Christopher Joyce

Christopher Joyce appears in the following:

Once Resilient, Trees In The West Now More Vulnerable To Fires

Monday, July 29, 2013

Many forests in the American West have evolved with fire, and actually benefit from the occasional wildfire. But researchers are finding that trees that once would survive and thrive with small fires are now losing their ability to do so.


Why The Latest Gulf Leak Is No BP Disaster

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Deep-sea natural gas reservoirs sometimes contain oil, but experts say it's highly unlikely Tuesday's accident in the Gulf of Mexico would leak anything like the BP spill. And there are signs suggesting the only thing crews have to deal with is leaking gas.


Fighting Fire With Fire: Why Some Burns Are Good For Nature

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Fire is a natural part of the western landscape, and a push over the last century to eliminate fires has threatened the habitats that some plants and animals need. In a Montana valley, fire scientists are trying to show that they can actually save wilderness by burning it.


Wildfires Will Worsen, And Further Strain The Forest Service

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Over the past decade, fires in the American West have grown in intensity and size. "We're on a growth trajectory that is very scary," says one fire tracker. "And if we think it's expensive and dangerous now, we're just now seeing the very beginnings of how big this problem is going to be very soon."


Om Nom Nom: T. Rex Was, Indeed, A Voracious Hunter

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A fossilized tyrannosaur tooth found lodged between bones in a hadrosaur's tail is giving paleobiologists pretty firm clues about the tyrant king's meal plan. And Hollywood may have been right all along — T. Rex definitely knew how to kill.


Wastewater Wells, Geothermal Power Triggering Earthquakes

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Pumping industrial wastewater into storage wells deep underground can prime nearby faults for an earthquake. And studies show that a large quake — even one on the other side of the planet — can also push faults over the edge and set off a swarm of mini-earthquakes.


Saving One Species At The Expense Of Another

Thursday, July 11, 2013

In Montana's Centennial Valley, conservationists made a grievous mistake while trying to save the trumpeter swan — they nearly wiped out Arctic grayling. Now they're looking for ways to make sure both species get a place on the ark.


In Montana Wilds, An Unlikely Alliance To Save The Sage Grouse

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The chicken-size sage grouse is as much a part of America's Western range as antelopes and cowboys. The birds nest beneath sagebrush, and as it disappears, so do the grouse. Biologists hope to protect the bird without starting a 21st century range war.


Radiocarbon Clues Help Track Down Poached Elephant Ivory

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Nuclear bomb tests in the 1950s and '60s pumped a lot of radiocarbon into the atmosphere. It went everywhere, including into plants that elephants eat. By measuring the levels of this carbon in elephant tusks, scientists can tell when an elephant died — and whether the ivory is being traded illegally.


Tiny, Ancient Tree-Dweller Was One Of Earth's Earliest Primates

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

About 55 million years ago, a teacup-sized critter in China was helping to pave the way for apes and humans. This insect eater had fingernails and stereo vision, a newly published analysis of a fossil suggests. And it weighed just 1 ounce.


Big-Mouthed Toucans Key To Forest Evolution

Friday, May 31, 2013

As humans have cut into Brazil's forests, the toucan population has taken a dive. The trees, in turn, have changed, too: Without large-billed birds to eat fruit with big seeds, only trees with small seeds thrive. Eventually, one scientist says, "the impacts on the forest could be quite dramatic."


With Rising Seas, America's Birthplace Could Disappear

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

By the end of the century, ocean levels could rise by 2 or 3 feet. That's enough to flood the colonists' first settlement at Jamestown, Va. And it's putting pressure on archaeologists to get as many artifacts out of the ground as quickly as possible — before it's too late.


Bones Tell Tale Of Desperation Among The Starving At Jamestown

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

The winter of 1609-1610 has been called the "starving time" for the hundreds of men and women who settled the English colony of Jamestown, Va. They ate their horses, their pets — and, apparently, at least one person. Scientists say human bones recovered from the site provide the first hard evidence that the colonists may have resorted to cannibalism.


How Doctors Would Know If Syrians Were Hit With Nerve Gas

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

An international team of doctors is helping Syrian health workers recognize the signs of a chemical attack. They're also teaching them how to collect and preserve tissues as potential evidence if war crimes charges are brought.


What's Behind The 'Fairy Circles' That Dot West Africa?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Fly from Angola down to South Africa and you'll see thousands of circles of bare dirt covering the land. They're up to 30 feet across and ringed by tufts of grass. The origin of the shapes has long been a mystery, but researchers now say hordes of termites may be acting as engineers.


Is The Sky The Limit For Wind Power?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Building huge turbine farms too close together might significantly reduce their power, some atmospheric scientists say. The problem is "wind shadow" — the turbulence created by one big cluster of turbines that steals wind from another cluster down the road.


Jane Goodall Apologizes For Lifted Passages In Her Upcoming Book

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

World-famous primatologist Jane Goodall has admitted to plagiarizing several passages in her upcoming book, Seeds of Hope. It's not yet clear if Goodall or her co-author Gail Hudson is responsible for the lifted passages.


Could Tapping Undersea Methane Lead To A New Gas Boom?

Friday, March 15, 2013

A giant reservoir of natural gas lies under the ocean floor, and no one had successfully extracted it until this week. Japanese engineers pulled it up through a well from under the Pacific. But there are still lots of unanswered questions about the viability of this new gas supply.


Past Century's Global Temperature Change Is Fastest On Record

Friday, March 08, 2013

In the past 100 years, average temperatures on Earth have changed by 1.3 degrees. Previously, that large of a swing took 5,000 years. That's the word from researchers who pored over temperature data going back to the end of the last ice age.


Elephant Poaching Pushes Species To Brink Of Extinction

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Forest elephants in central Africa are being slaughtered in record numbers for their ivory tusks, a decade-long study finds. The U.S. government and wildlife advocacy groups are struggling to slow the killings as poaching is overcoming laws and treaties intended to protect the species.