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Scientists plan study of northern cities’ air quality

Atmospheric scientists at the University of Alaska Fairbanks have launched an effort to better understand urban air quality problems in northern cities.

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Old Man River’s Unique Chemical Signature

Human activity greatly impacts the natural chemistry of the largest river in North America — the Mississippi River. In a new, large-scale study, LSU geologists have identified a unique chemical signature in the river.

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Floridians Took Zika Virus More Seriously Than Rest of U.S., But Most Did Nothing

Threatened by the mosquito-borne Zika virus in 2016, Florida residents felt more susceptible than others in the United States to getting the virus, were more knowledgeable about it, and were more likely to support taking community action against it.

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Scientists Can Make Skillful Seasonal Forecasts of Summer Temperature in Western China

Surface air temperature (SAT) is a very important hydrological and climatic variable in western China. In contrast to the monsoon regions in eastern China, most regions in western China are arid, semi-arid or subject to snow cover. Thus, variations of SAT in summer in western China are key in connection with heat waves, the hydrological cycle, ecosystems and agriculture. The ability to predict SAT skillfully is an important target for science.

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Breathing Better May be an Added Benefit of Biodiversity

A Forest Service study of nearly 50,000 children in New Zealand has found that those who live in greener neighborhoods are less likely to develop asthma. However, not all greenness is a good thing—children living in areas with nonnative plant species or low plant diversity were actually at a greater risk of developing the chronic lung disease.

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To Forecast Winter Rainfall in the Southwest, Look to New Zealand in the Summer

El Niño was long considered a reliable tool for predicting future precipitation in the southwestern United States, but its forecasting power has diminished in recent cycles, possibly due to global climate change. In a study published today in Nature Communications, scientists and engineers at the University of California, Irvine demonstrate a new method for projecting wet or dry weather in the winter ahead.

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High-Protein Corn Also Resistant to Parasitic Weed

The world produces more corn by weight than any other cereal crop. Corn, also known as maize, is a staple food in many countries. But farmers growing corn face many challenges, such as drought, diseases, and pests.

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Rutgers Researchers Develop Automated Robotic Device For Faster Blood Testing

Rutgers researchers have created an automated blood drawing and testing device that provides rapid results, potentially improving the workflow in hospitals and other health-related institutions to allow health care practitioners to spend more time treating patients.

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3D View of Amazon Forests Captures Effects of El Niño Drought

Three-dimensional measurements of the central Brazilian Amazon rainforest have given NASA researchers a detailed window into the high number of branch falls and tree mortality that occur in response to drought conditions. They found that 65 percent more trees and large branches died due to an El Niño-driven drought in 2015-2016 than compared to an average year. Understanding the effects of prolonged drought gives scientists a better sense of what may happen to carbon stored in tropical forests if these events become more common in the future.

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New Technology has Bright Prospects for Understanding Plant Biodiversity

Biologists get a new look at plant biodiversity and function with new imaging technology developed at the University of Alberta.

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