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Wolves hunting otters, and chemical weathering in a warming world

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On this week’s show: When deer are scarce these wolves turn to sea otters, and chemical weathering of silicates acts as a geological thermostat

First up on this week’s show we have a story about a group of Alaskan wolves that has switched to eating sea otters as deer populations have dwindled. Science journalist Jack Tamisiea tells host Sarah Crespi about some of the recently published work on this diet shift, and wildlife biologist Gretchen Roffler weighs in on the conditions on the island where this is happening.

Also on this week’s show: Chemical weathering and the global carbon cycle. Sarah speaks with Susan Brantley, Evan Pugh university professor in the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute and Department of Geosciences at Pennsylvania State University, about how weathering of silicates in rocks pulls carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. They talk about how this temperature-sensitive process could increase as Earth warms, as well as the potential and limitations of this effect on the global carbon budget.


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This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

About the Science Podcast

[Image: Landon Bazeley; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

[alt: Wolf pup pulling a sea otter carcass up a rocky beach with podcast symbol overlay]

Authors: Sarah Crespi; Kevin McLean; Jack Tamisiea

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