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Early Spanish fort discovered in North Carolina

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At its peak, Spanish colonization stretched the length and breadth of the Americas.

Short-lived settlement offers clues to early colonial history

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — More than a generation before the English established the Jamestown colony in what is now Virginia, early Spanish explorers were roaming the southeastern U.S. and establishing forts as far north as the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.

University of Michigan archaeologists recently discovered the remains of the earliest European fort in the interior of the United States, providing new insight into the early colonial era. The site is located near Morganton in western North Carolina, nearly 300 miles from the Atlantic Coast. Continue reading

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Study: Gen-Xers ‘dismissive & doubtful’ of global warming

Gen-Xers are showing a declining level of concern about global warming, according to a University of Michigan study. Photo courtesy NASA.

Survey suggests high percentage of Gen-Xers are uninformed about the causes and potential impacts of climate change

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — In what might be a sign of recent economic woes, Generation Xers seems to be less concerned about global warming than just a few years ago, according to a long-term demographic study by researchers at the University of Michigan.

“Most Generation Xers are surprisingly disengaged, dismissive or doubtful about whether global climate change is happening and they don’t spend much time worrying about it,” said Jon D. Miller, author of The Generation X Report. Continue reading

Environment: How big will this year’s Gulf dead zone be?

Researchers measure the carryover effect of last year’s record nutrient runoff

A NOAA graphic shows the impacts of nutrient loading by highlight oxygen-starved dead zones in red. This year’s Gulf of Mexico dead zone may be smaller than in recent years because of a dry spring in the Midwest.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Although this year’s oxygen-starved dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico may be smaller than in recent years because of a drier-than-average spring in the Midwest, the long-term trend of nutrient loading hasn’t changed, according to University of Michigan researchers who recently modeled the predicted impacts of this year’s runoff.

The amount of nitrogen, mainly from agricultural fertilizers, entering the Gulf of Mexico each spring has increased about 300 percent since the 1960s. This year’s Gulf dead zone could be the second-smallest on record, but it’s still predicted to cover about 1,200 miles, about the size of Rhode Island.

But a second dead-zone forecast issued by a NOAA-supported team from the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium and Louisiana State University, predicts a much larger 2012 Gulf dead zone of 6,213 square miles. Continue reading

Fate of Aegean reptiles foreshadows global warming impacts

An Aegean wall lizard on a Greek Island. PHOTO BY JOHANNES FOUFOPOLOUS.

New study shows importance of preserving intact wildlife movement corridors

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Scientists studying reptile extinctions on Greek islands say their work may help show how global warming will affect plants and animals in the coming centuries. The study also highlights the importance of preserving habitat corridors so plants and animals can migrate in response to climate change, thereby maximizing their chances of survival. Continue reading

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