Archive for October, 2011

Climate deniers

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

Since I generally ignore climate deniers, I was surprised a month or so ago to see how bold and numerous they have become. This article is obviously bad – amusingly referring to the "Nature Journal of Science" (aka Nature) – but what really struck me was the comments, starring bogeyman ...

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Schimel Weintraub model

Friday, October 28th, 2011

At the Weintraub lab meeting, we've been talking with Daryl Moorhead about the Schimel Weintraub model of soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition. The main contribution of this model is to replace the empirical observation of exponential SOM decay with the mechanism that actually dissasembles macromolecules: extracellular enzymes (exoenzymes) produced by ...

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Arctic sea ice, warming, and soil carbon

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Andrew Sullivan linked a cool video of change in Arctic sea ice over time. Note the very low ice in 2007. It was about that low again this year. He also linked an essay discussing some of the consequences of melting sea ice on the Greenland ice sheet, which could be pretty ...

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Phosphorus sustainability

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Sustainability issues surrounding phosphorus have been getting some attention recently, including an interesting commentary piece (requires sub) in Nature. Phosphorus problems are a combination of the problem we have with nitrogen – too little hinders food production, too much degrades environment – and the problem we have with oil, a valuable finite ...

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Better default parameters for lattice graphics

Monday, October 10th, 2011

I use lattice graphics a lot, but I've never liked the default colors. Here's the set of parameters I use instead. Anyone can load these in R with: source("")

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Nitrogen biogeochemistry cheatsheet

Saturday, October 8th, 2011

I was reorganizing my website yesterday and came across this Nitrogen biogeochemistry graphic I made a few years ago. It could probably use a few updates nowadays but it's still a pretty decent guide for nitrogen n00bs.

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What forms of N are available?

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

In the old days, it was assumed that the N uptake by plants and microbes was done via the labile currency of inorganic N ions: nitrate and ammonium. Later, it was discovered that plants and microbes could in fact take up amino acids as well, in a way "short-circuiting" the ...

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