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Mapping The Potential Economic Effects Of Climate Change

Climate scientists agree that this century is getting much warmer and that such warming will likely bring economic pain to the U.S., but economists aren't sure how much. Now, a team of scientists and economists, writing in the upcoming issue of the journal Science, says it can at least tell which parts of the country are likely to suffer the most.

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Industrial farming disrupts burn-regrowth cycle in grasslands, study finds

The world’s open grasslands and the beneficial fires that sustain them have shrunk rapidly over the past two decades, thanks to a massive increase in agriculture, according to a new study led by University of California, Irvine and NASA researchers published today in Science.

Analyzing 1998 to 2015 data from NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites, the international team found that the total area of Earth’s surface torched by flames had fallen by nearly 25 percent, or 452,000 square miles (1.2 million square kilometers). Decreases were greatest in Central America and South America, across the Eurasian steppe and in northern Africa, home to fast-disappearing lions, rhinoceroses and other iconic species that live on these fire-forged savannas.

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UA Researchers discover the most abundant viruses in all the Earth's oceans

A group of scientists from several research centres and international universities led by Manuel Martínez García, from the University of Alicante Research Group in Molecular Microbian Ecology has discovered forty-four of the most abundant new viruses in all the Earth's oceans. The finding has been achieved thanks to the application of cutting-edge techniques that mix flow cytometry and genomics and molecular biology techniques. The findings will appear today, 23 June 2017, in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

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NASA Detects Drop in Global Fires

Shifting livelihoods across the tropical forest frontiers of South America, the Eurasian Steppe, and the savannas of Africa are altering landscapes and leading to a significant decline in the amount of land burned by fire each year, a trend that NASA satellites have detected from space.

The ongoing transition from nomadic cultures to settled lifestyles and intensifying agriculture has led to a steep drop not only in the use of fire on local lands, but in the prevalence of fire worldwide, researchers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and colleagues found.

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Boaty McBoatface returns home with unprecedented data

Researchers at the University of Southampton have captured unprecedented data about some of the coldest abyssal ocean waters on earth – known as Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW) – during first voyage of the yellow robotic submersible known as Boaty McBoatface, which arrived back in the UK last week.

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More Milkweeds Located Throughout the Landscape Can Help Conserve Monarchs

Adding milkweeds and other native flowering plants into midwestern agricultural lands is key to restoring monarch butterflies, with milkweed sowers from all sectors of society being critically needed for success.

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Lung cancer screening could save money as well as lives, research shows

Lung cancer screening is likely to be cost-effective, particularly if it also identifies other tobacco-related conditions in high-risk people, suggests new research published in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology (JTO).

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Bumble bees make a beeline for larger flowers

Bumble bees create foraging routes by using their experience to select nectar-rich, high-rewarding flowers. A study by Shohei Tsujimoto and Hiroshi Ishii of the University of Toyama in Japan now suggests that bees actually forage more efficiently when flower sizes are large rather than small. This indicates that for these insect pollinators foraging quickly is more efficient than foraging accurately. The research is published in Springer’s journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology and uses a laboratory-based experiment to investigate how aspects of associative learning influence how bumble bees find food among different-sized flowers. 

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Nationwide study of U.S. seniors strengthens link between air pollution and premature death

A new study of 60 million Americans—about 97% of people age 65 and older in the United States—shows that long-term exposure to airborne fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and ozone increases the risk of premature death, even when that exposure is at levels below the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) currently established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 

The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health researchers found that men, blacks, and low-income populations had higher risk estimates from PM2.5 exposure compared with the national average, with blacks having mortality risks three times higher than the national average.

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New study explores plant adaptations to drought and cold stress

Recent advances in technology have allowed scientists to probe the molecular nature of life, analyzing thousands of genes at a time and recognizing patterns of gene interaction. In a recent paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, complexity scientist Samuel Scarpino and co-authors explore gene co-expression networks that have evolved to help plants withstand drought and cold. 

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