Environment

Environment

Study Shows Humans Have Polluted European Air For 2000 Years

The Colle Gnifetti Glacier on the Swiss-Italian border where the ice core used in the study was taken. In the bottom right corner, the coring stie can be seen. Photo by Nicole Spaulding

AGU News:

WASHINGTON, DC — A new study combining European ice core data and historical records of the infamous Black Death pandemic of 1349-1353 shows metal mining and smelting have polluted the environment for thousands of years, challenging the widespread belief that environmental pollution began with the Industrial Revolution in the 1700s and 1800s.

The new study, accepted for publication in GeoHealth,


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Los Alamos Nature Center Garden In Full Bloom

Thanks to Larry Deavan’s care and knowledge, the penstemon garden at the Los Alamos Nature Center is amazingly colorful, but it won’t last long. Stop by the nature center this week to see the impressive array of flowers and watch the many pollinators collect nectar from this vivid area. Photo by Beth Cortright


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Summit Garden Club Meets Monday

Courtesy photo

Summit Garden Club News:

Summit Garden Club will meet Monday afternoon, June 5, to hear Karl Buermeyer of the Santa Fe Forest Service speak on “Living With Fire – Jemez Mountain Forest  Restoration.” 

Buermeyer will talk about forest health, fire in the forest, plans for the restoration of the Jemez forests, and reintroduction of fire into the forest.

Ann Cooke will speak on preparing a home in the forest for fire. Members may gather at 12:45 p.m. in the parking lot of the United Church, and drive to the Cookes’ home in Sierra Los Pinos.

Visitors welcome.


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LANL: ‘Halos’ Discovered On Mars Widen Time Frame For Potential Life

A mosaic of images from the navigation cameras on the NASA Curiosity rover shows ‘halos’ of lighter-toned bedrock around fractures. These halos comprise high concentrations of silica and indicate that liquid groundwater flowed through the rocks in Gale crater longer than previously believed. Courtesy/NASA/JPL-Caltech

LANL News:

Lighter-toned bedrock that surrounds fractures and comprises high concentrations of silica—called “halos”—has been found in Gale crater on Mars, indicating that the planet had liquid water much longer than previously believed. The new finding is reported


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Bird Walk In Upper Water Canyon Saturday

Learn about local birds from bird watcher Joe Fitzgibbon.​ Courtesy Photo 

PEEC News:

Los Alamos resident and bird watcher Joe Fitzgibbon will lead a hike at 7 a.m. Saturday in Upper Water Canyon. This half-day trip will take birders about two miles along the bottom of the canyon, through a mosaic of burned and unburned areas. Sightings may include the empidonax flycatchers (Dusky, Hammond’s, and Cordilleran), wrens, Western Tanagers, Stellar’s Jays, Green-tailed Towhees, warblers and woodpeckers.

Fitzgibbon has always been passionate about the outdoors and the history of Los Alamos.


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Two-Day Geology Tour Of Mount Taylor Region In June

Mount Taylor. Photo by Fraser Goff

PEEC News:

The Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) is offering a special overnight tour June 17-18 of the Mount Taylor region. The tour will focus on the geology of the area, and is suitable for geologists and non-geologists alike. Space is limited for this trip.

Geologists Fraser and Cathy Goff will lead the tour, which includes the earth science and volcanology of Mount Taylor and surrounding areas. There are various stops along the drive to Mount Taylor on the first day, some of which will highlight rocks with interesting mineralogy and textures. 


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Lightning Strikes Flagpole At American Legion

Lightning struck a flagpole at about 3 p.m. today at the American Legion on Trinity Drive. The strike caused a great deal of damage to electrical equipment, according to folks at the scene. The final damage is yet to be determined. The flagpole was silver before the strike. Photo by Leland Lehman/ladailypost.com

This flagpole at the American Legion was silver before it was hit this afternoon by lightning. Photo by Leland Lehman/ladailypost.com

Photo by Leland Lehman/ladailypost.com


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Final Hondito Wildfire Update

USFS News:

TAOS – The Hondito wildfire area will continue to be patrolled and monitored by fire personnel.

  • Location: Hondito Canyon, 4 miles southwest of Tres Piedras and 2 miles North of Las Tablas
  • Size: 7,020 acres, size changed due to accurate GPS mapping
  • Cause: Lightning
  • Start Date: May 15, 2017

As remaining interior fuel continues to burn, lingering smoke may be visible.

The fire is expected to remain at 7,020 acres. The lack of growth is due to minimal fire behavior and predicted weather forecast. The number of people assigned to the fire has been reduced to minimize exposure.

While objectives


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Night Skies, Phantoms At Nature Center Planetarium

Courtesy/PEEC

PEEC News:

Want to learn more about what is visible in the night sky this month? Dr. Paul Arendt will provide an interactive tour Friday, June 2, of the planets, star patterns, constellations, and deep sky objects that may be observed throughout June. This special show takes place at 7 p.m. in the Los Alamos Nature Center planetarium.

Phantom of the Universe, a film that uncovers the heavenly mystery of dark matter, will play in the planetarium at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 3 and 4. The film traces existence back


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Santa Fe National Forest Offices Closed Memorial Day

SFNF News:

SANTA FE – All Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) offices will be closed Monday, May 29 in observance of Memorial Day. Forest offices will resume regular business hours Tuesday, May 30.

There are currently no fire restrictions on the SFNF.  Visitors are reminded that fireworks and explosives are prohibited on federal lands. Law enforcement officers, fire personnel and recreation staff will be patrolling over the Memorial Day weekend to ensure visitor safety.

Forest visitors are asked to follow campfire safety guidelines and adhere to the Leave No Trace principles of outdoor


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On The Job In Los Alamos: At Pajarito Greenhouse

On the job in White Rock: Kathy Anderson and Cottrell Fox help gardeners this morning with their purchases at Pajarito Greenhouse. The greenhouse is especially busy this weekend due to their Memorial Day sales. They are also open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday at 238 Rio Bravo in Pajarito Acres. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com
 
On the job in White Rock: Arborist Laural Hardin, left, and Jess Gauntt are busy offering advice to gardeners this morning at Pajarito Greenhouse in White Rock. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

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SFNF Urges Extreme Caution On Rio Chama

SFNF News:

SANTA FE – As recreationists head into the Santa Fe National Forest for the long Memorial Day weekend, rafters, campers and others traveling along the Rio Chama should be prepared for higher-than-normal water levels and faster-than-normal flows on the river.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), the Rio Chama is experiencing “the most robust spring runoff” since 2005. BOR is currently releasing 3,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) from El Vado Reservoir into the Rio Chama in an attempt to keep up with the snowmelt. The safe channel capacity for this stretch of the Rio Chama


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Whole New Jupiter: First Science Results From NASA’s Juno Mission Show Gigantic Turbulent World

Through the Juno mission, scientists are learning more about the largest planet in the solar system. NASA/JPL-CalTech/USGS Photo
 
NASA News: 
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Early science results from NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter portray the largest planet in the solar system as a complex, gigantic, turbulent world, with Earth-sized polar cyclones, plunging storm systems that travel deep into the heart of the gas giant, and a mammoth, lumpy magnetic field that may indicate it was generated closer to the planet’s surface than previously thought.
 
“We are excited to share

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Los Alamos Nature Center Open This Holiday Weekend

Observe local birds like this Red-breasted Nuthatch this holiday weekend at the Los Alamos Nature Center. Photo by Bob Walker.

PEEC News: 

This weekend is a great time to enjoy nature, and the Los Alamos Nature Center can help. The nature center will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, a great day to visit the animals, use the Los Alamos Trails App to find a fun hike, pick up the new Passport to the Pajarito Plateau booklet, or build great memories with your family in the Satch and George Cowan Children’s Discovery Area.

The Los

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Think About Smokey Bear This Weekend And Follow Proper Campfire Procedures

SFNF News:

SANTA FE – To quote Smokey Bear, only you can prevent a repeat of last year’s Memorial Day weekend when campers left 25 unattended and abandoned campfires on the Santa Fe National Forest. Fortunately, none of the 25 identified campfires sparked or spread before they were discovered and extinguished. 

But we might not be so lucky this year. As the New Mexico fire season gets underway, it’s important to remember that unattended campfires are the leading human cause of wildfire.


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Tales Of Our Times: Impartial Testing Tests Courage

Tales of Our Times
By JOHN BARTLIT
New Mexico Citizens
for Clean Air & Water
 
Impartial Testing Tests Courage
 
The impartial study has it own place on the list of big risks. I speak of impartial studies, or tests, that one might call “politically timely,” as in a public controversy. A current case in need of impartial testing is Russian ties in the last election process. My focus here is the human nature lurking around such a study.
 
Human quirks intrude in public issues that need answers. Before we know it, choices from the big box of assumptions stand in for answers. Teams, some

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PEEC Offers Geology Tour Of Mount Taylor

Mount Taylor has a fascinating geologic story, one that can be told by Fraser and Cathy Goff. Photo by Fraser Goff

PEEC News:

The Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) is offering a special overnight tour June 17-18 of the Mount Taylor region. The tour will focus on the geology of the area, and is suitable for geologists and non-geologists alike. Space is limited for this trip.

Geologists Fraser and Cathy Goff will lead the tour, which will include the earth science and volcanology of Mount Taylor and surrounding areas. There will be various stops along the drive to Mount Taylor on the


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