Science and Medicine

With Climate Change, Expect More Monster Winter Storms



“It’s sort of a double whammy,” Mann said. “The storms become more powerful and they contain more moisture.”

No single weather event can be directly attributed to climate change. But as the globe warms up, Americans can expect more storms like the one this week, scientists say.

That’s not because the Feb. 1 storm can be linked to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels or increasing global temperature—again, such a connection is impossible to make – but, according to climatologists, an increased propensity for winter storms is exactly what you’d expect in a warming world.

“There’s no inconsistency at all,” Michael Mann, the director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center, told LiveScience. “If anything, this is what the models project: that we see more of these very large snowfalls.”

Climate versus weather

Questions about climate often pop up when the weather is extreme. Droughts and heat waves trigger comments on the scourge of carbon dioxide. During winter storms like the one that lashed much of the east and midwest, skeptics question why they have to dig out their car from snowdrifts in a supposedly warming world.

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Can Eating Less at Breakfast Help You Lose Weight?



“Overweight and obese subjects should consider the reduction of breakfast calories as a simple option to improve their daily energy balance,” the researchers said.

We’ve heard time and time again about the importance of eating breakfast but a new study suggests cutting back on what you eat in the morning might help you eat less during the rest of your waking hours.

The results show that, the more calories people eat at breakfast, the higher their total daily calorie intake is. This finding was true of both obese and normal weight people.

Participants ate around 500 to 550 calories for lunch and dinner, regardless of how much they ate for breakfast—it didn’t matter whether they skipped it entirely or had a hearty morning meal, the researchers said.

As a result, those who ate a big breakfast—on average, 400 calories more than a small breakfast—took in 400 extra calories during their day.

“While we often hear that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, this study reminds us that monitoring calories at breakfast is very important, too,” said Mary Ann Johnson, a professor of foods and nutrition at the University of Georgia and spokesperson for the American Society for Nutrition, who was not involved in the study. “The calories at breakfast do count toward overall daily intake.”

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Dinosaur Graveyard Reveals Oldest T. Rex Relative



Weighing only 10-15 pounds and about 4 feet in length from snout to tail tip, pint-sized Eodromaeus may be the oldest ancestor to date of all meat-eating dinosaurs, including T. rex. Illustration by Todd Marshall.

What may be the earliest known relative of T. rex and all meat-eating dinosaurs has been discovered. The dog-sized mini-predator would’ve made its future relatives proud as it fed on small dinosaurs and the young of other reptiles, and is now shaking up what scientists had previously learned about the evolution of those extinct giants.

The small, lanky, two-legged carnivore named Eodromaeus murphi—Eodromaeus being Greek for “dawn runner,” murphi in honor of field volunteer Jim Murphy—weighed only 10 to 15 lbs (4.5 to 6.8 kg) and measured about 4 ft (1.2 m) in length from snout to tail. The skeletons of two specimens were discovered side-by-side in 230-million-year-old iron-rich stone in the “Valley of the Moon” at the foothills of the Andes in northeastern Argentina, which was once the southwest corner of the supercontinent Pangaea.

“With a hike across the valley, you literally walk over the graveyard of the earliest dinosaurs to a time when they ultimately dominate,” said researcher Ricardo Martinez, a paleontologist at the National University of San Juan in Argentina.

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