Top Stories

Sustainable Mineral Supply
March 20, 2017 03:32 PM - Karen B. Roberts via University of Delaware

International research team warns of mineral supply constraints as demand increases for green technologies

An international team of researchers, led by the University of Delaware’s Saleem Ali, says global resource governance and sharing of geoscience data is needed to address challenges facing future mineral supply.

Specifically of concern are a range of technology minerals, which are an essential ingredient in everything from laptops and cell phones to hybrid or electric cars to solar panels and copper wiring for homes. However, base metals like copper are also a matter of immense concern.

Parasitic Fish Offer Evolutionary Insights
March 20, 2017 02:26 PM - California Institute of Technology

Lamprey are slimy, parasitic eel-like fish, one of only two existing species of vertebrates that have no jaw. While many would be repulsed by these creatures, lamprey are exciting to biologists because they are so primitive, retaining many characteristics similar to their ancient ancestors and thus offering answers to some of life's biggest evolutionary questions. Now, by studying the lamprey, Caltech researchers have discovered an unexpected mechanism for the evolution of the neurons of the peripheral nervous system—nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord.

Transport systems face disruption by extreme weather — better risk management is needed
March 20, 2017 02:19 PM - Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT)

Extreme weather conditions due to climate change pose a new threat to ageing infrastructure. We need to be better prepared, according to a publication by the OECD's International Transport Forum. The findings of a number of research projects can now be applied worldwide. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland was the lead author of the report in Finland. 

Running Delivery Trucks on Trolley Wires Isn't as Crazy as It Sounds
March 20, 2017 02:07 PM - Jack Stewart via Wired

ELECTRIC TRUCKS OFFER all the advantages of electric cars, namely, they’re greener. Trucks are a big source of the noxious emissions linked to smog and climate change. Minimizing the number of stinky, dirty diesels rumbling through town carries obvious public health benefits. But powering delivery trucks, let alone an 18-wheeler, with a big honkin’ battery simply isn’t practical. So engineers are taking another look at a century old solution: Stringing electrical cables over the road.

Chemists at FAU develop a method for utilising nitrogen oxides
March 20, 2017 09:19 AM - Friedrich-Alexander-Universit├Ąt

Chemists at FAU have developed a process in which nitrogen oxides generated during industrial processes can be used in the manufacture of colourants and medicines. Using the method, businesses will in future be able to combine the decontamination of exhaust fumes with the production of new substances.

Nitrogen oxides are a major environmental pollutant. Nitrogen and oxygen compounds are primarily formed during combustion, for example in automobile engines and coal and gas power plants, but also through other thermal and chemical techniques employed by industry. In order to clean these waste gases, the methods of post-combustion capture or catalytic reduction are employed – both of which are relatively complex and are also associated with certain disadvantages. But nitrogen oxides are not just unwanted toxins. In fact, recent research has shown that they can be used in the chemical synthesis of high-value products.

Changing Temperatures and Precipitation May Affect Living Skin of Drylands
March 20, 2017 08:46 AM - United States Geological Survey (USGS)

Arid and semiarid ecosystems are expected to experience significant changes in temperature and precipitation patterns, which may affect soil organisms in ways that cause surfaces to become lighter in color and thus reflect more sunlight, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study.

Extensive ice cap once covered sub-antarctic island of South Georgia
March 20, 2017 08:39 AM - University of Exeter

A new study reveals the sub-antarctic island of South Georgia – famous for its wildlife – was covered by a massive ice cap during the last ice age.


World's First Fluorescent Frog Found in the Amazon
March 17, 2017 03:43 PM - Yale Environment 360

Scientists have discovered the world’s first known naturally fluorescent amphibian — the South American polka-dot tree frog.

China's Severe Winter Haze Tied to Climate Change
March 17, 2017 03:40 PM - Georgia Institute of Technology

China's severe winter air pollution problems may be worsened by changes in atmospheric circulation prompted by Arctic sea ice loss and increased Eurasian snowfall – both caused by global climate change.

California Deserts In 'Super Bloom' Thanks To A Wet Winter
March 17, 2017 10:40 AM - NPR Topics

In some parts of the country, cold weather is threatening crops. Meanwhile, California has been so unseasonably wet that its deserts are experiencing what's called a "super bloom." After years of drought, the normally arid desert is lush.

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