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No, The Gulf Stream Is Not Collapsing A sobering climate study came out this week in the journal Nature Communications. It suggests that a system of ocean currents—called the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC)—could collapse sometime between 2025 and 2095, which could have dire climate consequences for the North Atlantic.
SciFri director of news and audio John Dankosky talks with Swapna Krishna, a journalist based in Philadelphia, about what this means and what could be at stake. They also chat through other big science news of the week, including the detection of water vapor around a very distant star, a new image depicting the first detection of gas giants being formed around stars, a new theory for the origin of the world’s “gravity hole,” why the fuzzy asp caterpillar packs such a scary sting, and what scientists can learn from ticklish rats.
The State Of Reproductive Health, One Year After Dobbs In the year since the Supreme Court decided Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, overturning the federal right to an abortion, states jumped into action.
Thirteen states banned abortion with limited exemptions, and three others have banned abortion after the first trimester. A handful of other states have extremely restrictive abortion access, or otherwise remain in legal limbo, awaiting court decisions or new laws to be signed.
Leading up to Dobbs decision, SciFri delved into the science behind reproductive health and the potential ripple effects on access to care. Now, a little over a year later, we’re following up what’s going on.
SciFri guest host and experiences manager Diana Plasker talks with Usha Ranji, associate director for Women’s Health Policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, based in San Francisco, California, about her survey of 569 OB-GYNs across the country. They discuss the growing disparities in states between where abortion is banned and where it remains legal.
Later, John Dankosky talks with Dr. Rebecca Cohen, chief medical officer at the Comprehensive Women’s Health Center, based in Denver, Colorado, about providing abortion and pregnancy care in a state where abortion is legal, and seeing patients who are traveling from states with bans in place.
The Kākāpō Parrot Returns To New Zealand Before humans arrived in New Zealand, parrots called kākāpō freely roamed across the islands. They are the world’s only living flightless parrots, and they’re a bit smaller than the average chicken. But the kākāpō’s population started crashing centuries ago, due to human interference and the arrival of predators like cats, rats, and stoats. At one point, the species was teetering on the brink of extinction.
For decades, scientists have been capturing and relocating kākāpō to safe islands, hoping their population would grow. It did, and the kākāpō’s recovery team just reached a huge milestone: bringing four birds back to the mainland, a place they haven’t existed since the 1980s.
Guest host and SciFri events manager Diana Plasker talks with Deidre Vercoe, operations manager for the New Zealand Department of Conservation’s kākāpō and takahē teams, about the history of kākāpō conservation, what this win means, and what’s next for these beloved birds.
Far Beyond Their Native Habitat, Parrots Rule The Roost In many urban areas across the U.S. and abroad, feral, non-native parrots have become established. This is true in Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery, where a colony of lime green monk parakeets have inhabited a massive nest on top of the gothic entrance gate. How exactly these parrots wound up here is a bit of a mystery.
“The lore that’s passed around is that at some point a box of parrots, perhaps at the airport, got overturned,” said science writer Ryan Mandelbaum. “What’s more...