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Both Supply and Demand for COVID-Related Academic and Social Interventions Are Insufficient to Address the Negative Effects of the Pandemic

June 28, 2022

Throughout the 2021–22 school year, parents of color and parents with low incomes have expressed worries about their children's mental health, socialization, and academic skills. Many schools and districts have developed targeted interventions. But as schools and districts develop these programs to address students' academic and social needs, the data show those programs do not always reach the students and families most affected by the pandemic.

When election expectations fail: Polarized perceptions of election legitimacy increase with accumulating evidence of election outcomes and with polarized media

December 1, 2021

The present study, conducted immediately after the 2020 presidential election in the United States, examined whether Democrats' and Republicans' polarized assessments of election legitimacy increased over time. In a naturalistic survey experiment, people (N = 1,236) were randomly surveyed either during the week following Election Day, with votes cast but the outcome unknown, or during the following week, after President Joseph Biden was widely declared the winner. The design unconfounded the election outcome announcement from the vote itself, allowing more precise testing of predictions derived from cognitive dissonance theory. As predicted, perceived election legitimacy increased among Democrats, from the first to the second week following Election Day, as their expected Biden win was confirmed, whereas perceived election legitimacy decreased among Republicans as their expected President Trump win was disconfirmed. From the first to the second week following Election Day, Republicans reported stronger negative emotions and weaker positive emotions while Democrats reported stronger positive emotions and weaker negative emotions. The polarized perceptions of election legitimacy were correlated with the tendencies to trust and consume polarized media. Consumption of Fox News was associated with lowered perceptions of election legitimacy over time whereas consumption of other outlets was associated with higher perceptions of election legitimacy over time. Discussion centers on the role of the media in the experience of cognitive dissonance and the implications of polarized perceptions of election legitimacy for psychology, political science, and the future of democratic society.

Variable Effects of Local Management on Coral Defenses Against a Thermally Regulated Bleaching Pathogen

October 2, 2019

Bleaching and disease are decimating coral reefs especially when warming promotes bleaching pathogens, such as Vibrio coralliilyticus. We demonstrate that sterilized washes from three common corals suppress V. coralliilyticus but that this defense is compromised when assays are run at higher temperatures. For a coral within the ecologically critical genus Acropora, inhibition was 75 to 154% greater among colonies from coral-dominated marine protected areas versus adjacent fished areas that were macroalgae-dominated. Acropora microbiomes were more variable within fished areas, suggesting that reef degradation may also perturb coral microbial communities. Defenses of a robust poritid coral and a weedy pocilloporid coral were not affected by reef degradation, and microbiomes were unaltered for these species. For some ecologically critical, but bleaching-susceptible, corals such as Acropora, local management to improve reef state may bolster coral resistance to global change, such as bacteria-induced coral bleaching during warming events.

The Dynamics and Impact of Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia: Insights from Sustained Investigations in the Northern California Current Large Marine Ecosystem

September 5, 2019

Coastal upwelling ecosystems around the world are defined by wind-generated currents that bring deep, nutrient-rich waters to the surface ocean where they fuel exceptionally productive food webs. These ecosystems are also now understood to share a common vulnerability to ocean acidification and hypoxia (OAH). In the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME), reports of marine life die-offs by fishers and resource managers triggered research that led to an understanding of the risks posed by hypoxia. Similarly, unprecedented losses from shellfish hatcheries led to novel insights into the coastal expression of ocean acidification. Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO) scientists and other researchers in the CCLME responded to the rise of OAH with new ocean observations and experiments. This work revealed insights into the expression of OAH as coupled environmental stressors, their temporal and spatial variability, and impacts on species, ecological communities, and fisheries. Sustained investigations also deepened the understanding of connections between climate change and the intensification of hypoxia, and are beginning to inform the ecological and eco-evolutionary processes that can structure responses to the progression of ocean acidification and other pathways of global change. Moreover, because the severity of the die-offs and hatchery failures and the subsequent scientific understanding combined to galvanize public attention, these scientific advances have fostered policy advances. Across the CCLME, policymakers are now translating the evolving scientific understanding of OAH into new management actions.

Evidence and patterns of tuna spawning inside a large no-take Marine Protected Area

July 24, 2019

The Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA), one of the world's largest marine protected areas, represents 11% of the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Kiribati, which earns much of its GDP by selling tuna fishing licenses to foreign nations. We have determined that PIPA is a spawning area for skipjack (Katsuwonus pelamis), bigeye (Thunnus obesus), and yellowfin (Thunnus albacares) tunas. Our approach included sampling larvae on cruises in 2015–2017 and using a biological-physical model to estimate spawning locations for collected larvae. Temperature and chlorophyll conditions varied markedly due to observed ENSO states: El Niño (2015) and neutral (2016–2017). However, larval tuna distributions were similar amongst years. Generally, skipjack larvae were patchy and more abundant near PIPA's northeast corner, while Thunnus larvae exhibited lower and more even abundances. Genetic barcoding confirmed the presence of bigeye (Thunnus obesus) and yellowfin (Thunnus albacares) tuna larvae. Model simulations indicated that most of the larvae collected inside PIPA in 2015 were spawned inside, while stronger currents in 2016 moved more larvae across PIPA's boundaries. Larval distributions and relative spawning output simulations indicated that both focal taxa spawned inside PIPA in all 3 study years, demonstrating that PIPA is protecting viable tuna spawning habitat.

Setting ecological expectations for adaptive management of marine protected areas

July 16, 2019

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are being implemented worldwide, yet there are few cases where managers make specific predictions of the response of previously harvested populations to MPA implementation.Such predictions are needed to evaluate whether MPAs are working as expected, and if not, why. This evaluation is necessary to perform adaptive management, identifying whether and when adjustments to management might be necessary to achieve MPA goals.Using monitoring data and population models, we quantified expected responses of targeted species to MPA implementation and compared them to monitoring data.The model required two factors to explain observed responses in MPAs: (a) pre‐MPA harvest rates, which can vary at local spatial scales, and (b) recruitment variability before and after MPA establishment. Low recruitment years before MPA establishment in our study system drove deviations from expected equilibrium population size distributions and introduced an additional time lag to response detectability.Synthesis and applications. We combined monitoring data and population models to show how (a) harvest rates prior to Marine Protected Area (MPA) implementation, (b) variability in recruitment, and (c) initial population size structure determine whether a response to MPA establishment is detectable. Pre‐MPA harvest rates across MPAs plays a large role in MPA response detectability, demonstrating the importance of measuring this poorly known parameter. While an intuitive expectation is for response detectability to depend on recruitment variability and stochasticity in population trajectories after MPA establishment, we address the overlooked role of recruitment variability before MPA establishment, which alters the size structure at the time of MPA establishment. These factors provide MPA practitioners with reasons whether or not MPAs may lead to responses of targeted species. Our overall approach provides a framework for a critical step of adaptive management.

Global Biogeography of Coral Recruitment: Tropical Decline and Subtropical Increase

July 4, 2019

Despite widespread climate-driven reductions of coral cover on tropical reefs, little attention has been paid to the possibility that changes in the geographic distribution of coral recruitment could facilitate beneficial responses to the changing climate through latitudinal range shifts. To address this possibility, we compiled a global database of normalized densities of coral recruits on settlement tiles (corals m-2) deployed from 1974 to 2012, and used the data therein to test for latitudinal range shifts in the distribution of coral recruits. In total, 92 studies provided 1253 records of coral recruitment, with 77% originating from settlement tiles immersed for 3-24 mo, herein defined as long-immersion tiles (LITs); the limited temporal and geographic coverage of data from short-immersion tiles (SITs; deployed for

Tracing and constraining anthropogenic aerosol iron fluxes to the North Atlantic Ocean using iron isotopes

June 14, 2019

Atmospheric dust is an important source of the micronutrient Fe to the oceans. Although relatively insoluble mineral Fe is assumed to be the most important component of dust, a relatively small yet highly soluble anthropogenic component may also be significant. However, quantifying the importance of anthropogenic Fe to the global oceans requires a tracer which can be used to identify and constrain anthropogenic aerosols in situ. Here, we present Fe isotope (δ56Fe) data from North Atlantic aerosol samples from the GEOTRACES GA03 section. While soluble aerosol samples collected near the Sahara have near-crustal δ56Fe, soluble aerosols from near North America and Europe instead have remarkably fractionated δ56Fe values (as light as −1.6‰). Here, we use these observations to fingerprint anthropogenic combustion sources, and to refine aerosol deposition modeling. We show that soluble anthropogenic aerosol Fe flux to the global surface oceans is highly likely to be underestimated, even in the dusty North Atlantic.

How fast are the oceans warming?

January 11, 2019

Climate change from human activities mainly results from the energy imbalance in Earth's climate system caused by rising concentrations of heat-trapping gases. About 93% of the energy imbalance accumulates in the ocean as increased ocean heat content (OHC). The ocean record of this imbalance is much less affected by internal variability and is thus better suited for detecting and attributing human influences than more commonly used surface temperature records. Recent observation-based estimates show rapid warming of Earth's oceans over the past few decades. This warming has contributed to increases in rainfall intensity, rising sea levels, the destruction of coral reefs, declining ocean oxygen levels, and declines in ice sheets; glaciers; and ice caps in the polar regions. Recent estimates of observed warming resemble those seen in models, indicating that models reliably project changes in OHC.

Repeat bleaching of a central Pacific coral reef over the past six decades (1960–2016)

November 8, 2018

The oceans are warming and coral reefs are bleaching with increased frequency and severity, fueling concerns for their survival through this century. Yet in the central equatorial Pacific, some of the world's most productive reefs regularly experience extreme heat associated with El Niño. Here we use skeletal signatures preserved in long-lived corals on Jarvis Island to evaluate the coral community response to multiple successive heatwaves since 1960. By tracking skeletal stress band formation through the 2015-16 El Nino, which killed 95% of Jarvis corals, we validate their utility as proxies of bleaching severity and show that 2015-16 was not the first catastrophic bleaching event on Jarvis. Since 1960, eight severe (>30% bleaching) and two moderate (

The State of Tribal Data Capacity in Indian Country: Key Findings from The Survey of Tribal Data Practices

October 1, 2018

Over the past two decades, there have been an increase in efforts to close the data gap in tribal nations. Many tribes are now conducting their own surveys and censuses for local planning and governance. This report summarizes the results of a survey that sought to review individual tribal data practices across Indian Country and assess current tribal data capacity and future needs. 

Public Awareness of Scientific Consensus on Climate Change Is Rising

February 22, 2018

Among scientists who study the Earth's climate, there is overwhelming agreement that humans are causing rapid change. Surveys find that the U.S. public underestimates the extent to which scientists agree on this point, but public awareness is gradually rising (Figure 1). A repeating question placed by Carsey School researchers on surveys since 2010 asks:Which of the following two statements do you think is more accurate?Most scientists agree that climate change is happening now, caused mainly by human activities. There is little agreement among scientists whether climate change is happening now, caused mainly by human activities.