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Children cite 'pollution' as greatest environmental concern

A comprehensive survey of youngsters from around the world has discovered the biggest concern they have about the environment they live in is pollution. The global poll of more than 6,000 children in 47 countries found that, although almost one in three 10-to-12-year-olds had personally experienced such catastrophes as drought, flood or fires, their most pressing ecological concern is not natural disasters but the growing threat of pollution.

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Temperatures are Up

Feel warmer? Maybe not everywhere but global temperatures were the fifth highest on record for October. Meanwhile arctic sea ice doubles from last month yet remains second lowest on record for October. The globally-averaged temperature for October 2012 was the fifth warmest October since record keeping began in 1880. October 2012 also marks the 36th consecutive October and 332nd consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average. >> Read the Full Article

Colossal Galactic Bridge

The Planck (European Space Agency or ESA) space telescope has made the first conclusive detection of a bridge of hot gas connecting a pair of galaxy clusters across 10 million light-years of intergalactic space. In the early Universe, filaments of gaseous matter pervaded the cosmos in a giant web, with clusters eventually forming in the densest nodes. Planck’s discovery of a bridge of hot gas connecting the clusters Abell 399 and Abell 401, each containing hundreds of galaxies is one such discovery. >> Read the Full Article

Climate Change Complexities in the Northern Hardwood Forests

For residents of the northeastern United States, the abundant woodlands of the northern Appalachians provide an excellent getaway from the congested coasts. These woods are composed typically of hardwood trees like Oak, Ash, Maple, and Birch, changing to evergreen varieties at the higher elevations. Climatologists predict that the northeast will experience warmer and wetter conditions as the climate continues to alter. However, until now, there has been no exhaustive study conducted to see how the climate change will affect the biosphere of the northern hardwoods. A recent study found that this region will be susceptible to major disruptions to forest health, its maple syrup industry, the spread of wildlife diseases and tree pests, as well as changing timber resources. >> Read the Full Article

Not Your Pilgrim's Turkey

As we get ready for a great traditional Thanksgiving feast, I often wonder if this meal is really what the pilgrims and Native Americans would have eaten. Most likely our traditions have nothing to do with what really went down. We cannot even be sure that the first Thanksgiving had a turkey, and even if they did, according to a new study, this main dish would be genetically different than the bird present at the first Thanksgiving. >> Read the Full Article

Better Place EV Company May Turn Into EV Gas Station

Israel's electric car company Better Place is going to experience an overhaul, and will manage its existing resources in a new way, according to Evan Thornley, the company's new CEO who just moved to Israel from Australia. Instead of focusing on selling Renault-made cars and charge plans to keep them juiced, the company is going to seek new agreements with other EV car manufacturers worldwide so that Better Place charge stations and battery replacement points will be the center of a new business model. Over the past month and a half, Better Place's global CEO Shai Agassi was ousted, and last week its Israeli CEO Moshe Kaplinsky decided to quit amidst speculation that the troubled company had become even more unstable. >> Read the Full Article

Emissions Gap report warns of urgent need for climate change action

Action to tackle climate change needs to be urgently scaled up if the world is to have any chance of keeping a global temperature rise below 2 degrees C this century, according to UN Environment Programme (UNEP) research. The Emissions Gap Report, coordinated by UNEP and the European Climate Foundation, and released days before the convening of the Climate Change Conference of the Parties in Doha, shows that greenhouse gas emissions levels are now around 14 per cent above where they need to be in 2020. Instead of declining, concentration of warming gases like carbon dioxide (CO2) are actually increasing in the atmosphere-up around 20 per cent since 2000. >> Read the Full Article

Tree intercropping could save Africa's soils

Scientists have reported in Nature that the agroforestry approach of planting nutrient-fixing trees with food crops could help replenish Africa's poor quality soils, tackling one of the biggest threats to food security on the continent. Planting certain perennial trees together with food crops can more than double yields for maize and millet, which are among Sub-Saharan Africa's staple foods, scientists say. >> Read the Full Article

The Changing Winds of Mars

There is atmosphere on Mars and where there is atmosphere there are winds. Observations of wind patterns and natural radiation patterns on Mars by NASA's Curiosity rover are helping scientists better understand the environment on the Red Planet's surface. Researchers using the car-sized mobile laboratory have identified transient whirlwinds, mapped winds in relation to slopes, tracked daily and seasonal changes in air pressure, and linked rhythmic changes in radiation to daily atmospheric changes. The knowledge being gained about these processes helps scientists interpret evidence about environmental changes on Mars that might have led to conditions favorable for life in the past or even now. >> Read the Full Article

Estrogenic Plants May Affect Behavior Changes in Primates

While meat can contain both natural and artificial hormones, which are often added to produce faster-growing and more productive animals, researchers are now studying how plant-based foods can affect hormone levels. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, are examining how certain plant-based foods that are high in estrogenic compounds can influence the behaviors of various primates and how that may have contributed to the evolution of the organisms. The research is the first to observe the connection between plant-based phytoestrogens, and behavior in a group of wild red colobus monkeys. >> Read the Full Article