• Scientists Project Climate Changes Associated with a Global Warming of Four Degrees by 2084

    A collaborative research team from China has published a new analysis that shows the Earth’s climate would increase by 4 ℃, compared to pre-industrial levels, before the end of 21st century.

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  • Optimum Shade for Cocoa

    As chocolate becomes ever more popular, demand for cocoa keeps rising. For production to keep up, agricultural practices have to become more sustainable. ETH researchers tested what shade trees can contribute to solving this problem.

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  • How Australia Got Planted

    A new study has uncovered when and why the native vegetation that today dominates much of Australia first expanded across the continent. The research should help researchers better predict the likely impact of climate change and rising carbon dioxide levels on such plants here and elsewhere. The dominant vegetation, so-called C4 plants, includes a wide variety of tropical, subtropical and arid-land grasses. , C4 plants also include important worldwide crops such as sugarcane, corn, sorghum and millet. The research has just been published online in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

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  • Crop Immunisation Can Root Out Take-All Fungus

    In the soils of the world’s cereal fields, a family tussle between related species of fungi is underway for control of the crops’ roots, with food security threatened if the wrong side wins. Beneficial fungi can help plants to protect themselves from cousins eager to overwhelm the roots, but it’s a closely fought battle.

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  • 437 million tonnes of fish, $560 billion wasted due to destructive fishing operations

    Industrial fisheries that rely on bottom trawling wasted 437 million tonnes of fish and missed out on $560 billion in revenue over the past 65 years, new UBC research has found.

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  • How Seeds from War-Torn Syria Could Help Save American Wheat

    When a team of researchers set loose a buzzing horde of Hessian flies on 20,000 seedlings in a Kansas greenhouse, they made a discovery that continues to ripple from Midwestern wheat fields to the rolling hills that surround the battered Syrian city of Aleppo. The seeds once stored in a seed bank outside of that now largely destroyed city could end up saving United States wheat from the disruptions triggered by climate change — and look likely to, soon enough, make their way into the foods that Americans eat.  

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  • Scientists Project the Climate Change along the Millennium Silk Road in a 1.5°C and 2°C Warmer World

    Western China and central Asia are positioned centrally along the Millennium Silk Road—a core region bridging the east and west. Understanding the potential changes in climate over this core region is important to the successful implementation of “Belt and Road Initiative” (a US$1 trillion regional investment in infrastructure). In a recently published study in Atmospheric and Oceanic Science Letters, scientists from the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, projected both mean and extreme climate changes using the ensemble mean of CMIP5 models. The comparison of mean and extreme climate changes under 1.5°C and 2°C global warming scenarios highlights the impacts that can be avoided by achieving global warming of half a degree lower.

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  • Scientists Find Isotopic Evidence for Enhanced Fossil Fuel Sources of Aerosol Ammonium in the Urban Atmosphere

    Identifying the sources of aerosol ammonium is essential because ammonium can impact the Earth’s radiative balance, as well as human health and biological diversity. The sources of ambient ammonia concentrations can be quantified based on the stable isotopic composition of ammonia for various endmembers. However, isotopic source apportionment of aerosol ammonium is challenging in the urban atmosphere, where there is excess ammonia and nitrogen isotopic fractionation commonly occurs.

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  • Chinese Scientists Generate a High-quality Wheat A Genome Sequence

    Bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), feeding more than 35% human population and providing about 20% of calories and proteins consumed by humans, is a globally important crop due to its enhanced adaptability to a wide range of climates and improved grain quality for the production of baker's flour.

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  • Cassava Breeding Hasn’t Improved Photosynthesis or Yield Potential

    Cassava is a staple in the diet of more than one billion people across 105 countries, yet this “orphaned crop” has received little attention compared to popular crops like corn and soybeans. While advances in breeding have helped cassava withstand pests and diseases, cassava yields no more today than it did in 1963. Corn yields, by comparison, have more than doubled.

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