On the Air: March 29, 2015
Biologists are transplanting sponges to rebuild sponge beds in the Florida Keys. Credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

If your flower garden gets wiped out by a hard freeze, you can either plant new seeds and wait for them to grow, or you can plant whole flowers. They both work, but one of them gives you faster results.

Biologists are testing the “faster” method to restore sponge beds in the Florida Keys. They’re transplanting sponges from healthy beds to some that have been damaged by red tides and other causes. The hope is that the transplants will cut years off the time required to rebuild the beds.

In Print: April 1, 2015
Almost one million years ago, North Atlantic currents and northern hemisphere ice sheets underwent changes. Credit: NASA

Just under a million years ago, a major pattern in Earth’s climate suddenly changed. Instead of having an ice age about every 41,000 years, the cycle switched to about every 100,000 years – and the cold periods had even lower average temperatures than the previous ones. What caused the interval between ice ages to double?