The Daily PlanetWatch for Tuesday, August 6

Thinking about the latest environmental news headlines every weekday afternoon from the Daily PlanetWatch

  • Ocean temperature "surprises" not so surprising. A new study led by Dr. Andrew Pershing, Chief Scientific Officer at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, examined 65 large marine ecosystems around the globe for "surprises" in ocean temperatures from 1854 to 2018. 

    Defining a surprise as "an annual mean temperature that is two standard deviations above the mean of the previous three decades," researchers expected to find 6 to 7 such surprises per year in each ecosystem. The surprise was on them.

    "Across the 65 ecosystems we examined, we expected about six or seven of them would experience these 'surprises' each year," explains Pershing in a Phys.org article. "Instead, we've seen an average of 12 ecosystems experiencing these warming events each year over the past seven years, including a high of 23 'surprises' in 2016."

  • One more example of statistically unusual climate deviation becoming the new normal.
  • Decoding nature. Best known for his work decoding German messages during World War II, Alan Turing also turned his prodigious mathematical genius to deciphering the patterns of nature, writes Beth Daley in The Conversation. 

    Turing died an untimely death in 1954, but his final paper,The Chemical Basis of Morphogenesis,"became one of the founding theories of mathematical biology," writes Daley, "a subject devoted to understanding how nature’s mechanisms work by finding equations that describe them, from species population changes to the way cancerous tumours grow.
  • If the science doesn't fit, you're fired. The impact and potential of agriculture on climate change becomes a greater concern, especially in light of the anticipated IPCC report this week, the USDA is under greater scrutiny over censorship of its own scientists. 
    Writing in ThinkProgress, E.A Crunden explains the agency's modus operandi burying science that doesn't comport with the Trump administration's effort to downplay, disparage, and deny climate change at every turn. The USDA isn't alone in this mission. From the EPA to the Department of Interior, climate science is actively thwarted under Trump. 

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