Topic: ecosystem

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The Four Spheres (Geo, Bio, Hydro, & Atmo) with Crash Course Kids

The ground or geo-sphere, water or hydro-sphere, air or atmo-sphere, and life or bio-sphere: Earth and everything on it can be organized into these four distinct yet interconnected subsystems. Knowing more about each ...

Deepwater Horizon oil spill: Where did the oil go?

In April of 2010, a BP Deepwater Oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded, killing eleven workers and unleashing an unprecedented amount of sticky black crude into the gulf waters, beaches, wetlands, and surrounding eco...

Deep Look: From Drifter to Dynamo – The Story of Plankton

Mind-blowing fact: A massive group of single-celled algae called diatoms are considered champions of photosynthesis. Why? Diatoms are responsible for an estimated 20% to 40% -- maybe even 60% -- of the Earth's oxygen....

NASA: Satellite Tracks Saharan Dust to Amazon in 3-D

Watch 182 million tons of dust ride the wind out of Africa's Sahara Desert in 3D, as tracked from 2007 through 2013 by lidar, thanks to CALIPSO, the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation sa...

Help your local honey bees: Plant a bee-friendly garden

Pollinators like the honey bee are a huge part of how our food grows, but recently, honey bee populations have been in decline due to what scientists believe might be a mix of pesticide and fungicide use, pathogens, p...

Ocean sponges have incredible filtering power

Ocean sponges are fascinating multi-cellular animals that don't walk or swim. They eat by filter-feeding, straining the water around them to capture organic debris particles and microscopic life forms. How powerfu...

Dead stuff: The secret ingredient in our food chain

When you picture the lowest levels of the food chain, you might imagine herbivores happily munching on lush, living green plants. But this idyllic image leaves out a huge (and slightly less appetizing) source of nouri...

Minute Earth: Why Do Rivers Curve?

"...All it takes to turn a straight stretch of river into a bendy one, is a little disturbance and a lot of time, and in nature there's plenty of both." In this Minute Earth episode, narrated by science writer Emily E...

ScienceTake: A Surprising Appetite for Dead Jellyfish

Marine scientists previously suspected that dead jellyfish were not a preferred choice of food for ocean floor scavengers, but a recently-recorded test using Helmet and Lion’s Mane jellyfish has prompted a rethinking ...

The Grand Prismatic Spring: One of Nature’s Most Amazing Sights

Yellowstone National Park's Grand Prismatic Spring may be the nation's largest hot spring, but it's primarily known for its vibrant rainbow of colors. Created by the unique bacteria and algae that live within each hue...

It’s Okay to Be Smart: Why Do Clouds Stay Up?

Clouds are filled with so many water droplets that they're actually heavy... like 100 elephants heavy or a 747 airplane heavy! So why don't clouds fall out of the sky? It's Okay to Be Smart's Joe Hanson explains every...

Sea cucumbers are underwater vacuum cleaners

Join biologist Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg on the ocean sandy floor of Australia's Great Barrier Reef to witness an incredibly important ecological process: sea cucumbers pooping. Why is this so important? When se...

Feedback loops: How nature gets its rhythms

A grasshopper eats grass, a rat can eat the grasshopper, a snake may eat the rat, and a hawk will eat the snake. When these food chains interweave, they create a food web. Plants and animals (including humans) live, e...

The Quest for Sea Ice: Swimming with polar bears and a camera

Follow a group of four polar bears as they swim in search of ice. Arctic Bear Productions filmmaker Adam Ravetch captured this footage by attaching a camera to one of the four animals. The big paws, the sun on the hor...

The Burrowing Owl’s Cozy Underground Home

Owls that live underground! The Burrowing Owl's Cozy Home is a vacant prairie dog hole, a cool alternative (around 59F or 15C) to the extreme heat above ground. They eat small rodents, insects, amphibians, and reptile...

Urban Gardeners in Washinton DC Grow Crops in Spare Spaces

Urban garden designer Meredith Sheperd describes how growing fresh fruit and vegetables can be a successful part of city life, despite limited space and resources. From National Geographic, explore a variety of Washin...

Ocean Confetti: The challenge of micro-plastics

Minute Earth: Ocean Confetti, how our plastic trash gets broken down into minuscule bits called micro-plastics. So what can we do to help? Pair the above with this super-informative video from the NRDC: Stop Marine P...

Ecosystem Engineers: How do beavers build dams?

How does one of nature's best ecosystem engineers go about revitalizing the landscapes around them? From PBS Nature, this is how North American beavers build dams. Related reading at Pawnation: Importance of Beavers ...

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