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Researcher Unveils Tool for Cleaner Long Island Sound
February 21, 2017 11:56 AM - Kim Krieger via University of Connecticut

A new model released this week by UConn ecologist Jamie Vaudrey pinpoints sources of nitrogen pollution along Long Island Sound, and shows municipalities what they might do to alleviate it. Vaudrey presented her research Feb. 19 at the AAAS annual meeting in Boston.

Long Island Sound is an estuary of the Atlantic Ocean bordered by Connecticut to the north, New York City to the west, and Long Island to the south. The Sound is home to dozens of species of birds, 170 species of fish, and more than 1,200 species of invertebrates. Historically it has supported rich recreational and commercial fisheries for lobster, oysters, blue crabs, scallops, striped bass, flounder, and bluefish.

MORE WARM-DWELLING ANIMALS AND PLANTS AS A RESULT OF CLIMATE CHANGE
February 21, 2017 11:47 AM - Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum

Since 1980, populations of warm-dwelling species in Germany have increased. The trend is particularly strong among warm-dwelling terrestrial species, as shown by the most comprehensive study across ecosystems in this regard to date. The most obvious increases occurred among warm-dwelling birds, butterflies, beetles, soil organisms and lichens according to the study published recently in the scientific journal “Nature Ecology & Evolution” led by Senckenberg scientists. Thus, it appears possible that rising temperatures due to the climate change have had a widespread impact on the population trends of animals in the past 30 years.

Fluorescence method detects mercury contamination in fish
February 21, 2017 11:25 AM - Plataforma SINC

Researchers from the University of Burgos (Spain) have developed a fluorescent polymer that lights up in contact with mercury that may be present in fish. High levels of the metal were detected in samples of swordfish and tuna. According to the conclusions of another Spanish study, mercury exposure is linked to reduced foetal and placental growth in pregnant women.

The presence of the toxic metal mercury in the environment comes from natural sources, however, in the last decades industrial waste has caused an increase in concentrations of the metal in some areas of the sea. In the food chain, mercury can be diluted either in organic form as methylmercury (MeHg+) or as an inorganic salt, the cation Hg2+.

Selenium deficiency promoted by climate change
February 21, 2017 10:08 AM - ETH Zurich

As a result of climate change, concentrations of the trace element selenium in soils are likely to decrease. Because the selenium content of crops may also be reduced, the risk of selenium deficiency could be increased in many regions of the world. This was shown by a recent study which used data-mining to model the global distribution of selenium.

Selenium is an essential micronutrient obtained from dietary sources such as cereals. The selenium content of foodstuffs largely depends on concentrations in the soil: previous studies have shown that low selenium concentrations are associated with high pH and oxygen availability and low clay and soil organic carbon content. In Europe, as is known from regional studies, selenium-poor soils are found particularly in Germany, Denmark, Scotland, Finland and certain Balkan countries.

Unprecedented Arctic weather has scientists on edge
February 21, 2017 08:48 AM - NOAA

Sea ice on track for lowest maximum amount on record.

Save the Bees? There's an App for That
February 21, 2017 08:38 AM - University of Vermont

New mobile app to help farmers protect pollinators.

Satellite Views Storm System Affecting Southern California
February 17, 2017 03:20 PM - NASA

An almost continuous onshore flow is expected to bring storms to California and portions of the Pacific Northwest in a very active, wet pattern over the next couple of days, according to the National Weather Service.

Looking for the next leap in rechargeable batteries
February 17, 2017 03:14 PM - USC - University of Southern California

USC researchers may have just found a solution for one of the biggest stumbling blocks to the next wave of rechargeable batteries — small enough for cellphones and powerful enough for cars.

NASA Examines Ex-Tropical Cyclone Dineo's Rainfall
February 17, 2017 03:04 PM - NASA

Late on Feb. 15, Dineo made landfall in southern Mozambique. By Feb. 17 the storm weakened to a remnant low pressure area when NASA's Terra satellite passed overhead. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard Terra captured a visible image that showed the center of the low pressure area over Zimbabwe and clouds extended over found Dineo's clouds stretched over southern Mozambique, Swaziland, eastern Botswana and northeastern South Africa.

Why a Southern California Refinery Explosion Could Kill Thousands
February 17, 2017 02:58 PM - Laura Goldman, Care2

One morning in February 2015, I felt a rumble. Was it an earthquake? No. It was an explosion at the ExxonMobil oil refinery a few miles away. The refinery is located in the middle of a residential area of Torrance, Calif.

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