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Changing climate changes soils

The hottest months. The snowiest winters. Catastrophic floods and droughts.

Climate change impacts lives across the world in drastic and unpredictable ways. This unpredictability also extends to the more subtle – yet still important – effects of climate change.

For example, it is uncertain how climate change will affect soils and their ability to support productive farms or healthy natural ecosystems.

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Campus greenhouse gas emissions down 7 percent since 2014

MIT’s total campus emissions have dropped by 7 percent since 2014, according to MIT’s second annual greenhouse gas inventory. The inventory, whose results were released by the MIT Office of Sustainability in collaboration with the Department of Facilities and the Environment, Health and Safety Office, measured campus emissions in fiscal year 2016, which runs from July 2015 through June 2016. The analysis provides a wealth of data to inform MIT’s carbon-reduction strategies going forward.

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Farthest Stars in Milky Way Might Be Ripped from Another Galaxy

The 11 farthest known stars in our galaxy are located about 300,000 light-years from Earth, well outside the Milky Way's spiral disk. New research by Harvard astronomers shows that half of those stars might have been ripped from another galaxy: the Sagittarius dwarf. Moreover, they are members of a lengthy stream of stars extending one million light-years across space, or 10 times the width of our galaxy.

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Researchers find a potential target for anti-Alzheimer treatments

Scientists at the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) of the University of Luxembourg have identified a gene that may provide a new starting point for developing treatments for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The USP9 gene has an indirect influence on the so-called tau protein, which is believed to play a significant role in the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

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Warmer West Coast ocean conditions linked to increased risk of toxic shellfish

Hazardous levels of domoic acid, a natural toxin that accumulates in shellfish, have been linked to warmer ocean conditions in waters off Oregon and Washington for the first time by a NOAA-supported research team, led by Oregon State University scientists.

Domoic acid, produced by certain types of marine algae, can accumulate in shellfish, fish and other marine animals. Consuming enough of the toxin can be harmful or even fatal. Public health agencies and seafood managers closely monitor toxin levels and impose harvest closures where necessary to ensure that seafood remains safe to eat. NOAA is supporting research and new tools to help seafood industry managers stay ahead of harmful algae events that are increasing in frequency, intensity and scope.

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In a first, Bumble Bee is listed as endangered in continental U.S.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has placed the rusty patched bumble bee, once common in 28 states and two Canadian provinces, on the endangered species list, the first bee to receive such protection in the contiguous 48 states. 

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Rapid Arctic warming has in the past shifted Southern Ocean winds

The global climate is a complex machine in which some pieces are separate yet others are connected. Scientists try to discover the connections to predict what will happen to our climate, especially in a future with more heat-trapping gases.

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NASA Study Finds a Connection Between Wildfires and Drought

For centuries drought has come and gone across northern sub-Saharan Africa. In recent years, water shortages have been most severe in the Sahel—a band of semi-arid land situated just south of the Sahara Desert and stretching coast-to-coast across the continent, from Senegal and Mauritania in the west to Sudan and Eritrea in the east. Drought struck the Sahel most recently in 2012, triggering food shortages for millions of people due to crop failure and soaring food prices.

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Retroviruses 'almost half a billion years old'

Retroviruses – the family of viruses that includes HIV – are almost half a billion years old, according to new research by scientists at Oxford University. That's several hundred million years older than previously thought and suggests retroviruses have ancient marine origins, having been with their animal hosts through the evolutionary transition from sea to land.

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Louisiana Faces Faster Levels of Sea-Level Rise Than Any Other Land on Earth

Louisiana—which faces faster levels of sea-level rise than any other land on Earth—could lose as many as 2,800 square miles of its coast over the next 40 years and about 27,000 buildings will need to be flood-proofed, elevated or bought out, the New Orleans Advocate reported.

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