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Alaska’s permafrost, shown here in 2010, is no longer permanent. It is starting to thaw.

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The Arctic is warming about twice as fast as other parts of the planet, and even here in sub-Arctic Alaska the rate of warming is high. Sea ice and wildlife habitat are disappearing; higher sea levels threaten coastal native villages.

But to the scientists from Woods Hole Research Center who have come here to study the effects of climate change, the most urgent is the fate of permafrost, the always-frozen ground that underlies much of the state.

Starting just a few feet below the surface and extending tens or even hundreds of feet down, it contains vast amounts of carbon in organic matter — plants that took carbon dioxide from the atmosphere centuries ago, died and froze before they could decompose. Worldwide, permafrost is thought to contain about twice as much carbon as is currently in the atmosphere.

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Click link below for article:

https://www.nytimes.com

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Understanding your body’s internal clock—or circadian rhythm—is the first step to better sleep.

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Your circadian rhythm (also known as your sleep/wake cycle or body clock) is a natural, internal system that’s designed to regulate feelings of sleepiness and wakefulness over a 24-hour period. This complex timekeeper is controlled by an area of the brain that responds to light, which is why humans are most alert while the sun is shining and are ready to sleep when it’s dark outside.

Your circadian rhythm causes your level of wakefulness to rise and dip throughout the day. Most people feel the strongest desire to sleep between 1:00pm and 3:00pm (a.k.a. the post-lunch, afternoon crash) and then again between 2:00am and 4:00am, but this can vary from person to person. That’s why some people are “morning people,” while others function best in the evening. Your circadian rhythm can also change as you age. When you were a teenager, for example, your body was programmed (so to speak) to sleep for more total hours, as well as go to bed and wake up later.

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Good Sleep

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Click link below for article:

https://sleep.org/articles/circadian-rhythm-body-clock/

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‘We are all just mind-boggled:’ scenes from the total solar eclipse of 2017

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For one brief moment, day became night.

And the sun was replaced by a black circle — ringed on all sides with gleaming white fire.

As the Great American Eclipse made landfall in the tiny coastal town of Newport, Ore., the rowdy crowd that gathered on its beach was stunned by the sight into an eerie silence.

In Casper, Wyo., a man blew a shofar, as others rang bells and let loose whoops and roars erupted from the crowd. Birds, startled by the darkness, darted in every direction.

“You weren’t kidding about the goosebumps,” one man muttered to another.

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Scenes from the total solar eclipse of 2017

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Click link below for article, video and slideshow:

scenes from the total solar eclipse of 2017 – Washington Post

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What time is the eclipse?

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It’s the Super Bowl of the Solar System! On Monday, August 21st, the moon will obscure the sun. People across the US will travel to the narrow band of land where the sun will be completely blocked out, but even if you’re far away and watching from home you’ll see something special happen in the sky.

The eclipse won’t last long, so you’ll want to be sure you’re ready to watch at the precise time when it will peak. Our friends at Vox made a handy eclipse watching tool that tells you exactly when you should be outside to see the action — just type your zip code into the tool below to see what time to watch and what your eclipse will look like. Just make sure you don’t look at the sun without the proper safety equipment. (Seriously, even if you have to do it yourself, protect your eyes.)

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Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

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Click link below for article:

https://www.theverge.com/2017/8/20/16175776/total-solar-eclipse-2017-what-time-is-it

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Before a Solar Eclipse Crosses 14 States, a Great American Road Trip

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Americans across the country this weekend began a great, if brief, migration, rushing toward a swath of territory stretching from Oregon to South Carolina for a chance to witness a total eclipse of the sun.

By Sunday, roads in many states were jammed as a normally busy summer weekend was overtaken by eclipse mania. But some locations were spared along the 70-mile-wide path of totality, where, weather permitting, viewers on Monday will be able to see the moon completely block the sun for a few minutes. The total eclipse will be the first to touch the mainland United States in nearly four decades.

Wyoming transportation officials reported nearly 20 percent more vehicles on the roads compared with a five-year average for the third weekend in August. They cautioned that the state’s population of 600,000 could double with people heading for the zone of totality, which crosses the state.

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 Cars lined up on Sunday to get into Grand Teton National Park outside Jackson, Wyo. People are flocking to the area in anticipation of viewing a total solar eclipse on Monday. Credit George Frey/Getty Images

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Click link below for article and video:

https://www.nytimes.com

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The eclipse capital of the U.S. is over the moon for Monday’s solar event

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At first, Bob Baer thought it had to be a hoax.

A man identifying himself as an astronomer had emailed to let him know about two eclipses that would cross the United States — one in 2017, the next in 2024. Carbondale, the small southern Illinois city where Baer was a physics professor, would be the only city at the center of both.

Disbelieving, Baer pulled up a NASA projection of future paths of totality — the places where the moon completely covers the sun during an eclipse. The lines crossed right over his city, like an X on a treasure map, marked by the shadow of the moon.

Three years later, Carbondale residents are still incredulous at their cosmic good fortune. The city has been badly in need of a break, ever since the recession and state budget crises cut enrollment at the local campus of Southern Illinois University nearly in half. With the region’s biggest employer in a tailspin, businesses shuttered and buildings fell into disrepair. The apartment vacancy rate was 35 percent. “This place was depressed,” Baer said.

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Click link below for article:

The eclipse capital of the U.S. is over the moon for Monday’s solar event

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A Tiny Parasite Could Save Darwin’s Finches from Extinction

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Five years ago, George Heimpel, an entomologist at the University of Minnesota, travelled to Trinidad in search of insect larvae. He was after several kinds in particular—Philornis downsi, a fly whose parasitic young feed on the hatchlings of tropical birds, and various minuscule wasp species whose own offspring feed on those of the fly. Heimpel hoped that the wasps might solve a problem on the Galápagos Islands, where Philornis has taken a severe toll on native fowl. Those hurt most by the fly, which was likely brought to the archipelago by people, are the Galápagos finches, the songbirds that provided Charles Darwin with some of the earliest evidence of evolution. Currently, eleven of the fourteen finch species are confirmed prey of Philornis larvae, which gorge on the young birds’ blood. With a mortality rate nearing a hundred per cent in some species, the chicks are dropping like, well, flies. The critically endangered mangrove finch is particularly imperilled: if Philornis isn’t stopped, the bird could disappear in a matter of decades, according to mathematical simulations from the University of Utah. It would be the first extinction to befall a Galápagos finch since humans came to the islands, in 1535.

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Galápagos finches, which helped inspire the theory of evolution, are under urgent threat. Will a controversial scientific technique be their deliverance?

Photograph by Mint Images Limited / Alamy

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Click link below for article:

http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/a-tiny-parasite-could-save-darwins-finches-from-extinction

 

 

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