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House Committee Slashes NASA Earth Sciences Budget
Even as polls show a majority of Americans, and a majority of registered Republicans, support action to curb climate change, the House Science Committee has voted to gut NASA’s earth sciences budget. As Ars Technica reports, this appears to be part of a coordinated attack on climate science: http://arstechnica.com/science/2015/05/01/house-science-committee-guts-nasa-earth-sciences-budget/

Climate Change Expected to Accelerate Mass Extinction
Predicted climate warming spells trouble for many of Earth’s species, especially in the tropics. It is thought that one in six species may face extinction by the end of the century. Adding to habitat loss, toxic pollution, and the introduction of exotic invasive species, climate change is seen as an accelerator to what is being called the Earth’s sixth mass extinction, an event ascribed to human causes. The Smithsonian has more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/climate-change-will-accelerate-earths-sixth-mass-extinction-180955138/

Birds Faring Badly, Four Years After Fukushima
In what may be a harbinger for the effects of nuclear accidents on avian populations, researcher Tim Mousseau reports that bird species are in steep decline in the areas most affected by the Fukushima-Daiichi power plant disaster. Troublingly, it appears the effects are cumulative. Mousseau’s observations and tentative conclusions are not without critics, though, and the Smithsonian provides a balanced look: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/birds-are-tailspin-four-years-after-fukushima-180955134/

State Land Board Upholds LNG Pipeline Denial
Oregon’s Land Use of Board of Appeals voted to uphold Clatsop County’s decision to deny the permitting of a liquefied natural gas pipeline to feed a proposed LNG terminal near Warrenton. This is unlikely to be the final chapter in the contest between big energy and the Oregon county. The Oregon State Division of Land Conservation and Development will be the next regulatory body to weigh in on the project. The Oregonian has the details: http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2015/04/state_board_upholds_county_den.html#incart_river

The Birth of Meteorology
Roughly a century-and-a-half ago, a new idea was given form: using science to predict the weather. While most of us take weather forecasts for granted, the science of meteorology has had a long and often difficult path to tread getting to its present-day form. Let the BBC take you back to those trying, early days of a nascent science: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-32483678