This week in science: Nov. 12—Nov. 18

1. Spring is coming early Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Park Service and UA found in a recent study that spring is coming earlier than usual in many national parks across the country. The study compared patterns of historical temperatures throughout 1912 and 2012 for national parks and found that 75 percent of the parks studied experience changes characteristic of spring earlier, and spring’s arrival is classified as extremely early in around half of the parks studied. Read more

Experts weigh in on the science and economics of oil pipelines

The conflict over the Dakota Access Pipeline has ballooned into a complex social justice issue. But what are the basic facts behind the pipeline? Here, economics professor Stanley Reynolds, economics assistant professor Derek Lemoine and associate professor of soil, water and environmental science Joan Curry answered questions about the underlying science of pipelines and pipeline economics. Read more

Political polling:A user's guide

In the wake of last week's election, many are questioning the accuracy and utility of polling for elections in the U.S. Donald Trump's victory, alongside many other surprising victories, came as a shock to the millions who had seen repeated polls showing Clinton as the favorite, consistently, until election day. By way of example, an online poll done by the Daily Wildcat had Trump's chances coming it at a mere 34%. Read more

UA researcher snags Air Force grant for transistors

UA Physics Department professor John Schaibley has received a $360,000 grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research to study plasmonic amplifiers. He is one of 58 scientists to receive the grant, with a total of $21 million handed out between them. Read more

Grasslands imperiled by climate change

It’s finally November—the time of year for cozy sweaters, hot cocoa, fall foliage and frosty mornings. But with Tucson temperatures notably higher than average in recent weeks, people may be finding it hard to get into the holiday spirit. Read more