news 2012



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Environment - Economics - 11.06.2012
New Study Measures Life Cycle Social Impacts
New Study Measures Life Cycle Social Impacts
Reception and service at central level for international students after arrival at KTH. For Master's students For Exchange students At the KTH Symposium, the director of the U.S. National Science Foundation explains how scientific co-operation with Sweden benefits American research.

Chemistry - Environment - 07.06.2012
New twist on old chemical process could boost energy efficiency
New twist on old chemical process could boost energy efficiency
Chemical reactions on the surface of metal oxides, such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, are important for applications such as solar cells that convert the sun's energy to electricity. Now University of Washington scientists have found that a previously unappreciated aspect of those reactions could be key in developing more efficient energy systems.

Environment - Life Sciences - 06.06.2012
20 years after Rio Earth Summit: Ecologists call for preservation of planet's remaining biological diversity
20 years after Rio Earth Summit: Ecologists call for preservation of planet’s remaining biological diversity
ANN ARBOR, Mich.-Twenty years after the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, 17 prominent ecologists are calling for renewed international efforts to curb the loss of biological diversity, which is compromising nature's ability to provide goods and services essential for human well-being.

Environment - 04.06.2012
Warming turns tundra to forest
Warming turns tundra to forest
In just a few decades shrubs in the Arctic tundra have turned into trees as a result of the warming Arctic climate, creating patches of forest which, if replicated across the tundra, would significantly accelerate global warming. Scientists from Finland and Oxford University investigated an area of around 100,000 km2, known as the northwestern Eurasian tundra, stretching from western Siberia to Finland.

Life Sciences - Environment - 30.05.2012
UCLA life scientists view biodiversity through a whole new dimension
UCLA life scientists view biodiversity through a whole new dimension
How can blue whales, the largest animals on the planet, survive by feeding on krill, shrimp-like creatures that are the size of a penny? According to UCLA life scientists, it's all a matter of dimensions. In findings published May 30 , the researchers demonstrate for the first time that the relationship between animals' body size and their feeding rate — the overall amount of food they consume per unit of time — is largely determined by the properties of the space in which they search for their food.

Environment - Chemistry - 29.05.2012
Emissions from widely used cookstoves vary with use
Emissions from widely used cookstoves vary with use
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. The smoke rising from a cookstove fills the air with the tantalizing aroma of dinner - and a cloud of pollutants and particles that threaten both health and the environment. How families in developing countries use their cookstoves has a big effect on emissions from those stoves, and laboratory emission tests don't accurately reflect real-world operations, according to a study by University of Illinois researchers.

Environment - 29.05.2012
Study concludes public apathy over climate change unrelated to science literacy
Are members of the public divided about climate change because they don't understand the science behind it? If Americans knew more basic science and were more proficient in technical reasoning, would public consensus match scientific consensus? A study published today online Climate Change suggests that the answer to both questions is no.

Environment - 29.05.2012
Blowing in the wind: how hidden flower features are crucial for bees
Blowing in the wind: how hidden flower features are crucial for bees
Many of our common garden flowers have beautiful conical cells if you look closely - roses have rounded conical petal cells while petunias have really long cells, giving petunia flowers an almost velvety appearance, particularly visible in the dark-coloured varieties." —Dr Beverley Glover As gardeners get busy filling tubs and borders with colourful bedding plants, scientists at the Universities of Cambridge and Bristol have discovered more about what makes flowers attractive to bees rather than humans.

Environment - 28.05.2012
Evidence in ashes
Evidence in ashes
The devastation of Black Saturday gave researchers an unparalleled opportunity to come up with bushfire answers. By Martyn Pearce. The numbers that belong to Black Saturday are extraordinary, and horribly sobering. 173 people killed, more than 400 injured - many seriously. More than 2,000 homes lost, 400 individual fires, 78 towns affected, more than 7,000 people displaced.

Chemistry - Environment - 25.05.2012
High-speed method to aid search for solar energy storage catalysts
Eons ago, nature solved the problem of converting solar energy to fuels by inventing the process of photosynthesis. Plants convert sunlight to chemical energy in the form of biomass, while releasing oxygen as an environmentally benign byproduct. Devising a similar process by which solar energy could be captured and stored for use in vehicles or at night is a major focus of modern solar energy research.

Environment - Life Sciences - 21.05.2012
More Plant Species Responding to Global Warming Than Previously Thought
Far more wild plant species may be responding to global warming than previous large-scale estimates have suggested. That's the conclusion of a team of scientists, which included a UC San Diego biologist, that found that many plant species, which appear to not be affected by warmer spring temperatures, are in fact responding as much to warmer winters.

Environment - 18.05.2012
Geography Plays Key Role in Emission Benefits of Renewables, Energy Efficiency Measures
A new report by Carnegie Mellon University researchers finds significant regional differences in the emission benefits of renewable and energy efficiency measures. Kyle Siler-Evans, a Ph.D. researcher in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy from Santa Fe, N.M., working with professors Ines Azevedo and M. Granger Morgan, has found that compared to California, displacing 1 kilowatt-hour of electricity in Iowa is expected to avoid roughly 70 percent more carbon dioxide, 12 times more sulfur dioxide and three times more nitrogen oxide emissions.

Environment - 18.05.2012
Impact of ocean acidification on marine life
A Plymouth University academic researching the impact of ocean acidification on marine life is finding out exactly what we can expect as our seas soak up more and more carbon dioxide. PhD student Vivienne Johnston is working with Jason Hall-Spencer at Plymouth focusing on the effects of ocean acidification on ecosystems close to volcanic carbon dioxide vents.

Environment - 17.05.2012
1000 years of climate data confirms Australia’s warming
In the first study of its kind in Australasia, scientists have used 27 natural climate records to create the first large-scale temperature reconstruction for the region over the last 1000 years. The study was led by researchers at the University of Melbourne and used a range of natural indicators including tree rings, corals and ice cores to study Australasian temperatures over the past millennium and compared them to climate model simulations.

Health - Environment - 16.05.2012
New advice on medication disposal: Trash beats take-back, new study suggests
ANN ARBOR, Mich.-Returning extra medicine to the pharmacy for disposal might not be worth the extra time, money or greenhouse gas emissions, according to a University of Michigan study that is the first to look at the net effects of so-called take-back programs. The new evidence suggests that discarding unused drugs in the trash is a better option to limit the risk of poisoning and at the same time curb pollution of both water and air.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 16.05.2012
Research focused on underground solution to greenhouse gas challenges
While many are focusing on atmospheric solutions to reduce greenhouse gases, some researchers are setting their sights on the ground - deep underground. Li Li , an assistant professor of energy and mineral engineering at Penn State, is investigating geologic carbon sequestration (storing carbon dioxide deep beneath the surface of the Earth) as a way to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Environment - Agronomy / Food Science - 14.05.2012
Wasted milk is a drain on resources
Milk poured down Britain's kitchen sinks each year creates a carbon footprint equivalent to that of thousands of cars, research shows. University scientists say the 360,000 tonnes of milk wasted in the UK each year creates greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 100,000 tonnes of CO2. This is the same as is emitted by about 20,000 cars annually.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 10.05.2012
Mississippi Kept Deepwater Horizon Oil Slick Off Shore
Mississippi Kept Deepwater Horizon Oil Slick Off Shore
When the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded April 20, 2010, residents feared that their Gulf of Mexico shores would be inundated with oil. And while many wetland habitats and wildlife were oiled during the three-month leak, the environmental damage to coastal Louisiana was less than many expected, in part because much of the crude never made it to the coast.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 09.05.2012
Antarctic ice sheet on brink of change
A project to map part of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has shown that the region may be on the threshold of change. Scientists from the University have mapped the ice-covered, largely unexplored landscape from the air. They uncovered a deep sub-glacial basin close to the edge of the ice sheet near the Weddell sea.

Life Sciences - Environment - 09.05.2012
Antarctic octopuses 10,000km apart “genetically similar”
Scientists at the University have found that genetic information on the Antarctic octopus supports studies indicating that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet could have collapsed during its history, possibly as recently as 200,000 years ago. Genes from more than 450 Turquet's octopuses, collected from species in the Southern Ocean that surrounds Antarctica, were analysed to shed new light on how animals disperse across the varied ocean landscape.
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