometown. This wetland is the focus of a conservation project spearheaded by Deo and some of his local friends. Valuable work but I don’t think it was proper use of our scarce time to visit this wetland in the middle of the afternoon, no matter how dear to Deo’s heart this conservation project is. This was a detour that consumed some 3 hours which could have been employed birding Buhoma in the early morning hours from our lodge. Eventually we made our way to our next lodge, the Bush Camp on the banks of the Kazinga Channel in QENP. Of the places that we stayed this was the only one where we didn’t have en suite bathroom facilities. This was a well designed and kept camp with very clean bathrooms. The only inconvenience was walking in the middle of the night from the tent to the toilet hearing the Hippos that had come out of the water to feed in the nearby vegetation. The camp had escorts with flashlights available all night making sure the campers were safe. We left the camp early next morning, birded a swamp’s edge near the highway (Papyrus Gonolek) and then crossed over the Kazinga Channel and birded the savannas of QENP, birds plus Elephant, Buffalo, Lion and other smaller animals. Had packed lunch which we ate by the roadside inside QENP.
Savanna at QENP:

Lionesses at QENP:

A boat ride in the channel was the next activity. Toby and I wanted to go back to the savanna which was harboring a good number of pipits and larks. At this point some miscommunication ensued. We thought that by skipping the boat trip we could go back to the savanna but it turned out that there was not enough time to do so, which we found out only after taking off with Luke (the driver) instead of going in the boat trip. A mistake on our part compounded by a miscommunication with Deo. We were keen in looking for Short-tailed Pipit but alas it was not possible to do as there was no time to get to proper habitat during the two hours when the others were in the boat trip. The boaters saw some birds that were seen only during this boat trip but nothing that I had not seen before, in particular there were no opportunities for Shoebill in that trip. Then we started the drive to Fort Portal. Saw one soda lake on an old crater on the way, which was full of Lesser Flamingos. Then we crossed the Equator going north and around dusk arrived at Fort Portal where we stayed in a hotel in town as we couldn’t get places at the Chimpanzee Forest Lodge.
Martial Eagle in QENP:

Next day, 7/11, we started early and drove to Semulik National Park to bird the famous Semiliki valley. We spent all day there and birding was hard work as it usually is in a tropical forest.
Red-biled Dwarf Hornbill in Semulik NP:

Great Blue Turaco in Semulik NP:

Next day, 7/12, we started at 7:30am in a marsh in Fort Portal then drove to Chimpanzee Forest Lodge for lunch with birding stops along the way and birding around the lodge in the middle of Kibale Forest National Park. After lunch we went to the community owned Bigodi wetlands were we birded for the rest of the day. Again had dinner at the delightful, but situated in a very noisy area, Garden Cafe in Fort Portal. Next day, 7/13 we were at the forest in KFNP at 6:30am, still dark, listening to the display sounds of the Green Pitta, eventually our guide found two of them together and we had good views of these skulking birds of the forest floor. We birded that forest for the rest of the morning then checked in and had lunch at the Chimpanzee Forest Lodge and went for the Chimpanzee tracking in the afternoon. This was a longer walk than had been the case with the gorillas but the terrain was much friendlier without big elevation changes. We saw several members of what we were told is a very large group with 120 individual Chimps in it that defend a territory of almost 30 square miles (contrary to the gorillas who defend no territory and are nomads, constantly on the move). This was also a not to be missed experience and the temperament differences between these apes were very clear. While the gorillas seemed very laid back the chimps are intense with penetrating gazes. Spent the night at the Chimpanzee Forest Lodge, one of the highlights here was seeing 2 White-spotted Flufftails on the lodge grounds.
Chimpanzee in Kibale National Park:

One is a 100% Chimp, the other only 98.7%:

On 7/14 we left the Chimpanzee Forest Lodge, drove towards Fort Portal and then onwards to Masindi, birding along the way. It was on the drive to Masindi that we had the road stop with inedible food! Masindi was our base to explore Budongo Forest Preserve and bird the so-called Royal Mile. This preserve was once a private forest of the king of Budongo, an area in NW Uganda. Thus the mile long stretch of road through the forest is known as the Royal Mile. On 7/15 we were on the Royal Mile by 8 am due to the longish drive from town. We birded there till 4pm. Then back in Masindi had dinner again at the Masindi Hotel (we were staying at another hotel,  the Masing Kolping House Hotel). The Masindi Hotel wouldn’t be out of place in the movie “Out of Africa”, had been built in 1923 by the “Uganda and Kenya Railways and Harbours”. Although I suspect the quality of services and offerings has declined somewhat since its heyday. Next day, 7/16, we started early in our long drive back to Entebbe. Had one stop at a large marshy area and one at Makerere University in Kampala to see a staked-out African Wood Owl. Then the trip was over at the Lake Victoria View Guesthouse where I got a room for the few hours before my flight back home.
African Wood Owl at Makerere University:

Royal Gate in Kampala:

I saw 350 bird species of which 274 were lifers and 27 mammal species of which 17 were lifers. I don’t have the trip total, which was around 420 bird species. I had a hard time getting on birds found by others and I didn’t fully understood why. I guess my reflexes and vision are not what they used to be but there were some other factors. One thing that made it a bit difficult to follow other birders was the fact that I was considerably taller than everybody else so more often than not I would find myself at some untenable viewing position when trying to mimic the others. Another factor was that I had a hard time understanding everybody else: the two Ugandans with their peculiar accent, one Briton, one New Zealander, one Swiss with a South African accent and two French Canadian women that barely spoke English. Given that American English is my second language (I am from Brazil originally) and that my hearing is in trouble (I wear a hearing device in one of my ears) I was in a bit of a pickle language wise! Overall a great trip.  Also an interesting part of the world, grinding poverty but many good things happening.

eBird Checklists of Birds Seen (only birds that I saw):

July 16: Masindi , Marsh near Kakoge , Campus of Makerere University , Ssese Gateway Beach .

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Is Key to Preventing Mass Starvation

Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Is Key to Preventing Mass Starvation

August 28, 2015

Sherwood B. Idso, Craig Idso

Is the human-induced increase in the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide concentration good or bad for Earth and its inhabitants?

Scientists, who base their opinions on real world weather measurements and historical proxy temperature reconstructions, along with the known positive effects of atmospheric carbon dioxide enrichment on terrestrial plant growth and development, adamantly say it’s good. Those arguing for a continuing rise in carbon dioxide emissions have the moral high ground on this issue. There is concern among many as the world’s population increases, humanity’s growth will deplete Earth’s resources, creating myriad dangers. The Malthusian question arises once again: Have we reached our limits to growth? For plant life, the answer is clearly no. Literally thousands of experiments have demonstrated that as the air’s carbon dioxide content rises, so too do the growth rates of nearly all plants, leading to a great “greening of Earth,” which shows no signs of declining or even leveling off.

Helping Plants Help Us

Back at the turn of the century, we developed and analyzed a supply-and-demand scenario for food in the year 2050, identifying the needs of the plants that supply 95 percent of the world’s food and projecting historical trends in the productivities of these crops 50 years into the future. Our evaluation included the growth-enhancing effects of carbon dioxide enrichment on these plants and projected yields based on expected future carbon dioxide concentrations. This work revealed the world’s population will likely be 51 percent greater in the year 2050 than it was in 1998, topping 9 billion people, whereas world food production will be only 37 percent greater if we rely solely on anticipated improvements in agricultural technology and expertise. There’s no need to fear, however: The shortfall in farm production can be overcome through the aerial fertilization effect of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. In order to avoid the unpalatable consequences of widespread hunger and early deaths in the decades ahead it would appear to be absolutely essential the air’s carbon dioxide concentration be allowed to continue to rise. Efforts designed to discourage rising anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions are inimical to humanity’s future health and prosperity.

Water Problems

In Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, written by J.S. Wallace, the author wrote the ongoing “massive and inexorable increase in the number of human beings in the world should be recognized for what it is—the most important global change facing mankind.” And why is that? First, the projected increase in the number of people that will exist by the year 2050 is more certain to occur than is any other environmental change currently underway. Second, these extra people will need a huge amount of extra food. Third, it will take an equally significant amount of extra water to grow that extra food. Fourth, there is no extra water. “Over the entire globe, a staggering 67 percent of the future population of the world may experience some water stress,” said Wallace. This could translate into food insufficiency. Wallace concludes we must produce much more food per unit of available water if we’re going to keep up with demand. Fortunately, elevated concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide reduce plant water loss by transpiration, while simultaneously enhancing plant photosynthesis and biomass production, thereby enabling Earth’s vegetation to produce considerably more food per unit of water used. Literally thousands of laboratory and field experiments have demonstrated this.

Beyond Carbon Dioxide Enrichment

A second condition necessary to meet future human food needs will be to develop crops with more efficient photosynthetic processes, which will require a full suite of tools, including breeding, gene transfer, and synthetic biology. Unfortunately, political opposition to bioengineered crops is creating a difficult hurdle to overcome these needed strategies. A third condition necessary to feed the world’s burgeoning human population was identified by David Tillman, et al. in the academic journal Science in 2009. Tillman says the diversion of crops from food to biofuels needs to end. With limited water and limited crops, the conversion of potential food into fuel, while many still live in hunger and Earth’s population is expected to grow, is unconscionable. This is because precious land and water resources are now being used at high rates in the production of biofuels, which diminishes our ability to produce the enormous amounts of extra food we need to feed people now and into the future. This drives up the cost of the foods we currently produce and harms the world’s most impoverished people. Instead of relying on inefficient biofuels and other so-called renewables, we should concentrate on using our great stores of coal, gas, and oil to meet our future fuel needs. These substances are the least expensive energy sources we currently possess, and utilizing them will lower the costs associated with almost all existing, and most future, products and services. Using these resources produces the carbon dioxide needed to expand crop production and improve crop plants’ water use efficiencies. The real world effects of atmospheric carbon dioxide enrichment are absolutely essential to our goal of feeding the world’s present and future human populations. And this is the truly moral course we all should be pursuing.

Bio of Dr. Sherwood B. Idso

Dr. Sherwood B. Idso is president of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change. Prior to 2001 he was a research physicist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service at the U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory in Phoenix, Arizona, where he worked since 1967.  He also was closely associated with Arizona State University over most of this period, serving as an adjunct professor in the Departments of Geology, Geography, and Botany and Microbiology.  His Bachelor of Physics, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees are all from the University of Minnesota. 
Dr. Idso is the author or co-author of more than 500 scientific publications including the books Carbon Dioxide: Friend or Foe? (1982) and Carbon Dioxide and Global Change: Earth in Transition (1989).  He served on the editorial board of the international journal Agricultural and Forest Meteorology from 1973 to 1993 and since 1993 has served on the editorial board of Environmental and Experimental Botany.  Over the course of his career, he has been an invited reviewer of manuscripts for 56 scientific journals and 17 funding agencies, representing an unusually large array of disciplines.
As a result of his early work in the field of remote sensing, Dr. Idso was honored with an Arthur S. Flemming Award, given in recognition of “his innovative research into fundamental aspects of agricultural-climatological interrelationships affecting food production and the identification of achievable research goals whose attainment could significantly aid in assessment and improvement of world food supplies.”  This citation continues to express the spirit that animates his current research into the biospheric consequences of the ongoing rise in the air’s CO2 content.
Dr. Idso was born and raised in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, where he attended and graduated from Knox Elementary School and Lincoln High School. Immediately thereafter, he enrolled in the Physics Department of the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Technology in Minneapolis, from which he graduated four years later with a Bachelor of Physics degree “with distinction.” He immediately shifted gears a bit, moving from the Minneapolis campus to the St. Paul campus, where he began his study of biology while continuing to study mechanical engineering, meteorology, and microclimatology, earning a Master of Science degree two years later and a Ph.D. degree the following year.
In June 1967, Dr. Idso began his 35-year career at the U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory in Phoenix, Arizona, where he worked as a research physicist in its Environmental and Plant Dynamics Research Unit within the purview of the Agriculture Research Service’s National Program for Global Change, with responsibilities to determine the nature and degree of potential global change, to assess the likely impacts of global change on natural and agricultural ecosystems, and to develop strategies for either preventing or adapting to the potential consequences of global change, the scope of which effort was extremely broad, encompassing interrelated physical, chemical, biological, and meteorological processes, with the overall goals of minimizing water losses in agriculture, improving crop water use efficiency, and increasing the global production of food and fiber. Contemporaneously, he also was associated with Arizona State University, serving as an adjunct professor in the Departments of Geology, Geography, and Botany and Microbiology.
As evidence of the success Dr. Idso experienced in these efforts, he was honored at the ten-year point of his employment (1977)  as “one of the ten outstanding young men and women in the Federal Service” with an Arthur S. Flemming Award, given in recognition of “his innovative research into fundamental aspects of agricultural-climatological interrelationships affecting food production and the identification of achievable research goals whose attainment could significantly aid in assessment and improvement of world food supplies.”
During this period of his life, Dr. Idso authored 480 publications as part of his official duties and 88 more on his own time, including three influential books on carbon dioxide and global change, the most recent being Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts (2014). Of his publications produced at work, 40 were abstracts, 57 were book reviews, 29 were technical discussions, 27 were symposia presentations, 24 were popular articles, 18 were technical reports, 23 were book chapters, and 262 were refereed scientific journal articles of which Dr. Idso was the senior author of 186.
The esteem that Dr. Idso enjoyed within the scientific community during this period is evident in the fact that he was asked to review grant proposals for 17 funding agencies, books for 45 journals, and manuscripts for 56 journals. Likewise, the impact he had on the scientific community was evident in his science citation record: as of July 2000, Dr. Idso’s research papers had been cited in the scientific literature in excess of 6,500 times, more than an order of magnitude above the norm for all scientists of that time period. 
Since becoming president of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change in 2001, Dr. Idso continues to work, reviewing and analyzing the scientific publications of other scientists that come to bear upon this important issue. 
Dr. Craig D. Idso is the coauthor, with Dr. Robert M. Carter and Dr. S. Fred Singer, of Climate Change Reconsidered: 2011 Interim Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) (The Heartland Institute, 2011), and with Dr. Singer of a preceding volume titled Climate Change Reconsidered: The 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) (The Heartland Institute, 2009). He is leading an international panel of scientists that is writing a comprehensive assessment of climate science to be published in 2013.
Dr. Idso is the founder, former president, and currently chairman of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change. The Center was founded in 1998 as a non-profit public charity dedicated to discovering and disseminating scientific information pertaining to the effects of atmospheric carbon dioxide enrichment on climate and the biosphere. The Center produces a weekly online newsletter, CO2 Science, and maintains a massive online collection of editorials on and reviews of peer-reviewed scientific journal articles relating to global climate change.
Dr. Idso’s research has appeared many times in peer-reviewed journals, including Geophysical Research Letters, Energy & Environment, Atmospheric Environment, Technology, The Quarterly Review of Biology, Journal of Climate, Environmental and Experimental Botany, Physical Geography, and the Journal of the Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science.
Dr. Idso is the author or coauthor of several books, including The Many Benefits of Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment (Vales Lake Publishing, LLC, 2011), CO2, Global Warming and Coral Reefs (Vales Lake Publishing, LLC, 2009); Enhanced or Impaired? Human Health in a CO2-Enriched Warmer World (Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, 2003); and The Specter of Species Extinction: Will Global Warming Decimate Earth's Biosphere? (George C. Marshall Institute, 2003). He contributed chapters to McKittrick, R. (Ed.), Critical Topics in Global Warming (Fraser Institute, 2009) and Encyclopedia of Soil Science (Marcel Dekker, 2002).
Dr. Idso received a B.S. in Geography from Arizona State University, an M.S. in Agronomy from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, and a Ph.D. in Geography from Arizona State University, where he also studied as one of a small group of University Graduate Scholars. He was a faculty researcher in the Office of Climatology at Arizona State University and has lectured in Meteorology at Arizona State University.
Dr. Idso is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Geophysical Union, American Meteorological Society, Arizona-Nevada Academy of Sciences, Association of American Geographers, Ecological Society of America, and The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Today's Morning Birding

Birding this morning:

Common Ground Dove Common Ground Dove Blue Grossbeak Blue Grosbeak Solitary Sandpiper Solitary Sandpiper Eastern Meadowlark Eastern Meadowlark Brown Thrasher Brown Thrasher

Friday, June 27, 2014

The science writer Nigel Calder has died, aged 82, after a short illness.

Nigel Calder was an influential science writer and a former editor of the British science magazine New Scientist. Nigel Calder died of cancer on 25 June 2014 at his home in Crawley, West Sussex, England. He co-wrote with Henrik Svensmark the book The Chilling Stars which explains to the layman Svensmarks' theory of climate change driven by the flux of galactic cosmic rays on Earth which affects Earth's cloud cover. The Chilling Stars also provides an excellent synopsis of the history of climate variation on our planet. CO2 has very little to do with climate change despite the current politically driven hysteria about it. If you have an open mind, read this book!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Spring: the season of renewal

The woods and marshes around Gainesville are full of new life, brought forth thanks to the Sun and CO2 in the atmosphere. Here is a very young Common Gallinule exploring its lush environment: