news 2013



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Life Sciences - Environment - 23.12.2013
Scientists highlight the resurrection of extinct animals as both a strong possibility and a major potential conservation issue
Scientists from across the world have "scanned the horizon" in order to identify potentially significant medium and long-term threats to conservation efforts.

Environment - Life Sciences - 22.12.2013
Scientists identify how they believe flowering plants evolved to weather the cold in study to be released in Nature
Researchers create largest evolutionary 'timetree' of land plants to investigate traits that permit survival in cold climates MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (12/22/2013) —A team of researchers studying plants has assembled the largest dated evolutionary tree , using it to show the order in which flowering plants evolved specific strategies, such as the seasonal shedding of leaves, to move into areas with cold winters.

Environment - Administration - 18.12.2013
Studies suggest boreal forests can handle oilsands development
Researcher finds trees and soil are adapting to mining emissions so far, but says careful monitoring needed over long term. Scott Chang studied tree rings from 60-year-old aspen and pine stands to find out how oilsands development is affecting tree growth. (Photo: Richard Siemens) Ongoing work by University of Alberta researcher Scott Chang is providing cautious optimism about how forest soil and trees are coping with oilsands development in Northern Alberta.

Environment - Agronomy / Food Science - 17.12.2013
Lost freshwater may double climate change effects on agriculture
A warmer world is expected to have severe consequences for global agriculture and food supply, reducing yields of major crops even as population and demand increases. Now, a new analysis combining climate, agricultural and hydrological models finds that shortages of freshwater used for irrigation could double the detrimental effects of climate change on agriculture.

Environment - 16.12.2013
Arctic sea ice up from record low
16 December 2013 Measurements from ESA's CryoSat satellite show that the volume of Arctic sea ice has significantly increased this autumn. The volume of ice measured this autumn is about 50% higher compared to last year. In October 2013, CryoSat measured about 9000 cubic km of sea ice - a notable increase compared to 6000 cubic km in October 2012.

Environment - Electroengineering - 16.12.2013
Piece-by-piece approach to emissions policies can be effective
New analysis shows that policies addressing energy consumption and technology choices individually can play an important part in reducing emissions. Discussions on curbing climate change tend to focus on comprehensive, emissions-focused measures: a global cap-and-trade scheme aimed at controlling carbon, or a tax on all carbon emissions.

Environment - 12.12.2013
Lack of monitoring impairs bat conservation research
Lack of monitoring impairs bat conservation research
Millions of pounds are being spent to protect bats from disturbance by building development and renovations, however a lack of follow-up monitoring makes it difficult to tell whether conservation efforts are effective. Researchers from the University of Bristol Mammal Research Unit found that between 2003 and 2005 an estimated 4.3 million was spent by developers in England to provide new homes for displaced bats, but less than 20 per cent of sites were monitored afterwards for their impact on bat populations.

Environment - 06.12.2013
Scientists simulate the climate of Tolkien’s Middle Earth
Ever wondered what the weather and climate was like in Middle Earth, the land of hobbits, dwarves, elves and orcs, from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings ? Climate scientists from the University of Bristol, UK have used a climate model, similar to those used in the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, to simulate and investigate the climate of Middle Earth.

Environment - 03.12.2013
Arctic climate change taking toll on peregrine falcons
Heavier rainfall linked with continuing decline of peregrine populations in Canada's Arctic. A mother peregrine falcon tries to brood two chicks that have died from exposure to cool, wet conditions caused by heavier rainfall in the Arctic. Rain, crucial to sustaining life on Earth, is proving deadly for young peregrine falcons in Canada's Arctic.

Environment - 28.11.2013
Lakes discovered beneath Greenland Ice Sheet
I strongly suspect that there are more lakes awaiting discovery as our radar investigations of the ice-sheet base continue Julian Dowdeswell The study, published in Geophysical Research Letters , discovered two subglacial lakes 800 metres below the surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet. The two lakes are each roughly 8-10 km2, and at one point may have been up to three times larger than their current size.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 26.11.2013
Great Barrier Reef memories: First deepwater fossil study reveals reef’s past and future
26 November 2013 Many people look back at their time on the Great Barrier Reef by viewing holiday snaps. Scientists have taken an even longer look back at the Great Barrier Reef via another image caught in time - deepwater fossils - which reveal the important role the deepwater reef plays in the health of the whole reef.

Environment - Life Sciences - 26.11.2013
Arctic Plays Outsized Role in Nitrogen Cycle
Arctic Plays Outsized Role in Nitrogen Cycle
PORT ARANSAS, Texas - Areas of the Arctic play a larger role than previously thought in the global nitrogen cycle'the process responsible for keeping a critical element necessary for life flowing between the atmosphere, the land and oceans. The finding is reported in a new study of the continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean published Wednesday in the journal Nature .

Earth Sciences - Environment - 25.11.2013
Methane Emissions in California and U.S. 1.5 Times Greater Than Expected
Current official inventories of methane emissions, a potent greenhouse gas released from landfills, livestock ranches and oil and gas facilities, may be underestimated both nationally and in California by a factor of about 1.5, according to new research from the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and others.

Mechanical Engineering - Environment - 20.11.2013
Droplets break a theoretical time barrier on bouncing
MIT research could aid ice prevention, wing efficiency, and more. Those who study hydrophobic materials - water-shedding surfaces such as those found in nature and created in the laboratory - are familiar with a theoretical limit on the time it takes for a water droplet to bounce away from such a surface.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 18.11.2013
Amber Provides New Insights Into the Evolution of the Earth's Atmosphere
Amber Provides New Insights Into the Evolution of the Earth’s Atmosphere
An international team of researchers led by Ralf Tappert, University of Innsbruck, reconstructed the composition of the Earth's atmosphere of the last 220 million years by analyzing modern and fossil plant resins. The results suggest that atmospheric oxygen was considerably lower in the Earth's geological past than previously assumed.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 13.11.2013
Buried leaves reveal precolonial eastern forests and guide stream restoration
Red Oak (left), American Beech (center), Sweet Birch (right). These are fossil leaves removed from the Denlinger Mill study site. UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. Sediment behind milldams in Pennsylvania preserved leaves deposited just before European that provide a glimpse of the ancient forests, according to a team of geoscientists, who note that neither the forests nor the streams were what they are today.

Environment - 07.11.2013
Climate change scientists must turn their attention to clean skies
Natural aerosols, such as emissions from volcanoes or plants, may contribute more uncertainty than previously thought to estimates of how the climate might respond to greenhouse gas emissions. An international team of researchers, led by the University of Leeds, has shown that the effect of aerosols on the climate since industrialisation depends strongly on what the atmosphere was like before pollution – when aerosols were produced only from natural emissions.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 07.11.2013
If a tree falls in Brazil...? Amazon deforestation could mean droughts for western U.S
If a tree falls in Brazil...? Amazon deforestation could mean droughts for western U.S
If a tree falls in Brazil..' Amazon deforestation could mean droughts for western U.S. Posted November 7, 2013; 10:00 a.m. by Morgan Kelly, Office of In research meant to highlight how the destruction of the Amazon rainforest could affect climate elsewhere, Princeton University-led researchers report that the total deforestation of the Amazon may significantly reduce rain and snowfall in the western United States, resulting in water and food shortages, and a greater risk of forest fires.

Environment - Mathematics - 06.11.2013
Creatures of influence
In the children's game "Jenga", removing the wrong block from a tower of wooden blocks can cause the entire tower to collapse. In the same way, removing certain species from an ecosystem can cause a collapse in ecological function. A common scientific question has been to identify these critical species in different ecosystems and an international research team has developed mathematical tools that can estimate which species are most influential in a food web.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 31.10.2013
Pinpointing the timing of sudden climate change
Pinpointing the timing of sudden climate change
A team of scientists has shown that during a 1000-year cold period at the end of the Ice Age, known as the Younger Dryas, the climate started to recover in Germany 120 years before Norway. The researchers looked at changes in the sediment of a lake in Germany and compared it to lake sediment records of a Norwegian lake.
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