• Warming Arctic being exploited by trawlers

    Ice melt in the Arctic Ocean is opening up previously untouched areas to industrial fishing fleets using ecologically risky bottom trawling methods, writes Joe Sandler Clarke. Ecosystems supporting walruses, polar bears, puffins and other sea birds could be stripped bare.

    Bottom trawling is widely considered to be the among most destructive fishing techniques, with vast nets catching fish as they are dragged along the sea bed.

    Using official data and ship tracking systems, researchers found that large numbers of fishing vessels owned by major companies have taken advantage of melting sea ice to fish in previously impossible to reach parts of the Norwegian and Russian Arctic.

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  • Greenland's Ice is Getting Darker, Increasing Risk of Melting

    Greenland's snowy surface has been getting darker over the past two decades, absorbing more heat from the sun and increasing snow melt, a new study of satellite data shows. That trend is likely to continue, with the surface's reflectivity, or albedo, decreasing by as much as 10 percent by the end of the century, the study says.

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  • Preserved moose with DNA of ancestors being studied in Russia

    Scientists of the Tomsk State University have found preserved moose in Western Siberia that have unique features of DNA structure. This discovery of Tomsk scientists will help determine the origin and path of moose movement in the last few tens of thousands of years and gives reason to believe that Siberia is a unique genetic repository. The research has been presented at International Conference "Theriofauna of Russia and adjacent territories" (X Congress of Russian Theriological Society).

    Unique moose were found in the southeastern part of Western Siberia. Hunters of the Tomsk Region assisted in this discovery. Along with the license for opening the animals, they got set for the capture of prototypes and a small profile.

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  • New Heat Wave Formula Can Help Public Health Agencies Prepare for Extreme Temperatures

    Extreme heat can pose several health risks, such as dehydration, hyperthermia and even death, especially during sustained periods of high temperatures. However, a uniform definition of a heat wave doesn’t exist. As a result, public health agencies may be unsure of when to activate heat alerts, cooling centers and other protective measures. A University of Missouri School of Medicine researcher has developed a uniform definition of a heat wave that may help public health agencies prepare for extreme temperatures.

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  • VW Emissions cheating scandal update

    Volkswagen is still struggling to move past the emissions-software scandal that has plagued its reputation for the better part of a year. Ever since the news officially broke that an array of its diesel passenger cars were outfitted with deceptive software, VW’s reputation has been pretty much at bottom ratings.

    It’s not like the company hasn’t tried to regain public trust: To disgruntled consumers who bought one of the affected cars, it’s offered a combo of Visa cards and credit at dealerships. To dealers stuck with stock frozen by the publicity, the company offered to buy back used vehicles at full price.  And in response to hundreds of class-action suits coming up on the horizon, the company recently suggested that it may be willing to buy back those vehicles that can’t be fixed. Fixing, VW lawyer Robert Giuffra explained in court in January, requires coming up with new software, and that may still be a long way off — too long for some earlier vehicles caught in the debacle.

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  • Urban soils release surprising amounts of carbon dioxide

    In the concrete jungle at the core of a city, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are dominated by the fossil fuels burned by the dense concentrations of cars and buildings. Boston University researchers now have shown, however, that in metropolitan areas surrounding the city core, plant roots and decomposing organic material in soil give off enough CO2 , in a process termed "soil respiration", to make an unexpectedly great contribution to total emissions.

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  • Rutgers University Study finds sea level rise in the 20th Century was fastest in 3,000 years

    Global sea level rose faster in the 20th century than in any of the 27 previous centuries, according to a Rutgers University-led study published today.

    Moreover, without global warming, global sea level would have risen by less than half the observed 20th century increase and might even have fallen.

    Instead, global sea level rose by about 14 centimeters, or 5.5 inches, from 1900 to 2000. That’s a substantial increase, especially for vulnerable, low-lying coastal areas.

    “The 20th-century rise was extraordinary in the context of the last three millennia – and the rise over the last two decades has been even faster,” said Robert Kopp, the lead author and an associate professor in Rutgers’ Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.

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  • The impacts of a warming climate on Russian agriculture

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says last month was the warmest January on record. That sets off alarm bells for climate scientists, but for the average person living in a northern climate, it might not sound so bad.

    That's what many people are saying these days in Russia, where the expected icy winter has failed to materialize this year – to widespread joy. Of course, any climate scientist will tell you that an unusually warm month — or even a whole warm winter — doesn't mean much. It's the long-term trend that counts.

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  • Warming climate is bad news for western US aquifers

    By 2050 climate change will increase the groundwater deficit even more for four economically important aquifers in the western U.S., reports a University of Arizona-led team of scientists.

    The new report is the first to integrate scientists' knowledge about groundwater in the U.S. West with scientific models that show how climate change will affect the region.

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  • New Report Ties "Hottest Year on Record" to Human Toll of Disasters

    Natural disasters made 2015 a miserable year for many people around the world. According to the United Nations’ Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, the statistics were brutal. At least 98.6 million people were affected by natural disasters ranging from droughts to floods, and the economic damage could have been as high as $66.5 billion. Using the data available from the Belgian non-profit Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), the UN reports that almost 23,000 people died from the 346 natural disasters reported across the world.

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