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Do City Birds Outlive Country Birds?
December 1, 2014 08:45 AM - Smithsonian Science
Researchers at the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center have found four bird species living in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan region that survive longer than those living in rural settings. The study was led by the Migratory Bird Center using the Smithsonian’s Neighborhood Nestwatch program in which citizen scientists and researchers visit participating residences and parks to collect information about local bird populations. From 2000 to 2012, Neighborhood Nestwatch participants captured, tagged and released more than 7,000 birds from about 280 sites within the urban forest of Rock Creek Park, suburban Maryland backyards and the National Mall.
Turkey might be a better choice than fish in the tropics!
November 27, 2014 07:12 AM - Katie Pitz in Oceanus: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
On a tropical island vacation, one of the last things you want to worry about is food poisoning. Yet for many, a trip to the tropics includes a painful education in a mysterious food-borne illness called Ciguatera Fish Poisoning, or CFP.
Every year, thousands of people suffer from CFP, a poisoning syndrome caused by eating toxic reef fish. CFP symptoms are both gastrointestinal and neurological, bringing on bouts of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, muscle aches, and in some cases, the reversal of hot and cold sensations. Some neurological symptoms can persist for days to months to years after exposure. There is no quick way to test for the toxins, and unless action is taken within hours of the poisoning, no cure once you’re sick.
How the environment can trigger disease
November 25, 2014 03:00 PM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen
Using a new imaging technique, National Institutes of Health researchers have found that the biological machinery that builds DNA can insert molecules into the DNA strand that are damaged as a result of environmental exposures. These damaged molecules trigger cell death that produces some human diseases, according to the researchers. The work provides a possible explanation for how one type of DNA damage may lead to cancer, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular and lung disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Establishing marine protected areas to fight illegal fishing
November 25, 2014 09:10 AM - Kerry Klein, MONGABAY.COM
Do you know how that tuna sashimi got to your dinner plate? Probably not—and chances are, the restaurant that served it to you doesn’t know, either. A new policy paper argues that illicit fishing practices are flying under the radar all around the world, and global society must combat them in order to keep seafood on the menu. According to the paper, published in Science, fishing practices that are illegal, unreported and unregulated (collectively referred to as IUU) are ubiquitous. They range from bottom trawlers scouring the seafloor—sometimes catching more illegal species than legal ones—to small boats simply not reporting their catch.
Can Volcanic Eruptions Slow Global Warming?
November 21, 2014 02:34 PM - American Geophysical Union
Small volcanic eruptions might eject more of an atmosphere-cooling gas into Earth’s upper atmosphere than previously thought, potentially contributing to the recent slowdown in global warming, according to a new study.
Abrupt rise in greenhouse gases at end of last ice age may be because of permafrost
November 20, 2014 12:30 PM - Alfred Wegener Institute
One of the most abrupt rises in the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere at the end of the last ice age took place about 14,600 years ago. Ice core data show that the CO2 concentration at that time increased by more than 10 ppm (parts per million, unit of measure for the composition of gases) within 200 years. This CO2 increase, i.e. approx. 0.05 ppm per year, was significantly less than the current rise in atmospheric CO2 of 2-3 ppm in the last decade caused by fossil fuels.
Climate history of western US is more complex than previously thought
November 19, 2014 10:54 AM - Southern Methodist University
The climate 150 million years ago of a large swath of the western United States was more complex than previously known, according to new research from Southern Methodist University, Dallas. It’s been held that the climate during the Jurassic was fairly dry in New Mexico, then gradually transitioned to a wetter climate northward to Montana. But based on new evidence, the theory of a gradual transition from a dry climate to a wetter one during the Jurassic doesn’t tell the whole story, says SMU paleontologist Timothy S. Myers, lead author on the study.
Report Estimates 2010 US Water Consumption is Lowest in Decades
November 13, 2014 08:14 AM - Editor, ENN
While it may seem that the US is one of the worst culprits when it comes to wasting resources, according to the US Geological Survey, our water consumption is improving. Water use in the United States in 2010 was estimated to be about 355 billion gallons per day (Bgal/d), which was 13 percent less than in 2005. Better yet, 2010 marks the lowest level of water use in the US since before 1970!
Groundwater affected by Climate Change
November 12, 2014 07:54 AM - Peter Ruegg, ETH Zurich
Global warming stops at nothing – not even the groundwater, as a new study by researchers from ETH Zurich and KIT reveals: the groundwater’s temperature profiles echo those of the atmosphere, albeit damped and delayed.
Fukushima Radioactivity Detected Off West Coast
November 11, 2014 08:32 AM - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Monitoring efforts along the Pacific Coast of the U.S. and Canada have detected the presence of small amounts of radioactivity from the 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident 100 miles (150 km) due west of Eureka, California. Scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) found the trace amounts of telltale radioactive compounds as part of their ongoing monitoring of natural and human sources of radioactivity in the ocean.