As temperatures rise, some of the organic carbon stored in Arctic permafrost meets an unexpected fate—burial at sea. As many as 2.2 million metric tons of organic carbon per year are swept along by a single river system into Arctic Ocean sediment, according to a new study an international team of researchers published today in Nature. This process locks away carbon dioxide (CO2) - a greenhouse gas - and helps stabilize the earth’s CO2 levels over time, and it may help scientists better predict how the natural carbon cycle will interplay with the surge of CO2 emissions due to human activities.
“The erosion of permafrost carbon is very significant,” says Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Associate Scientist Valier Galy, a co-author of the study. “Over thousands of years, this process is locking CO2away from the atmosphere in a way that amounts to fairly large carbon stocks. If we can understand how this process works, we can predict how it will respond as the climate changes.”
People who eat spicy foods nearly every day have a 14% lower risk of death compared with those who consume spicy foods less than once a week, according to a new study. Regular spicy food eaters are also less likely to die from cancer, heart, and respiratory diseases than those who eat spicy foods infrequently.
“The findings are highly novel,” said Lu Qi, associate professor in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Channing Division of Network Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the study’s co-lead author. “To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first reporting a link between spicy food intake and mortality.”
In summertime, bats are a common feature in the night sky, swooping around backyards to gobble up mosquitos. Bats also help with crops: they act as a natural pesticide by feeding on harmful insects. But these winged mammals are now under threat. As agricultural intensification expands across the world, the conversion of their natural habitats has caused a dramatic decline in population.
As grasses grew more common in Africa, most major mammal groups tried grazing on them at times during the past 4 million years, but some of the animals went extinct or switched back to browsing on trees and shrubs, according to a study led by the University of Utah.
Turning natural landscapes in the Caribbean into urban areas or farmland may increase the risk of people dying from floods and storms, scientists suggest. In a study published by Scientific Reports last month (8 July), researchers from Anguilla’s health ministry and the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium investigate which factors make the region more prone to deaths related to these disasters. Out of 20 variables, they found that using a greater proportion of land for agriculture and having a higher percentage of people living in urban areas were consistently linked with deadlier floods and storms.
The past few weeks have been filled with headlines of crimes against our wildlife from the heartbreaking loss of Cecil the Lion to five more elephant deaths. But justice for our wildlife is on the horizon. The United Nations recently recognized that wildlife crime matters, and it’s on a similar level as human, arms and drug trafficking.
The team of scientists, led by Monash University, along with colleagues from the British Antarctic Survey, University of Waikato in New Zealand, and Australian National University, looked at how recent investigations have revealed the continent and surrounding ocean is rich in species. They are also very highly diversified into a variety of distinct ecological regions that differ greatly from each other.
Researchers find new evidence that large eruptions were responsible for cold temperature extremes recorded since early Roman times
It is well known that large volcanic eruptions contribute to climate variability. However, quantifying these contributions has proven challenging due to inconsistencies in both historic atmospheric data observed in polar ice cores and corresponding temperature variations seen in climate indicators such as tree rings.
The notion that septic tanks prevent fecal bacteria from seeping into rivers and lakes simply doesn’t hold water, says a new Michigan State University study.
Today, President Obama will unveil the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Clean Power Plan—a historic step to cut the carbon pollution driving climate change. Here are six key things every American should know...
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