23
Fri, Feb

  • Global climate target could net additional six million tons of fish annually

    If countries abide by the Paris Agreement global warming target of 1.5 degrees Celsius, potential fish catches could increase by six million metric tons per year, according to a new study published in Science.

    The researchers also found that some oceans are more sensitive to changes in temperature and will have substantially larger gains from achieving the Paris Agreement.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Could Rudolph and friends help to slow down our warming climate?

    Reindeer may be best known for pulling Santa’s sleigh, but a new study suggests they may have a part to play in slowing down climate change too.

    A team of researchers, writing in the journal Environmental Research Letters, found that when reindeer reduce the height and abundance of shrubs on the Arctic tundra through grazing, the level of surface albedo – the amount of solar energy (shortwave radiation) reflected by the Earth back into space – is increased.

     

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Rudolph's antlers inspire next generation of unbreakable materials

    The team looked at the antler structure at the 'nano-level', which is incredibly small, almost one thousandth of the thickness of a hair strand, and were able to identify the mechanisms at work, using state-of-the-art computer modelling and x-ray techniques.

    First author Paolino De Falco from QMUL's School of Engineering and Materials Science said: "The fibrils that make up the antler are staggered rather than in line with each other. This allows them to absorb the energy from the impact of a clash during a fight."

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Americans believe climate change connected to location and local weather

    A new study finds local weather may play an important role in Americans’ belief in climate change. The study, published on Monday, found that Americans’ belief that the earth is warming is related to the frequency of weather-related events they experience, suggesting that local changes in their climate influence their acceptance of this worldwide phenomenon. 

    “One of the greatest challenges to communicating scientific findings about climate change is the cognitive disconnect between local and global events,” said Michael Mann, associate professor of geography at George Washington University and co-author of the paper. “It is easy to assume that what you experience at home must be happening elsewhere.”

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Sawdust Reinvented Into Super Sponge for Oil Spills

    Lowly sawdust, the sawmill waste that’s sometimes tossed onto home garage floors to soak up oil spilled by amateur mechanics, could receive some new-found respect thanks to science. Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have chemically modified sawdust to make it exceptionally oil-attracting and buoyant, characteristics that are ideal for cleaning oil spills in the icy, turbulent waters of the Arctic. The nontoxic material absorbs up to five times its weight in oil and stays afloat for at least four months. 

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Surge in methane emissions threatens efforts to slow climate change

    Global concentrations of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas and cause of climate change, are now growing faster in the atmosphere than at any other time in the past two decades.

    That is the message of a team of international scientists in an editorial published 12 December in the journal Environmental Research Letters. The group reports that methane concentrations in the air began to surge around 2007 and grew precipitously in 2014 and 2015.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Wind turbines may have beneficial effects for crops

    A multi-year study led by an Iowa State University scientist suggests the turbines commonly used in the state to capture wind energy may have a positive effect on crops.

    Gene Takle, a Distinguished Professor of agronomy and geological and atmospheric sciences, said tall wind turbines disbursed throughout a field create air turbulence that may help plants by affecting variables such as temperature and carbon dioxide concentrations.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Against the Tide: A Fish Adapts Quickly to Lethal Levels of Pollution

    Evolution is working hard to rescue some urban fish from a lethal, human-altered environment, according to a study led by the University of California, Davis, and published Dec. 9 in the journal Science. 

    While environmental change is outpacing the rate of evolution for many other species, Atlantic killifish living in four polluted East Coast estuaries turn out to be remarkably resilient. These fish have adapted to levels of highly toxic industrial pollutants that would normally kill them.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Can Road Salt Change Sex Ratios in Frog Populations?

    Naturally occurring chemicals found in road salts commonly used to de-ice paved surfaces can alter the sex ratios in nearby frog populations, a phenomenon that could reduce the size and viability of species populations, according to a new study by scientists at Yale and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI).

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Thanksgiving Dinner's Carbon Footprint: A State-by-State Comparison

    The environmental impact of your Thanksgiving dinner depends on where the meal is prepared.

    Carnegie Mellon University researchers calculated the carbon footprint of a typical Thanksgiving feast – roasted turkey stuffed with sausage and apples, green bean casserole and pumpkin pie – for each state. The team based their calculations on the way the meal is cooked (gas versus electric range), the specific state’s predominant power source and how the food is produced in each area.

    They found that dinners cooked in Maine and Vermont, states that rely mostly on renewable energy, emit the lowest amounts of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that is tied to climate change. States that use coal power, such as Wyoming, West Virginia and Kentucky, have the highest carbon dioxide emissions.

    >> Read the Full Article