Working independently, Likens and Scheffer have, says the jury, contributed to understanding and finding solutions for “gradual, abrupt and potentially irreversible ecosystem change” in response to pollution and other ecological threats. Together, the two scientists “have transformed our understanding of how human activities are changing the structure and function of natural ecosystems, and provided tools to inform ecosystem management.”
The White Mountains of New Hampshire contain an unusual patch of woods known as the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest. Hubbard Brook has been home to some of the past half-century’s biggest discoveries in forest science, particularly around acid rain and clear-cutting.
For more than half a century, scientists have converged on Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire's White Mountains to explore how forest ecosystems work. The site was established by the U.S. Forest Service to study the relationship between forests and New England's water supply.
As an investigation by scientists at Duke University and the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies shows, the value of long-term studies can't be understated. In it, investigators looking at the impacts of acid rain on the soil acidity of a New Hampshire forest found that everything behaved as expected for about a decade. But after that, the system went haywire.
For more than 50 years, the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in the White Mountains of New Hampshire has been one of the most intensely studied landscapes on earth. Gene Likens, Cary Institute President Emeritus, discusses his new book, Hubbard Brook: The Story of a Forest Ecosystem.
A legacy of acid rain has acidified forest soils throughout the northeastern US, lowering the growth rate of trees. In an attempt to mitigate this trend, in 1999 scientists added calcium to an experimental forest in New Hampshire. Tree growth recovered, but a decade later there was a major increase in the nitrogen content of stream water draining the site.
The discovery of acid rain in North America was made possible by environmental data collected at a biological field station. Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest is just one of the many biological field stations located around the globe that are keeping a pulse on the health of our planet.
HUBBARD BROOK: The Story of a Forest Ecosystem captures the rich history of research at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, including how it has transformed environmental policy, resource management, and forestry practices – locally, regionally, and nationally.
Wikipedia reigns. It’s the world’s most popular online encyclopedia, the sixth most visited website in America, and a source most students rely on. But, according to a recent paper by Dr. Gene E. Likens, Cary Institute President Emeritus, Wikipedia entries on politically controversial science can be unreliable.
Wikipedia is world's most popular online encyclopedia, the sixth most visited website in America, and a source most students rely on. But, according to a recent study, Wikipedia entries on politically controversial science topics can be especially unreliable.
If you type anything scientific into Google, the chances are that Wikipedia will be prominently placed in the search results. The fact that other encyclopedias don't get a look in is a sign of just how popular the site is, with crowd-sourced wisdom trusted ahead of the knowledge of select specialists.
Long before our current politicized battles over the science of climate change, vaccines and evolution, there was an older generation of political science fights — over the health effects of smoking and the environmental costs of acid rain and the depletion of the Earth's ozone layer, to name a few.
Wikipedia reigns. It’s the world’s most popular online encyclopedia, the sixth most visited website in America, and a research source most U.S. students rely on. But, according to a paper published today in the journal PLOS One, Wikipedia entries on politically controversial scientific topics can be unreliable due to information sabotage.
Since the bad old days of the 1970s and '80s, there has been a whole lot less acid falling on the Northeast. That’s mostly thanks to the 1990 Clean Air Act, which has made a big difference to lakes and streams.
pH levels, a measure of acidity, are improving in the Adirondacks. Now, when the state stocks fish in many lakes, they survive, and even thrive, to the joy of fishermen who found the 1970s and '80s depressing. It's a remarkable turnaround in since acid rain's discovery in the U.S. by Gene Likens, just a half century ago.
There’s a dramatic recovery underway in New England. Red spruce, a tree species that researchers thought was doomed because of acid rain, is now growing faster than ever, and it’s not the only tree growing like gangbusters.
Something peculiar is happening to rivers and streams in large parts of the United States — the water's chemistry is changing. Scientists have found dozens of waterways that are becoming more alkaline.
Human activities are changing the water chemistry of many streams and rivers in the Eastern U.S., with consequences for water supplies and aquatic life, so reports a new study in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.
Bubbling brooks and streams are a scenic and much loved feature of forest ecosystems, but long-term data at Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest suggests that more productive forests might carry considerably less water.
Though not in the news as much as it once was, acid rain remains a problem. Power plants, factories, and vehicles give off sulfur and nitrogen oxide emissions, which react in the atmosphere to form sulfuric and nitric acids. These acids are then deposited back onto the landscape in rain, snow, fog, or particles.
We ecologists take a lot of flack for always having depressing news to report. It's not often we get to say there is good news on the environmental front, but those of us concerned with air pollution have certainly had reasons to smile this summer.
Cary Institute scientists have provided leadership in acid rain research, but acid rain is not limited to our area—it occurs widely across the eastern United States, Europe, China, and other industrialized areas around the world.
Fourteen scientists and one engineer were named by President George W. Bush on May 9, 2002 to receive the National Medal of Science, the nation's highest award for lifetime achievement in fields of scientific research.