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Environment - Earth Sciences - 24.12.2012
Bumblebees Do Best Where There Is Less Pavement and More Floral Diversity
Bumblebees Do Best Where There Is Less Pavement and More Floral Diversity
AUSTIN, Texas — Landscapes with large amounts of paved roads and impervious construction have lower numbers of ground-nesting bumblebees, which are important native pollinators, a study from The University of Texas at Austin and the University of California, Berkeley shows. The study suggests that management strategies that reduce the local use of pavement and increase natural habitat within the landscape could improve nesting opportunities for wild bees and help protect food supplies around the word.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 24.12.2012
Fluctuating environment may have driven human evolution
Fluctuating environment may have driven human evolution
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. A series of rapid environmental changes in East Africa roughly 2 million years ago may be responsible for driving human evolution, according to researchers at Penn State and Rutgers University. "The landscape early humans were inhabiting transitioned rapidly back and forth between a closed woodland and an open grassland about five to six times during a period of 200,000 years," said Clayton Magill, graduate student in geosciences at Penn State.

Environment - Life Sciences - 20.12.2012
Wallace’s century-old map of natural world updated
Until today, a map from 1876 has been the backbone for our understanding of global biodiversity. Thanks to advances in modern technology and data on more than 20,000 species, scientists have now produced a next-generation map depicting the organization of life on Earth. Published online in Science Express , the new map provides fundamental information regarding the diversity of life on our planet and is of major significance for future biodiversity research.

Environment - 20.12.2012
New map shows global reach of Berkeley Lab’s geologic carbon sequestration research
At the southern tip of Australia, Berkeley Lab scientists are helping to verify that depleted natural gas reservoirs can be repurposed for use as geologic carbon sequestration sites. In Mississippi, they're exploring whether it's possible to produce electricity from the Earth's heat using CO2 , as well as store some of the CO2 permanently underground.

Environment - 14.12.2012
Call to arms issued to scientists over energy policy
In the wake of the publication of the Energy Bill, experts from the Glasgow Media Group at the University of Glasgow and Chatham House are today calling on the scientific community to take a more decisive lead in the debate on energy policy. The recommendations aim to avoid the issue becoming mired in party politics and controversy, as has happened with climate change.

Environment - Life Sciences - 12.12.2012
Cloud forest trees drink water through their leaves
Cloud forest trees drink water through their leaves
Tropical montane cloud forest trees use more than their roots to take up water. They also drink water from clouds directly through their leaves, University of California, Berkeley, scientists have discovered. While this is an essential survival strategy in foggy but otherwise dry areas, the scientists say that the clouds the trees depend on are now disappearing due to climate change.

Environment - Life Sciences - 12.12.2012
Beaks show why 'sister' species don't live together
Beaks show why 'sister' species don't live together
A study of closely-related bird species has found that they do not coexist in the same region because they remain too ecologically similar and will out-compete each other, not because of geographical barriers or unsuitable habitats. Oxford University scientists examined 'sister' species - species that are each other's closest relatives - of the 'ovenbird' family from South America.

Health - Environment - 12.12.2012
The slower you grow, the longer you live: growth rate influences lifespan
New research from the University of Glasgow suggests that lifespan is affected by the rate at which bodies grow early in life. A paper published today in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B outlines how manipulating growth rates in stickleback fish can extend their lifespan by nearly a third or reduce it by 15 percent.

Environment - 10.12.2012
Conservatives can be persuaded to care more about the environment, study finds
Conservatives can be persuaded to care more about the environment, study finds
When it comes to climate change, deforestation and toxic waste, the assumption has been that conservative views on these topics are intractable. But new research from the University of California, Berkeley, suggests that such viewpoints can be changed after all, when the messages about the need to be better stewards of the land are couched in terms of fending off threats to the "purity" and "sanctity" of Earth and our bodies.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 10.12.2012
Silver lining to coral reef climate cloud
Silver lining to coral reef climate cloud
Researchers have found parts of our coral reefs are more resistant to ocean acidification than first thought, casting a ray of hope on the future of our reefs. The study, published today, details their analyses of the mineral structure of coralline algae, which form a hard ridge around the reef, protecting delicate corals from harsh waves and holding the structure together.

Environment - Life Sciences - 06.12.2012
Top conservation issues to look out for in 2013
Top conservation issues to look out for in 2013
This kind of horizon scanning exercise can be useful to avoid situations where we're ill-prepared to deal with the consequences." —Professor Bill Sutherland A UK-led team of researchers has identified 15 issues that could affect the diversity of life on Earth in 2013. They include using synthetic DNA to genetically modify organisms, soaring demand for coconut water, and competition for land to grow plants for fish farming.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 05.12.2012
A new ’branch’ of math
Researchers find a common angle and tipping point of branching valley networks. Over the course of decades or even centuries, Earth's landscape can appear relatively static, with mountains and valleys seemingly anchored firmly in place. Viewed over a longer timescale, however - on the order of hundreds of thousands of years - the Earth's topography becomes a rippling, shifting, changing tableau.

Life Sciences - Environment - 05.12.2012
Discovery of 100 million-year-old regions of DNA shows short cut to crop science advances
Scientists have discovered 100 million-year-old regions in the DNA of several plant species which could hold secrets about how specific genes are turned ‘on' or ‘off'. The findings, which are hoped will accelerate the pace of research into crop science and food security, are detailed by University of Warwick researchers in the journal The Plant Cell.

Environment - Chemistry - 04.12.2012
More Potent than Carbon Dioxide, Nitrous Oxide Levels in California May be Nearly Three Times Higher Than Previously Thought
More Potent than Carbon Dioxide, Nitrous Oxide Levels in California May be Nearly Three Times Higher Than Previously Thought
Using a new method for estimating greenhouse gases that combines atmospheric measurements with model predictions, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) researchers have found that the level of nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas, in California may be 2.5 to 3 times greater than the current inventory.

Environment - 04.12.2012
Canopy structure explains supposed link between leaf nitrogen and climate
Canopy structure explains supposed link between leaf nitrogen and climate
Claims that forest leaves rich in nitrogen may aid in reflecting infrared radiation - thereby cooling the atmosphere - have been challenged by new research that shows that the structure of forests' canopies is a more important factor in infrared reflection. Recent studies have noticed a strong positive correlation between the concentration of nitrogen in forests and infrared reflectance measured from aircraft and satellites.

Environment - Astronomy / Space Science - 29.11.2012
International study provides more solid measure of shrinking in polar ice sheets
International study provides more solid measure of shrinking in polar ice sheets
The planet's two largest ice sheets have been losing ice faster during the past decade, causing widespread confusion and concern. A new international study provides a firmer read on the state of continental ice sheets and how much they are contributing to sea-level rise. Dozens of climate scientists have reconciled their measurements of ice sheet changes in Antarctica and Greenland during the past two decades.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 29.11.2012
Scientists perform Nature hat trick
Scientists perform Nature hat trick
Three papers by researchers from the University of Bristol's Faculty of Science are published in this week's edition of Nature, one of the world's most prestigious scientific journals.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 28.11.2012
Scientists develop new approach to support future climate projections
Scientists develop new approach to support future climate projections
A new approach for evaluating past climate sensitivity data has been developed by scientists to help improve comparison with estimates of long-term climate projections developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The sensitivity of global temperature to changes in the Earth's radiation balance (climate sensitivity) is a key parameter for understanding past natural climate changes as well as potential future climate change.

Environment - Astronomy / Space Science - 21.11.2012
Ocean currents play a role in predicting extent of Arctic sea ice
Discovery of feedback between sea ice and ocean improves Arctic ice extent forecast. Each winter, wide swaths of the Arctic Ocean freeze to form sheets of sea ice that spread over millions of square miles. This ice acts as a massive sun visor for the Earth, reflecting solar radiation and shielding the planet from excessive warming.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 20.11.2012
Cornell entomologist discovers 14 new beetles in Tahiti
Cornell entomologist discovers 14 new beetles in Tahiti
Along with being a beautiful tourist destination, Tahiti is also a good place to discover unknown insects. A Cornell entomologist has known these facts since the early 1990s, when he began traveling to Pacific islands for research. Now James Liebherr, professor and curator of the Cornell University Insect Collection, has discovered 14 new beetle species in the Society Islands, all within the genus Mecyclothorax .
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