Enn Original News
Spring comes sooner to urban heat islands, with potential consequences for wildlife
May 25, 2016 08:21 PM - Jenny Seifert, University of Wisconsin-Madison
With spring now fully sprung, a new study by University of Wisconsin–Madison researchers shows that buds burst earlier in dense urban areas than in their suburban and rural surroundings. This may be music to urban gardeners’ ears, but that tune could be alarming to some native and migratory birds and bugs.
Wildfires no longer spreading like wildfires
May 25, 2016 07:15 AM - Swansea University
A new analysis of global data related to wildfire, published by the Royal Society, reveals major misconceptions about wildfire and its social and economic impacts.
Study shows how air pollution fosters heart disease
May 24, 2016 07:12 PM - Elizabeth Sharpe, University of Washington Health Sciences
Long-term exposure to air pollution has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, but the biological process has not been understood. A major, decade-long study of thousands of Americans found that people living in areas with more outdoor pollution —even at lower levels common in the United States — accumulate deposits in the arteries that supply the heart faster than do people living in less polluted areas. The study was published May 24 online in The Lancet.
Squid populations on the rise
May 24, 2016 07:09 AM - University of Adelaide
Unlike the declining populations of many fish species, the number of cephalopods (octopus, cuttlefish and squid) has increased in the world's oceans over the past 60 years, a University of Adelaide study has found.
The international team, led by researchers from the University's Environment Institute, compiled a global database of cephalopod catch rates to investigate long-term trends in abundance, published in Cell Press journal Current Biology.
Increased vegetation in the Arctic region may counteract global warming
May 19, 2016 07:19 AM - Lund University via AlphaGalileo
Climate change creates more shrub vegetation in barren, arctic ecosystems. A study at Lund University in Sweden shows that organisms, such as bacteria and fungi, are triggered to break down particularly nutritious dead parts of shrubbery. Meanwhile, the total amount of decomposition is reducing. This could have an inhibiting effect on global warming.
You are what you eat
May 12, 2016 07:31 AM - Indiana University Bloomington
Biologists at Indiana University have significantly advanced understanding of the genetic pathways that control the appearance of different physical traits in the same species depending on nutritional conditions experienced during development.
In many animals, nutrition -- not genetic differences -- controls the appearance of certain physical traits. Ants and bees, for example, grow into workers or queens based upon the food eaten as larvae.
Early Earth's air weighed less than half of today's atmosphere
May 10, 2016 07:23 AM - University of Washington
The idea that the young Earth had a thicker atmosphere turns out to be wrong. New research from the University of Washington uses bubbles trapped in 2.7 billion-year-old rocks to show that air at that time exerted at most half the pressure of today’s atmosphere.
Long-term exposure to particulate air pollutants associated with numerous cancers
April 29, 2016 06:52 AM - University of Birmingham
The study between the University of Birmingham and University of Hong Kong, published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, adds to growing concern around the health risks of prolonged exposure to ambient fine particulate matter.
Carbon dioxide fertilization is greening the Earth
April 28, 2016 07:08 AM - Samson Reiny, NASA
From a quarter to half of Earth’s vegetated lands has shown significant greening over the last 35 years largely due to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change on April 25.
Chernobyl, three decades on
April 26, 2016 06:45 AM - Steven Powell, University of South Carolina
It was 30 years ago that a meltdown at the V. I. Lenin Nuclear Power Station in the former Soviet Union released radioactive contaminants into the surroundings in northern Ukraine. Airborne contamination from what is now generally termed the Chernobyl disaster spread well beyond the immediate environs of the power plant, and a roughly 1000-square-mile region in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia remains cordoned off, an exclusion zone where human habitation is forbidden.
The radiation spill was a disaster for the environment and its biological inhabitants, but it also created a unique radio-ecological laboratory.