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Mollusk graveyards are time machines to oceans' pristine past

A University of Florida study shows that mollusk fossils provide a reliable measure of human-driven changes in marine ecosystems and shifts in ocean biodiversity across time and space.

Collecting data from the shells of dead mollusks is a low-cost, low-impact way of glimpsing how oceans looked before pollution, habitat loss, acidification and explosive algae growth threatened marine life worldwide. Mollusk fossils can inform current and future conservation and restoration efforts, said Michal Kowalewski, the Jon L. and Beverly A. Thompson Chair of Invertebrate Paleontology at the Florida Museum of Natural History on the UF campus and the study’s principal investigator.

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Using Google to map our ecosystem

Researchers in the Singapore-ETH Centre’s Future Cities Laboratory developed a method to quantify ecosystem services of street trees. Using nearly 100,000 images from Google Street View, the study helps further understanding on how green spaces contribute to urban sustainability.

Do you remember the last time you escaped the hot summer sun to enjoy a cool reprieve in the shade beneath a broad-leafed tree? While sizzling summer days may seem far away right now in the northern hemisphere, tropical cities like Singapore deal with solar radiation on a daily basis.

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First Solar Images from NOAA's GOES-16 Satellite

The first images from the Solar Ultraviolet Imager or SUVI instrument aboard NOAA’s GOES-16 satellite have been successful, capturing a large coronal hole on Jan. 29, 2017.

The sun’s 11-year activity cycle is currently approaching solar minimum, and during this time powerful solar flares become scarce and coronal holes become the primary space weather phenomena – this one in particular initiated aurora throughout the polar regions. Coronal holes are areas where the sun's corona appears darker because the plasma has high-speed streams open to interplanetary space, resulting in a cooler and lower-density area as compared to its surroundings.

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Bhutan's stumbling block to becoming the greenest nation on the planet

Bhutan is well on its way to becoming the greenest nation on the planet. In his Special Report for the Ecologist, Photojournalist MICHAEL BUCKLEY explores the reasons why the country's ecosystems and dazzling biodiversity remain intact - and highlights the one thing that threatens this admirable integrity...

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Asian pollution, heat waves worsen US smog

An influx of pollution from Asia in the western United States and more frequent heat waves in the eastern U.S. are responsible for the persistence of smog in these regions over the past quarter century despite laws curtailing the emission of smog-forming chemicals from automobile tailpipes and factories.

The study, led by researchers at Princeton University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL), highlights the importance of maintaining domestic emission controls on cars, power plants and other industries at a time when pollution is increasingly global.

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Forest degradation in the tropics

In small village communities, local resources are often not used sustainably

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Tailored preventive oral health intervention improves dental health among elderly

A tailored preventive oral health intervention significantly improved the cleanliness of teeth and dentures among elderly home care clients. In addition, functional ability and cognitive function were strongly associated with better oral hygiene, according to a new study from the University of Eastern Finland. The study is part of a larger intervention study, NutOrMed, and the findings were published in the Age and Aging journal.

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Signy Island is hottest place in the Antarctic

A World Meteorological Organization (WMO) committee of experts announces this week (Wed 1 March) new records for the highest temperatures recorded in the Antarctic Region. The results are part of continuing efforts to expand a database of extreme weather and climate conditions throughout the world.

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40-year trend study finds signs of improved water quality in New Jersey streams

A USGS analysis of New Jersey water quality trends found levels of total nitrogen and total phosphorus, which fuel algae blooms, declined or stayed the same at most stream sites between the 1970s and 2011. At all sites studied, chlorides from road salt increased over that time.

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Calculating recharge of groundwater more precisely

A team of international researchers led by University of Freiburg hydrologist Dr. Andreas Hartmann suggests that inclusion of currently missing key hydrological processes in large-scale climate change impact models can significantly improve our estimates of water availability. The study shows that groundwater recharge estimates for 560 million people in karst regions in Europe, the Middle East and Northern Africa, are much higher than previously estimated from current large-scale models. The scientists have shown that model estimates based on entire continents up to now have greatly underestimated in places the amount of groundwater that is recharged from fractions of surface runoff. This finding suggests that more work is needed to ensure sufficient realism in large-scale hydrologic models before they can be reliably used for local water management. The team has published their research findings in the scientific journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).”

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