Top Stories

Scientific Advances Can Make it Easier to Recycle Plastics
November 17, 2017 12:55 PM - University of Houston

Most of the 150 million tons of plastics produced around the world every year end up in landfills, the oceans and elsewhere. Less than 9 percent of plastics are recycled in the United States, rising to about 30 percent in Europe.

Infrared NASA Imagery Shows Development of Tropical Depression 31W
November 17, 2017 12:43 PM - NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA's Aqua satellite provided infrared imagery of the latest tropical cyclone in the South China Sea.

Taking a Spin on Plasma Space Tornadoes with NASA Observations
November 17, 2017 12:36 PM - NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Interplanetary space is hardly tranquil. High-energy charged particles from the Sun, as well as from beyond our solar system, constantly whizz by. These can damage satellites and endanger astronaut health — though, luckily for life on Earth, the planet is blanketed by a protective magnetic bubble created by its magnetic field. This bubble, called the magnetosphere, deflects most of the harmful high-energy particles.

Plant Respiration Could Become a Bigger Feedback on Climate Than Expected
November 17, 2017 12:11 PM - Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

New research, led by the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, suggests that plant respiration is a larger source of carbon emissions than previously thought, and warns that, as the world warms, this may reduce the ability of Earth’s land surface to absorb emissions due to fossil fuel burning.

Seagrass is a Key Fishing Ground Globally
November 17, 2017 11:58 AM - Stockholm University

New research demonstrates that seagrass meadows are important fishing grounds all around the globe. The work highlights that there is an urgent need to start appreciating and understanding this role to be able to build more sustainable fisheries. A study led by Dr Lina Mtwana Nordlund at Stockholm University, published in the scientific journal Fish & Fisheries, examines the global extent to which these underwater meadows support fishing activity.

What Climate-Conscious Cities Can Learn From Each Other
November 17, 2017 11:54 AM - Wired

In many ways, Essen is the envy of cities trying to move past their industrial days. Once the steel and coal center of Germany, Essen’s economic success in the early 20th century was evident in the dust blanketing the city and sulfur filling the air with the constant stench of rotten eggs. By one resident’s account, coal miners permanently wore black smudges across their faces, earning them the nickname waschbar, or “raccoons.”

The Importance of Biodiversity in Forests Could Increase Due to Climate Change
November 17, 2017 11:33 AM - German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (IDIV) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

Leipzig. Forests fulfil numerous important functions, and do so particularly well if they are rich in different species of trees. This is the result of a new study. In addition, forest managers do not have to decide on the provision of solely one service – such as wood production or nature conservation – as a second study demonstrates: several services provided by forest ecosystems can be improved at the same time. Both studies were led by scientists from Leipzig University and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), and published in the prestigious journal Ecology Letters.

Asthma Attacks Reduced in Tree-Lined Urban Neighbourhoods
November 17, 2017 11:14 AM - University of Exeter

People living in polluted urban areas are far less likely to be admitted to hospital with asthma when there are lots of trees in their neighbourhood, a study by the University of Exeter’s medical school has found.

Widespread chemical contaminants stunt growth of amphibians
November 17, 2017 10:24 AM - Maria SepĂșlveda

A series of synthetic chemicals widely used in household products, food packaging and clothing have a significant effect on the development of frogs, even at low doses, according to a Purdue University study.

Per/polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are man-made chemicals used to make products stain resistant, waterproof and nonstick, and are present in foams used to fight fires. A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study from 2007 showed that some PFASs were present in 98 percent of blood samples collected from American adults and children for the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. According to the CDC, scientific studies on the impact of PFASs on human health are inconclusive.

USGS Estimates 40 Million Pounds of Potential Uranium Resources in Parts of Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma
November 17, 2017 08:11 AM - USGS

The U.S. Geological Survey estimates a mean of 40 million pounds of in-place uranium oxide remaining as potential undiscovered resources in the Southern High Plains region of Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.

The uranium occurs in a type of rock formation called “calcrete,” which has been well-documented in noted uranium-producing countries like Australia and Namibia. The calcrete formations described in this assessment are the first uranium-bearing calcrete deposits reported in the United States.

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