The Associated Press on invasive species and flooding It's not as immediately noticeable as, say, fallen trees or washed away roads, but the spread of invasive species after floods may be just as costly as physical damage. The Associated Press' Lisa Rathka describes two such cases after recent U.S. floods: the Japanese knotweed (above) spread across Vermont after Hurricane Irene, and the Asian carp, introduced to new lakes along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers from Louisiana to Iowa after floods in 2011. Neither the plant nor the fish are native to the U.S. (just look at their names) and recent flooding has increased their footprint. Meaning: each likely will crowd out other flora and fauna in the affected areas.
The Guardian on wind turbines increasing temperatures at night Talk about unintended consequences (though it's not as bad as it sounds at first). According to a new research, discussed by The Guardian's Damian Carrington, wind turbines can increase the night temperature of the area around them. Initially it may seem like the turbines are going the exact opposite of what they're intended to go -- i.e., keep the temperature of the earth stable (by reducing greenhouse gas emissions). But what's actually happening, at least where researchers looked in West Texas, is more innocuous: "The scientists say the effect is due to the gentle turbulence caused by the wind turbines. After the sun has set, the land cools down more quickly than the air, leaving a cold blanket of air just above the ground. But the turbine wakes mix this cold layer with the warmer air above, raising the temperature." So air is just being mixed, which may have some ecological effects, but that's better than a significant amount of extra heat being added to the atmosphere.