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Environment - Politics - 20.12.2017
Political instability and weak governance lead to loss of species, study finds
Political instability and weak governance lead to loss of species, study finds
Big data study of global biodiversity shows ineffective national governance is a better indicator of species decline than any other measure of "anthropogenic impact". Even protected conservation areas make little difference in countries that struggle with socio-political stability.

Environment - Administration - 20.12.2017
Wildlife conservation needs effective governance more than GDP or space
Wildlife conservation needs effective governance more than GDP or space
Protecting an area for wildlife can work-but only if there is robust political governance. That's the research conclusion of twenty-three years of bird counting by an international team of researchers, including a scientist from the Milner Centre for Evolution at the University of Bath and published in the journal Nature .

Environment - Civil Engineering - 20.12.2017
Installing rooftop vegetable gardens for sustainable cities
Installing rooftop vegetable gardens for sustainable cities
From producing food to regulating water runoff, urban agriculture has a lot to offer. Scientists from INRA and AgroParisTech have shown that rooftop vegetable gardens are an interesting way to recycle urban waste, produce food, and retain rainwater. Their The challenges of making today's cities more sustainable are legion: waste management, food supplies, sensitivity to heatwaves and the risk of flooding linked notably to the impermeabilisation of soils.

Environment - 19.12.2017
Untouched forests fight climate change, but face threats
Untouched forests fight climate change, but face threats
The world's rainforests take up extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but their ability to do so is threatened by drought and fragmentation. Human activities pump extra carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, but only around half of it stays there. The oceans and forests of the world are known to be carbon ‘sinks', absorbing much of the excess atmospheric carbon.

Life Sciences - Environment - 19.12.2017
Study into catastrophic population decline for flying insects is UK's most discussed scientific paper of 2017
Study into catastrophic population decline for flying insects is UK’s most discussed scientific paper of 2017
Study into catastrophic population decline for flying insects is UK's most discussed scientific paper of 2017 A research project involving the University of Sussex detailing the catastrophic loss of insect populations on nature reserves has been named the most discussed journal article in the UK in 2017.

Environment - Life Sciences - 19.12.2017
Microbial communities in Iceland surprisingly resistant to climate change
Introduction: Effects of warming over 50 years were even reduced compared to changes in the first decade. How stable are ecosystems under climate change? This question gets ever increasing scientific attention. And while they are not as visible as plant and animal communities, soil microbial communities are quintessential to look at in this context.

Environment - 18.12.2017
Cyclically-changing environments could be the key to maintaining biodiversity
A new study may create suitable conditions for the coexistence of a large number of species. The study, conducted in collaboration with ecologists from Texas A&M University and The University of the Aegean, focused on phytoplankton - microscopic algae that thrive in the world's oceans, lakes and rivers.

Life Sciences - Environment - 15.12.2017
Salmon help their offspring by dying on the spawning grounds
Salmon help their offspring by dying on the spawning grounds
Spawning salmon that die after migrating home actually do their offspring a favour. The study, published today in Ecology Letters, found that by dying, the decaying bodies of the salmon fertilise the stream and create an environment which favours the growth of the young fish and maintains their genetic diversity.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 12.12.2017
Seabed landscape crucial for fish conservation
Conservation and fisheries management strategies should take into account seabed landscape in order to maintain fish conservation. A new study led by the University of Glasgow in collaboration with the University of Strathclyde and Marine Scotland Science and that is published in PLOS ONE, demonstrates the importance of protecting different seabed landscapes in order to maintain a healthy and diverse stock of fish, including cod, haddock and whiting.

Environment - 11.12.2017
Presenting facts as 'consensus' bridges conservative-liberal divide over climate change
Presenting facts as ’consensus’ bridges conservative-liberal divide over climate change
New evidence shows that 'social fact' highlighting expert consensus shifts perceptions across US political spectrum - particularly among highly educated conservatives. Facts that encourage agreement are a promising way of cutting through today's 'post-truth' bluster, say psychologists. Even in our so-called post-truth environment, hope is not lost for the fact Sander van der Linden In the murk of post-truth public debate, facts can polarise.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 11.12.2017
Decades of increased burning deplete soil carbon
Long-term effects of repeated fires on soils found to have significant impacts on carbon storage not previously considered in global greenhouse gas estimates. Frequent burning over decades reduces the amount of carbon and nitrogen stored in soils of savanna grasslands and broadleaf forests, in part because reduced plant growth means less carbon being drawn out of the atmosphere and stored in plant matter.

Environment - 11.12.2017
Cascade utilisation is also positive for wood
Cascade utilisation is also positive for wood
Research news Another ten years - that is approximately how long sustainable forestry will be able to satisfy the continuously growing demand for wood. In Germany and Europe, new concepts are therefore being discussed for more responsible and efficient industrial use of the renewable, but still limited wood resources.

Environment - Continuing Education - 11.12.2017
Education and Research on the Sustainable Use of Resources with Biochar
Deutsche Bundesstiftung funds research project BodenBildungBerlin at Freie Universität No 339/2017 from Dec 11, 2017 As part of the "BodenBildungBerlin" research project, scientists from Freie Universität Berlin are investigating how biochar can be used to reduce the burden on the environment. They are developing methods for imparting skills and knowledge on the sustainable use of resources in training and continuing education.

Materials Science - Environment - 08.12.2017
Guanidinium stabilizes perovskite solar cells at 19% efficiency
Guanidinium stabilizes perovskite solar cells at 19% efficiency
Incorporating guanidinium into perovskite solar cells stabilizes their efficiency at 19% for 1000 hours under full-sunlight testing conditions. With the power-conversion efficiency of silicon solar cells plateauing around 25%, perovskites are now ideally placed to become the market's next generation of photovoltaics.

Environment - 06.12.2017
Decades-past logging still threatens spotted owls in national forests
While California spotted owls (left, adult; right, juvenile) typically perch and roost in smaller trees like this incense cedar, their nest trees are often several feet in diameter. Photo: Danny Hofstadter Logging of the largest trees in the Sierra Nevada's national forests ended in the early 1990s after agreements were struck to protect species' habitat.

Environment - 06.12.2017
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The Internet would be nothing without hyperlinks. They are what makes the Net a network. They define the paths that give users access to content. And they also help to determine which results search engines show over others. Hyperlinks are set neither evenly nor randomly. What does all this mean for political discourse? And which actors are given disproportionately high visibility? A study examines this question.

Health - Environment - 05.12.2017
Air pollution from London traffic is affecting the health of unborn babies
Air pollution from London traffic is affecting the health of unborn babies
Exhaust fumes, soot and dust spewed out from road traffic in the UK capital may be putting the health of thousands of unborn babies at risk. The findings come from a study of more than half a million infants, which suggests that pregnant mothers exposed to air pollution from London's busy roads are more likely to give birth to babies that are underweight or smaller than they should be.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 05.12.2017
Extreme fieldwork, drones, climate modeling yield new insights about Greenland's melting ice sheet
Extreme fieldwork, drones, climate modeling yield new insights about Greenland’s melting ice sheet
A new UCLA-led study reinforces the importance of collaboration in assessing the effects of climate change. The research and it could ultimately help scientists more accurately predict how the phenomenon could cause sea levels to rise. Greenland is the single largest melting ice sheet in terms of meltwater runoff contributing to rising sea levels — and at least half of sea level rise from Greenland is from melting ice, said Laurence C. Smith, a UCLA professor of geography.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 05.12.2017
Tigers cling to survival in Sumatra’s increasingly fragmented forests
A research expedition tracked endangered tigers through the Sumatran jungles for a year and found tigers are clinging to survival in low density populations. Their findings have renewed fears about the possible extinction of the elusive predators. Tigers on the neighboring islands of Java, Bali, and Singapore went extinct in the 20th century, prompting new anti-poaching efforts to prevent the same fate for the subspecies on Sumatra.

Environment - Life Sciences - 04.12.2017
Medium-sized carnivores most at risk from environmental change
Medium-sized carnivores most at risk from environmental change
In a surprise ecological finding, researchers discover medium-sized carnivores spend the most time looking for food, making them vulnerable to change. Mammalian predators (commonly called carnivores) spend a significant part of their day foraging for food, and the more time they spend, the more energy they use.
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