For Vice: California’s Wildfires Could Be the New Normal

I connected the dots between loss of Arctic sea ice and California’s recent devastating wildfire season in this piece for Vice:

“Calling this [fire season] the ‘new normal’ —that’s not out of line at all,” says Professor Jennifer Francis, an atmospheric scientist and research professor in the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University. Professor Francis has spent her career focused on the Arctic and energy exchanges between that region and the rest of the planet. She says the warming she’s seen in the polar region has impacted weather patterns throughout the Northern Hemisphere. “Those changes up north, they’re impacting the billions of people down here.”

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For The Daily Beast: IVF Might Bring Baby Coral Back to the Florida Keys

“When I was 7 years old, I traveled to the Florida Keys with my grandmother and learned to snorkel, spending most of the day, every day, for over a week, peering down at countless corals bursting in indescribable shapes and glorious colors.

Nearly 30 years later, I returned to the same beaches, eager to strap on my mask and dive in. I was excited to show my West Coast-raised partner the beauty I knew to be hidden beneath the gentle aquamarine surface.

But there was no color left.”

However, there’s hope. Some intrepid scientists are using some creative techniques, including IVF, to help baby coral survive a challenging new landscape. I got to talk to them for this article for The Daily Beast.

I Wrote: How You May Be Eating Plastic and Fibers with Your Fish

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Plastics aren’t the only thing that fish are eating; now they are consuming fibers (from our clothes washing machines) too. I wrote about a new study on the subject on what’s in fish stomachs—and what that may mean for human beings’ health—in my latest article for Mental Floss.

In short, “the mismanagement of our waste is coming back to haunt us in our food,” Chelsea Rochman, lead researcher for the study and a postdoctoral fellow in conservation biology at the University of California, Davis, told mental_floss.

Which is a nice way of saying we are eating our own garbage.