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Life Sciences - Environment - 23.07.2012
Polar bear evolution tracked climate change, new DNA study suggests
Polar bear evolution tracked climate change, new DNA study suggests
An analysis of newly sequenced polar bear genomes is providing important clues about the species' evolution, suggesting that climate change and genetic exchange with brown bears helped create the polar bear as we know it today. The international study, led by researchers at Penn State and the University at Buffalo, found evidence that the size of the polar bear population fluctuated with key climatic events over the past 1 million years, growing during periods of cooling and shrinking in warmer times.

Environment - 23.07.2012
Adding iron to the sea could combat climate change
Adding iron to the sea could combat climate change
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have found that adding iron to the sea could alleviate the impact of climate change. The team showed that much of the algae which grows when iron is added to the sea dies and falls into the deep ocean, taking with it the carbon it has absorbed. They added several tonnes of iron sulphate to a 1,67sq km patch within an ocean eddy near Antarctica which, within a week, had caused a large algae growth in the iron-limited but nutrient-rich ocean region.

Environment - 19.07.2012
Marine reserves aide ecosystem recovery after environmental disasters, Stanford researchers find
Marine reserves aide ecosystem recovery after environmental disasters, Stanford researchers find
Protected ocean areas known as marine reserves jumpstart the recovery of nearby commercial fishing areas after an environmental event, concludes a study of abalone by researchers from Stanford and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. For years, scientists, fishers and government regulators could only speculate that marine reserves, pockets of ocean that are off limits to fishing, could help entire ecosystems bounce back after an environmental disaster.

Environment - 17.07.2012
Generation X is surprisingly unconcerned about climate change
ANN ARBOR, Mich.-As the nation suffers through a summer of record-shattering heat, a University of Michigan report finds that Generation X is lukewarm about climate change-uninformed about the causes and unconcerned about the potential dangers.

Environment - Economics - 17.07.2012
SUPERGEN Hub to address burning bioenergy questions
SUPERGEN Hub to address burning bioenergy questions
The University of Manchester is heading up a new research hub that will investigate the efficiency and whole-life impact of a variety of bioenergy techniques. Science and Universities Minister David Willetts announced the £3.5m SUPERGEN Bioenergy Hub which will look at ways of accelerating the deployment of sustainable bioenergy.

Environment - Administration - 09.07.2012
Energy-sustainable cities: councils have the vision, but now need help
Researchers at the University of Leeds have found that while UK local authorities are willing to think strategically about energy sustainability, their limited resources make it difficult to act. A study published in the journal Energy Policy , shows that while local authorities may have a vision to make cities sustainable in terms of energy use, it is difficult to implement a strategy to make this happen during this challenging time for local government.

Life Sciences - Environment - 05.07.2012
Eddies, not sunlight, spur annual bloom of tiny plants in North Atlantic
Eddies, not sunlight, spur annual bloom of tiny plants in North Atlantic
Watch the authors describe their findings, view photos and read more about this research on the UW's Applied Physics Laboratory website. On a recent expedition to the inhospitable North Atlantic Ocean, scientists at the University of Washington and collaborators studying the annual growth of tiny plants were stumped to discover that the plankton had started growing before the sun had a chance to offer the light they need for their growth spurt.

Environment - Life Sciences - 04.07.2012
Seagulls feel the benefits of climate change
Scientists have shown that climate change has resulted in winners as well as losers with a study revealing that lesser black-backed gulls are booming in the North Sea. The warming water has created an abundance of swimming crabs that are picked off by the greedy gulls. The experts have identified that the arrival of a new warm water species - Henslow's swimming crab, Polybius henslowii - might by an important crustacean in the cycle.

Environment - 03.07.2012
Scientists identify tropical oceans as 'beating heart' of climate change
The world’s oceans are increasingly pumping tropical warm water towards the poles with important consequences for life on Earth, according to a new study. The tropical regions of the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans appear to be “acting like a heart”, accumulating heat and then pulsing it in bursts across the planet.

Environment - 02.07.2012
Exploring one of climate's 'known unknowns'
Exploring one of climate’s ’known unknowns’
Researchers at the University of Bristol with collaborators from ETH-Zurich have shown that the rate of condensation of water on organic aerosol particles in the atmosphere can be very slow, taking many hours for a particle to change in size. This could have significant consequences for understanding how clouds are formed, affecting climate.

Civil Engineering - Environment - 29.06.2012
Britain's urban rivers bounce back
Britain’s urban rivers bounce back
Urban rivers throughout England and Wales have improved dramatically in water quality and wildlife over the last 20 years. That's the conclusion of one the largest studies of national trends in river health ever undertaken. After decades of pollution, typically from poorly treated sewage and industrial waste, rivers in or near Britain's major urban areas are regaining insects such as mayflies and stoneflies that are typical of fast-flowing, oxygen-rich waters.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 27.06.2012
Suburban plants play important role in trapping carbon
NASA-funded study is a first step toward quantifying the role of vegetation in extensive developed areas such as suburbs Media Note: For photos of the researchers and an aerial view of the suburban landscape studied, visit: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjAfNmZu MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (06/27/2012) —Trees and other plants in the wild play an important role in counteracting climate change by trapping carbon dioxide released from burning fossil fuels.

Life Sciences - Environment - 27.06.2012
How sticky toepads evolved in geckos and what that means for adhesive technologies
New study shows that gecko toepads have evolved repeatedly, rather than once or twice as previously thought Media Note: To access the full article in PLoS ONE, visit: http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone. To access high-res images via Flickr, visit: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjAeRSNy.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 21.06.2012
Sediment core shows Arctic has gone through intense warm periods
Sediment core shows Arctic has gone through intense warm periods
New research from an international team confirms that the Arctic has gone through intensely warm periods, warmer than scientists thought was possible, during the last 2.8 million years. The extreme interglacial warm periods correspond to times when parts of Antarctica were ice free and warm, indicating a strong climate connection between the northern and southern hemispheres.

Environment - Life Sciences - 19.06.2012
Thawing permafrost increases fertility in subarctic peatlands
A group of ecologists from Umeå University's Climate Impact Research Centre (CIRC) and VU University Amsterdam have shown that thawing permafrost increases fertility in subarctic peatlands in northern Sweden. This increased fertility may have impacts on plant productivity and species composition. These findings were recently published in the journal Global Change Biology.

Environment - Astronomy / Space - 19.06.2012
Soil Moisture Climate Data Record observed from Space
[ Florian Aigner, Wolfgang Wagner Soil moisture influences our climate. For the first time, long-term data for the whole world is now presented by ESA, the Vienna University of Technology and the Free University of Amsterdam. The future of the world's climate is determined by various parameters, such as the density of clouds or the mass of the Antarctic ice sheet.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 15.06.2012
Bugs in key role of CO2 storage method
Tiny microbes are at the heart of a novel agricultural technique to manage harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Scientists have discovered how microbes can be used to turn carbon dioxide emissions into soil-enriching limestone. Their technique uses help from a type of tree that thrives in tropical areas, such as West Africa.

Environment - 14.06.2012
Cougar population regenerates after 100 years of decline, U of M researcher finds
Cougar population regenerates after 100 years of decline, U of M researcher finds
Media Note: MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (06/14/2012) —American mountain lions, or cougars, are re-emerging in areas of the United States, reversing 100 years of decline, new research by a University of Minnesota scientist shows. The evidence, published today in The Journal of Wildlife Management , raises new conservation questions such as how humans can live alongside the returning predators.

Environment - 13.06.2012
Bird's rare solid wing-bone adapted for wooing
Bird’s rare solid wing-bone adapted for wooing
Males of all species have been known to go to extremes to woo a female, but few have gone so far as the male club-winged manakin, a sparrow-sized bird from the forests of Ecuador and Colombia. Cornell researchers first reported in 2005 on the ability of these birds to rub specialized wing feathers together to produce a high hum.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 12.06.2012
Measuring the
Measuring the "Other" Greenhouse Gases: Higher Than Expected Levels of Methane in California
New research from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has found that levels of methane-a potent greenhouse gas emitted from many man-made sources, such as coal mines, landfills and livestock ranches-are at least one-and-a-half times higher in California than previously estimated.