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  1. Record-breaking heat waves and drought have left West Coast rivers lethally hot for salmon, literally cooked millions of mussels and clams in their shells and left forests primed to burn. The extraordinary severity of 2021’s heat and drought, and its fires and floods, has many people questioning whether climate change, fueled by human actions, is progressing even faster than studies have predicted and what that means for the future. As ecologists, we have watched climate change play out over decades at long-term research sites in forests, fields and coastal areas across the U.S. A recent series of five papers in the journal Ecosphere presents more than 25 case studies from these sites, providing a unique perspective on the changes underway and what’s likely ahead as the planet continues to warm. Here are snapshots of what we’re seeing firsthand in the National Science Foundation’s Long-Term Ecological Research Network sites, from the effect of increasing fires in Oregon’s Cascades to shifting marine life off the coast of Maine, and surprising resilience in Baltimore’s urban forests. 
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  2. Abstract

    Bedrock vadose zone water storage (i.e., rock moisture) dynamics are rarely observed but potentially key to understanding drought responses. Exploiting a borehole network at a Mediterranean blue oak savanna site—Rancho Venada—we document how water storage capacity in deeply weathered bedrock profiles regulates woody plant water availability and groundwater recharge. The site is in the Northern California Coast Range within steeply dipping turbidites. In a wet year (water year 2019; 647 mm of precipitation), rock moisture was quickly replenished to a characteristic storage capacity, recharging groundwater that emerged at springs to generate streamflow. In the subsequent rainless summer growing season, rock moisture was depleted by about 93 mm. In two drought years that followed (212 and 121 mm of precipitation) the total amount of rock moisture gained each winter was about 54 and 20 mm, respectively, and declines were documented exceeding these amounts, resulting in progressively lower rock moisture content. Oaks, which are rooted into bedrock, demonstrated signs of water stress in drought, including reduced transpiration rates and extremely low water potentials. In the 2020–2021 drought, precipitation did not exceed storage capacity, resulting in variable belowground water storage, increased plant water stress, and no recharge or runoff. Rock moisture deficits (rather than soil moisture deficits) explain these responses.

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  3. Phylogenetic evidence suggests that platyrrhine (or New World) monkeys and caviomorph rodents of the Western Hemisphere derive from source groups from the Eocene of Afro-Arabia, a landmass that was ~1500 to 2000 kilometers east of South America during the late Paleogene. Here, we report evidence for a third mammalian lineage of African origin in the Paleogene of South America—a newly discovered genus and species of parapithecid anthropoid primate from Santa Rosa in Amazonian Perú. Bayesian clock–based phylogenetic analysis nests this genus (Ucayalipithecus) deep within the otherwise Afro-Arabian clade Parapithecoidea and indicates that transatlantic rafting of the lineage leading toUcayalipithecuslikely took place between ~35 and ~32 million years ago, a dispersal window that includes the major worldwide drop in sea level that occurred near the Eocene-Oligocene boundary.

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  4. Abstract The rapid development of general-purpose computing on graphics processing units (GPGPU) is allowing the implementation of highly-parallelized Monte Carlo simulation chains for particle physics experiments. This technique is particularly suitable for the simulation of a pixelated charge readout for time projection chambers, given the large number of channels that this technology employs. Here we present the first implementation of a full microphysical simulator of a liquid argon time projection chamber (LArTPC) equipped with light readout and pixelated charge readout, developed for the DUNE Near Detector. The software is implemented with an end-to-end set of GPU-optimized algorithms. The algorithms have been written in Python and translated into CUDA kernels using Numba, a just-in-time compiler for a subset of Python and NumPy instructions. The GPU implementation achieves a speed up of four orders of magnitude compared with the equivalent CPU version. The simulation of the current induced on 10^3 pixels takes around 1 ms on the GPU, compared with approximately 10 s on the CPU. The results of the simulation are compared against data from a pixel-readout LArTPC prototype. 
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