Top Stories

Arctic Sea Ice Decline and Ice Export Between Greenland and Svalbard

The Arctic sea ice is shrinking, both in extent and thickness. In addition to the humanmade contribution to the sea ice loss, there are also natural factors contributing to this loss. In a new study from the Bjerknes Centre we focus on one of these factors: the ice export through the large gateway between Greenland and Svalbard -- the Fram Strait. >> Read the Full Article

The Rise of Mammals in a Warming Land

If it gets warmer what animals may benefit? The climate changes depicted by climatologists up to the year 2080 will benefit most mammals that live in northern Europe’s Arctic and sub-Arctic land areas today if they are able to reach their new climatic ranges. This is the conclusion drawn by ecologists at Umeå University in a recently published article in the journal Plos ONE. >> Read the Full Article

Women, Eat More Strawberries & Blueberries

Eating three or more servings of blueberries and strawberries per week may help women reduce their risk of a heart attack by as much as one-third, researchers reported in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. Blueberries and strawberries contain high levels of naturally occurring compounds called dietary flavonoids, also found in grapes and wine, blackberries, eggplant, and other fruits and vegetables. A specific sub-class of flavonoids, called anthocyanins, may help dilate arteries, counter the buildup of plaque and provide other cardiovascular benefits, according to the study. >> Read the Full Article

Terapod Backbone

Research published today in the journal Nature documents, for the first time, the intricate three-dimensional structure of the backbone in the earliest four-legged animals (tetrapods). The international team of scientists, led by Dr Stephanie Pierce from the University’s Zoology Department and the Royal Veterinary College and her Cambridge colleague Professor Jennifer Clack, bombarded 360 million year old early tetrapod fossils with high energy synchrotron radiation. The resulting high resolution X-ray images allowed the researchers to reconstruct the backbones of the extinct animals in exceptional detail. >> Read the Full Article

Tree height and leaf size dependent on internal physics

The tallest trees in the world can grow up around 100 meters (think of a tree climbing the length of an entire football field!) but if a tree has all the necessary sunlight, water, and space what actually stops a tree from growing even taller? According to researchers at Harvard University and the University of California, Davis, the answers lie in the physics of a tree's internal plumbing. >> Read the Full Article

What Humans Can Learn from Tadpoles: Regeneration of Lost Tissue

Tadpoles, the initial form taken by young amphibians such as frogs and salamanders, have an extraordinary quality which sets them apart from mammals. They are able to regenerate their tails should they be eaten by a predator. If a tadpole loses its tail, it will grow a new one within a week! Imagine if a human can do that with an amputated limb. For several years, scientists have been studying the tadpole's regenerative tail, trying to understand the process, eventually leading to treatments and therapies that might help humans to heal their wounds. >> Read the Full Article

Should deep-sea mining go ahead in Papua New Guinea?

Financial disagreement has halted a controversial deep-sea mining project but deeper issues lie with the environment. The fate of a currently halted deep-sea mining project in the Pacific is being watched closely by a number of parties. Operations were scheduled to begin in 2014, with a target of producing about 80,000 tonnes of copper and more than four tonnes of gold a year. >> Read the Full Article

Ozone Destruction New Cause

Large amounts of ozone – around 50% more than predicted by the world’s state-of-the-art climate models – are being destroyed in the lower atmosphere over the tropical Atlantic Ocean. A team of scientists from the National Center for Atmospheric Science and the Universities of York and Leeds made the discovery, which is significant because ozone in the lower atmosphere acts as a greenhouse gas and its destruction also leads to the removal of the third most abundant greenhouse gas; methane. >> Read the Full Article

Update: California Carbon Caps and Market Trading

Carbon allowances are now available for sale in California. Companies that emit more than 25,000 tons of carbon-dioxide equivalent a year (CO2e) in the power, oil, and industrial sectors will now have to turn in permits for every ton they emit this year and the years to come. Things are moving fast in California right now, so here’s a primer on what’s happening and what to expect for the coming months. Are people really buying carbon permits? Yes. Currently California Carbon Allowances (CCAs) are trading for about $15 a ton on the secondary market. Point Carbon reported a big spike in volume traded since January 1st, as a lot of new companies have entered the markets and are cutting their teeth on West Coast-style carbon trading. >> Read the Full Article

Eating Sustainable Seafood

In the sea, almost everything that swims, burrows or crawls can be presented on a plate and eaten. Yet many marine species aren't well known among chefs and diners. The lack of variety on the menu represents not only a loss of culinary opportunity, but also a potential source of ecological imbalance. No one knows this better than sustainable seafood devotee Rizwan Ahmed, chef/owner of the Hourglass Brasserie. "There is an abundant diversity of marine life that can be used and prepared by chefs to put on their menu," Ahmed said. "But nine out of 10 restaurants have species like cod. This puts a heavy load on the cod population. People have now become so accustomed to a limited choice of seafood that they are not willing or are not aware of other species that taste just as good if not better." >> Read the Full Article