Science

Science
7:02 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Impact Of Tamiami Trail Bridge 'Will Be Huge,' Says Conservationalist

The Tamiami Trail bridging seeks to restore historic water flows to the Everglades.
Credit Balthazira / Flickr Creative Commons

State officials, local dignitaries, and conservationalists gathered last Tuesday to celebrate the completion of the first phase of the Tamiami Trail bridge project. The plan took more than two decades to achieve and is part of a larger effort to restore fresh water flow to the Everglades.

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Florida grasshopper sparrows vs. fire ants
7:01 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Here's One Way To Help The Almost-Extinct Grasshopper Sparrow: Kill Fire Ants

Less popular than even the Burmese python? The red imported fire ant is a blight on Florida's landscape.
Credit AZRainman / Flickr Creative Commons

Fire ants are notorious Florida invasives, leaving a trail of painful welts and blisters in their wake. Those pesky exotic intruders also happen to be a serious threat to some of the state's most vulnerable endemic species. This includes the Florida grasshopper sparrow, which recently made the March/April cover of Audubon Magazine as "the most endangered bird in the continental United States." 

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Science
7:01 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Shark Tagging Program Seeks To Turn The Tide For Misunderstood Species

A bull shark is ventilated during a shark tagging expedition off the coast of Miami.
Credit Megan Jacobson / Sharktagging.com

On Saturday morning, Neil Hammerschlag stood on the stern of a charter boat frequently used for his innovative shark tagging and research program. The boat had departed just after 9 a.m. from Miami Seaquarium's docks. It stopped just a few miles offshore, Miami's skyline still visible in the distance. 

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Community Contributor
2:01 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

After A Start At Dial-Up Speeds, Miami’s Tech Sector Gains Momentum

The downtown skyline has recovered from its post-boom depression, and that could lead to a tech sector expansion.
Credit Eric Barton

At the height of the construction boom in 2006, Miami sprouted the second-fastest growing skyline in the world, behind Dubai. You could count over 70 cranes crowding each other out, like a tower of steel giraffes voraciously feeding on concrete.

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Science
7:01 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Red Tide Claims 170 Manatees, But South Florida Population Should Be Spared

Manatees that winter in Southeast Florida are unlikely to be impacted by the red tide blooms killing dozens of manatees on the Southwest side of the state.
Credit Tricia Woolfenden

One of Florida's most beloved endangered species is facing a tough end to the winter. State wildlife officials have confirmed the deaths of more than 170 manatees in Southwest Florida as red tide impacts regional populations of the gentle water-dwelling mammals.

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Vulture Tagging Everglades National Park
7:03 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Tagged Vultures May Solve Mystery About Why They Attack Cars In The Everglades

A tagged black vulture (left) is part of a group of more than 100 vultures being monitored in Everglades National Park.
Credit Tricia Woolfenden

In January, WLRN reported on the curious -- and destructive -- habits of some of the Everglades National Park's vulture population. The birds have been reported to "attack" parked vehicles, picking off rubber and vinyl. The baffling and costly behavior has led Everglades' staff to pass out anti-vulture kits to park visitors. It has also motivated state conservationalists and scientists to look into the matter more thoroughly. 

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Sinkhole Cost in Florida
7:00 am
Thu March 14, 2013

What Florida Homeowners Should Know About Sinkholes

The Florida sinkhole situation is getting a lot of attention.
Credit Richard Elzey / Flickr Creative Commons

The recent spate of sinkhole activity in Southwest Florida -- including a fatal sinkhole in Tampa earlier this month -- has shed light on the state's geologic anomaly. But how do sinkholes impact state economic factors like property insurance and home sales?   

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Climate Change
6:32 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Maps: How Sea Level Rise Could Impact Miami-Dade County

A map of the current sea level in south Florida.
Credit Marco A. Ruiz / Miami Herald

Miami-Dade County is grappling with how to repair and replace parts of its aging sewage system, under pressure from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The Water and Sewer Department has drawn up a $1.5 billion plan.

However, the clean-water advocacy group Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper says the plan doesn’t take into account the potential for sea level rise at its three coastal treatment plants on Virginia Key and in North Miami and South Miami-Dade.

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Climate Change and Coral Reefs
7:01 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Climate Change Could Ruin Snorkeling And Fishing In Florida

Ocean warming and acidification are causing a decline in Florida's coral reefs, which are popular with fish and humans alike.
Credit NOAA / Flickr Creative Commons

The future of some of Florida's smallest and most seldom seen inhabitants is under threat from climate change, and that could spell big trouble further up the food chain, scientists say. South Florida's coral and algae populations are declining as ocean temperatures rise and there's an economic factor to consider, according to researchers who study the coastal underwater ecosystems. 

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South Florida Science Museum
1:00 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

U.S. Lags In Science & Tech Education, While Science Fairs Boom In Palm Beach County

The engineering competition at the South Florida Science Museum aims to get kids interested in science and tech jobs.
Credit Courtesy photo

At the recent WLRN/Miami Herald-sponsored Town Hall on Session 2013 panelist Sen. Jack Latvala mentioned the need to focus on science and technology education to better prepare Florida's kids for a tech-centric global job market. It's a point echoed by Lew Crampton who serves as president and chief executive officer for the South Florida Science Museum.

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Science
7:02 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Tragic Sinkhole In Tampa Sheds Light On Florida's Geological Predicament

Sinkholes can cause substantial property damage and threaten water supplies.
Credit Southwest Florida Water Management District

The news last week of a Hillsborough County man who disappeared into a sinkhole that opened up beneath his bedroom has sparked a renewed national interest in the Florida sinkhole phenomenon.

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Humidity and Worker Productivity
7:31 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Humidity Will Worsen With Climate Change And With It, Worker Productivity

As temperatures around the country rise, worker productivity will take a dive.
Credit couchlearner / Flickr Creative Commons

Anyone who has tried to tend a garden or walk the dog in the height of a South Florida summer understands the energy-zapping qualities of a heat and humidity combo. A recently released study reports that climate change will mean an increase in those sticky, sweaty days.

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Tegu Invasive Species
8:01 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Meet The Tegu: An Intelligent And Athletic Invasive Threatening Florida's Wildlife

This domesticated tegu, Draco, is an education animal for the Zoological Society of Florida.
Credit Tricia Woolfenden

As Mike Perez mingled with visitors at the recent Python Challenge awards event in Miami, his left arm supported the weight of a black-and-white lizard with a body as thick as a linebacker's bicep. Gazing through heavily hooded eyes, the lizard rarely moved, save for sticking out its forked tongue for an occasional sniff . 

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Miami Sea Level Rise
8:01 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Miami Among "Most At Risk" For Sea Level Rise, Federal Climate Change Report Says

Coastal flooding will worsen in Miami if climate change patterns continue, according to a federal draft report.
Credit maxstrz / Flickr Creative Commons

Florida -- and Miami in particular -- should prepare for habitat destruction, loss of cropland, increased salt-water intrusion, worsening coastal flooding, and a host of related disasters if climate change and sea level rise patterns continue, according to findings in a federal "draft climate report."

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Sea Turtles & Beach Erosion
8:00 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Hurricane Sandy Erosion Will Impact Florida's Sea Turtle Nesting Season

Sea turtles -- like the green sea turtle hatchling seen here -- may need an extra hand during this year's nesting season.
Credit USFWS/Southeast / Flickr Creative Commons

South Florida's beaches in late spring through much of the fall resemble something of a crime scene, or rather, dozens of miniature crime scenes. Brightly colored caution tape and wooden stakes can be found scattered throughout the sand, sectioning off areas where sea turtles have left the water to build nests.

That tableau could look a bit different this year, says marine conservationist Dr. Kirt Rusenko, who is based at the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton. 

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